This week in class it was time to study the reference drawings I made for the weight lift and to start creating a 3D animation in Maya. I used the rig that the lecturer provided called ‘eleven’ as package man did not have the right kind of IK setup.
I set my in and out tangent preferences to clamped and stepped, then set about blocking in 6 key poses spaced 12 frames apart. I changed the poses a bit from my reference drawings in two ways.
• I decided it would be better to have a clearer start frame where the block is sitting flat on the ground.
• I scrapped the final gesture where he throws a hand out to wave at the crowd. I replaced this pose with a final push up towards the sky with the block. Since we are really experimenting with weight here I thought it would be a better fit.
So here are the blocked poses, on the left is the ortho side view and on the right is the camera view-
Frame 1 (below) – Starting with feet very wide stance to allow room for the block to pass through and also for balance and weight distribution.
Frame 12 (below) – the hips lift slightly to allow the block to swing back. The top part of the back comes forward and down, the head rotates – eyes looking in the direction of the block rotation.
Frame 24 (below) – as the block swings through the legs, the hips are thrust forward while the upper back straightens and the shoulders really engage.
Frame 36 (below) – the torso is almost in a straight line now and leaning back heavily to offset the weight. There is a drive and compression with the thigh muscles.
Frame 48 (below) – the feet have actually left the ground and landed about a meter back to get ready for the weight about to land heavily in the direction of the chest and face. The back is heavily arched in defense of the block trying to topple her to the ground and she is ready to counter the motion with an upward drive.
Frame 60 (below) – the hips and back straighten and drive upwards to press the weight. There is a quick jump, moving into a position where the left foot has shifted forward in Z and the right leg has opposed it moving backward in z.
The tangents are still stepped at this stage, so this is just the initial blocking pass done.