Friday, 19 March 2010

Shot 6 Test 1

Shot six is a view ourside the shop with the Oxfam logo in clear view. I purposefully am making the shot very busy to contrast the rest of the animation. This is the sequence with the most characters and animation. A lot of time was spent making the shop look as far from the dingy stereotype of a charity shop as possible and so I also wanted it to be well shopped in.

I animated the characters from previous sequences individually over 150 frames (6 seconds) to make the scene as genuin as possible. These two characters which I play-blasted interact with eachother as one holds a dress up against herself and the other 'comments' with gestures.

The final shot is meant to just be brief but with enough animation and stuff happening to make you feel content with a fade to the oxfam logo. the green splodge above the door is the Oxfam logo as a shop sign. Overall I am very pleased with all parts of this animation and am ready to render. I didn't have to worry about this walk as it is the same walk as in the first shot just copied and pasted with the shopping bags removed.

Shot 5 Camera Sweep Test

For shot five, I really wanted to have the camera sweep out of the window to reveal the shop front, turning and showing the inside of the shop before flying through the window. It was indeed a nice idea, but unfortunately this practice shot takes an extreme 24 seconds!!! My animation is supposed to be between 30 and 40, and I already have near enough 20, so 24 seconds is completely impracticable! #

Instead I am going to make what I have animated character wise a nice round 6 seconds, and have an extra shot of outside the shop separate.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Shot 5 Render Test 2

Ah much better. the shop keeper continues to smile as the main character has walked past her and all is well in the render. The next task I face importing this whole acting piece into the shop, which is already jam packed with geometry so the whole process might be very slow from here onwards!!

I can't animate this scene any further until I know the layout of the shop so that I can decide where the camera is going to move.

Shot 5 Render Test 1

So this is my first render on this clip with face projections, and in this clip I have only actually animated the face of the shopkeeper, as this is the character who's face you see the most as the main character has her back to the camera for the most part.

The shopkeeper's eyes move down to look at the bag and her face makes an 'oooh' shape of curiosity and interest. As our main character moves away the shop keeper raises her head and smiles in such a warm, surprised and happy way, with a little blink to follow.

One thing I don't like about this render is how, when the main character walks past the shop keeper, once passed the shop keeper's face is back to a non-smiling status. I feel it would be better if the main character passed fully before the shop keepers face returned to a less smiley state. This is because it makes the smile seem disingenuous if the shop keeper isn't smiling once the main character has passed. at the moment it looks like the type of fake smile someone gives you where they are smiling when they look at you but forget that you can see them stop smiling when they aren't looking at you.

for the main character the only animation I really want to add is a very subtle closed mouth smile. I could do with adding better blinks to both animations.

Shot 5 Test 3

The movement of the girl for this test play-blast is much smoother than it has been previously, I am excited to see a rendered version if it with the face animation projected onto the model.

For this test I added movement to the secondary character, the shop keeper. She moves her hands onto the bags as the main character moves her hands away. She then takes a look (tilts her head down) at both bags (her eyes will move down to look in the final render). As the main character turns away out shopkeeper lifts her head and turns it towards the main character where she will smile as she waves. I am actually very happy with all parts of this animation as they are!

Test Render Ahoy!!

Shot 5 Test 2

Having amended the body turn and slightly adjusted the timing of the arms moving to her sides I am pleased with the improvements.

The walk is much slower than the turn, but I plan on speeding this part up in the editing process. not because its difficult to do in Maya, but because all of the walk is done on strips of 50 frames and if I condense it I wont be able to edit any adjustments I need very easily. I like to know that the moving parts are back to the same frame every 50 seconds, and I have a reasonable idea of where stuff lands, key-frame-wise, in between.

The turn I added to her back as she turns too walk is a nice touch though is a little sharp in this play-blast. Perhaps a turn in the head too would add to the overall walk. She does now transfer her weight in a much more believable way that she did in the initial play-blast. At some points when she is walking her arms 'twang' to a very stiff position. this looks awful and I have to make the movement as realistic and authentic as possible.

