So I Can’t Animate

Or rather, I can, but I’m not good at it. It hasn’t really come as a surprise to me as I’ve tried before with less than staggering results; I can’t decide whether it’s patience or feeling (or just plain practice) that I lack the most, but I’m certainly far away from having characters run effortlessly around the world doing insane stunts with a shrug of their shoulders.

I spent a large chunk of today meddling around with making another attempt at animating – last try was almost a year ago, so I thought I might have another go at it, see if my practice with Beyond the Tree and the much improved models have led me anywhere. While I’d definitely say I’ve gotten better at it.. as the above shows I’m quite a distance off from making something grand and lengthy with it. Nevermind that the render time for the above was something along the lines of 40 minutes. (largely due to lights and shadows, mind you)

It once more gave me a feeling for how important it is to have an idea and then to storyboard it first before you progress – this I just built out of trying to make a decent walk animation and then trying to make something out of testing it. If anything it gave me an impression of how these things really need to be storyboarded or have simple animatics done for them before you start off or it’ll be an utter pain to actually make sense out of all the animation keys.

I’m actually not sure what’s easiest though – animating the motions first and then affecting the ground speed from them or setting the ground speed first and animating after.

I might the odd attempt at animating again every so often, just for the fun of it. That said though, for now.. I’m definitely far more at home with still pictures.


9 Responses to “So I Can’t Animate”

  1. 1 Arafor
    February 20, 2009 at 08:45

    It’s not that bad, just kinda stiff. I’m sure it’s just a matter of practice. You’ll get the hang of it if you really want to learn.

  2. 2 Arafor
    February 20, 2009 at 08:50

    I’d recommend you working a little bit more with the hip and her shoulders. The hip sways quite a lot for a person that walks while relaxed (specially for night elves) and the shoulders tilts a bit (right foot forwards, left shoulder up). That way the char looks more relaxed (up to the point where it looks like cat-walk).

  3. 3 Nhani
    February 20, 2009 at 08:54

    I’d say it’s a tad beyond stiff, heh – it looked fluid when I was going through it frame by frame, but it didn’t remain so. I know it’s broken, I’m just not sure where it’s broken and in what manner (nor what way is easiest to approach it to begin with).

    I’d love to see the characters move and do stuff – stills can be great visuals, but moving pictures are.. well.. more alive. Seeing the lighting and shadows and all interact as things happen.

    I just have near zero experience with animating thigns, especially humanoids with a full biped of possibilities!

    (edit) Hm, hip’s a good point. Moving shoulders up and down is something I neglected in just making them move back and forth. I think the legs add to the choppiness a whole lot due to moving in bursts somehow and/or lifting the other foot too far. It’s rather hard picturing yourself from angles your head is not in, so it’s a tad perplexing. I might try another walk before long, or it might take awhile. All sounds like good ideas to keep in mind, though.

  4. February 20, 2009 at 15:36

    it actualy looked like a robot LOL.i’m bad at it my self ;( i can visualyse how the bones move but i can’t make them that good if i make it good it’s slow-mo šŸ˜¦

  5. 5 Moltrazahn
    February 20, 2009 at 16:43

    Pratice makes perfect, and i think that looked good, and even while praticeing with animation, you still got a nice tuch of humor in it šŸ˜› typical you *waves finger*

    Besides her stiffness, you got shadows, Tiny, her hair, backpack and such things in it. And seeing the facial animation in real time = Chills of win.

    Keep at it! looking fantastic for a first attempt

  6. 6 zortel
    February 21, 2009 at 12:24

    As I said, I did like the little touch of pushing the camera away, it certainly adds character. Considering that you only worked on it that day and it had been a year before since you tried it, I’d say that’s very good going!

  7. 7 frostsaben
    February 25, 2009 at 09:11

    I think it looks good for a start, after all, you can’t expect it to be perfect in the first few times.
    From my point of view the problem seems when she lowers her feet after raising them into the air, it looks as if she’s throwing them to the ground, like in an army march.
    On the other hand, face animations look great!

  8. March 5, 2009 at 23:34

    a realy nice little video,..

    i must agree with zortel,..
    Pushing the camera like that realy give her character and a sence of interaction,..

    she walk a little like she has something moving up her pants,.. or like she had to go to the toilet šŸ˜›

    but its a thousand times better then something i would do,…

  9. 9 BBR
    March 21, 2009 at 12:46

    Interesting possibilities yes.
    Stiff and then some. Seems like she’s putting down the feet a tad fast, like you’re missing some frames.

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