Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sack Hop Animation 2nd Pass

Sack Hop Animation 2nd pass from Mlong128ir on Vimeo.

So here is my 2nd pass at this particular sack hop animation, I made some minor changes to it after this like some things with the hands, but overall this is pretty much the final version. Mike went over my last one with me as mentioned in my previous post and gave a great critique and sat down and animated over my drawings to really emphasize the points he was making. The major thing was to push the delayed parts to allow the drawings to breathe more naturally, to create overlap. I've always tried delaying parts, but when Mike sat down and showed me on my own animation it all just clicked. I wasn't delaying enough, he was really able to push things (check out the drawing below of the 1st squash on contact) and just by seeing the still drawing it feels like it's in motion. I naturally tend to try to move everything all at once so texturing the timing of separate parts of the body has to be a conscious effort for now, I just didn't know by how much it should be done. Hopefully it will become more and more a natural tendency.

Another thing he had mentioned was in some of my drawings while the boy is in the air, I jump from the beginning to the end poses and shapes too quickly leaving myself nowhere to go for the follow up drawings. That's why in my original a lot of the drawings are very similar, they're just advancing forward in space. So to counteract that he had me change the sleeve to a ball form while in the air for a frame to give a transition from the concave to the convex sleeve shape so the change is more pleasant. Edit: Here's a simple diagram I did to clarify this.

He also had me push the curve of the torso in the ascending part of the jump so that it can have somewhere to go while in the air by reversing direction. Also he reminded me to add change between the drawings by making sure the angles in the pose, in this case the torso/upper legs/lower legs and sometimes the bag increase or decrease in succession rather than just having a squash, a stretch, and then another squash that last several frames into another stretch. Seems like an obvious concept, but it's so easy to get sidetracked when focusing on the other things. Here's Mike's quick diagram from when he was telling me, so simple but it drives the point home.

Finally Mike really pushed the head and neck out to give it that urgent strain that somebody in a potato sack race would have, which he then delayed way more than I had. He also really pushed the contact squash more than I had which gives it a bit more spring and personality. Here are all of Mike's drawings in sequence that demonstrate everything I mentioned up to now.

And here I my originals below so you can compare, they look really stiff and lifeless in comparison.

Mike now wants me to animate more kids hopping, this time giving them all different approaches to the hop that display their personalities. From hitch steps, to small quick hobble-y strides to stutter steps and large leaps, anything that will break it up and make the scene breathe.