Break the Cycle – Animation Project (Submission)

My previous two posts about this animation project can be found here:

Break the Cycle – Animation Project (part 1)

Break the Cycle – Animation Project (part 2)

This whole project has been a laborious yet interesting experience. I think, given I was working with rigs that weren’t made by me and were set up correctly, I could focus solely on the animating – using Richard Williams’ book to help me along the way, I had a much easier time blocking out the animations and making sure that each pose was correct before moving on to fixing the in-betweens and contact poses.

I began by finishing off the sneaking animation, since it was the one I’d started with. To me, a sneaking animation is so similar to a normal walking cycle, I could follow the same animating rules to achieve a decent result. The only thing I had to think about properly was the weight shifting that would be going on with Beefy. He has a high upper-body to lower-body weight ratio, so his shoulder and hip shifting would be quite exaggerated as his feet made contact with the ground. I also wanted to make sure his feet weren’t accidentally passing through the floor and his toes were the only points making contact.

After fine-tuning the animation, I could then tweak the lighting and adjust the infinite background, as per the deliverables. I decided to render out the animation twice: once via the perspective of the camera and secondly via a render of the animation seen from the front and side at the same time. Retrospectively, it would be nice to add a professional border with my name and details, much like I’ve done for my latest 3D modelling.

My second animation took a lot more tweaking to get looking right. I initially had the idea of adding a rotation camera, however it didn’t seem to work well with the timing – the camera moved too quickly and the animation wasn’t being showcased very well. I scratched that idea in favour of doing the same perspective, front, and side views as I did for Beefy’s sneaking.

Overall, this animation project wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. By taking proper time to plan, block, and tweak the animations, I think they’ve turned out much better than my original foray into animating with my squid rig. I’ll be quite happy to include these in my portfolio – they show off quite a few of the 12 Principles of Animation (squash/stretch, anticipation, ease in/out, etc.) and reinforce the importance of planning/blocking out any animations.

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