Shot 5 Test 1

Shot 5 is about the girl giving the bags of shopping to a shop assistant. Its supposed to look like she has returned what she bought earlier because she demonstrated earlier that she had too many clothes. What has actually happened is she has donated clothes to a charity shop, which becomes apparent when the camera sweeps out through the window to show her standing outside of Oxfam. The camera will zoom in on the shop sign to close the animation.

This test play-blast only really shows the tiniest part of the whole section but I want to keep checking it in stages as it progresses. To start off with I am focusing on the animation of just the main character. The girl very smoothly pushes the bags towards the shop keeper before waving briefly and then turning and walking away. The turn is far too fast but the walk is nice and fluid, though I might speed that up a bit. Where I could improve the animation is to make the character more convincingly transfer weight. Her torso should turn as she moves and then straighten up again as she has reached the destination direction. Her arms need better animating when she gets to the walking part of the sequence and the pull back movement of putting them by her side is far too quick and rigid looking.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Shot 4 Test 3 and Render Preview

Baring in mind that I am going to speed up and slow down different parts to get the best out of this video as a whole, I am now extremely pleased with the flow of the movement right now. Even though some parts will be faster, it was essential to ensure that the footage worked well to begin with, not adjusting the speed to cover up problems.

Now, I have smoothed out all of the jerky movements, the character nicely turns after a reasonable lean forward and pause to look at the goods in the window. granted this is only a short clip, but every part has to have good composition and move well regardless.

For this Render preview makes me feel much more confident about my animation, now that I can see the face looking exactly as I imagined it and projected onto the model instead of animated flat as a file. I also edited the footage speed times so that it moves the way I intend it to in the final edit. It looks just how I wanted it too and I am now confident to go ahead with the final render, putting in the sky etc. and all the things that will really make the scene.

Shot 4 Test 2

This time I really like the movement of the character, the timing is much better. I had to move all of the frames forward and extend the length of the animation to fit in more time for the character to pause and look at the beginning, and this really makes the whole thing come together. There is still a bit of a jerk to the turning movement which I can iron out in the next revision.

When I decided to give this shot the angle it is at I knew that when I rendered the scene there would be a really strong aesthetic reflection in the glass that it is facing. There will also be a reflection in the glass that the camera is behind which will add more interest to the shot.

Shot 4 Test 1

To start off the second part of the advert the girl is looking adoringly at something in the shop window. She then walks off as in the next shot she is going to be at the counter inside a shop. At the moment this shot all moves a little too quickly for my liking, it doesn't do what I need it too. I like the way that the character moves away but the turn itself is far too jerky, unconvinving. She doesnt currently stop and take enough time to really look at what it is in the shop window! She also doesn't appear very interested judging by her body language, so perhaps I can make some refinements to make her seem like she is a bit more drawn in.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Shot 3 Final

This is the final version of this shot. got there Eventually.

It actually took me quite a long time to get the lighting for this shot looking right. I had wanted the character's face to be in shadow so that the room had a realistic lighting that carried on from the previous shot, but I didn't like the way her face literally only had the one tone to is because the light was behind her. Her hair also only had the one tone so I decided to add a light in front of her.

The light I added in front of her face originally looked quite nice, but in the second test I realised it affected shadow in the whole room which was very noticeable when she moved. To amend this I changed the brightness of the light close to her face. this worked, but getting the shadow to be the right shape was a bit of a pain. I must have made at least 50+ one frame test renders to get it to look right. Also she leans forward as she looks down and I had to check that the shadow was acceptable at that angle too. Eventually I found one that looked right.

The point of this shot is so that the character looks kind of shocked at the clothes falling out of the wardrobe, which is why she opens her mouth in such a way. The shocked expression is followed by a concerned grit of the teeth which is the end of the first half of the advert.

Shot 3 Test 2

This version of this shot is much better, I think the animation works very well now. I am concerned about the perspective now though. This view from the inside of the wardrobe makes the wardrobe itself look huge as you can see how far out the doors are are the character looks tiny by comparison, where as in a regular shot she isn't drastically dwarfed by it. I don't think there is a lot I can really do about this. I want to keep the camera level with the characters head because if I put the camera below it will look odd to the view, and If I put the camera above it will exacerbate the dwarfing situation.

