Life Animation!

Hello once again, fellow blenderists.:cool:

I opened this thread because I’m working on a new animation which is very important to me. It needs to be about 2 minutes long and the deadline is January 8th, 2007.

For this project I need to report everything I’ve done day by day, and how anyone might have helped me.

Aaaanyway long story short, the animation is basically a baby crawling on a path, constantly growing. By the end of the animation, he is an adult and ready to face a new world. It’s all reaally corny (because of the person who asked me to do it) so I won’t need to give you the details, but I really need expert help for this.

I’ll be posting questions in this thread for the next two weeks and hopefully, amateur blender users like myself can use it as a reference to a few frequently asked questions.

Now since my deadline is so tight and these are the holidays, I’ll be using as many shortcuts as possible.:smiley:

SO here’s my first question:

What is the fastest way to model a baby?

Is there a way I can use some older version of MakeHuman or some other program? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated:)

Oh and if anyone has any ideas of what the path should look like, please post. I’d really love some feedback, everyone:)

First suggested shortcut: make eight separate 15 second animations, and cross fade them into each other. Each animation would have a single model at a particular age crawling or walking along the path. Suggested ages: under 1-crawling, 1 starting to walk maybe falls but gets back up and continues, 2 walking, 5 walking from here on, 9, 12, 16, and 20 years old.

The path would be a simple straight line, but the background would change to environments appropriate to the age depicted.

Cartoon style instead of realistic would probably also save a lot of time, unless the makehuman thing pans out.

Thank you Orinoco, I already thought of the cross fading since i didn’t know how to make a human grow on blender (unless someone told me here).

I like the cartoon style idea as long as it’s simpler, but I still need to find out how to make a human infant, because I can’t find any sketches of a baby’s proportions on the net. Again any ideas/suggestion would be greatly appreciated

Guys please it’s been a whole day just say anything I know your opinion is better than mine just say anything so I can get started.

With that tight a deadline, I’d be working on the older characters rather than waiting around for a response on the baby. You’ll need them all.

Stephen Rogers Peck’s “Atlas of Human Anatomy for the Artist” gives these proportions:
At birth: 4 heads
Infancy (age 2): 4 1/2 heads
Childhood (age 8): nearly 6 1/2 heads
Puberty (age 14): nearly 7 heads
Youth (age 18): nearly 7 1/2 heads
Maturity (age 40): 7 1/2 heads
Senility (age 80): 7 heads

Of course, the head is growing between the ages of 0 and 18, which affects the overall height.Then there’s the facial proportions, which change drastically between 0 and around 15 when they stabilize. I’m sure I’ve seen proportions for different ages on the web. Keep looking.

Thanks! I’ll be needing those proportions. As you said, I’ve modeled an adult already (using MakeHuman of course), and I’m still trying to figure out how to animate a walk cycle using a bunch of tutorials. For some reason, the Walk-O-Matic script isn’t working with me(It says check console then highlights “layer = proxy[0] . layer”). I’ve made a plan but it’s in french so I can’t scan it for those who need more detail. I’m really grateful for all your feedback, couldn’t do it without you:)

I think I read in the python forum that the walk-o-matic didn’t work with the latest version of python, so it doesn’t work with the latest version of blender. BSoD Intro to Character Animation has a tutorial about making a walk cycle. It’s fairly straightforward.

if you really choose the comic style option, don’t care to much about the correct anatomy, just try to make ( eehm, i mean model…:wink: a cute looking, animation friendly little baby…
Maybe, for the infancy/childhood stage, you want to look through Calvins last wip, a very good example for efficient and yet expressive modelling

hope, this helps

Wow…lol… for a first attempt that was pretty darn amazing:p.

While I LOVE the cartoon idea, modeling seems to take me forever, even when low poly. As much as I loathe the idea, I need to stick with shortcuts for now. It sucks but what can I do… If only I’d developed my modeling skills earlier…oh well…:frowning:

Well, actually that wasn’t Calvins first attempt on modelling but on modelling a little girl;)
Did you search the blender model repository for free models you could use?
I know that there are some. E.g. Ludiwig is a free, fully rigged character. If the character
doesn’t fit your needs, you could use the rig at least…
Second, you could search the web for free models, as you sure know, blender can import a
lot of 3d-formats… e.g. 3ds is very common and there are plenty of free models in that format
on the web…

hope, this helps

I can’t believe I never thought of that:eek:

But isn’t that “cheating”?

Oh well, I could use a better rig and model so I’m searching right now


you can also check out
there should be some free models there (for either the person or background), but if you want, you can purchase some of them. there’s a baby. If my link’s wrong, just google “the blueprints”.

Thank you, Saxofoner. I’m in the middle of sketching the blueprints onto my notebook right now. And as it turns out, I found a book in my basement that explains human proportions in depth according to age, now I just need to find out how to animate a “crawlcycle” which should be pretty easy.

I’ve got another question: how do I smoothly fade from one background image to another in the IPO window?

Hi FadieZ

Here’s my suggestion for the changing backgound:

1.) Render a image sequence of the changing backgounds with the sequence editor by using crossfades from one backgrouf image to the next. I would suggest .TGA as output format. The “cross”-effect for example can easily be controlled by IPOs
I recommend rendering image sequences instead of .avi-files , 'cause you don’t need to render the whole sequence again if you only want to change a few frames
-> saves time :slight_smile:

2.) Render the your 3d animation scene into a second image sequence. Be sure to chose .TGA / RGBA as output format.

3.) Use the compositing nodes to mix the two sequences together. I recommend using the compositing nodes because it gives the best and most flexible control over the result.
-> saves time :slight_smile:

Looking foreward for news on your project