Tuesday 4 September 2012

11 Second Club - August 2012 Shot Progression

After more than a year's hiatus from entering the 11 Second Club, I finally got around to entering again in August 2012. I thought I'd put up how I progressed through the shot with several WIPs and a bit of commentary. First off, here's the finished rendered clip (it's in HD if you can be bothered blowing it up).

Now for how I went about animating it. Firstly, here is a (TERRIBLY drawn) 2D WIP I started with using Flash. I find drawing directly into Flash incredibly difficult, because it likes to modify your strokes and smooth them, so please excuse the awfulness of the drawings. I just needed it as a very rough guide on timing for the poses (I'd also shot reference of myself, but I'm not putting that up here :P ) 
Next step was taking it into 3D (I used Maya), staging out the camera and set, then blocking out the poses using stepped tangents, and no inbetweens.
Then I added keys for spacing between poses, and used basic plateau tangents between them without any editing of the curves - for a better sense of timing. Obviously it's still missing some more detailed poses but they came later.

Here's where I began tweaking the curves of the body. There's no overlapping action yet, but I played around with moving holds etc. to start giving this character some life.
From there I continued on to some finer details of the shot; hand poses are now blocked, as is the lip-sync and facial animation (without any curve manipulation yet). The lip-sync is just jaw flapping and mouth pulling in and out, so some of the sounds don't sit right yet (eg. the letters V and F)
Then, a bit more polish to the body animation, and a lot more polish to the face and hands. The lip-sync has been focused on as well to sell each word more convincingly.
Lastly, final polish of everything, adding costume & makeup and setting up the environment and lighting for render. From here I did a pretty simple comp in After Effects to give a bit more appeal to the shot.

So there you go... a bit of insight into my animation process. Voting closes tomorrow so fingers crossed I place decently! :)

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