Summer Activity 1 – Walk Cycle.

I listened to Sarah’s lecture on walk cycles, and read up on this further in my Animator’s Survival Kit textbook. I had recently done a walk cycle, however it came up extremely quick:

Once I had read up a little more on timing and pacing, I decided to try and slow it down a little, so it read more casual:

I was pretty pleased with how this turned out in the first place, but I think slowing it down has helped enormously! I really see the improvements in my secondary movement in this animation.

I then decided, as an exercise, that instead of doing a walk cycle I would do a run cycle. I’ve been intending on doing a run cycle that follows the animation of the female run in Pokemon Arceus for a while now – I really like how this animation looks very cute and light, almost like a skip!

I recorded a video on my switch of my character running a few paces, and then exported this onto my iphone. My iphone allowed me to view each pose frame by frame, and this was really helpful for planning out the run cycle. I’m really happy with how my rendition turned out:

I also did another little looping animation of an original character of mine for fun:

Animated Narratives: Final Animation; Portfolio; Research, Development and Application of Theory.

This is our final animation:

Music

Sound effects were found at https://freesound.org/

Portfolio, Research and Development and Application of Theory:

Semester 2 – First Project, Animated Cactus.

Week 3 Assignment Animated Narratives: Presentation on Late Afternoon.

Week 3 – Animated Narratives, Establishing our group and talking ideas.

Some ideas for AN.

Animated Narratives – Homework Week 4 – AN

Animated Narratives Class Activities – Week 5

Animated Narratives: Some Cemetery Landscape Studies – Colour and Form.

Animated Narratives Progress.

Animated Narratives – Class Activities

Animated Narratives, homework and class activities.

Animated Narratives – Modelling Leaves.

Animated Narratives – More updates to my ghost model

Animated Narratives – Pre-Vis and Ultimate Walker take-2

Animated Narratives – Pre-vis progress

Animated Narratives – Pre-vis progress day 2

Animated Narratives: Finished pre-vis and improvement notes!

Animated Narratives: Pre-vis progress – editing, shorter time line.

Animated Narratives – Lighting Class Activity and Getting Noob Ghost ready for rigging

Animated Narratives: Some texturing

Animated Narratives: Re-texturing, texturing and UV mapping ghost, rigging noob ghost

Animated Narratives: Finishing texturing.

Animated Narratives: Rig progress and finalised textures.

Animated Narratives: Some Test Animations.

Animated Narratives: Final Texturing and Fixing the Scene Environment.

Animated Narratives: Applying textures, playing around with lighting

Animated Narratives: Lighting.

Animated Narratives: Starting to Animate, and more lighting!

Animated Narratives: More animation and progress

Animated Narratives: Finishing NOOB Ghost animation.

Animated Narratives: Rendering and reapplying textures. We are v scared.

Self Reflection:

There are many things about this assignment that I would have done differently:

  • From the beginning, we were not able to give as much attention to the module as we would have hoped: we were in the middle of learning how to use 3D software. I should have split up my time a little better, instead of hyper fixating on my 3D literature module over Animated Narratives.
  • A lot of my time was wasted redoing work (remaking environments, cleaning up outliners, remaking the previs); this time could have been better spent somewhere else – I think that this was a result of not being fully familiar with the software we were using.
  • I think we could have made more of an effort to voice concerns over contribution to the project as a whole: whilst some of us pulled our weight, some did not. Looking back on it, I feel if we were each given a scene to animate, light and render independently, this would have ensured that each member of the group was responsible for having something to individually submit to the project as a whole. As it stands, we were all waiting on one render to submit.
  • I had organised for my friend to stay with me on submission weekend and sadly could not be there for all of the rendering or editing process. This was unintentional, as the deadline was pushed forward by one week. As a result, I feel as though I should have been with my team a lot more in the weekend leading up to the submission deadline, and I am very disappointed that I wasn’t able to help them more, and take some of the night shifts whilst they had more of a chance to get home and get some rest.

