#1 06-20-2007 5:05 am

Claymation
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Clayton Miller - June Contest

Hi everybody!  It's great this thing is finally up!  Can't wait to see what everybody comes up with.

Anyways, here's what I've got so far, get ready for the ugliest female ever.  I'll probably re do her hair and body a little bit before I'm done, just did a quick work over of my guy.  This is about 4 hours worth.  I'm not sure yet what kind of background, if any, I'll add.  I haven't thought much at all about her back story or anything.  I don't think I like the end pose, I might change that.

Anyways, here it is:

Clayton's June Progress

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#2 06-20-2007 12:10 pm

aja
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Hey Clayton!  Aww, she's beautiful on the inside!  big_smile  Seriously though I think you can do just fine with this rig, once you see her start to perform the line, she looks plenty female.  smile 

I'm impressed that you've gotten so far with animation in just 4 hours!  You should definitely be able to finish this by the 30th.  smile 

You said that you haven't really thought about her back story, and I think that's the biggest area for improvement here.  You obviously have a good grasp on lipsync and mechanics, but the acting choices in this piece could be stronger.  Right now she looks kind of like she's standing on a stage delivering this line of dialogue.  I'm very familiar with this technique, cause that's how I always used to picture my old 10 second club entries, before I took acting classes.  smile  I had a very difficult time imagining what the character should do, other than stand there and deliver the line. 

In your piece, the two places where I'm noticing this are "...I have no wish to live in" and "I'm living *gasp* a life...".  I'm having a hard time understanding her motivation during these two parts.  Why does she flip the knife up on the first part, and then why is she suddenly surprised to see it in the second?  Didn't she know she was holding a knife?  And who is she speaking to? 

One trick that's helped me a whole lot is to think about real people, and try to remember someone I know who I could imagine saying something like this.  This voice sounds like a strong, eloquent, but sad and maybe a little melodramatic woman, so for me that has to be my high school english teacher. 

I've found that if I picture this real person I know in a situation I choose (chatting at a coffee shop (with a knife), talking to her classroom (with a knife), sitting at a desk talking on the phone (again with a knife!)), I get a much clearer picture of what this character would and wouldn't do, what would be "in character" for them and vice versa.  I put my rig in the same situation I'm imagining, and then animate them behaving the way the "real person" would. 

I think you've done a good job with the shrugging and head shakes, I'd keep those for sure, and the facial stuff is looking really good, great work with the eyes!  I'd love to see a pass with more thought put into the backstory and motivations for this character, who she is, why she's saying this, what she was doing right before this moment, I think it'd really take this to the next level!

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#3 06-20-2007 3:01 pm

Claymation
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Hey thanks a lot Aja!  I definitely need to sit down and put some more thought into this.  I guess I was going for sort of a "crazy, not totally aware of her surroundings at the moment because she just killed or is about to kill someone, maybe herself?" kind of thing.

I really like the idea of imagining someone I know in this situation.  I'll definitely have to think about this more.  But for now, back to work!

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#4 06-21-2007 3:03 am

heklopez
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

It's looking good. Make sure to address what Aja talks about. a lot of good stuff there. Looking forward to seeing your revision.

-hector

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#5 06-22-2007 10:20 am

aaroncmt
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Hey Clayton,

Yeah, it's not too bad.  Maybe if we sore the knife from the beginning.  Don't know, didn't get a lot from it 'emotionally'... Maybe just needs more emotion.  More of a body posture?  Feels very straight up and down...She doesn't feel that distrest.  I like the little shoulder shrug you put in there... Maybe scale down the nose of the character... feels a little large.  Off to a good start, though.

Last edited by aaroncmt (06-22-2007 10:21 am)


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#6 06-25-2007 4:33 am

Claymation
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Ok, decided to rethink this a little bit, took another 3 hours or so.  Got rid of everything except the facial animation.  She's walking on a sidewalk in front of a store window, and she's reacting to her reflection.  Unfortunately you can't see any of the reflection in this playblast, but I've framed it so you'll see her face the whole time.  At the end she's touching the glass with both her hand and forehead.


June Progress 2


I'm going to change her eye/eyebrow movement a bit on "town" to make her more sad and expressive.  Oh, also when she gasps and pulls back, she also lifts up her right leg a bit for a second so that she's standing on one leg, which you should also be able to see in the reflection.

After another pass I'll do a quick render to get the reflection in there to show.

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#7 06-25-2007 12:22 pm

aja
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Wow Clayton, this is a HUGE improvement!!  Such a fun staging idea, especially cause she has that big schnozz, her being sad about her reflection is very cute.  And sad.  big_smile  Perfect! 

Just needs refining now, be sure not to swing her left arm more than her body motion justifies (right now it looks like she's consciously swinging it out there), have her left fingers react to the glass when she places her hand on it (keep this rough until you know you won't be changing the body/arm), and watch out not to totally lock that purse to her hip while she walks, it'd swing a little too.  I love how she grasps it at the end.  Is it going to be hard to rig the strap on the purse? 

Really awesome improvement Clayton!  Looking forward to seeing the next pass!  smile

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#8 06-25-2007 4:51 pm

Mythsnlore
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Well I'm impressed! How the heck do you do this so fast? Keep it up man!

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#9 06-26-2007 2:35 am

Claymation
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From: Minneapolis, MN
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Thanks guys! 

Thanks for pointing out the arm movement aja, not sure I would have toned it down myself, but now that you mention it, it does swing too far.  I'll definitely be adding all the little details, don't worry smile.  The purse strap is an extruded curve, so I'll just hand keyframe the cv's most likely.

Mythsnlore - thanks!  Not sure really, i've always been able to knock out animations pretty fast.  Now getting it refined and perfect looking is another story!  I hardly ever do any blocking, just straight through mostly.  Which makes it hard to get good poses sometimes, something I need to work on.

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#10 06-28-2007 12:10 am

RyanHagen
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Hey Clay,

Trying to spread some MN love here. This is looking good.   To me it feels like the timing is a bit "even". I would switch it up a bit at the end,  that's where it stuck out to me the most.  I think what this clip could use is some good overlap and drag.  Something I struggle with a lot, but I think if you try and thow some more of that in, even while blocking,  it really does add a bit of Sweeeeetness to it.  I really like your idea,  first shot i've seen I think that has a character moving in a scene.  Always a good way to speed things up and really add a sense of capturing a person in a thought.

And if you didn't have time to get back to my thread.....I said:  "Kurt says....um.....Hi"   <....almostbig_smile

Last edited by RyanHagen (06-28-2007 12:17 am)


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"Frustration is the handmaiden of creativity" ~ Chuck Jones

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#11 06-28-2007 3:34 pm

Claymation
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From: Minneapolis, MN
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Re: Clayton Miller - June Contest

Did a quick render to show the reflection.  I'd say I'm getting pretty close to being done, more so because of the lack of free time I have sad.  I'm not sure if I like the jiggle on the head.  It works fine on the normal rig when he's a guy, but with the hair added I'm not so sure.


June entry Test Render

I'll probably add a little more detail to the background before I render the final pass, nothing too much, just a little bit, something to fill in the reflected background.

So yeah, unless I fall into a timewarp and get a ton extra time to work on this, this animation is very close to the final.  I might change the end pose just slightly, maybe have her shift her hips over a bit when she slides her hand down.  I think I'll work on her eye movement a little too when she looks in the mirror.

We'll see what gets done, I have a Twins game to go to today!

Last edited by Claymation (06-28-2007 3:36 pm)

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