Finally - my first real animation!

Well, here it is…

Some of you will have seen a live version of this same performance. This is my interpretation of that performance with a few changes.

There are a few rogue frames in there but they occur in the Blender video render (the original still frames are clean) so I can’t do much about them. I’m still learning the whole video codec thing so hopefully this will play fine for you. It’s under 3Mb so no great loss if it doesn’t work - but let me know.

Ya know, that’s really rather good.

Some of the movements could be considered ‘stiff’, but what I like is your interpretation of the lyrics.

Is that some kind of actual sign-language you’re basing it on, or did you just look at the lyrics and think what kind of body-language would suit?

It’s got the makings of quite a good short animated piece if you stick with it and refine it.

Well done :smiley:

Actually, it is a blatant rip-off of a performance done by a guy from a comedy group calling themselves “Hollow Men” (hence the apology frame at then end). I have personally performed it live and this animation is based on my performance which differs a little from the original, The animation therefore is a parody of a parody of a parody.

So, unfortunately, I can take little credit for the interpretation or the idea. If you find a copy of the original, usually titled “HollowMen.wmv”, it would be interesting to hear your comments then as even the live performance is quite stiff :slight_smile:

Niiiiice. Since this is in “Focused Critique” I’m assuming you want a harsh, honest review. It’s pretty cool, actually. There’s only one things that I can point out right now. It is that his hips don’t move that much. I was told that “When the hips/pelvis freeze, the animation usually dies.” Did you have a video of your performance to work from? Even if part of the act is to keep your legs and pelvis still for most of it, they’re going to move slightly in reaction to your arms, especially in the larger movements.

Some of the motions seem to lack cushioning. As if it was on a linear IPO, you know.

And one other thing, when she says “Toooorn” at the very end (and even in other places) at the extreme pose you could extend his pinky way out. So that it’s curled for most of the motion, then straight, then really spread at the farthest point for one frame, then take it back to straight, then curled for the rest of it.

But that’s a really cool animation. These are just tiny details I’m pointing out. I think they should be pretty easy to impliment . . . and then it would be awesome. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, it’s really sweet.


Oh no, a scathing attack :slight_smile:

Yeah, I feel he’s a bit rigid too. The hips do move a fair bit but only on occasions. He also only has three facial shape keys. One smile which is used throughout the animation and two for the “blow” at the very end. I think if I get a bit more action in his face, this might hold the viewer’s attention.

The original performance is quite “jerky” with definite moves from pose to pose, but his face never stops moving. My guy definitely needs to loosen up a bit so I’ll add a few subtle movements throughout and a few more shape keys so he can make a few more faces.

I’ve performed this myself live (blatantly copied from elsewhere as mentioned earlier - and link providd above by PassiveSmok) and the one move that causes most discussion, even with the original video, is how to mime the “torn”. Some people wanted little paper tears with hand and finger movements. Others wanted to be tearing up canvas sheets with strong arm and fist movements. I actually thought about having him tear a limb off - but resisted the urge.

Thanks for the input.

Why you use such a simple model ?

I can’t speak for AndyD, but I imagine that using a simpler model means that one can focus more on movement, timing and ‘character’ as opposed to perfect mesh topology, materials/textures, and detail.

I think AndyD may have approached his animation from the same angle that the 10-second club do. Simple character meshes, but aiming for high-quality animation.

Also, a simpler model usually means that render times can be lower.

Just some of my thoughts, and of course I am in no way speaking for AndyD on this matter. :smiley:

Speak away polygone :slight_smile: I’ve never animated before (other than messing around with tutorials and stuff) and since this wasn’t even an original idea, I didn’t want to spend half my life modelling it to perfection. This was a learning exercise - and in that sense it worked, I learned a fair bit.

As I progressed through the animation I was constantly tweaking the model (which was ported to Blender from an original Maya model) with weight painting and even some re-modelling of some parts that just didn’t deform as I wanted. I think I even added a couple of bones along the way.

I just wanted to produce “something” and the animation was the important bit. I’m reasonably comfortable with the modelling side of things.

Next on the list is a decent walk cycle… although I heard a stupid little song the other day that I’d love to animate some time in the new year.

Oh, and with regard to the stiffness, I realised that 2.4 defaults to the new IPO curves that bottom out at keyframes. This might explain the almost (but not quite) linear movement.

lol man that was very funny! and who care if you “ripped” off from a comedy show, it was really well done!

good job man! I personnaly liked the “man” move, the “4” move and the “make it on the floor” move the best! haha

Well, let me quote a Pixar animator for you.

“First I do the basic body movements, hips and torso and legs, then I go to the arms and legs and head, then I go to the hands, then as I fine tune I’ll add the fingers, and then at the very end I do the face. This way, if I can get the emotion and proper acting across with just the body, the facial animation is just a plus to an already perfect animation.”

