Overcoming Issues/Reflection

Overall, I did find this module quite interesting but also very challenging. I seemed to encounter quite a lot of problems. The worst part was probably during the character rigging process – I managed to almost complete the rigging process which was really time consuming but then I soon realised that there were many problems with my character mesh and it wouldn’t go right even when I tried to rectify the problems in various ways. After exploring many options to try and sort out why the mesh wasn’t moving correctly, I decided to go back to my original character model and re-did parts of the mesh and tried to simplify it. I then ended up re-doing the entire rigging process and because of this, I ended up spending much longer on this part than I was expecting. Luckily, I was quite organised with my time management and I wasn’t in a last minute rush to get it done. 

After the rigging seemed to be working correctly, I then started on my animations. I had already researched into some possible cycles and planned out some general ideas of what I could do. As I knew that this assignment would be very challenging for me because I am a complete beginner in 3D animation, I made sure that my animations were more simple. There are some points in the animations where the mesh still doesn’t look and move right but overall, I am pleased with how they have turned out. I have learnt lots of skills throughout this assignment and most importantly, I know how crucial it is to have a character mesh with good topology before rigging and animating it. 

Principles of Animation

I tried to incorporate some of the principles of animation within my animations. Some, are used throughout every animation but some I haven’t really used at all as they weren’t necessary. Here, I’ll explain some of the ways I have/haven’t used the principles within my animations. 

Squash and stretch I didn’t really use this principle in any of my animations, because I didn’t really include anything in the animations that would be able to do this type of movement. Squash and stretch could maybe have been used in my characters face, but her face doesn’t really show lots of expression to have the need to do squash and stretch. 

Anticipation   Again, I felt that I didn’t really need to use this principle too much within any of my animations. She doesn’t move in that much of an exaggerated way to warrant having to use anticipation, compared to it she were doing a bigger moment such as throwing something. Animation 2 may show this slightly in that her swaying is continuous as it is looped, but the way her body moves in a fluid sort of way helps to show more anticipation in her movement. 

Staging I feel that all of my animations have a very obvious staging principle to them, particularly in animations 1 and 2 which only feature Lola in the scene on a simple starry floor. The main focus is quite obvious in these animations. And I tried to make sure the camera perspective also helped to add to the staging in my animations. 

Straight Ahead/Pose to Pose For all the animations, I used to pose to pose principle when creating them because I first created the starting and end frames for the motions, I then did a some key frames in between these. I felt that this method is much easier in Maya as I only really had to key frame a few poses and the in between frames are mostly all done for me, and then altered slightly afterwards in the graph editor.

Follow Through/Overlapping This principle has been used throughout my animations. Animation 1 features lots of overlapping because it is a walk cycle, the arms and legs move in opposition to each other, and the head and body also goes up and down. I attempted to use follow through action in animations 2 and 3, although this is probably very subtle as her movements in these aren’t very exaggerated. 

Slow In/Slow Out I don’t think that I really used this principle, this is mainly because all of my animations are looped I can’t really show what is happening before/after the movements this way unfortunately. 

Arcs Arcs are used frequently in my animations, I felt that this principle was really important  to include as arcs are great at creating natural movements, and as humans naturally move in arc shapes, this supports my character design well. Animation 1 uses arcs when you look at the shape both her arms and legs make as she is walking. Animations 2 and 3 use arcs in the movement of her arms/body/head. 

Secondary Action I have incorporated secondary actions in all of my animations. This is mainly in addition to her body movements, she also moves her eyes and blinks. Using the secondary actions again really helps the animation to look more natural and realistic. 

Timing I tried to ensure the timing of my characters movement was realistic throughout all of my animations, but as my animations were all looped this was quite hard to show. Instead, I had to consider how long to actually show the movements and this was done through knowing where to place the frames.

Exaggeration I didn’t use this principle in my animations, because I didn’t really think that I needed to for what was happening in my animations. I don’t think that the movements really needed to be exaggerated that much. 

