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CLO02: Studio Wrap up

Hi there

Today I am going to be talking about studio wrap up. More specifically, what I plan on improving next trimester.

There are two topics that need to be addressed, areas of my craft that I seek to improve and determining and justifying how other proven approaches may address the areas of my craft that I seek to improve.

So let’s get started.

WHAT I SEEK TO IMPROVE

The first area of my discipline that I want to hone in on is anticipation. Anticipation is the 2nd principle of animation and is the movement that prepares the audience for the main action in a sequence. This is one of the most important principles in animation and it would help me in the future to improve this principle.

The second area of my disicipline I would like to improve is my workflow in Maya,  this is essential to speeding up animation creation and will help tremendously in the future.

DETERMINING APPROACHES THAT ADDRESS WHAT I SEEK TO IMPROVE

Now to discuss how I will achieve these goals next trimester.

Anticipation

I found for anticipation I would need to research into it heavily, finding examples and reference from the masters of animation. I found a great example from a very old animation created by a student in ‘The School of Visual Arts, MFA Computer Art, New York City’ It shows the anticipation of the Kiwi jumping off of the cliff face, the anticipation is so dramatic that it spans over several shots before actually following through to the main action! First the Kiwi looks where it wants to go, it then executes two levels of preparation for a run up, he steps back, then peddles mid air. Finally the kiwi darts forward jumping, there is even some anticipation shown by hang time when the kiwi is jumping, incredible stuff for a student.

Another example of great anticipation is from ‘The Tigger movie’ their are many great scenes in the film that show of fantastic use of anticipation. Here is a scene I found that shows it off quite well (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m15DDICtmis), first Tigger winds up his body from the bottom to the top, then he lifts his leg as a final show anticipation, holds it for a few more frames, then begins to dance.

Apart from researching I will be using reference, a lot more reference that will help me achieve this goal. It is proven by many lead animators from any studio you can think of that reference is key!

Animation Work Flow

I found a great blog on ‘Creative Bloq’ which goes through step by step many approaches to making a faster more efficient workflow, it can be seen here (http://www.creativebloq.com/3d/how-speed-your-animation-workflow-31410993). It talks about strategies that greatly increase productivity like using a proxy model instead of the finished and complete model when animating. In doing this the program won’t lag or put strain on the computer, thus cutting out time. If I were to use a high poly finished model, it could seriously strain the program and computer or even cause it to crash in some cases, better safe than sorry.

I also found this brilliant video on animation mentor, it talks about how animation workflows should adapt constantly, it can be seen here (http://www.animationmentor.com/resources/tips-tricks/jim-brown-brian-mendenhall-animation-workflow/). Some animation workflows are great, but they need to be adapted and evolved during your time animating, a particular workflow may work in a scene with a quadruped running, but the same workflow won’t work in a scene with a biped brushing it’s teeth!

For example if I were to animate the first scenario, I would work on the movement of the character first and only set key frames where the animal is running to, getting the timing and spacing down correctly. But for the second scenario, I would work on the key-poses first, blocking out what body language the character might be giving off when brushing it’s teeth, only key framing the extremes. One of the big things they hone in on is that you need to find a workflow that suits you, not just try other peoples and hope it works, because usually it will only have worked in that specific shot that they had worked on.

After reading into all of this, I have found that I actually learnt a lot about what I can do next trimester, it has enlightened me per say and I am excited to see what next trimester brings 😀

All in all, Studio 3 was brilliant.

Keeffe Out!


