Animation – Assessment 1- Process Diary – Week 3

Week 3 animation class – after a review of our attempt at the bouncing ball homework, the first part of today’s class was to re-create the animation steps. Following the lecturer and exploring efficient workflow options.
Here is my summary of the steps we followed to create a bouncing ball animation-

Step 1 – Settings and preferences. Firstly, under settings- set to PAL 25
prefs_settings
Step 2 – Animation preferences. To begin an initial blocking pass, it is best to select a default ‘in’ tangent of Clamped and ‘out’ tangent of Stepped.
prefs_animation

Step 3 – Turn autokey on and begin the keyposing the ball every 10 frames, just animating translate Y and translate Z. Remember to reduce the height of the bounce and Z progression each time.
As an example, this is how it would look now in the graph editor- just simple stepped tangents for translate Y and Z-

steppedGE
Step 4 – Select ‘Editable Motion Trail’ from the animate menu, which will give you representation in the viewport-
editableMotionTrail
Now you can change positions and timing directly in the viewport.
This Editable Motion Trail now shows up in the outliner. If for any reason you need to get rid of it, you can delete it here-
EMToutliner
Step 5 – Flatten tangents – now we have keyframes roughly where we want them, we can select both the animation curves and click the ‘flat tangents’ button to smooth things out. The curves now look like this-
FlatTangents

Step 6 –
Break tangents – On translate Y, we need create a more sudden change in direction with a broken tangent as the ball hits the ground each time. We do this by selecting each control point, selecting ‘break tangent’ then ‘free tangent weight’, then drag each handle to point back up in the direction of the curve. They should now look more like this-
brokenTangents

Step 7 –
Smooth the z curve. For the z translate curve, we can actually delete all the ‘in between’ keys and just have one smooth transition. It will look more like this-
Zcurve

Step 8 – Squash and Stretch. Almost there, we just need to set keys for the squash and stretch. We also have to make sure the rotations on the ball make sense directionally. The keyframes should roughly look like this-
SQST01SQST02SQST03

Step 9 – Timing The last step in this basic example is to clean up the timing and make sure the speed of the movement is correct. For that, we can use the ‘dope sheet’. This is cleaner and less confusing that using the graph editor because the dope sheet is all about timing, there are no controls for ‘value’. The most useful technique is to marquee+select a bunch of frames together, hit ‘R’ on the keyboard and then ‘scale’ those frames from a pivot point. This will re-space the frames to the timing desired-
DopeSheet

To finish up this lesson, we looked at weigh and balance using the rigged package man. We discussed the importance of ‘line of action’ and ‘center of balance’ to make the character look stable and to have purpose. Each of us found a photo of a pose on the internet and made a quick interpretation of the pose with PM man.

This was my pose reference-
SittingRef
and this was my ‘more extreme’ re-interpretation –
PM_sitting

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