Solid Drawing This principle wasn’t really used since all of my animations were done on a computer and I had already created my character in 3D. 

Appeal In general, I feel that my character has appeal which stems from her design. I feel like the animations also all have appeal in them in that her movements are all done in quite a cute and childlike way.

Overall, I am pleased with the principles of animation that I have used and I feel that they are all appropriate to my characters design. 

Lighting and Camera Usage

I knew that the lighting and camera perspective were going to be really important factors in my animation. Lighting in particular is a fundamental factor in many of the arts including photography, film making and game design. Throughout the process, I imagined that my character was for a 3D video game, so when choosing my lighting I had this in mind. ‘Lighting has the most influential role in your game’s world and can make or break the visuals.’ (Plural Sight, 2014). As all of my scenes/backgrounds and the colours that my characters clothes are are all very dark, to fit in with the dark/magical aesthetic of a witch, I knew that I would have to make sure that my character still would stand out, but that the scenes and backgrounds would still need to be illuminated somehow. In my first animation, I started off by trying out the different types of lights within Maya, and then rendering the frames to see how they would look. In the end I settled upon the ‘directional lights’ these allowed me to position them pointing onto my character (fig 1) I then kept rendering the current frame to see how bright it was going to be, until I had a good level of light around her. 

I also positioned one of the directional lights pointing down onto the floor of my scene, this really helped to bring out the starry pattern and helped to make the reflection much more prominent which I really liked. I then ended up using the same types and placements of the lighting in all of my animations (fig 2 and 3), because they seemed to work the best. Some, like fig 3 didn’t need quite as many lights, this was because I only really filmed the animation from the front perspectives. 

fig 1 – the lighting usage on animation 1

fig 2 – the lighting usage on animation 2

fig 3 – the animation usage on animation 3

I had already researched into using different camera perspectives, and had decided that using a fairly high angle perspective would be the best for my animations in particular as it is a less intimidating view, which suits my character well. For animation 1, I did my animation from two perspectives because it is a walk cycle I felt that it was important to show the viewer how it looks from the side too. Animation 2 is an idle cycle, and I wanted to keep it simple and just showed this from the front perspective, but again with the camera placed at a slightly higher angle. Finally, I wanted animation 3 to show two perspectives, as there was more going on in that animation. Again, I showed the animation from the front perspective and then also from the side and at a high angle.

References:

Plural Sight (2014) Light up your world: how lighting makes all the difference for games. Available online: https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/understanding-the-importance-of-lighting-for-games [Accessed 17/04/21].

Creating the Animations

Animation 1

As I am not that experienced in creating 3D animations, for my first animation I decided to do a basic walk cycle as I had already created one previously in the module and knew the basics. I had already sketched out a quick walk cycle for my to reference, I also used another reference image found online to guide me with knowing which frames to keyframe.

fig 1 – altering the legs on my character to try and match the reference

I first focused on creating the leg movements, and when I played them back at first they looked very awkward, but through using the graph editor, I managed to make them look much better. I made sure to move the keyframes on the graph editor so that the lines weren’t as harsh and were more curved (fig 2). I was also able to sort out some of the rotations of the feet on here, as some of them didn’t seem to flow that well at first too. 

fig 2 – Here I am using the graph editor to help make the motions of the legs look more natural

I then sorted out the movement of the arms, remembering that the arms move in the opposite directions of the legs. These were much more straightforward to do than the legs, as I only really needed to make three keyframes for them and then they didn’t need much editing at all in the graph editor either.

Once I was happy enough with the movement of her body, I then wanted to add more life into her face and I decided to use the eye controllers and blend shapes that I had added to my rig to help me with this. First, I decided to make her blink once in the animation to give it a more realistic look. I went into the shape editor for this and after selecting the frame where I wanted her to blink, I key-framed the blink. I then went to each frame either side of the blink and made sure to do those frames with her eyes open again and then played it back, but I then realised that the blink was way too fast so I changed the two ‘open eyed’ frames either side of the blink frame to being three frames before and after instead and this seemed to look more natural. I then used the eye controller to make her eyeballs move around a bit throughout the animation, and after a few attempts at this, I managed to get her eyes moving slightly, almost as if she was looking around as she is walking. 

