Shooting the first of 3 stop motion exercises was a lot of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve really worked in stop motion and it’s magical to get back into. It’s rare for me to work with a format so free and tactile. The bouncing ball exercise was a good start to reorient me with the format but I’m looking forward to working with armatures.
Stop Motion this week was a step up from bouncing balls to a performance using basic armatures. I was looking forward to this and felt confident about it going in but I ended up struggling with the timing. I think this may have been down to the fact I was going through the movements too fast for the framerate. I was attempting to get through my animations quickly so my partner and I could take turns. My animations suffered consequently and I would like to revisit them another time. I need to focus on the spine action and be patient with poses I need to hold.
This week I eventually found time to shoot my walk and change of expression. I’m particularly proud of this one. I think it looks a little bit clunky but the movements are spot on. The one thing I’m tempted to change if I get a chance to do it again is the heaving breathing after he leans over. It’s a little too fast and it could do with carrying on after he’s wiped his brow. I did manage to re-do the box lift this week however. This again I’m pleased with as I’ve improved the movement of the spine from beforehand and stayed true to my storyboard but I do think the box is a little sticky on the ground. It comes up too fast, but it’s far better than my previous attempt.
I’ve edited all my clips to make sure there aren’t any thimbles, rigs or hands in shot.
It’s been great getting off the computer and working with my hands during this project. It’s really fired me up for the mystery box project coming up next. I think I struggled to get my ball bounces just right at first, getting them spaced properly was a little bit of a challenge, but my final clip is fine.
My box pick up exercise was a challenge to begin with. I was getting the posture wrong, starting the lift with the back arched backwards. Learning from ‘The animator’s survival kit’ I realized this was wrong. My second attempt was far better as the posture was now correct throughout but it spends too long anticipating the lift. When it does finally come off the ground, the action is a bit too fast and erratic. However, I do like the way it steps back and takes the weight. The performance beforehand is also good as each movement looks fluid and realistic.
Finally, my character walk and expression change is great in terms of performance, he looks like he’s just been for a run. But looking at the final clip frame by frame now, I can see that during the walk cycle, there are inconsistencies when he brings his foot forward. He doesn’t move his foot in an arc and has his foot at varying levels from frame to frame. I thing I was too pleased with the overall performance at the time to notice. This was a problem for me, being distracted by the performance side of things. I need to focus on the fundamental goal of the exercise and not get too distracted by the possibilities.