Animator Journey – Its the eyes

Today another update on my animation journey. I have completed a short acting piece project titled “Harmony”, and received some comments about my current progress.

Harmony

The main idea is the character Malcom, he is trying to explain to the counselor about his actions and defending himself for it as if he was accused earlier.

Here is the full animation.

Some comments I received at the review. I have compiled them into a video note.

Eyes tell everything

Eyes can tell emotion states or it can help make your character more believable in your animations.

One example is the use of Eye Darts when the character is thinking or preparing to make his next speech.

In my animation the eye darts were a bit too mechanical and some of it needs to have overlaps.

Eye darts don’t go back to their original position it needs to dart back slightly around that region before going to its normal position.

The Eyes are the windows of the Soul – Thomas Phaer

Polishing it up

One other trouble I am having lately is getting the animation to a more polish state. I am able to hit the poses and apply ease in ease out and arcs but there is something off with the animation. it does not transition well from pose to pose.

I guess it could be the curves having to many key frames cause after I finish up in the blocking plus stage and proceed to spooning my curves I make a key frame for each key pose for every part of the character. Which may not be necessary as it can cause mechanical blending between poses. Each part of the body will have a different offset timing throughout the animation.

Looking at nuances.

Some small troubles faced are little twitches in the neck and body. When animation plays during each transition to different poses you have to take care of the rig for unexpected behaviors. E.g. world space for neck or the IK handle for the elbows.

Some of my animations happen to have problems with the arms jitter slight movements between poses.

Offset is key

Lastly here is where things can be done to make the animation more believable it’s to offset certain keys. This helps prevent the animation from feeling too mechanical.

Which is ok when you start out but unless you are making a robot life does not move in direct harmony. There is certain “offsets” or delay in movements to the character.

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