Finally, I decided to improve on the look of her environment and I created a starry flooring pattern  (fig 3) illustrated using Procreate, and then added this to the flooring which was created out of a simple poly cube which I had assigned a blinn material to which made it a good reflective surface, I was hoping that this flooring would give it a magical sort of appearance, which would emphasise the fact that my character, Lola is a witch. I also liked how Lola was reflected into the floor. 

 

fig 3 – my illustration of a starry sky which I used as the flooring in my animation

Animation 2

I decided to create an idle cycle for my next animation. I decided to keep it very simple, like how  most idle cycles often are and decided to just have my character swaying slightly and moving her head around. I feel that this animation was fairly easy to create, firstly I used the hip controller to move her hips more to the side, I set this position as the first and last key frames. On the middle key frame, I then moved the hips to the opposite side. I then positioned the arms how I wanted them using the wrist controllers. These were also very simple, and just positioned at her side. 

Next, I wanted to add more movement to her head, I decided to have her head swaying slightly too along with the movement of her body. Fig 4 shows me altering the rotation of her head using the head controller. As there wasn’t really that much movement involved in this animation, I didn’t really have to alter much at all in the graph editor. 

fig 4 – rotating the head so that it would move with her body movements 

Similar to my first animation, I also decided to have her blink. I went into the shape editor (fig 5) and selected which frame I wanted this to be. I then selected two frames that were about 3 frames either side of the blink and made sure by these frames, her eyes were back open again.

I did run into a small problem at first with the face blend shapes not working right – the whole of the face mesh would move into a different position when trying to do the blink. I think that this was because I used my original face blend where my character was in the t-pose and I think it may have been due to the freeze transformations. To sort this problem, I created a new face blend in her new position and this seemed to work fine. 

fig 5 – creating the blink using my face blends and shape editor

Animation 3

For my final animation, I decided to try and do more of an action cycle and wanted to incorporate an object in it too and to make it more relevant to my character, I decided to use a broomstick. 

As she was still going to be stood in one spot, I made sure to make her movements different to my idle cycle. I incorporated more rotations in this one (fig 6) and first did the key frames for this movement. At first, I only did my animation as 25 frames but after doing the body key frames I played the animation through and it seemed way too fast so I altered the amount of frames to 50 instead and moved the key frames and this looked much more natural. I then altered her head movements more to fit in with her body movement by changing the rotation on the neck controller. 

fig 6 – key framing the rotations of her hip controls 

Next, I did the movements for her eyes as I wanted the animation to look more natural. I moved her eyeballs in the animation slightly to match with the movements and rotations of her head. I also incorporated a blink to the animation using blend shapes, as I had done this previously in my other two animations as I felt that the blink was a really effective way to make the animation seem more realistic. 

I then brought in my broom which was quite easy to animate. I tried to make it seem as if her eyes were controlling the movement of the broom, using her witches magic. Fig 7 shows me checking the graph editor, this didn’t need much altering but I did make the shape more curved so the motion of the broom would look more natural. After that, I animated her witches hat by positioning it back on her head and key framing it at certain rotations to match with the movement of her head. 

fig 7 – altering the graph editor for the broom

Next, I animated her arms – I kept these simple though as I wanted the main focus to be on her eyes and the broom. After animating the arms, I played the animation through and then realised that the frames where I had done the blend shape for the blink also would move her arms back into a t-pose position. I realised that this was because my character mesh includes her whole body, and I had done the blend shape with her arms still in the t-pose. To sort out this problem, I just re-did the blend shape and key framed it again. 