Technically, I would have rethought the following:

  • We decided to individually texture our assets on substance painter, and we shouldn’t have – we should have applied textures directly in Maya. This would have cut down our rendering time significantly, as well as saved us some time in the long run, I believe!
  • We should have thought more about the environments in certain shots. We could have deleted a lot of our assets that were not in frame in order to get a better rendering time. This was a silly oversight that we realised later in the rendering process: Our final scenes were rendered like this, but we know for next time.
  • A lot of inconsistent lighting should have been addressed, I think all of the group members could have had the scenes up on multiple computers so straight comparisons could be made between each scene. Again, this is something we hadn’t realised until later in the process of rendering and it’s definitely a lesson learned. The lighting change at approximately three seconds in, where there’s a shift from a purple-ish overlay to a cold – perhaps over-exposed – light, is particularly upsetting and confusing to me. This scene was one single scene and rendered out together, so I’m really unsure about why the lighting changed half way through…
  • Inconsistent camera angles between scenes were also a bit of an issue, and they made some areas of the animation jumpy. We should have addressed these, but like the lighting, we weren’t fully aware of the impact of these shots until we saw the full render. Part of the issue here was probably due to the fact that we had our shots split up into different scenes: We definitely couldn’t have rendered this short in one file, but better moves could have been made to ensure that the camera angles matched up.
  • Better attention paid to schedules would have given more time to perfect the animation. I feel that I, personally, could have done a better job if I’d had a bit more time to dedicate to it. I did the best that I could with my restrictions, but I felt a little overwhelmed with this project as I feel I was in charge of directing most of the technical areas, as well as animating one of the main characters, and it meant that my animation job was not as good as it could have been.

Overall I’m pretty pleased with what we produced and I’m buzzed that we managed to get the film rendered. Whilst there’s a lot of things that can be improved, I think that the narrative itself comes through pretty clearly and that it’s understandable – This is the aspect of our short that I am most proud of.

I’m also pleased with my contribution and performance during this project, I put a lot of effort into the parts that I was responsible for and I think I’ve measured up to my own expectations and standards.

Self Reflection on Full Academic Year:

I have immensely enjoyed my first year of studying animation – I have learned so many techniques in 2D, including the 12 steps of animation, colour theory, character design as well as camera work. In addition, I have learned (in very basic terms) how to model, sculpt and animate in 3D. I honestly thought that I would not only dislike learning this form of animation, but that I would also not be able to do it. I was completely wrong, I think I actually enjoyed the 3D aspects of my first year more than the 2D aspect! I am looking forward to jumping back into 2D animation when next semester begins, but I was honestly surprised at how much I loved working with Blender and Maya.

I will be using the summer to keep on top of using Maya and Blender, as well as working through the Animators Survival Guide to learn more about 2D animation in general. I also really want to work with some tutorials I’ve found on youtube about hand painting models in Substance Painter. I think that whilst I am OK at using Substance Painter, I’m using it in quite a basic and beginner manor!

I feel a lot more confident coming away from this semester, and I am really proud of the portfolio of work I’ve been able to put together over the past eight months. Hopefully all of my work is reflective of how much I’ve loved my first year of study!

Animated Narratives: Rendering and reapplying textures. We are v scared.

Unfortunately, I had to spend a lot of yesterday reapplying and tweaking textures. Even though the file path was 100% correct, the maya files were not registering on the models, possibly because I had been editing the animation at home rather than on the same computer that I set the textures on; I spent the day trying to do a little quality assurance on each scene in terms of textures and lighting in order to ensure that they were all ready for rendering and looking as close to the original render as I could possibly get them.

I did one test render of the opening scene just to ensure that the quality was OK, and this only took about an hour to finish up. I assumed, because of this, we might be quite quick with rendering. However, turning the resolution up to 1080p HD and increasing the camera quality in the render seems to have had a huge effect on our render time: Ellie and Ciara both stayed in uni last night to supervise the opening scene of the animation as it rendered and we didn’t even get through rendering the opening scene in the hours over night. We’ve started to render out over several computers, hopefully this should speed up the process, but I am feeling very nervous about rendering time. I think we underestimated how long this process would take

Edit: Over the render time, 3 days, we discovered that there were corrupted files within the image sequence of our 5th scene. We found this on submission day, which was really worrying – thankfully, Alec pushed the deadline back two days and this has allowed us the extra time we needed in order to get the corrupted files re-rendered and get the full rendered piece edited.

 

Animated Narratives: Finishing NOOB Ghost animation.

I thankfully managed to get my section of the animation finished. I’m pretty pleased with it, just waiting on one more scene with the old man ghost; tomorrow I will begin rendering out the opening scene tomorrow morning, to get a start on the rendering process but also to gauge how long rendering might take us.