Practice animation for short film project

I thought I’d do some animation practice, specifically to test parenting of softbody objects to my character rigs during animation. So I apologize for the dearth of story and originality in advance. This was just havin some fun trying to make sure I understood the practicals before implementing them in my short film. Audio editing was done in Sonar X1 and muxed in Blender.

I hope it at least makes you giggle. :slight_smile:

https://vimeo.com/34710620

wow – hands are a little static – but overall, very excellent!

Amazing! i have been working on some new short story animations but they have been so involved (too much textures) lately, that I have been waiting for them to render for hours… so How long did that take to render? haha, i can definitely tell that you used cycles and that u truly put tons of hard work into the texturing of the old man and such! great job! I really wish I can learn to add that detail needed in to my own animations but I also want my labtop to breathe and not over heat when i render lol …

yeah, i struggle with that aspect of secondary motion, knowing what the other hand should be doing. i hardly ever know what my own hands are doing, lol, so it’s not always apparent what would look most realistic. thanks for the tip, i’ll pay more attention to that next time.

actually that’s not Cycles, it’s BI (Cycles doesn’t support hair yet, or motion blur natively. if it did, i would have rendered with Cycles! so thank you for saying that). i don’t remember how long it took, but it did take a while because my key was an area light (that’s really what slowed it down) with a pretty high sample count.

The animation looks great, but it seems as if his actions are a bit too quick.

Why can’t I animate something as smooth as that?!

interesting, thank you for the feedback. are there any you’re referring to specifically? i’d like to get some feedback on what looks more natural, because i’m developing the ‘feel’ of his action for my short film.

Great work. I thought the actions were a good pace, just a very nervous character!

thanks! actually that’s exactly what i was going for, so i’m glad i conveyed that nervousness at least a little :slight_smile:

looking at it again, i think i missed a lot of follow through, especially when he’s waving his arms around (that start-stop inertia should be sort of shuddering through his upper body), and the facial expressions don’t grab me. and daren, you’re right, i need to work on the motion of the hands, thank you!

Good character animation. The camera movements were extremely jarring, though, and some cuts were unnecessary.

oh, i thought i seen some gain… so i assumed it was cycles, sorry, but I am still blown away with the finished production! i am love it lol very well put together!

funny you say that, the camera animation was the one thing i was really happy about with this, lol. you felt they were jarring? genuinely interested in your opinion: what could i have done differently, to make them less jarring?

i’ve been studying the camera and lens effect animation from the opening scenes of WALL-E lately, because i know how much time Pixar spent on developing realistic lens/film effects and planning organic, human-operated camera action. that’s what i was going for here; i may have missed the mark, though?

just my two cents: the camera cuts from a medium shot of one angle to a medium shot of another angle. The man doesn’t change size in the frame so that looks a bit awkward. Also, the man shows no sense of surprise that the small square has become stuck to his fingers. Maybe if you show him trying to put it back down and then realizing it is stuck to his fingers. Then you can go through the “trying to get it off his fingers” routine.

the camera cuts from a medium shot of one angle to a medium shot of another angle. The man doesn’t change size in the frame so that looks a bit awkward.

I agree with Drew. This is what I meant with the “unnecessary cuts” part: we look at him from one angle, cut to another angle, and not much is accomplished. It does work, however, at 00:12 when we see some depth in the scene as he looks nervously around. The first shot, the establishing shot, serves well, but the medium shots that follow could be broken up with a more creative mix between close up and medium. Also, it’s clear that the quick zoom-in is supposed to emphasize his “surprise” moment, but I just didn’t buy it. Can’t say why, but it didn’t feel right.

Lastly, the camera seemed like it couldn’t make up its mind between steadicam and sit still. These “little movements” were sometimes so small that I thought the camera wasn’t moving at all, but then all of the sudden it would shake or adjust. I feel the “shaky-handheld camera” style here doesn’t work because firstly it feels artificial and secondly it doesn’t fit the scene. To clarify, you can cut all you want, but just hold the dang thing still because it’s distracting me from the man, the center of attention.

These are just the things that bothered me the very first time I watched. The danger of working on and watching one’s own stuff for so long is that one starts missing these “first exposure” problems.

ah, i see what you’re saying. i appreciate your feedback, i’m pretty new to simulating camera operation techniques and mechanisms and such.

To clarify, you can cut all you want, but just hold the dang thing still because it’s distracting me from the man, the center of attention

i’d like to hone my ability to realistically simulate a handheld camera effect for some quick, intense scenes. do you (or anyone else too, i’m open to feedback!) have some suggestions about what i should consider when animating the camera (as far as length between cuts, amount of shake, whether or not to return to a dolly- or steadicam-mounted effect, etc.) so that the camera action isn’t distracting?

thanks for your feedback, drew99! yeah, i guess i can see how that cut was kinda redundant, thank you for pointing that out. generally speaking, is it expected (or uh, “compositionally correct”, or something, lol) that if i cut to another angle, there should be an obvious change in perspective or of proximity to the character?

I can count on one hand the times I’ve seen a well animated handheld camera animation. You could fiddle with the f-curve noise modifiers, but if it ends up not looking right, you’re better off without. Never actually tried it myself. As far as basic camera movements and cuts, always keep it simple until you’re experienced enough to know how to move it. Pretend that the camera is a real movie camera: big, clunky, and no magic levitation/hoverspeeder device. The trouble with most beginning CG is that the camera is treated like a remote controlled helicopter. You aren’t having any issues with this in your videos, however, so the next step is simply to learn what camera moves and shots are and what they achieve. The worst shots in my videos are the ones where I try to do something fancy with the camera because I didn’t really know what I was doing.

Look at professional footage. I actually analyzed the cinematography of Sintel for a film assignment and found some neat stuff. For example, pay attention to how the placement/movement of the camera conveys how she’s seeing herself old for the first time.