Finally, to add to the magical atmosphere of this animation, and to make it seem like my character was in a magical witch land, I decided to add some animated stars in the background. To make them look as if they were twinkling, I key framed them at regular intervals throughout the animation and then just rotated them all slightly (fig 8) and added these keyframes in too. 

fig 8 – keyframing the rotation of the stars

References:

(Image Reference used for the walk cycle keyframes) School of Motion (n.d.) Walk cycle inspiration [Photograph]. Available online: https://www.schoolofmotion.com/blog/walk-cycle-inspiration [Accessed 06/04/21].

Planning/Researching Animations

I decided to do some more research into some animation cycles to help me decide and plan out my own animations. I knew that due to me being a beginner I wouldn’t be able to create anything too elaborate and complicated, so I decided to focus on researching some more simplistic style animations. 

I plan on creating a walk cycle for one of my animations, as I have already made one earlier on in the module and knew the basics. I feel like creating a walk cycle will be a good place to start and to help me get used to my characters rig as ‘a “walk cycle” is the part of video game animation that covers the most basic, default movement of your character’ (Plunkett, 2020). I decided to research into some existing walk cycles to help gain inspiration for my own. I found an interesting Tumblr blog called Walk Cycles by an artist, Louis Brooks ‘where he isolates and pays tribute to some classic walk cycles by rotoscoping them, drawing them out of their environment and letting us focus on nothing but the shuffling of shoulders and the placement of one foot after the other’ (Plunkett, 2020). This is an interesting way of really focusing on the small movements within walk cycles. I realised after looking at the different walk cycle animations, just how much variety there are of different ways characters can walk. They are also great at showing a characters personality or reflecting the environment/situation they are in. 

fig 1  – An examples of a walk cycle of Aerith from Final Fantasy VII Remake rotoscoped by Louis Brookes

Next, I researched into some idle cycles – these are mostly found within video games and will happen when a character ‘is just standing around and the player isn’t pressing any buttons. A few games may do it when you pause instead. This is done because it avoids having the character stand completely still, which feels odd and creepy because it is unnatural’ (TV Tropes, n.d.). I have included a video below that I recorded of my main character in Animal Crossing doing her idle animation, you can see how when she is stood still doing nothing, her body is still moving – she sways slightly, and her head, arms and legs move too. She also blinks, which helps to make it seem much more natural. Some other examples of a characters movement during an idle animation could be having them simply looking around or holding and moving an object.  

I personally really like idle animations, as I feel that despite the fact that the characters aren’t really moving that much in them and they may sometimes be overlooked aspects within games, they are actually really good at expressing a characters personality – they are ‘key to conveying subtle (or not-so-subtle) aspects of your game’s characters and atmosphere’ (Couture, 2018). They really help to add life to the still character, and I think that doing an idle animation would definitely be a good option for me. I also like the idea of incorporating an idle cycle with an object to make it have more action, so this is another option.  

fig 2 – A video I recorded showing an example of an idle animation in Animal Crossing

References: 

Plunkett, L (2020) Video game “walk cycles” are just the best. Available online: https://kotaku.com/video-game-walk-cycles-are-just-the-best-1844935924 [Accessed 15/04/21].

Brooks, L (2020) Aerith [GIF]. Available online: https://walkcycles.tumblr.com/post/618996978159894529/if-you-havent-already-fallen-for-aerith-at-this [Accessed 19/04/21].

TV Tropes (n.d.) Idle Animations. Available online: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IdleAnimation [Accessed 14/04/21].

Couture, J (2018) What makes a great idle animation? Devs share their favourites. Available online: https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/318163/What_makes_a_great_idle_animation_Devs_share_their_favorites.php [Accessed 14/04/21].

Animal Crossing (2020) Animal Crossing New Horizons [Game] Nintendo [Accessed 14/04/21]. 

