Sunday, November 11, 2012

Week 7: Overlap, Continued

Time is moving incredibly fast. This week has seemed like nothing more than a blur. But, enough of that, time to discuss the crazy week of bouncing balls, tails, and overlap. So, this week was perhaps the most difficult assignment to date. There were actually two different assignments to choose from: either a one-legged character doing a jump-to-land-to-settle or a ball with a tail named Tailor. Even before I started Class 1, I knew that I wanted to animate Tailor when I got to this assignment. I have seen so many awesome animations with rig and it seemed like the next logical progression in learning.

So, how does one go about animating a character with a tail? Well, it’s simple, in theory, if you break down the character into several parts. First, get rid of the tail. The character becomes nothing more than a bouncing ball. Simple enough. Get an appealing bouncing ball, pepper in some rotation and squash and stretch (subtlety is the key!) and viola, a solid basis for the animation. From there, it’s using the knowledge from last week’s pendulum assignment to animate the tail. However, it isn’t that simple. Oh no. A tail is a living object. The main force (the body, or ball) becomes what is known as the driving force and will dictate, to a certain extent, what the tail will do; there is a component to the tail that must feel "alive." So, not only will the force dictate how the tail will react, but also the living nature of the tail will influence the overall path of action of the tail. This made it extremely difficult to nail. In theory, I knew exactly how the tail should react; however, when applying said theory, it became difficult to track the arc of the tail to get a nice path of action and for it to "look right."

Overall, I think I did a pretty decent job for my first pass. I submitted it this week and hopefully I get some great feedback from my mentor.

Planning: Tailor

Animation: Tailor

Next week will be a busy one! Lots of animating, sketching, posing, and observing, but I’ll learn so much. Have a great week and happy animating!

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