Reference

Principles of Animation. (2016). Minyos.its.rmit.edu.au. Retrieved 2 September 2016, from http://minyos.its.rmit.edu.au/aim/a_notes/anim_principles.html

How to speed up your animation workflow | Creative Bloq. (2016). Creativebloq.com. Retrieved 2 September 2016, from http://www.creativebloq.com/3d/how-speed-your-animation-workflow-31410993

 Tippett Studio Team Shares Animation Workflow Tips | Animation Mentor. (2016).Animationmentor.com. Retrieved 3 September 2016, from

Kiwi!. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 3 September 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdUUx5FdySs#t=1m39s

Animation Principles. (2016). Courses.cs.washington.edu. Retrieved 3 September 2016, from https://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse459/13au/exercises/animation_principles.html

ANIMATION PRINCIPLES OF ANTICIPATION. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 3 September 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m15DDICtmis

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CLO04: Execute a project in accordance with a project plan

Hi there

Today I am going to be talking about how I executed a project in accordance to a project plan.

The project plan can be viewed here (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Y7-I4W2iNq2TjEB0qBK88sr-ovlCD-Kovp4pSLgaCpY/edit)

The project plan describes deliverables that each team member needs to create, specifically it lists:

I was able to create all of these deliverables.

The roles assigned to me were:

  • Concept art for Angel Encampment
  • Asset Production for Angel Encampment
  • Scene Assembly
  • Final Shot for Angel Encampment

I was able to complete all of these and follow the role throughout the life span of the project.

The project plan was consulted through out the life span of the project, if something needed changing, it would get the attention needed and in the end, the project plan is what helped the team out the most.

To review this project plan, it worked wonders for the team, it was very helpful throughout the project to refer to and keep me/the team on track. It was super effective as a support tool when you got lost in what you are doing and it clearly has a list of tasks to work on if you are stuck at any point in time.

As the project evolved, the project plan evolved due to an additional team member joining. This was because roles changed and task allocation differentiated once this happened, it was for the best and introduced certain team members to roles they hadn’t taken on before, which was refreshing.

Keeffe Out!

 

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CLO01 World Builders

Hi there

Today I will be critically reflecting on how my team and I performed in relation to behavior, the processes that were employed and the outcome of the project.

IDENTIFYING ISSUES/EVENTS

So to begin, I will identify several important events/issues that occurred during the project, including both positive and negatives.

The first being selecting an idea to go with, we had to all decide on a book or text to create our world builders project from, conceptualizing it in our own image. This wasn’t easy and caused some grief within the team, it slowed us down and was generally negative, the positive was that when it came down to the decision we were able to compromise and agree to vote for one idea.

The second being an extra team member, this created more people to manage and made our team even in team members, this allowed us to split into 3 miniature groups with their own small scene to create together. This was positive to the team and helped us produce a great product in the end, it also had it’s negatives because we had to add another scene into our production and this set us back a little bit.

The third being feedback, we had a screening session half way through our production of all the work we had made so far. The person giving feedback was very blunt and told things how they were, he raised some great points and this was eye opening for the team. It was a beneficial event and gave us all a new way to look at developing our shot, the only negative I could think of is some team members feeling bad after the feedback session.

ANALYSIS OF THE CAUSE OF THESE EVENTS/ISSUES

The cause of the first issue ‘Selecting an idea’ was because of conflicting ideas and personalities, certain people had their own image of what they wanted to do and this caused grief to other people that wanted to do their idea. It is a simple issue, caused by selfishness and not being open to other peoples ideas.

The cause of the second event was the extra team members previous group not working out, causing us to take on an extra team member. She was having issues with her previous group and needed to transfer to another so we took her on.

The cause of third event was the person giving feedback. He gave harsh feedback that allowed us to seriously rethink some of our shots and how the flowed, it made the team despondent but was good for us in the end.

IDENTIFY SOLUTIONS FOR THE EVENTS/ISSUES

Solution for the first issue would be to firstly hear everyone’s ideas, let everyone have a say of what they want. Doing this will mitigate negative emotions from team members that didn’t get to voice their idea or opinions. Secondly would be to immediately start a vote on who wants to do which idea, this will cut down on time so that pre-production can get started sooner. Alternatively another solution would be to assign the role of team leader as soon as the team is formed and discuss everyone’s ideas, understanding what certain team members do and don’t like about each idea so that the most liked idea can be chosen. Doing both of these solutions would help facilitate positive events, everyone’s opinions being heard can help lift the teams spirits and is a good exercise for the team.