To ensure that the character is in view and can be seen properly I made an additional light close to her. This has provided another obstacle however, as when she leans forward to look down you can see that her shadow in the background is huge because the light is so close to her. It is only obvious because of the way shadows are cast on the handles of the chest of drawers. I imagine I can select them individually and tell them not to receive shadows. Fingers Crossed.

Shot 3 Test

Originally the third shot was going to be as though we were looking through the eyes of the girl into the wardrobe. I decided this was an unnecessary shot and would break up the flow of the animation too much, plus we've already seen that the wardrobe is jam packed with clothes from the previous shot.

This shot 3, formerly shot 4, is a view from inside the wardrobe, looking out at the character's facial expression, a reaction to what has just happened.

In this test the arms of the character move far too slowly on the way down by her sides, and her head too moves too slowly down, it should be a more sharp reaction to what has happened. At the moment the head has a rather sharp movement back to its original position, which makes the hair look very noticeably rigid, which I can't do anything about particularly, as it is indeed rigid. However, think a slow head movement back up again could look quite effective instead of a sharp one. I will try this out in a second test of this scene.

Friday, 12 March 2010

7+ Nearly there!!

This is the closest I have been to finishing this sequence.

At the moment I have noticed I need to add a handle to the door first seen as she walks in the room. The handles of the bags look ungenuine and too far apart in her 'hands'. I am really dissatisfied with the characters face so I am going to re-design the animation for that before I produce a final render, but other that that I am pretty much pleased with the animation. I will be speeding it up about 25% and may edit out some of the beginning as it is a little bit too long and too slow. the clothes falling out of the wardrobe especially needs speeding up. there is a small section where her jacket pops through itself, clipping obviously.

Once the facial animation is finalized I will be making the walk cycle more interesting by tweaking parts, perhaps introducing a head turn and making the movement in general look less generic/repeated.

Also, I dont like that she stops before opening the doors. I'll be amending that.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

7+ Walk and Ncloth Test

This walk cycle has been forever problematic. This render demonstrates something going askew somewhere, possibly in the back, perhaps in the legs. I can only do my best to fix it, I'v tried so many times and I am sick of looking at it to be honest. One more day of amendments and I will have to move on.

The clothes falling out of the wardrobe is exactly how I wanted it, and it all works really well. even the carrier bags swinging nicely as she opens the door.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Charity Shop

Although this image here will really only take up the tiniest piece of time in my whole animation, I thought it necessary to make the shop look as authentic as possible.
This involves making incredible amounts of things to make the shop look full.
In the scene you can see a book shelf, packed with different sized and coloured books, and some ornaments on the top.
You can also see two different sizes of clothing rail, and a rack of 'shoes' (my character doen't exactly have feet).
I even made an accessories stand to go next to the check out.

Monday, 8 March 2010

7Seconds+ Adjusted Walk with Cupboard Opening

So this is my best walk cycle for this scene so far, I like the curve of the way she walks and although slightly jerky at time I think I can put the final tweaks in from here.

In this version of the clip I have added the character opening the cupboard doors. This is because clothes are going to fall out of the cupboard and onto the floor as I have animated in previous blogs.

There is a unnecessary delay in the characters movement before she opens the cupboard doors. Taking this out will reduce the length of the clip, which at the moment is far too long. also, when she opens the cupboard door the clothes fall out too slowly in the rendered version of the clip, so the step back will be double speed.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

7Seconds+ Adjusted Walk

I didn't like the angle at which she walked to I stripped the whole thing back and animated the whole scene again. Originally I animate the character alking forward and then made adjustments to make her walk at an angle. This time I just started making her walk at an angle without animating her in a straight like first, just to see if that too would work, and it proved to make a much smoother animation! I'm happy with the progress.

7seconds+ Walking at an angle test

From second 7 onwards the girl walks into her bedroom and to her wardrobe where the clothes fall out of the wardrobe as she opens the doors. This is my initial test at getting the girl to walk on a rotate. It works really well, i'm pleased with the results, but I know I'v got some glitches and amending to do.

