Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Knights Project: Animation

To help with organization the team numbered the shots on the story board, making changes to the shot order after closely analysing the block through and animatic and realizing the continuity was lost in certain shots. The animation was split between three team members. We replaced the models in the Block-through scenes with the rigged and ready for animation models. Although I wanted to animate more scenes that included the knight characters it would be much more beneficial for the team if I concentrated on animating shots that included my squire characters because I am very familiar with the models rig and animation capabilities. Of course most of the shots included two characters and my responsibility was to complete the animation for the opening scenes where the Red Squire character is putting together the knights armor. I also had to animate both the squires running to there coloured tents. I needed the Blue squire to be slightly different in character to the Red Squire so i decided in making is the character more clumsy and the whole team would have to incorporate this into the animation of the Blue Squire. I created run cycles for both characters, usually I wouldn't do this when animating a run but because we weren't using 3D backgrounds or floors it wouldn't make a difference to the animation in the final comp. Because of the cylindrical shape of the squires they waddle which adds humour to the scenes. I included the Blue squire tripping over and rolling down the hill to add to his clumsy character. The characters have to pick up objects and move them around. In an animation i had done using the Andy rig I had worked with parent constraint animation but during the project learned that it is always best to parent and object to a joint on the body (in this case the hand) and animate the movement in the object as opposed to animating the characters hand. this was good information to have considering that are sketch is based around a sword fight. I also learnt that in many studios when animating high action shots they leave the leg animation till the end but because my legs were separate from the body i animated them at the same time. This was one of the most rewarding tasks, finally being able to see my models come to life. I enjoyed using my blend shapes to get across emotion through the expression in my characters. When animating it is important to refer to the play-blasts just to check that the timing is correct. This has been the most enjoyable part the project mainly because it requires little technical knowledge of Maya and is more about the skill of animation.

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