A solution for the second event would be to make a risk analysis sheet very early on, understanding possible risks that are involved in these types of projects can help the team when they arise and mitigate time loss. Setting backup plans for things that aren’t expected (like the addition of a team member), making hypothetical project pipelines that incorporate more people if the time arises, this would let someone seamlessly join into the project if they are needed. To facilitate positivity in this event, it would have been having a group meeting officially welcoming the extra team member into the team and hashing out where we will go from that point forward so that she felt welcome.

A solution for event three would be to practice taking constructive criticism. Criticism can be tough sometimes but however harsh it may be, it will nearly always be helpful for you, I think if the team took time to give each other real feedback every week on how they are progressing, what is and isn’t working, then they would have taken the feedback better. This in turn would help facilitate positive events throughout the rest of the course of the projects life span.

CRITICALLY REFLECT ON ALL THESE ASPECTS – MY OWN ROLE AND THE TEAM

My own role in this projects life span was fairly major, in the beginning I chose to compromise my own idea and forfeit it, I decided it would be better for the team if there was one less idea to choose from. When we were given an extra team member I was given the role of being a mini project lead, I was in charge of creating the scene in Unreal Engine 4 and animating the camera shots, this was difficult for me because I hadn’t had any prior knowledge of the program, so I had to learn it from the ground up to bring it to completion. Managing two shots gave me a little shed of light into what it would be like to be a head project lead and it was interesting for me, I think I did quite well with this and it expanded my knowledge on game engines. When it came to feedback, I took it on easily, my shot composition wasn’t doing it for the criticizer and he suggested some changes, I got to work immediately and managed to make something that flowed much better to what it previously was. I think that overall I had a great impact on the team and the outcome of the project and am happy how it turned out.

The teams role was very major, everyone cooperated through most stages of the project and helped each other out where they could, especially during my mini group. Their were some issues throughout were some team members didn’t use the right scaling and this caused minor problems but were easily fixed, assets were made in ample time which was great because it gave me time to implement them into the unreal scene. Some team members in the ideas stage were very stubborn and didn’t want to branch out to new ideas but eventually came together and agreed with one idea. All the team members were supportive of the additional team member coming aboard which was fantastic and made her addition seamless. I think that the team overall worked quite well together and the end result was more than they expected to get out of the whole project.

Keeffe Out!

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Specialisation: Overlapping Action and Follow Through

Hi there

Today I am going to be talking about overlapping action and follow through, what the best current best practices are, how I have implemented it within my animation and reflecting on the success of it.

So to begin with, what is overlapping action and follow through?

Overlapping action is used to emphasize the action and mood of a character. When a character moves across the screen some parts of the body move before it some after and some at different rates of speed than others. Some parts of the body lead the action and some parts follow the main action (Figure 1).

oa04.gif

oa02.gif

(Figure 1)

As seen in figure 1, this can be done with basically anything, this principle even affects some parts of the body! (Figure 2).

oa05.gif

(Figure 2)

So now to look at some industry workflows. To start off wit we have to understand  that each part of the body has it’s own arc and overlapping action associated with it. a nice workflow is to gather some reference that displays the action with all of the follow through and overlapping action (Figure 3).

(Figure 3)

I am doing a scene with someone shooting an arrow, so I chose this, the shot shows the follow through of the hands forearms and shoulders quite well, so I got to work and implemented it as best as I could in my animation. I found a great informative video that explains in depth ways to create this principle of animation, this was very helpful and helped create the end product (Figure 4 & 5).

(Figure 4)

(Figure 5)

With enough passes, I was able to replicate the hand motions, arcs and follow through that would happen in real life.

Reference helps quite a lot when trying to create realistic overlapping action and follow through. I believe I implemented this quite well and the research I found on workflow and how to begin implementing this into my own work was very helpful.

Keeffe Out!