Rigging and Skinning my Character

Here I have documented the process of rigging my character, this is including adding the joints, joint orientation, adding the IK handles, skinning, adding controls, weight painting and having to do some problem solving too. I used the skills that I had learnt previously in the module from the lab tutorials to help me rig my character as I am a beginner to this. I knew from the start that I would find it quite challenging and it did end up taking me a lot longer than I expected, as I did run into quite a lot of issues when doing the rigging. However, doing the rigging from scratch instead of using the ‘auto-rig’ feature and running into the problems has actually helped me to gain a much better understanding of rigging now…

Character Joints

I began by adding in the joints to my character. I made sure to view my character in wireframe form, and by switching between the front, side and perspective view because this was much easier to position the joints in accurately. I also found that I could alter the size of the joints as at first they appeared too big for my characters body and looked too confusing. I also ensured to rename the joints as I was going along, this is mainly to help distinguish each joint in the Maya outliner, but this also proved really helpful when mirroring a joint like in fig 1 which shows me mirroring the leg joint – this is achieved by starting the left leg joints’ names with ‘L_’ Maya then looks for this when mirroring and replaces them with ‘R_’. Another thing which made adding the joints to my character easier for me was that luckily my character does’t have individual fingers so I didn’t have to spend ages duplicating and positioning each one. I found adding the character joints fairly easy, however at one point I had keep undoing some steps as somewhere along the line the spine joint moved down and so the head and neck joints were in the incorrect position.

fig 1 – mirroring the leg joint

Joint Orientation

I learnt how the joint orientation is important when it comes to how they move. It is ‘critical when preparing characters for animation, and especially so when developing animations for game development.’ (Xiong, 2010). So, even though my character joints appeared okay after the initial adding the joints process, if I didn’t do the joint orientation process, further down the line in the animation process, for example, I may run into lots of problems, as ‘the animations will not transition correctly (most likely horribly) between key frame poses’ (Xiong, 2010). I learnt that the X axis needs to always follow the direction of the joint, and sometimes it takes a few tries when altering each joint to get this right, as seen in fig 2. 

fig 2 – altering the joint orientation

IK handles and Skinning

 Adding the IK handles was really straightforward, again, I ensured to give them a relevant name so I could tell them all apart. After adding the IK handles for the arms and legs, I then tested them out. Some of them seemed to work okay but some appeared to distort other parts of the body, as seen in fig 3. I hoped at this stage that this would be fixed when doing the paint weights. I also did have to re-do some of the joints because they didn’t bend in the correct way. I sorted this by positioning the joint that would be bending slightly at an angle, whereas before it was probably too straight or I did the bend from the wrong perspective. 

fig 3 – testing out my ik handles

Adding Control Handles

I created some control handles by using curves in a basic circle shape. I made sure to snap them correctly to the joints that I wanted them to control. I then changed the constraints so that the handles were connected to the joints in the correct way, I mainly used the ‘point’ and ‘orient’ constraints for these. It was also important to go into the connection editor (fig 4) on some of them to basically tell that certain handle how to behave. 

fig 4 – altering the connection editor for a control handle 

Weight Painting

I had noticed some problems earlier on in the rigging process in how parts of my character moved. I went onto the ‘Paint Skin Weights’ tool and clicked on each joint to see what parts of the mesh would be effected – and if there was a part that shouldn’t move, I made sure to paint it black on the mesh which signifies a part of the mesh that wouldn’t be effected. After doing this, her main body would move well but when I added the other parts of my character back to the mesh such as the hair and dress, these just didn’t seem to move right at all. I then bound these to my character and then when back onto the paint weights to try and sort these problems, as seen below in fig 5. Here, you can see how the hair would move significantly when the arm joint was moved, I also had similar problems with her dress. I tried to alter the paint weights for everything, but my character still didn’t seem to move correctly. I then attempted to do various things to try and sort it out, such as re-doing the joints, and re-binding the mesh to the joints but nothing would work at all. I decided that I wanted to go back and make some alterations onto my model.

fig 5 – trying to sort out the paint weights 

Problem Solving

I first started sorting out the hair on my original character model as this seemed to be the biggest issue. I decided to significantly simplify all aspects of my character, and for the hair, instead of having lots of long, separate strands, I decided to make it into one block instead (fig 6) I actually ended up preferring how this hair looked. I then decided to simplify the dress too and I ended up actually changing her clothing entirely to have her wearing a t-shirt and trousers instead, I did this in a very simple way – by selecting the faces of the mesh on her body and assigning new materials and colours to it because I knew her main body earlier did move correctly. 

