Monday, January 31, 2011

Sintel Anim Test - 01

As a natural progression on from my previous two posts, playing with making pose tests with the Sintel Lite (v2) rig, I've spent the weekend playing around doing some character animation for the first time in ages (perhaps over a year!) There result can be seen below (when Vimeo decides to make it available, that is :)

Aligorith Sintel Test Skit - 01

I'm sure that from a trained animators' perspective, there will probably be some things in here that are just plain wrong... I'm pretty sure of that. So, as an exercise for those of you out there, identify the single greatest issue here that I should tackle :)

From past attempts, I've come to realise that I should try to avoid adding "too much" to a shot - i.e. minor details, twitches, etc. - as more often than not, they just don't work within the grander scheme of things. Although adding a sequence of them may seem like a good idea at the time, scrubbing between keyframes, playing things back, these usually look crappy. Hence, I've tried to keep such things to a minimum this time (or at least I hope I have), and also tried to follow a stricter "pose to pose" approach.

In terms of trouble areas that I had while making this, I'll probably pin them down to:
- Timing - as always, nailing the timing just seems like such an illusive goal! Most of the time, I seem to undertime actions, making them a bit too quick and unreadable, but then slowing them down at times ends up making them too floaty and mushy. Hrm...
- Having sequences of poses that work well in sequence - I guess this is a bit of toughie... sometimes what you think will work just doesn't feel right.
- Too floaty yet again?


Technical notes, since comments on this usually come up:
1) I noticed while working on this that most viewport textures were not showing up while doing OpenGL animation playblasts, while standard OpenGL snapshots work fine. I haven't found the cause of this yet, but it smells like a bug that needs fixing.
2) After rendering, I noticed that there is a point (or two) in the animation where the hair can be seen cutting right across the shoulder. Now, I haven't run any hair sims on this (from what I hear, these are a pain == new tech needed ;) so it's probably to be expected that the hair does funny stuff like that unless if animate to avoid it.
3) Darned lighting stuff! Due to changes in the poses at the end, the eye speculars disappear. Damn... I might keep an eye on that next time.
4) We really need a "make title card" for the sequencer. Even just a basic template would be enough I think, and saves loading up a separate Blender instance (perhaps a Scene strip might also do the trick) to render out some shadeless text
5) Rendertimes were ~30 seconds (on the smaller side of 30) per frame.


  1. Hey Joshua! It's nice to see you doing animation stuff, I like it. I see affter that you are implemented a new "Jitter" key type, nice one, I love the color keys (and my students love too) sooo useful in animation process. It would be nice
    if you can change the colours and size key type in the user preference, now are not exposed.

    Take care :)

  2. This is pretty fun and well done animation, specially for a guy like you, spending lots of time in logic, programing and maths, and then suddenly you grab the graph/doopSheet/nla editors (which you have coded also) and make this animation, impressive!