C.G. Journal

Week 5:
Having my introduction to CG was very enlightening at the beginning of the week. It opened my eyes to a whole new way of animating and I’m very excited to get to grips with the finer details of Maya. I’ve been trying to work on some of my own basic sequences at home but have encountered some compatibility issues.
Week 6:
I feel like I’m keeping up with the CG project and am continuing to find the graph editor an intuitive way to create movement. This week we started moving the ball on multiple axis and added an interaction. I found this fairly easy to execute, however the thing I get lost with is the loss of energy at the end and how fast or slow that should come. It’s much easier to plot that kind of thing out in the graph editor, however I think it will be a long time before I can create an aesthetic in CG that can surpass the charm of hand drawn work.
Week 7:
Doing the walk cycle this week wasn’t easy. Getting the rig into the rough positions was fine and adding little things like a sway to the hips and a nod to the head was easy. In fact, it’s wonderful how easy it is to add little nuances like that in CG compared to hand drawn work. But when things get moving, it’s very hard to stop the limbs from looking like they’re snapping into place. I spend a lot of time in the graph editor trying to iron out these little imperfections but it can be hard to read sometimes. I will have to keep coming back to this.
Week 8:
The change of expression was a lot less stressful than last week’s session. Getting everything keyframed was fine so this exercise is just a case of fine tuning everything and seeing what extra you could add to it. I’m pleased with my winking performance, but I need to tone down the chest twist.
Week 9:
I went over my walk cycle and tried to iron out a couple of bugs. I also added a little flick of the wrist as she walks which is a nice touch, but I’m not sure how to improve it beyond this despite knowing it’s not quite right.
Summary:
This project has given me a good insight into the possibilities of 3d animation and given me a starting point from which I can explore the software in more detail. Working with key frames and the graph editor is a far more logical way of animating than anything I have tried so far. My first exercise with the bouncing ball hitting the block is very good for the most part. The bounces leading up to the
impact with the block work nicely but on the rebound I’ve struggled to make the loss of energy look realistic. Before to make that work I just halved the height and distance the ball travelled until the changes became negligible but that doesn’t seem to work here. My walk cycle I based pretty well entirely off the young female walk cycle from endless reference. I think it helped me get the key poses just right and see how other parts of the body moved during the sequence. However, it wasn’t easy to get the rig’s limbs to move smoothly, and that’s probably the biggest problem I encountered during the project. The arms and legs always lock into position and I can’t seem to stop that. This is something I need to address in the future. My change of expression I’m pleased with. It’s got a lot going on in the face and it reads well to me. I like how the movement of the head is countered by movement in the shoulders and by the torso in general. The only way I think I can improve it is to just layer on more and more nuances and little bits of follow through to help it seem more complex and alive.

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