Next, I repeated the entire rigging process which was slightly annoying as it took so much time previously, however, as I had already done it a few times, I knew what I was doing this time. After doing the rigging, I went onto the paint weights tool again (fig 7) this time, it was much more straightforward to sort out. And finally, fig 8 shows my simplified but improved rigged character.  

fig 6 – re-modelling the hair

fig 7 – re-doing the paint weights

fig 8 – after the rigging

Eye Controllers and Blend Shapes

My next stage of rigging my character was to start giving her face some movement, first I did the eye controllers which were surprisingly much more straightforward to do than I thought. I just created some controllers out of curves like I had done previously and then just paired them up to each specific eye using the ‘aim’ constraint. I also did a master eye controller which would then control both eyes at once. I then created some blend shapes by duplicating my mesh and then using the vertexes, I adapted each new mesh to show a different emotion. I then created these into a blend shape in the menu and tested them out.

fig 9 – doing the eye controllers

fig 10 – sorting out the eyelids ready to create the ‘blinking’ blend shape

References:

Xiong, S (2010) The importance of joint orientation. Available online: http://scottxiong.com/the-importance-of-joint-orientation/ [Accessed 28/03/21].

Designing/Building 3D Characters with Personality

There are many ways that a characters personality can be conveyed within 3D environments. One way would be through the design and build of it. This may include their visual attributes such as the colours used on the character design and how the certain colours can be associated with a certain trait. It could also be the shape of the character which is a very important consideration when 3D modelling characters. 

Conveying a characters emotion well through the use of movements is a good indicator of the characters personality and ‘when used effectively, 3D animation can communicate and evoke emotions which actors or words simply cannot’ (Durant, 2017). Even really subtle movements of the character can show the audience exactly how the character is feeling – even in characters that don’t always look as humanoid and expressive, such as the robotic character of Wall-E by Pixar (fig 1) ’the way Wall-E’s eyebrows drops ever so slightly to evoke sadness or the way he shudders when he’s scared. Even the widening of his animated eyes when he finds his true love. […] these human characteristics we all recognise create a deeper sense of empathy with the characters.’ (Durrant, 2017). 

A characters body language is also just as important as the movements and facial expressions, sometimes even more so as ‘communicating a personality through body language and silhouette is far more powerful than only showing emotion through facial expression’ (Nikolaeva, 2016). This may be through ‘hands, arms, shoulders, legs, torso and head gestures [that] can help reveal the emotional state of our character’ (Animation Guides, n.d.). I will be considering all of these when it comes to creating my animations. 

fig 1 – shows the character Wall-E showing his emotion and personality through his eyes

As my character model was already created by me in the previous module, I had already put a lot of thought into the personality of my character in terms of the design. However, now, I have to consider how to show her personality through the animations that I will be creating. One way of this is that I will be taking into consideration the 12 principles of animation. A good example of using one of these principles to help show personality within my 3D environment would be the staging principle. For my animations, this will particularly involve the positioning of my character and the camera perspective as ‘changing the type of shot as well as the position and size of the character in the scene affects how the audience perceives him […] positioning the character in the bottom can make him feel powerless, placing in the top can be translated as a sign of authority’ (Animation Guides, n.d.). I did a quick sketch of this concept in fig 2 to help me when doing my animations. For my character, I will have to consider her personality and how these traits could be perceived through the staging.

fig 2 – my sketch showing how different personalities can be conveyed through the camera perspective 

References:

Durant, A (2017) How to convey emotion with animation: Falling for a 3D bin. Available online: https://www.pebblestudios.co.uk/2017/01/25/how-to-convey-emotion-with-animation-falling-for-a-3d-bin/ [Accessed 31/03/21].

