Swiming shark

hi! here is a new test with a shark. the sea is done with a spot light with halo an some parcticles.

Good job. nice shark. Swims good.

Thanks a lot. I wasn’t able to find a good way to animate the swimming cycle, so i found this interesting sketch on the web:

Ya I thought making a fish swim would be easy. In one way it is, it has no limbs. Making it look right is not so easy. I will look at this image if I need a reference again.

What I think a lot of people don’t know about animals is that they lead with their heads. Oftentimes, the head initiates the motion in the rest of the body. You can see in the sketches that the animator puts the head first and bases all of his secondary action on that head motion. It looks like you followed this principle throughout the piece, which is pretty good.

Along the lines of a leading body part is a style of animation that I have learned is fairly common in the professional world (read as “Pixar”): layering. When animating, starting with a certain body part (IE, the head in this case, the hips in a biped) can help you work through the rest of the body fairly smoothly, going through one part at a time. Then when you finish blocking, get some critiques and polish it up.

NOW, time for the actual comment. I really like the animation from the middle of the video through the end. It’s smooth, easily visible, and presents the whole shark in all its glory. The main issue I have with it is the beginning. The shark turns relative to the camera, and without a point of reference (such as the ground), it’s very confusing to me how the shark is actually moving. Although it is probably a cycle, it still doesn’t read quite as well as it could. Maybe a couple more bubbles or a faint rock fading into the haze could help that out. Something simple and stupid like that can go such a long way.

Beyond that, all I can say is that it needs a little more motion on the tail as it changes direction. While the tail is made of very stiff cartilage, the tips will still drag behind the middle somewhat.

Overall, great job so far. It’s great that you found that reference sketch. In fact, I’m saving that for later as well. Just needs a little tweaking here and there and it’ll be pretty damn good. Looking forward to seeing more!

EDIT: Sorry for such a long post. I tend to ramble a bit when I critique… Trying to keep them shorter on forums than in the classroom.

I love the motion. It’s very realistic looking, although I agree with Italic that the motion in the beginning is a little unclear. Maybe some bubbles or some other context would help. A very noob question here…did you do the animation with an armature or with shape keys?

So you animated this all by hand… I’m impressed (which really doesn’t mean much… I’m a very un-practiced animator) what I am most amazed by however is the lighting and how you got that underwater effect with all your lighting… I know how to do this in LIghtwave but I lost about how to do it in Blender…

Very smooth. I like how the Ocean is somewhat blurred. I am a big fan of smooth motion.

hey guys! i’m sorry i just discover all your posts.
many Thanks!
Italic, your comment is very precious! and lenght of it is welcome! i’ll try to watch that. but yes, it’s a cycle animation for my son! my armature is actually extruded from the head.
Threediva, thanks. yes, it’s armature (very easy for a fish…without fingers!)
norvman, it’s only a Blender internal render with a spot with halo, and a fog.
unfortunately, i don’t know how to make that in Cycles…
animaguy, Thanks!

Very nice motion through the water. I don’t know if it will help or not, but the shark’s forward motion is greatest when his tail motion is greatest, and is least when the tail is at either side and changing direction. Not that the forward motion stops at those points, the shark’s momentum still carries him forward, but he no longer is pushing himself (momentarilly) against the drag from the water so he slows down a bit. If you graph his forward motion you would see a shallow sine curve somewhat above zero meters per second, since sharks generally never stop moving.