The body’s movements are the most important. That’s why you’ll see so many animations out there with faceless-fingerless characters. (Like Nozzy’s rig for example.) But the most expression is in the eyes and I actually liked his expressions. It looked like he was performing. But it all depends. I haven’t seen the original (didn’t have the right codec for the link that Passive Smok provided) and you say there is a lot of facial movement, so perhaps it needs more. That’s all up to you.

Ha! That would’ve been funny, but perhaps over the top. I didn’t have any problem with his tear motion (I didn’t recognize it at first, but that was because I couldn’t understand the word torn right away). I was just suggesting a way to enhance it. I was told never to let the fingers “stick together.” The ring and middle finger are usually the only fingers that stick together and that is why there are cartoon characters with four fingers, the middle and ring finger being welded into one. If you look at the paintings of the great masters; Rembrant, da Vinci, and Michelangelo, you’ll see that they’ll stick the fingers of the middle and ring finger together and the pinky and forefinger are spread. I was also told to treat the thumb as a seperate appendage.

And that wasn’t an attack. :stuck_out_tongue: Just some passing on of some knowledge that was given to me. Like ecks said, the “4” move was really good. That’s probably my favorite part acting wise. Animation wise I like the wave of his hands at the word “seem.” That’s really nice.


Thanks all. The “Four” was partly my own. In the original, the performer holds up four fingers. When I performed it myself, I did the “three plus one” trick and this works even better when the character only has three fingers to start with.

I’m glad I didn’t try to do “one, two, three o’clock, four o’clock rock…five, six, seven…” :slight_smile:

LGM, that Pixar quote is interesting. I’ve seen others (like “do whatever it takes”) but not that one. I think the fingers are important and I could certainly do quite a bit of work there. In fact, looking at it again (and again) I notice there are some finger poses there which are just interpolations between keys and should probably be adjusted so they do what I want them to do.

Ha! That’s interesting that you said that. It’s almost exactly what Keith Lango said.


Keith Lango wrote:
But if there’s one thing I’d love for beginning CG animators to keep in mind it’s this_ every frame is yours. Not one frame belongs to the computer. So you take every frame and make sure it’s doing what YOU want it to do. Never, never let the computer give you something you don’t want. There’s no excuse to take the cruddy interpolation that the computer spits out. It’s your animation, you take control of it.

Interestingly, Blender gave me some very nice moves that appeared quite natural. In fact, I was surprised how well some of the movements interpolated between very different poses. The only time I had any joints bending backward was when I accidentally put them there myself.

Edit: The Keith Lango site is interesting, I hadn’t seen that before. Does anyone know how to make Blender do what he calls “pop-through keyframing” - where each pose is held until the next keyframe rather than interpolated. I would think it would require a different curve option (linear, bezier, constant ,- “hold”). Is it possible currently or would I have to use linear curves and manually edit them to remain flat between keys? This is something that would be great for producing keyframed animatics.


Thanks Fligh. I got the gist of the pop-thru technique (I wish I’d read this a month ago, although my workflow wasn’t too far off as it turns out). What I’d like to do is have blender apply the held (stepped) IPOs. This would allow a comic book style of animation with image changes occuring at key points and no actual movement in between. As Keith says, it’s a good way to focus on just the important stuff without the distraction of the tweens.

The IPOs would be absolutely flat (linear) with a near vertical change across one frame at each key.

The only way I can see to do it in Blender is to physically double-key so every pose holds until the next one, with a one-frame key-to-key change at that point - but then you’d have to delete all those extra keys when you come to animate properly.

it has probably been said like 10 times… but i’ve got to say it: it’s magnificent!
I’ve now seen it 10 times and it’s still neat to see… good job…
the only thing: on second 28 the song has a litlle fault…
further it is perfect to me!

hehe! i liked it a lot! i really like it when the song says for. and he is raising only three fingers because he has only four! that was really funny!

Thanks, much appreciated. Yes, There is a small glitch in the audio where I cut the middle of the song out and tacked the end back on to the front. It’s a millisecond but you certainly notice it after a while (the same thing happens in the original live version too - I think it’s just because the song isn’t supposed to change there so a more subtle blend would require a bit of effort)

There are a few problem frames that seem to be a Blender bug. You’ll notice them if you watch it often enough. One in particular is very noticeable. It looks like the image goes foggy or wobbly and it occurs when Blender outputs to video. The original PNG frames were perfect. These artifacts occured when rendering tests straight to video and also when outputting rendered images to video through the sequencer. If anyone has any idea what causes this, I’d like to know. I haven’t tried different codecs to see if that solves the problem. Maybe I should (I think this was rendered to .MOV/jpeg2000 initially).

man i dont care what everyone says, i mean im a n00b at all sorts of things regarding 3d animation but that was perfect by me…i saw the original video too…
i loved the facial expresions and all, very very cool…

Was this made with blender 2.40? how long did it take you to do?