The other blog posts I’ve written about this animation: Maya – Hierarchies and Squid Rig, Planning an Animation – Squid Rig, Producing an Animation (part 1), Producing an Animation (part 2), Producing an Animation (part 3), Producing an Animation (part 4).
It’s taken a number of weeks as well as many ups and downs, but we’ve come to the end of making our ImAwesome animations. We’ll be presenting them in class on Tuesday, but I thought I’d do some final fiddling with my animation ahead of the weekend.
I’m actually quite pleased with it, despite the few niggles I still have with the animation itself. I desperately tried to get the legs moving a little differently, but the handles were rather unforgiving and typically just ended up breaking the entire rig. I also think After Effects doesn’t do the lighting enough justice, so the squid still feels darker than I intended even after I changed the lighting to match the rest of the scene. However, I think the speed is accurate and the way I envisioned, with the whole thing coming in at about 7 seconds long.
The environment was done in After Effects after sitting with Peter for a bit and using some of the effects he brought in. Unfortunately, what we’d sat and done wasn’t saved afterwards (a true head-palm moment of mine) so I had to recreate it in the last Animation class – hopefully I’ve done justice to the materials I was given, since I thankfully wrote down the instructions!
I then went to Freesounds.org and added some sound effects: something that sounded like underwater atmosphere and then something to compliment the look of the bubbles. This was also easily done in After Effects, which was nice and meant I didn’t have to re-import everything back in the Premiere to finish off. In fact, after speaking with Matt and a light bulb going off in my head, I actually could have just imported the .png rendered sequence into After Effects rather than giving myself an extra step going through Premiere and exporting a sequence from there! Lesson learned for future animations I want to add any effects to.
The one thing I did change very late in the animation was my name as it appears after the bubbles have dissipated. As seen in my previous posts about this animation, I’d originally put the text in Maya as part of the squid render. However, it felt a bit heavy and blocky for the underwater setting, so I simply added some text in After Effects and ended up liking the look of it more.
Overall, I think it works as a first solo animation and I’ve learned a lot from the mistakes I’ve made along the way. It was also an excellent feeling to be able to combine two lessons (Animation and VFX) into this one project and I hope I get to do that again very soon.