Funny little weight exercise

After having been away from animation for about a month, I decided to do this weight exercise as a warm-up to get myself back into the flow . . . and disprove that nagging voice in the back of my head that says “you can’t really animate at all.”

http://nathandunlap.animadillo.com/movies/WIP/diggingstill_lgm.jpg

http://nathandunlap.animadillo.com/movies/WIP/digplayblast.mov

2.5 megabytes in quicktime format.

Anyways, I’d really appreciate any comments and ideas on it. I’m no longer quite sure if the timing works. Some of it seems a tad slow to me (perhaps because I’m expecting the action) and I’m afraid some of it might be a taste fast. I’d love to know what fresh eyes think.

Thanks a lot,

-LGM/Nathan

(Incidentally, this is an actual experience from my construction “day job.”):rolleyes:

looks pretty good for someone who “can’t animate at all.” :wink:

a couple crits: i think his motion is a little too exaggerated when he goes to pick up the bucket, with the arms swinging so far back. the rest of his movement looks great. second, the bucket looks a little stiff as he picks it up and sets it in the wheelbarrow. i think it should swing around more, especially while he’s walking with it. perhaps you could really go into detail and have it spill a little dirt out while he’s swinging it around :smiley:

Hello, as I can’t animate either I’m still going to try to give critics :wink:

I agree with ward7299 the anticipation with the arms thrown backwards is a little too exaggerated. I also think you need to leave a couple of more frames from the point where he grabs the handlebar and when he pulls it up. I think the down movement and him ducking to pick up the bucket are great and give good anticipation and a sense of the weight of the bucket.

The turn when he picked up the bucket looks a little unnatrual. I think it is because his right foot doesn’t give any indication that he is going to turn. Also the turn he is doing should throw him off balance more. Maybe do as ward suggested and make the bucket swing balancing the motion some more.

The dropping of the bucket into the barrow is also unbelievable. First he has to bring up all his strength to carry the bucket over to the barrow and then he flings it in there with almost no effort. Give the swing more weight. Make the bucket go forward a little more and maybe let it swing once or twice in order to pick up speed. Heighten the anticipation and remember to follow through with the motion.

Love the part where he is trying to hold the barrow. Looks perfectly believable to me.

Hope that helps and great animation waiting to see the final product.
Also I’d love to see how you planned this shot? Did you do thumbnails (storyboard)
Did you use a straightforward animation technique or are you blocking out the movement? Have you acted the motion out? Did you actually film someone or yourself doing the motion?

Hey, have you heard about Orinico’s bootstrap animation class? Check it out in the animation thread.
We’re only up to lesson 3, so there’s still time to join in…

any chance your floor is a plane? I think I see the corner of it in the link on the left edge of the frame. Looks odd to me. I think without that it would just read as a horizon line. It being an exercise I don’t know if you’d want to fix it or not. I like the animation though.

It’d look good at half speed as well!:wink: Animate from life - nice way to learn - and it looks great!

Thanks everyone for your time and thoughts!

Musk, I didn’t plan that much for this shot. I had to dig a foundation recently, and we were bucketing dirt out into wheelbarrows and I figured it’d make a good weight exercise, so I paid attention to how I lifted and moved the bucket around. I blocked the animation out first with the curves of the bones set to constant, then I did the inbetweens also in constant interpolation, eventually I set the interpolation back to bezier and smoothed it all out. Nah, I was lazy and didn’t film myself for this piece.:wink:

Thanks again!

-Nathan

Oh. I thought you witnessed a guy tip a wheel barrel over. I knew the flipping over it was invented but didn’t know that much was. Way to be inspired by your experiences. What would you call that artful embellishment?

No I tipped the wheelbarrow over. Couple times, actually. Not that hard to do.:slight_smile: Artistic license is the usual term, I think. But no, not much artful embellishment, mostly real-life. Real life is pretty funny on it’s own I’ve noticed. You just need to exaggerate it a tad here and there and then it’s hilarious.

-Nathan

Fantastic and cute. I like the exaggeration, as it makes the wheelbarrow tipping that much more believable.

I really enjoyed it a lot! I wasn’t expecting much and was pleasantly suprised. I also would have to disagree with the earlier comment that there was to much exageration. If it is a cartoon style… and this clearly is, you can’t have to much exageration imo.

Animation comments:
Extremely fluid and excellent poses
I would have him stand up with the bucket a little slower… 10 frames maybe?
I’d speed up the bucket when he drops it. he gives it a pretty good backswing and manages to slow it down quite a bit in a short amount of time… this is pretty nit picky though
Something you could do to help “sell” how heavy it is would be to have the wheel barrow wobble or shift when the bucket lands in it.

Overall it is definitely one of the better character animations I’ve seen. Again, nice job.