#1 04-01-2016 9:46 pm

From: California
Registered: 10-28-2011
Posts: 1123

Post Mortem

I decided to write a post mortem for my entry this month and figured I would share it on its own thread so that people might learn from it. Hopefully by seeing the ups and downs it can help somebody's animation process!

I did some things right but a bit more things wrong when it came down to my workflow for this entry. This contest has been great practice for dealing with deadlines and organizing time to get things done accordingly. I left a bit too much to the last minute and would have liked a little more time to refresh my eyes and tweak the anims accordingly. There is a real benefit to walking away and coming back to your work, because you stop looking at what you were working on specifically, and see it as a viewer would. You naturally notice where things are distracting from where you want the viewer to look.

Another thing I messed up on was the planning. I had a premise, blocked it in, and set up all the scenery. It was going in the right direction as far as the staging and composition, but I noticed some poses were a bit muddy, and got some feedback to change things up. Before I knew it I was splining a new scene with new acting choices I hadn't planned for. This made things like finding the right camera positioning very tricky. It made it even harder to work on because I didn't plan where I should use IK/FK arms, or even what the specific acting would be. I skipped filming reference as well which is a no no, and I think moving out of blocking too soon really hurt the animation workflow.

Another misstep was working in auto tangent too much. While using the Euler filter is to be expected when splining, what slowed me down was having to re-flatten tangents that got muddy. I would find myself having to select all controls' keys, flatten the tangents, then select them again and set them to auto tangent. I think I should work in flat or linear tangents more often before switching to auto.

One thing that went right though, was that I focused on the animation a lot more. I set up basic scenery and used viewport 2.0 to make it a look a little nicer, but for the most part didn't spend much time there. Because I didn't plan I spent a lot of time tweaking things in spline mode, but I also spent way more time polishing each phrase. I would shorten my timeline down to a small 30 frame section and work on all the controls there, then move onto another. Naturally I would work on the whole time line quite a bit, but when it came down to polishing a beat zooming in and only focusing on that beat made a big difference.

Another thing that helped quite a bit was GUI selection sets. I used the simple awecontrol picker and it worked like a charm.

Lastly, the biggest thing I took from last month's top 11 entries was the playblast entries. They really inspired me with their short fast movements that were like micro pose changes. I am not sure how much of that inspiration came through in the end, but it was very much on my mind most of the time.

I should add that the idea behind a workflow is to plan as best as you can, but sometimes life is messy and you think of a better idea down the line. It's okay if things didn't go perfectly, just learn what you can and keep learning. If anybody else wants to share feedback or their own post mortems, I'd be interested to hear!

Last edited by TaiBo (04-01-2016 9:51 pm)



#2 04-02-2016 1:20 pm

Upright Citizen
From: Valence, France
Registered: 05-07-2009
Posts: 310
Karmojo: 45

Re: Post Mortem

Great read smile i'm sure it will help others. There's always something new to learn from a shot and there curiousity is what makes us better animators.

Keep it up!

Free weekly animation tips on my tumblr https://www.tumblr.com/blog/mortendk81



#3 04-02-2016 6:49 pm

From: South Africa
Registered: 02-03-2012
Posts: 1790

Re: Post Mortem

Hey Taibo, well I won't share too much about my animation last month as it was a disaster, it wasn't that I never had enough time or things didn't go the way I had planed but I realized that each month I was prety much repeating myself by doing the same things so not really growing but kind of staying the same and that's not good.

I decided to do hand drawn animation and I am realizing I need to learn more and more stuff to get better at animation, I have done my basic motion video which I am prety happy about and then I have a video to jpg converter program which I can specify how many frames I want taken out of the video which is kind of handy as it gives me a more basic breakdown to the motion,

My character choice is just two gangster frogs as I felt this months audio had more of a gangster kind of feel,

So back to my video reference I decided to take out every 3 frames of my video reference and that way its not completelly complete but it will give me some decent motion and then I can fill in the blanks once I have the initial frames done, at this point I have set out all my frames to their correct position and I read a few tutorials on how to draw a simple form of a human figure to make the animation drawing process a bit faster

But in my case I have to transfer the human form into a basic frog form so when it comes to drawing the real frames I just draw over those frames, but even when I get to that stage I still have to add in breakdowns and some inbetweens so still a lot of work and being my first time drawing by hand I am not sure if I will make it but I still have to do it, the biggest thing is I am learning that 3d animation cuts a lot of corners and when working on hand drawn animation you can't really cut those corners and do them later as you will waste time, so its a lot to process and think about but I do love the experience and hopefully it will help improve my 2d and 3d animation, the one good thing about video referencing is if I am happy with the motion I don't need to worry about timing or anticipation as it is already plotted out for me but still a lot of work, hold thumbs as I venture into this new way of animation, 319 frames here we come, lol

Good Luck !! And happy animating to all



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