Monday, October 20, 2008

Animation Mentor: Week 103 - Planning & Blocking Methods

Hey all! Week three has come and went and I'm starting into week four. It was a really long week for me, with a few nights of early morning bedtimes, but I got my assignments finished and pretty happy with them! Here's an overview!


Sunday was the start of my week, but I had some work to do up in Pasadena in the afternoon, so I didn't get as much done as I'd wanted too. Monday, I watched the lecture and looked over the assignments for the week. I also watched the video news to see if there was anything of importance for my class or the program in general. The video lecture was given by Bobby Beck this week, talking about good planning and blocking in your animation. When I got home after work, I went to work sketching out poses for the "EXCITEMENT" pose we had to put STU in this week. Here is the page of my sketchbook of those poses (Click on the image to see a larger version):

As in last week, I took two poses I thought were strongest (and others supported too) and put CG Stu into them. I was really wanting to get a pose that wasn't your typical cliche poses for showing excitment (hands up, pump fisting..etc..) One of the poses was a little of the cliche poses, but still loved the pose. I also wanted to make sure that if the other pose didn't fully work out in the CG world, I had one that would for sure hit the assignment requirements. I was just wanting to really push it and not take the easy route. After much tweaking and some AMAZING critique and ideas from some future co-workers, I decided on the strongest pose (and this week was my favorite pose to begin with). I uploaded it, along with my sketches, to my mentor. Here is the pose I submitted, Pose "F"(which I just realized is the same letter of LAST weeks submitted pose!):

And here's the safer pose, Pose "I":

I also took Week 2's STU pose and made improvements based on Victor's e-crit. I've also figured out how to use mental ray to render out the images. gives it a nice "endless background" feel. I also felt the fence posts were too distracting (even though I loved having stuff in the picture to play with depth of field with), so I took them out and made him lean on a single post. We'll see if my mentor feels the changes were for good or not. Here's the revised pose:

This week we also had our FIRST ANIMATION assignment...the one..the only..the BOUNCING BALL!!! The assignment was to create in a side view (no perspective) a basketball or soccer ball bounce, within 50-100 frames. I shot some video reference of a basketball bouncing in my room and out on the porch. Here's an example of that:

Then I took that footage and planned out the shot on paper. The only real bummer was that this particular ball character AM gives us doesn't allow you to add squash & stretch to your animation yet. So, even though my sketch has given some reference to it, I wasn't able to actually add that. In a week or so, we are given more controls of the ball, but right now they wanted to keep us limited, so we didn't get overwhelmed. Here is my planning of the shot:

And after some major procrastination with this part of the assignment, I finally jumped into Maya and worked this out. Here's the final animation I uploaded to my mentor:

In our Q&A session with my mentor, Victor, he gave examples of his planning on some of his shots at Pixar. It was an amazing thing to see his work flow and to see how the "big dawgs" do things. Victor then went through a bouncing ball demo to show how he would do the assignment. I was glad I hadn't gotten into doing my ball before that, because his guidance allowed me to have a better grasp at doing it. I've done this assignment before back in my AI days (both traditional and in CG), but this time I understood so much more of the CG process. Hopefully it will be well received and I won't have a ton of corrections from Victor's e-critique.

Well, Week 4 has already begun and I have some reference footage to go shoot! Come back next week to find out how my journey through ANIMATION MENTOR is progressing!!!!

1 comment:

SeeKate said...

I look like a shot from Singin' in the Rain when I get excited too :)
(P.S. - you're really talented!)