sample of Jeff Lew's character animation tute online

Here’s a resource that should be useful for Blender animators when 2.40 comes out with its new animation tools: Jeff Lew of “The Killer Bean” fame has put up a half-hour free sample of footage from his DVD on Learning 3D Character Animation. I just finished watching this (I don’t know when he put it on his site, but I saw it for the first time when checking the site a couple of days ago) and recommend it. It includes segments covering some of the basics of character animation such as key frames and poses, emphasizing the underlying concepts.

Thanks, I’m downloading it now.

I downloaded it, and watch some of it. Is that animation system, or something like that going to be in ver 2.40? Specifically, how he was moving the bones of the figure around like you move the limbs, and stuff on a claymation armature/action figure? It looked like he was making a bit of stop motion animation, but not having to “shoot” every single frame of film. :slight_smile:

Nice find JoelKnight. Thanks for sharing.

kenshinw95, I didn’t see anything in that video that can’t be done in 2.37 or even earlier versions. All he was doing was rotating bones and moving some IK solvers around. Was it the autokeying that impressed you? Blender has that… but it is alittle inconvenient to access it.

I have this dvd and he is using Animation master but most of the stuff he explains can be done with blender.
Some of the software tools names are different, but you still understand what he is talking about.

A must have if your starting out in 3d animation.

I’m hoping to be able to order the DVD ASAP because whilst I’m interested in 3D in general, I really wanna learn the intricacies of character animation. Jeff seems such a nice guy, so I wouldn’t have a problem watching him for the duration.

Glad to see that a blender user has got this DVD and recommends it. Cheers :smiley:

I wonder when he’s gonne finish “Killer Bean 2” I loved the first one which inspired me to use blender3D :slight_smile:

Still it’s a dream to make something like “Killer Bean” in blender. Just for the fun and experience. :smiley:

He already made Killer Bean 2. Then he even remastered it. Link Here

He has made some mention somewhere about trying to fit in the time and effort to make Killer Bean 3 which would be ace considering the additional experience he gained doing film work on Matrix etc…

Yes, I have that DVD too. I surely recommend it!

Animation Master has some nifty functions that Blender still doesn’t have like the flexibility of keyframing. But overall I see that every thing there could be done in Blender too.

But I have the feeling that he could tell more stuff. The more advanced stuff that keeps me awake at night. I would welcome a second DVD with more advanced stuff.

But now I’m a little confused. He says that you should use FK (more natural motions) except when you want your character touching stuff, you should use IK. But with Blender 2.40, the IK is so advanced that it could replace FK altogether. Is there still a need to keep using FK? I haven’t explore all the possibilities of 2.40 yet, so what do you think about FK now?

Kind of. Just the sheer freedom of posing, and moving the character like that instead of giving commands like “Move Part 2365326546727 x+10, y+5, z+1” to move the leg, or hand. I know that sounds like a screwy idea of how a computer 3D animation system works, but coming from a background programming in BASIC on an Apple IIe back in school. That kind of thinking makes sense. :slight_smile:

Although, the school never taught the languages that every other programmer in the world uses. Such as Assembly, and C++. Let alone tell us you had to buy something to write in those languages, or have machines that weren’t already museum pieces. :frowning:

Then again, that shouldn’t be surprising since most of the people who took the Drivers’ Ed. course, and got A’s. Flunked their actual Driver’s test, since the teacher wasn’t really interested in teaching. :frowning:

FK is still necessary (or atleast more convenient in many situations). Lets say you have an arm and you want the hand to move from point a to point b (for example, the character is pointing at something). You want the hand to make a nice sweeping arc. Using FK, this requires only 2 keys. With IK, it could take many keys to get that same nice arc, and would probably require alot of tweaking of the IPO curves.

Thanks! That’s wat Jeff Lew said too in his DVD.

You know what would kick ass? When in ghost mode (while showing the motion arcs and stuff), you could grab that arc and tweak it like it was a bezier curve.

Words can not express how cool that would be :smiley:

He seems to move bones around with incredible ease. It’s as though he just grabs a bone tip and moves it to rotate the bone. Is it that simple in AM or is he likely holding modifier keys or using preset constraints or something? Or, is it that easy in Blender too and I’m just missing something (maybe because I’m using a one-button mouse)?

Good on JoelKnight for posting this. Give the man a medal.

He seems to move bones around with incredible ease

Yeah I was amazed also the first time I wacthed him,how fast he sets up his characters,and stays in the animation flow.(I belive he is using the auto key alot)
His armatures are quite simple,but have this fun flexabilty to them to do complex moves.
Recently I’ve been studying how blender’s 2.4x amature system can be made to get these matrix
type,super hero,hong kong cinema moves that Jeff does so well.

Yes he seems to do those things with no effort. But bear in mind that guys like Jeff Lew and Carlos Baena are into animating, not rendering/ modelling etc. That’s all what they do day in day out. Most Blenderheads has to do every facet of the production by themselves: modelling, texturing, lighting, scenery, rig setup, animating.

And seeing that Blender’s new animation system at the first glance looks superior to AM, gives me a renewed assurance of Blender’s capabilities.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that animating is all they do. Jeff Lew obviously had to learn materials, lighting, effects and rendering in order to produce the very animation which got him noticed: Killer Bean 2.

Like he says on his DVD sample clip, he is self-taught and advises that those keen should never stop learning.

I also think that a good animator should have some idea about materials, lighting etc… because it’s all well and good moving something or a character, but if you don’t understand how movement interacts with light and special effects, then it’s all pretty useless.

Just some opinions… :smiley:

I read a comment somewhere else that may explain the apparent ease. I hadn’t really given it much thought but in Blender you have to click to select then G + click or click widget to move, R + click to rotate and so on. Everything takes at least two clicks and often a separate keystroke.

Does other software work this way or is it more like 2D vector apps where the selection and transformation can be perfromed with one click? Maybe he’s holding a modifier key that puts the selection in rotation mode so you just click and drag and the object rotates (much like Adobe’s path modifier keys allow for translocation, conversion and so on)?

Admittedly, the current workflow is slower with a one-button mouse but that’s what I have for now :slight_smile:

Ah, so the official release will be worth the wait. Although, right now, I’m using a recent CVS build for Windows. I’m saving my work in a seperate directory so that if something goes wrong in that directory, my work doesn’t go with it. :slight_smile:

I’ll have to read up on that automatic keyframing when the need arises, since I don’t quite understand it. Then again, sometimes it looked like he was using Manual keyframing you could see him entering the different keyframe numbers by hand. My other questions about this more likely the Blender Animation forum’s forte.

I have the Jeff Lew video also and I was trying to mimic his rig setup.

One problem I came upon is how to rig the feet with the floor constraint. I came up with a modified solution using the old IKA null bone method in conjunction with the new 2.4 rigging system but it’s just not quite as good as Lew’s Anmation MAster rig.

I’m curious if any of you have been able to rig your characters like he does in Animation Master and achieve the same results. And yeah, he’s fast.

Here’s my thread on the subject.