Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Progress, juicy progress!

I kinda felt it happening while I was working, but I think I'm starting to pick up on some of this animationing stuff. My main notes from the last class on my blocking were mostly to simplify a few things, and strengthen my starting pose. It may be obvious but I often need to hear stuff like that to help kick me in the rear end to really push things. Some other obvious things our instructor has been saying were that no one has been really pushing the face much, so I wanted to be sure to include that and not be afraid to really crank a controller to see how it affects things. He also said that basically, when he says something is good or is working, it's not to mean, leave it alone. Everything, even stuff that is working always needs more scrutinizing, more pushing, more love, more care, more polish. And like simple stuff like when using the tween machine or pushing keys around for timing, you still need to go back in and really tweak each pose, each frame, everything.

With all that in mind, I took to breaking down my shot to everything being at least on 4s. It's mostly actually on 3s and in some places 1s. One of my personal breakthroughs I feel was with timing and texture and pacing. My shots often are weak on this. They are usually muddy or soft and bleh. I took yet another look at the old timing charts and how they relate to actual scene time. I remember a breakthrough I had before where I succeeded in having some action feel really strong and it was just being comfortable with putting in those spaces. This time I was more careful about where to put those spaces, getting into and out of them well so it's just not things randomly popping.

This rather simple timing chart I had totally misunderstood for so long. I was taught you have your one key pose and your next,  you go to the middle frame, break it down, go to the frame in the middle on either side of that and break it down, working your way back to each key pose. The problem is, that timing chart ends up being naturally even, because it's an even approach.

What I did instead was have key 1 an d 2, then do my mid way breakdown, then do the key on either side of that midway frame. Sometimes, if the move was long enough, I'd maybe do that on the key 2 frames to either side. But the important thing is, those keys are describing the move so much. Because that's saying how fast you're going across from key 1 to 2. This is kinda embarrassing to post, because I'm sure everyone else figured this out and I was the only one not clued in. But since it took me a while to get comfortable doing something like this, and I know I often just need to hear it from someone, maybe this might help if you have also struggled with even timing.

From here, playing with how many tick marks you have on either side of that midway breakdown and if that midway breakdown is actually in the middle or not, you can start to play around with cushioning and eases. And yes, that's how my keys look in my scene. With a key on say, frame one, then 4,5,6, then 9. Not evenly paced out, but clumped around where there's the most movement/shape change. Just like how on fast actions, the old 2d method of going from being on 2s to haveing to animate on 1s for those bits, it's because there's more information that's needed to understand the movement. So this is just that same sort of idea applied in cg where everything's gonna be on 1s in the end anyway. It won't look chunky because your poses will be fluidly moving from one to the next, so them not being rigidly only on every 2 frames doesn't matter.

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