Mortified's Animations

MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular

I'm a student at iAnimate, and currently going into the last week of my current course on facial acting and lip sync. I'm trying to get my reel in top shape for CTN this november and I want to throw my stuff at as many people as possible. A bit of background, I started basically from square one at iAnimate a little over 2 years ago. I went through their game workshops and am now in feature. The end goal is to get into game animation, but at the moment I just want a first job somewhere :P

I've seen a lot of improvement looking back through my old stuff, but the most common thing my instructors have said I need to work on more is my polishing. Early on I had the problem of grasping the basics, and the workshop would end before I could get a teacher to say "You're finished!", with a few exceptions. I've been told a lot of that is just practice, but still it gets frustrating.

Any feedback, from mechanics, to acting choices, to shot composition is much appreciated. I should note, I do have some other assignments from the previous class that aren't ready to be shown yet as well, but I have a 2 week break between courses so that's when I want to dive into those. For now, I'm trying to get this acting assignment as far as I can before the end of this week.

My current assignment:

And my current demo reel. (I already plan on re-rendering the dog sequence with a tighter camera and maybe a side view in the corner)


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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    edited September 2016
    Animation wise, it seems like things are looking pretty good, but a bit stiff. The first one seems a bit straightforward to me, his pose and personality could be pushed further to bring out some of what's going on. If I mute the audio, it's basically just a guy taking with a pause, and an answer. I realize that his emotion in the clip doesn't really change that much, But the gestures could tease out that hes talking about himself (a gesture to his chest) or the unknown (a gesture outwards).

    Your demo reel seems to lack anticipation/follow through in really subtle places. like the superhero rocking out in the beginning seems to be very reserved and not particularly interesting. It also happens faster than we can really get the joke. If you watch that one muted, its again a bit hard to understand what's happening

    To define the terms:
    If you play this muted, You can still tell exactly whats going on in the car:
    This is edited, but, even chopped up and reveresed, the animation has a ton of intensity:
    How about something less familiar, you should still be able to pick up the action if you mute this:

    Animation is pretty technical, but it's also got an added layer on top, of acting. Look at this refrence for frozen:
    Its not enough to just have the character run up to the window, or knock on a door. Theres alot going on to make that animation alive. The little bounces and pauses from the reference inform the character, as well as the poses. The reference here works just as well as the actual character model to tell you about the excitement, and that little dip before knocking gives you a moment to digest her movement, you know she's going to knock.

    If you dont have the animator's survival kit, its a good book for thinking about some of these principals.

    Iruka on
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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback! The word stiff came up in my teacher's feedback yesterday as well. He gave me some suggestions for loosening up the body and I'm trying to work my way through that.

    I can see what you mean about the dialogue assignment. A lot of the focus of the assignment is on the face, but those are good suggestions on giving the character a clearer personality. I'm unsure if I'll be able to get something like new hand poses in there and polished up this week, but it's worth shooting some reference and experimenting with at some point.

    The next course is full body acting, so if I can't get to those changes for this class it will be useful to keep in mind going forward. This is my first real take at acting, so I appreciate the input. I hadn't thought of watching stuff without sound.

    I'm somewhat torn on the headbanging hero. Your examples make it clear it's not as strong of a shot as I'd thought. I was already considering taking it off the reel because it's one of my earlier assignments when I was just starting mechanics (a bit of story for a 'sit to stand'), and I have a parkour shot on the back burner that I want to bring in. I do like the concept, but it may be better to take a fresh shot at it instead of trying to radically alter it.

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Your reel will probably always be a changing thing. Think of it more as a resume than a finished project. As soon as you have something stronger, dump bad animation like you do retail jobs from your list.

    Animation tends to reflect how much the artist cares right to its core, in ways that other mediums don't always reflect. Getting into your characters is a huge part of it, and to do that, you've got to try to have fun. Overact, really let loose, and try and enjoy every key frame.

    Full body acting will probably be somewhat easier to understand and apply these principals, I think facial animation is a bit more of a balancing act. I'm excited to see what you put out!

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Alright. I've gone through multiple sets of notes and I think the dialogue shot is better for it. Specifically, I got more notes on how stiff it was. I have something specific to ask my teacher in the next class to help me with now, so that's good!

    Any feedback is appreciated. I'll take one more pass at this over the weekend but I need to look away from it for a few days.

    For now, it's over to previous shots and seeing where I can improve things!

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    GolemGolem of Sand Saint Joseph, MORegistered User regular
    it looks pretty good to me, I did notice the foot is kinda locked at that 90 degree angle. But everything else, fingers, arms, etc, seemed to move and stay fluid in that animation to me. But I'm a novice observer. Keep up the good work!

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    I think you are probably going to get more out of moving on. I'm excited to see what you do next, I think that shows some steady improvement from the first clip. I'm not really sure how much further you can push this particular one, honestly, without changing up the key frames for more clear acting, and at that point you'd be redoing the whole thing.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    So, I'm back to a parkour shot from a previous class that needed more changes than I could get through in the break I had. I had some really weird technical issues opening this file again, but that's Maya I guess.

    Here's an older version from before the changes. Using Gfycat for the time being because there's still plenty to do.


    After the swing and landing, he takes a step before jumping into the tuck and roll. My teacher said to have him just take off immediately to keep the energy up. He also gave me some notes on helping the landing feel better as far as foot placement.

    My file as it stands now.


