Friday, April 10, 2009

Bale rant Animation process: 'Planning' - 2/2



After sketching for a few days and trying to act out how the character would behave and perform, I had a clear “road map” of the overall acting… so that’s the time when I decided to shoot some video reference at home.
I picked some of the clips where I found more interesting acting choices and also included a hand reference shot at the end. All this really helped me solve some motion problems in the animation process when I started to struggle with posing or acting patterns… looking at this reference was always inspiring and problem solving for me :)

After watching this reference over and over I came up with a list of parts I liked the most:

-Line: "What the F*** is it with you"? - Clip 4

-Surprise take on Line "No...NO!.." - Clip 2

-Line"The..the F*** are you DOING!? - Clip 1

-Keys pressing and "Gimme a F*** Answer.." - Clip 2 or 4.


For me, this is very important in the planning process for a 3d animator. After I got the planning down for the performance (sketches, thumbnails, animatics, video reference, etc.) I wanted to prepare myself to fight the computer and its restrictions in terms of rig, technicalities, controls, IK/FK choices.. etc etc.

So I made a list of animation/technical choices for this animation shot:

- I wanted to go between subtle and cartoony animation. The shot layout is very close up so I didn’t want too much movement. Trying to concentrate on the facial animation performance… so I decided to start out with the “Layering method” (even though I switched later on to stepped mode blocking “pose to pose”)

- Considering that the character was going to be seated and typing most of the time I decided to go with IK hands in the whole shot.

- I also wanted to try to go clean on the rotations and dealing with only one axis at a time so I could have better control on the rig… I used to animate in local mode for the rotation, but at the end I ended up having influences in the other axis as well… probably the rig… but to go super clean I chose to go with Gimbal-mode rotations for the whole shot.

- For the translation part it was simpler… I just used the regular ones (world and local) for posing and in-between… BUT, I knew that in the polishing part I was going to change to “screen-mode translations” which translates from the flat camera view so you could track your arcs way better.

I will post my Animation process step by step on Sunday... thanx for stopping by and..stay tuned! :P

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