For the final part of the creative solutions module now that i have extra time to work on the personal side of the project, i will be heavily focusing on animating for the next coming weeks – this will not be limited to one model, i plan to explore creatures particularly but will be open for anything as this is to get my animating sharpened up for future projects!
Tiger Animation –
When i thought about what i would like to look into animating first it had to be a Tiger, my class mate Phoebe had inspired me with her recent Tiger animation and was kind enough to give me the link to download the rig!
The tiger comes from CG Spectrum and are created by these handsome gentlemen below:
The rig is given out as a means for people to get the chance to work with a industry standard model and practise what it is like to work on a creature that is quadruped. before even attempting the walk cycle i watched the provided tutorial from Vimeo along with other visual references to help aid my progress.
When analysing the Tigers walk you can see it is confidence embodied, this animal knows its tough and walks with confidence in its stride. Here are some notes i jotted down on the walk to look out for:
- Shoulder blades are pointed up when weight is applied
- Paws spread as they push the body forward
- Slight head bobs, not too much or it will look drunk
- Muscles cause the torso to rotate ever so slightly
- The pelvis bobs inward as the it comes to contact
- Slight bob on the tail, curled not wagging
With that i got straight into animating the tiger!
Feedback on the Tiger animation:
- Feels like its floating, needs more weight on contact
- Tilts too far to left and right
- Key frame out the joint pops
- Reduce tail bobbing
- Reduce head rotations and bobbing
- Fix frames that cause one of the feet to increase speed during the push from contact
- Quicken up the animation, it feels too slow
- Fix the step on the tail animation
I love getting second opinions on my animations as it opens a whole new perspective on the piece that can repair and build on to improve myself – thanks to the feedback from class and an online Discord server i am apart of i got the needed critiques to push myself to improve!
This video tutorial on quadruped animation walk cycles by a user called DarkmaneTheWerewolf had helped me understand the mechanics that go into a four legged creatures movements, i wont lie that i found myself watching this on repeat until i could imagine myself as the tiger walking and how that may look on Maya.
This is the updated version that i had done and laid out for when i will render this out for the portfolio for the end of the semester, when i look back at this animation now i cringe with all the mistakes in this – i bet i could make a better version of this now when i go back to redo the whole thing, ill probably find myself doing the animation much quicker too! Phoebe from class seemed happy enough with the animation and we both had agreed that the rigs forearms of the Tiger seemed to always pop no matter what changes were made.
Revisit Of The Running Mechanic –
I wanted to redo a running mechanic that we all had to do from first semester, we used a rig provided by our tutor and well – my attempts are pretty horrendous now when i look back at it!
This was a very stiff animation, i must not had given myself the correct amount of time to animate or that i did not use the reference that i had gathered when at the gym.
Gianni from class had told me about a modeller and rigging Artist called Truong who provides very cheap rigs for the public to use, better yet the majority of his work is uploaded for free to use and they can be used in projects and show-reels so long as he is mentioned within the description of the video. I ended up downloading a cyborg rig that he had~
Images are from the rigs download pack
In the video above Truong demonstrates how the rig works, the capabilities it has and how it would look once rendered in high quality! When playing around with the rig for the first hour it felt very familiar to the rig we were given to do the body mechanics in semester one but had its own unique added controls to add more detail to your animations.
I was beyond happy with how this animation came out, only took a few hours and loops pretty well when the cycle is set to affinity! I had uploaded this to an online server that animators come together to share their work and everyone loved the style of its exaggerations in some parts when it came to the weights and bobs although one thing that kept coming up was that the hands come across stiff when extended out the furthers swing on each stride and i can see what they mean – i should definitely come back to fix the swing once i am done with the module to polish up for the Show-reel!
Dinosaur Walk Cycle –
I love that Truong also had a free dinosaur rig on offer for people to use and i had to challenge myself with this one, unlike the other rigs i have played with so far this once has no official walk cycle to say how the mechanics of the creature would move since all animations of how dinosaurs moved when they walked the earth are all based on how they look and imagined how they walked.
I am in love with Wild Card Studios video game, Ark survival evolved a game that shows dinosaurs in their scientific appearances rather than the pop cultured Jurassic Park counterparts. I like how the animators of the studio made the creatures move in the game as the sense of power in the bigger dinosaurs such as the T-rex were known when mounting one to go attack enemy bases! (I dont do that i swear, im peaceful)
After watching the clips above of the indominus-Rex and other big dinosaurs such as the T-Rex i got stuck into this animation – this probably took me a day to get to this point for feedback but i was not satisfied with the quality but at this time i started to notice my workflow was certainly getting quicker and that animating was getting better compared to earlier attempts at animating on Maya.
Here are some feedback notes i had received on the animation:
- Reduce the head bob, too much weight
- Add some more weight to the contact as feet feel like they’re floating
- The feet seem off, too human compared to a usual dinosaur walk
- Body tilts too far, looks drunk
I appreciated the feedback from the server online and i got a good chuckle with some of the comments – a drunk dinosaur would prove very entertaining!
Here is the refined process of the dinosaur, i find the changes very good so far and look a lot better than the first clip of the walk – i reduced the bob in the head then reduced the tilt in the body and altered the feet a little but i made the mistake of not looking through my reference clips again to get a since on how the foot should connect to the ground. Next time i work on this walk for this rig i will definitely be restarting it and making sure the foot steps are more bird like as dinosaurs are basically giant chickens, got to remember the foot does not come down like a human! Man this animation looks so silly~
Alien Moving Down The Corridor –
Truong released a Xenomorph rig recently and i fell in love with it, so much i will be doing a final animation based on SEGA’s version of the Xenomorphs movements in Alien Isolation – in that game the aliens movements are very arched back with the arms spread out to make the creature look as big as possible.
In this walk cycle you can see the beginning of the Xenomorphs movements, i noticed it tilted too much to the side and the arm movements were a tad too energetic for this stealthy creature so i went back to fix these before adding this animation into a scene.
A friend of mine, Jack was super kind enough to let me use his scene to composite the alien into it for a added appeal of the monsters scale and intimidation. I also will be changing the lighting a little to make it darker and maybe play around with some smoke simulation fluids for the alien to interact with to give the clip some more action rather having the model move in a linear scene.
When it came to the Alien movies, a typical thing that was used to hid or reveal the creature was the use of steam or smoke in the ship it had infested, i wanted to bring that element into my scene so following the tutorials that a class mate, Lorna had sent me i was able to create the fluid i wanted for Jacks corridor setting.
Now i love the camera work, the smoke effect, the scene but the alien needs some tweaks now that i am nearing the end – she needs some changes to fit the appeal more. She is too bouncy for a stealthy creature, i will now no about fixing her up before rendering her out for submission along with my other animations.