I just got back from a summer masterclass program at Gobelins L'ecole De L'image. It was a two week intensive course on character animation. I don't have any really finished pieces from it, but I learned a lot and have some new exercises to polish up.
The main focus was on female movement. We spent a lot of time learning the differences between male and female physiology. To work on this, we did a female walk cycle. Mine ended up being fairly vanilla, but I definitely learned some things that can be taken beyond simply walk cycles.
The first clip here was my first take, it was a bit stiff and not very pushed. (sorry I don't know how to make these videos loop nor do I have time right now to render out a loop)
So I went in and did a lot of surgery and pushed it and made the motion fairly gooey. This clip isn't yet finished because the FK arms got messed up after pushing everything around and I didn't get to cleaning all that up.
The next assignment was pretty fun. We were given the beginning of a bizarre scenario. A character is standing on a bus/train. Then one of the handles comes down. From there everyone took it in many different ways, all very creative. Some made the handle come alive and become another character, I decided to make it blow up.
The final assignment was an interesting acting bit. The set up was that there's a character and a suitcase. The character opens the suitcase and reacts to what's in it. What I find interesting about it is that you don't show what's inside of the suitcase, so the communication of what's inside is purely based on your performance.