    The jump is feeling pretty good I think, but I'm wondering if the down pose before takeoff could be pushed more. I feel better about the landing as far as his balance goes, but I still need to get overlap and give him something to do with his arms (maybe a 3 point landing?). Also, ignore the fact the rope doesn't move with him when he swings, those keys are muted until I have that end part locked down more :biggrin:

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    ProspicienceProspicience The Raven King DenvemoloradoRegistered User regular
    Really dig the parkour animation flow Mortified. My only comment would be that the impacts are a bit too soft. When watching guys do parkour (as I'm sure you've done a lot of when researching your animation) there tends to be that dancer like flow from movement to movement. Which you've captured. However, even with every step and landing you'll notice there's quite a bit of impact happening.

    Parkour is a lot about the transferring of energy of each step, impact or jump forward or in a different direction. I think you've hit on the basic flow of movement forward, but when your guy's feet are hitting the ground they seem to not creating much of an impact. Almost like he's very delicately making each step without much weight or force behind it.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    edited October 2016
    Thanks for the feedback!

    I had meant to post a quick update on the parkour shot the other day, but I got caught up with family stuff.

    As it stands now: https://gfycat.com/GrayActiveCoypu

    I see what you mean on the impacts, and I'll see what I can do about selling the landings a bit more.

    The good news is that earlier today CTN extended the deadline for portfolio submissions until the 23rd so I can take some time to get more polishing in.

    Aside from that, my next class has started. The first 3 weeks are exercises (3 per week) that are incredibly short while we shoot reference for the main shot later on. He wants us to take them as far as possible so he can get a picture of where we're at.

    Reference was provided to us by the instructor so we could focus on shooting our own stuff.

    Eye movement exercise: https://gfycat.com/AthleticSentimentalAnglerfish
    Pretty straightforward I think. Lots of little micro adjustments that I tried to get in there.

    Head and chest exercise: https://gfycat.com/QuarrelsomeUntidyHarpyeagle
    Also pretty simple. I tried to give the guy a bit more expression than the reference.

    Next up is a one word lip sync shot.

    MortifiedPenguin on
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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Okay, this class is eating up eating up my time in a good way. Did more rapid fire exercises over the past few weeks while also trying to polish things up more for the reel.

    The parkour shot as it is now. https://gfycat.com/CoordinatedCandidDiamondbackrattlesnake

    I got a ton of notes from teachers and classmates on the floatiness, so I've adjusted the timing along with some of the landing poses, and it feels better now that I look at it compared to what I had.

    The exercises were a nice way of quickly getting polish notes that I can keep in mind going forward into the main assignment.

    Fist slam: https://gfycat.com/BoilingCarefulAlligatorgar
    He recommended scaling up the fist so it doesn't look quite so small compared to everything and to help sell the power behind the slam.

    Lip Sync 1:
    He had some notes on the mouth shapes I had in this, and felt that the mouth is a bit too linear at the end as it transitions to the end pose.

    Lip Sync 2:
    The words "coulda done" were a challenge because of the minimal shape changes in the reference. Aside from that I was politely smacked with a newspaper when he realized that I've been animated my mouth shapes 2 frames ahead of the sounds. My last teacher taught it that way, and this one says its a silly myth that may have some relevance in 2D where people animate on 2s, but not for CG. :?

    As for this week, I've started blocking my main shot that will take up the next 7 weeks.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    My blocking for this week:

    I didn't touch the face too much and instead tried to fill out the gaps in the body acting. Stopping here in case there are suggestions for big poses changes.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Another pass done:

    Breaking stuff down more and will move to spline this week. If anyone has suggestions I'm all ears.

    My teacher recommended doing another pass on the hands to get some nicer looking poses, and to get more an arc on the chest movement as he puts down the remote instead of going back along the same path it came down on.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Update on my assignment.

    No lip sync yet because I'm trying to nail down the body. I'm paying special attention to making him feel weighty because I went to CTN last week and the studios I talked to gave me plenty of feedback on how to improve on things.

    Also while I was out in Burbank for CTN I got to visit Dreamworks with a teacher. It was awesome! :D

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    IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator Mod Emeritus
    Nice to see you rolling along. I still suggest giving your animation a couple more seconds before it cuts off, and looping it once or twice. They are very quick, so it takes a few views to digest it. on this last one its really difficult to get a good read on his last pose because its cut so quick.

    Your crits from CTN are probably more worthwhile than any nitpicking I could offer, but its awesome that you had a productive time! I'm looking forward to seeing progress on this.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Alright! Madness of holidays and class are over.

    Here's a playblast of the project. Complete with loops and pauses at the final pose!

    Any feedback is welcome. May do one final pass of tweaks, but I'm feeling really good about it!

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    MightyhogMightyhog Registered User regular
    Watching the development of this clip is exciting!
    As he says "Can I pitch the show", his hand action seems a bit underdeveloped. Looking at your reference footage I think you use your hands or wrist to accent the words a bit more than the animation shows. I'd also suggest looking at the motion of the head on the word "building", something about that little jerk comes off as mechanical, it's a bit sharp.
    Everything about the lip sync and facial expression after he sets the remote down is really appealing to me! Nice work.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Thanks for the feedback! I'll look into those suggestions this weekend.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    Coming up for air finally. I dove into more classes to work on ironing out my polish along with more mechanics practice. Most of these are made with game animation in mind, so no new dialogue shots at the moment.

    I have one more shot I'm in the process of tweaking. I'll post that once it's ready.

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    MortifiedPenguinMortifiedPenguin Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    Anyone ever seen The Raid?

    Reference is cool, but I don't want a guy getting up after having his head slammed into a column. Animating a limp body is both incredibly fun and infuriating. :P

    MortifiedPenguin on
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    LegacyGameLegacyGame Registered User regular
    edited September 2017
    that reference : O


    LegacyGame on
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