Friday, 28 November 2014

Animated Jump

This is a shot I've been working on for the jungle scene we've been making here at uni.

Since my last post the scene has changed somewhat. It became a 45 second short film when what we really wanted from the project and what we set out to do is to simply make a couple of scenes. The plan was to keep it nice and short so we can get the best quality of work out of it so in the past week or so we've scrapped our animatic and most of our shots and started again.

What we have kept though is a shot of the guy jumping across and canyon then grabbing onto a broken rope bridge and the lagoon shot where a guy jumps across rocks attempting to get the the other side.

Here is the progression of the shot in question from the earliest pre-viz to the first shot of finishes animation. When we first started working on the shot it was part of the full story so the idea was that the guy tried to get across then stopped at the end when he realized he couldn't.

We felt that this shot was a bit boring so in the next version we changed both the environment to try to get the most out of the shot.

This is basically just a blockout but I added splines to show in the weeklies we have here:

This is the point where we decided to scrap our animatic and focus just on 2 shots. As this shot didn't need to have a story line of the guy getting stuck in the middle we decided to change it up a bit and have him make it over to the other side while still keeping the off balance-ness that he has.

The first thing I did while the modeller was tweaking the environment was shoot video reference.

What I really likeed about this was the bit at the end where I get tired and slump on the floor. And I like the way that it starts off energetic then slows down as I lose my balance.

As the shot was now just a stand alone and not the shot that needed to slow down a fast paced video like before I decided it would be best to add some nee camera angles and really beef it up a bit. I added the cameras to the scene which took forever. I managed to make them look great but when I added a character it was all over the place. I found that the point of interest on each cut was changing massively as the character would dart from left of screen to right of screen etc.

So I added a pre-viz character and timed it out based on the vid ref. Now I could make sure the cameras flowed and your eyes were always looking in the same place from shot to shot. Here's how it turned out:

This was great as it not only gave the scene a more cinematic feel but it broke the shot down into 4 bite-sized chunks that I could focus on one at a time. I feel like my problem is always biting off more than I can chew and stressing myself out about not finishing a shot so now I had small ones that I could animate to polish before moving onto the next one. And here's the first finished shot:

I'm really pleased with this and the best thing is it only took a day which gives me confidence in not only my animation speed but the fact that I can get everyone done in time! As for the animation what I'm pleased with is the sense of weight and the bounce. I also like the mid air pose, I used computer game style animation as reference for how I wanted this pose and it came out nicely.

It's only 35 frames but it's the first finished 35 frames of our project and I finally feel like we're on our way with it.

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