Nikolaeva (2016) How to convey character’s personality through shape, variance and size. Available online: https://graphicmama.com/blog/conveying-characters-personality/ [Accessed 31/03/21].

Fig 1: Durant, A (2017) How to convey emotion with animation: Falling for a 3D bin. Available online: https://www.pebblestudios.co.uk/2017/01/25/how-to-convey-emotion-with-animation-falling-for-a-3d-bin/ [Accessed 31/03/21].

Animation Guides (n.d.) How to make character emotions more expressive in animation. Available online: https://www.animationguides.com/character-emotions-animation/ [Accesssed 31/03/21].

 

Creating Realistic Movement

Creating realistic movement for the characters is another crucial aspect in creating a great animation. It can help so many aspects within animation, including making the characters overall movement less awkward and expressing the characters emotion better. There are many methods in which animators can use to ensure the movements of their characters are more realistic.

The use of the 12 principles of animation are fundamental for the realistic movement of both characters and objects in all types of animation. These “were first introduced by animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in the book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, first released in 1981” (Coron 2021). Each principle was worked on and perfected over the years and the key principles are applied to all animations we see to this day. The principles form “the basis of all animation work, these principles are relevant for a number of different fields” (Coron, 2021), so I will definitely make sure I apply as many of these principles as I possibly can within my animation.

A great example of a method which uses physical real life movements to help create more realistic movement within animation would be through rotoscoping. This was invented by Max Fleischer in 1917 and “is a technique used in animation to trace over live-action motion picture footage frame by frame.” (Bedard, 2020). Fleischer first used this technique for his animated film Koko the Clown where “they filmed Max’s brother, Dave Fleischer dancing around in a clown costume on Max’s roof […] in front of a white sheet for contrast […] that film gave them individual frames of Koko moving around […] then they just played it back, frame by frame tracing what they needed.” (Vox, 2019). I feel that this is a fantastic method in creating realistic movement, because it literally uses real movement to do so. And, even though I won’t necessarily use it within my 3D animation, I can still take inspiration from this method by studying footage of real life movements and noting how certain aspects of the body moves when doing certain motions and trying my best to replicate that for my character. 

When it comes to rigging, this is also an important factor when it comes to creating realistic movement. Adding lots of controls will help with creating a more realistic movement – and often, the more controls there are, the more realistic the motions and expressions will be. In particular, creating human characters can be really challenging due to the sheer amount of facial expressions, emotions and muscle movements we have. A good example of this would be the main character of Woody from Pixars Toy Story. In their 1995 film, Toy Story 1, Woody only had 596 controls, but by 2019 in Toy Story 4, he had 7198. (Insider, 2021). You can see the different in Woodys movements and facial expressions which are clearly visible when comparing the video footage. 

Overall, there are many ways in which we can create realistic movements. I will have to implement this into my character, even though she is a stylised character, she is still a humanoid character and I would like her movements to be quite realistic. 

References:

Coron, T (2021) Understand Disney’s 12 principles of animation. Available online: https://www.creativebloq.com/advice/understand-the-12-principles-of-animation [Accessed 19/03/21]. 

Bedard, M (2020) What is rotoscope animation? The process explained. Available online: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/what-is-rotoscope-animation-definition/ [Accessed 19/03/21]. 

Vox (2019) The trick that made animation realistic [Video]. Available online: youtube.com/watch?v=IS1hCSsmH1E&t=163s [Accessed 19/03/21].

Insider (2021) How Pixar’s Movement Animation Became So Realistic | Movies Insider [Video]. Available online: youtube.com/watch?v=QbhsMLD9Hb0 [Accessed 19/03/21].