 


Reference

Urcuyo-Siani, R. (2016). LARRY’S TOON INSTITUTE — Overlapping Action. Awn.com. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from http://www.awn.com/tooninstitute/lessonplan/overlapping.htm

Tutorial: Follow Through and Overlapping Action | Animator Island. (2016).Animatorisland.com. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from http://www.animatorisland.com/2900/

S3 Archery – Draw Techniques. (2016). YouTube. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CU3aHVD3xI

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Specialisation Research:Timing and Spacing

Hi there

Today I am going to be talking about timing in animation, this is crucial to any animation and can make or break the outcome of a shot.

So to begin with, what is timing and spacing?

timing-and-spacing.png

(Figure 1)

Timing and spacing is one of the most simplest principles to understand yet one of the hardest to execute. As seen above (Figure 1) timing is the amount of time it takes, spacing refers to it’s position in each frame of animation, with a simple image like above it is much simpler to understand how it works.

Now to implement it into my animation!

As seen in (Figure 2), the before and after of implementing proper timing and spacing gives the animation more life and really spruces it up.

(Figure 2)

The main mechanic of this principle I used is known as the ‘apex’ of the curve. The apex of the curve is the highest point in the animation and by using this formula (Distance in inches) = (1/3 inch) x (# of frames) x (# of frames) you can create realistic animation with this formula and it can be seen in action below (Figure 3).

(Figure 3)

The difference is very minimal but helps the animation pop.

I’d say that I implemented the  timing and spacing principle fairly well!

Keeffe Out!

 


Reference

Character Animation Fundamentals: Timing and Spacing. (2014). Digital-Tutors Blog. Retrieved 22 August 2016, from http://blog.digitaltutors.com/character-animation-fundamentals-timing-spacing/

3D Animation: Timing & Spacing Research. (2016). Ncanimation.blogspot.com.au. Retrieved 22 August 2016, from http://ncanimation.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/timing-spacing-research.html

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Cross Discipline Asset Completion

Hi there

Today I will be showing the end product of my contributions to the games group Snöfyr’.

The finished assets can be seen below (Figure 1).

Snowball finalStick FinalTrashcan FinalSnowman FinalSign finalLamp finalBench final

(Figure 1)

So I finally finished working with the games group, we went through a project pipeline and this was done relatively swiftly in regards to time. We started out with allocating assets and artwork to specific group members with a google spreadsheet (Figure 2).

Capture.PNG

(Figure 2)

Then we headed straight into production, once I had gathered enough reference material I was able to make the models and give placeholders to the games group. Then I was able to create the proper models and give them textures so they aren’t bland in game as seen in figure 1.

The main communication tools were email/Facebook the asset creators kept in regular touch with one another and the lead of the project pitched in every now and again to see how we were going. Our sharing framework was google drive once an asset was complete, it would be uploaded to the drive with appropriate naming conventions and file systems (Figure 3).

(Figure 3)

The game came together quite well and is going to have an exhibition very soon to show it off to the public.

It was a pleasure working with this group 🙂

Keeffe Out!

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Cross Discipline Stuff/Progress.

Hi there

Today I will be updating you on my cross discipline works and asset creation for a game I am helping develop, ‘Snöfyr ‘.

The premise of the game is simple and fun, you play as a snowball against 2 other players, (local multiplayer) your objective is to become the largest snowball by picking up as much debris as you roll down a large hill. The more objects you collect the bigger you get and thus the more damage you do to the lighthouse covered in ice at the bottom. The player who knocks off the most ice wins the game.

I have been assigned to create simple low poly 3D assets for their game, simple debris and potential objects that could be picked up by the player or be an obstruction to the player. Here are a few of the ones I have created so far without textures (Figure 1).

Bench egLamp egSign exampleSnowball ExamlpeSnowman exampleStick ExampleTrashcan example

(Figure 1)

Now the process of creating textures and unwrapping all of these assets begin.

🙂

Keeffe Out!