The wardrobe doors open from a previous practice animation, I forgot to take that out!

As you can see in the video I used nurbs circles to make sure the weight baring foot always stayed in the same position. this involved frame by frame correcting the position of the foot for a very fluid walk.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

1-6 (of 30ish) Walk Test

This is the improved walk version of a clip I previously uploaded. The camera pan isn't set in stone yet, i may change the camera completely, but for now this is the general idea of what I want my scene to look like. the walk looks alot better in the scene than from a generic side orthagraphic view!!.

I am going to be modelling various background characters over the enxt few days just so that the scene looks fuller.

I also need to decide on a suitable sky, something very blue with very fluffy clouds I'm thinking, but not sure what yet.

I am also going to change the road, its not really suitable for the animation if i'm honest, doesn't match the style of the rest of the imagery at all so I need to come up with something new for that.

Walk the Walk 4

This is my fourth and final walk test.

I would Ideally like the walk to be alot better that this but it is unfortunate that I am running out of time for this project and I need to get on with the rest of the animation. The walk test is of a satisfactory level and has improved significantly since my first version so I am pleased with my progress. I have definately learned alot.

Walk the Walk 3

Friday, 5 March 2010

Colour Mouth Test (animated)

So this is STILL NOT THE FINAL ANIMATION. It is still a test just to see how the mouth looks on the face.

The movement of the jaw really adds to the animation. I was always planning on adding it to my animation, it was but the whole process is doing little by little to get the best results. The colour working animated mouth looks really nice, i'm pleased with it. It has a few more colours due to having been made in photoshop using shadows etc, but it doesn't look unsuitable in the style.

Now I just need to finish animating the rest of the face and adding little details that will really bring her to life, now that I am pleased with the mouth.

Coloured Still Mouth Test

So this is the mouth coloured in. I think it sits very nicely on the face and the colouring that I have done makes the mouth look as though it actually does go back inside the mouth, with realistic depth.
This isn't the final version, just a tester.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Mouth Test 2

This expression is for after all the clothes have fallen out of the girls wardrobe. she will look down and pull this mouth shape.

This mouth instantly works better than the previous version. I think its the animation itself that just 'works', by comparison, not that the previous animation is bad. Obviously this mouth animation paired with some appropriately animated eyes will better than this flat looking version that is just testing whether the animation works on the face properly.

Mouth Test 1

This is My first test of the character with a mouth. The mouth isn;t coloured yet, because this test is for the purpose of deciding on the right size and position before inking in photoshop.

I think it works but I'm not 100% The mouth might be a little on the big size. Any comments? The position and size of the mouth is Easily changeable so please let me know!!

Someone else recommended that its because the character doesn't have a nose that the video doesn't work, however I did a nose test and it looked ridiculous having a 2d nose on a 3D model, and a 3D nose would look wrong without the black line. No winning on the nose issue. I like no nose personally!!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Walk the Walk 2

I played about with the height of the 'bob' in the walk as the previous version seemed quite insincere.

Walk the Walk

This Is the first amendment I made to my walkcycle, I appologise that is is so short but what you can see is that the animation is very smooth and unrealistic.

Iv spent some time working on the kinks of this walkcycle however.

I added some more noticeable movement to the shoulders for a more realistic swing.

I also amended the timing of the walk and made the time it takes each leg to reach the next position have a less even timing, slower to get most the way there, faster on the foot down etc.

I also amended some of the rotation of the torso. Originally it turned from the hips which caused the shoulders to make too dramatic a movement because they were so far away from the joint that was rotating. So I moved the rotating joint a few places up the spine and now the shoulders have a more natural ratation with the back.

Now, the swing of the arms/shopping bags move parallel to the legs but they actually move a few frames behind so that as the leg is moving in the opposite direction the arms are still moving in the initial direction before dolliwing. This causes a nice lag and adds a bit of weight to the content of the bags.

The character does have a glitch in her neck in this playblast.