Thursday, April 17, 2008

moving hold/breathing

Jewels of knowledge dripping from Jason Ryan's keyboard on the 11sec club.

Milking a pose....yep that's the moving hold. It's no surprise that this is the hardest thing to do because in CGm, it can either look dead
or under water drifty. The first thing I do when I find the "Golden Pose" is think breathing, everyone has to breath and the character's emotion state has to affect this in some way. Breathing will help to keep the character focused and will give it the life it needs without
making it drift all over the place....Glen is a king at this, just look at those shots in Tarzan, where he's looking at Jane for the first time.
The power of just a little head tilt or a slight squint of the eyes in a moving hold can say so much.

The pose to pose look is really all about following through, anytime you hit a pose is like your character hits an invisible wall and that always looks odd in cg so you have to follow through after a move and then settle gracefully into a "breathing" pose.

Monday, April 14, 2008

graph clean up

amrit derhgawen has a workflow post.

Interesting point he made, he cleans up the GE in linear first, by moving the keys up and down (changing the ease) then once he's happy with that he switches to spline, and puts a final polish in with tangent handles. Hadn't thought of that before, seperating out ease from tangent handles.

Also he reminded me about using "show curve buffer" to see the previous version of the curve after you've deleted keys, to see if you affected it or not.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Blocking note to myself

Spacing is more important than timing. When blocking out a motion don't worry so much about how many frames you have between extremes, just block in the breakdown's you need. Then you can slide things around or whittle it down to make it fit. But if you're worried about time first then you don't have time to do what you need, worry about keys that will define the spacing and shape of the movement, that's the harder part and the priority and easier to re make work after timing's redone. It's okay even if it get's down to blocking on ones, just do it, don't worry about it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

James Baxter

James Baxter is going back to dreamworks, and did some lectures on his way in. Here's some ideas from Seward Street's notes from the lectures. Also Animated Buzz has an old interview with James.

the different acting theories.
Stanislavsky was the one who focused actors more on their preparation rather than on acheiving results. Method acting is the process of moving away from thinking about what you are going to do in a scene and instead, focusing more on what you need to do to prepare to make the scene honest and true. In this way, you allow the spontaneous to happen.

Meisner believed it wasn’t enough to rely on sense memory - that your memories were inadequate for the task of acting.

Sandy Meisner’s famous quote that great acting is - “the ability to live truthfully under imaginary circumstances.”

Both interviews the tent pole idea got brought up, strong poses throughout a scene are like tent poles holding up the whole structure.

Talks about Milt having technically very strong poses and all, but Frank could bring individuality to the characters, make very true moments to that unique person. Madam Mim it's Milt up until after he says "Merlin's magic is useful" then it's frank as she looks at him from the corner of her eye.

To be true to the character what's important to them, what they think is important (even if it's not in the script).

the 2 frame lead on sync comes from confusion of what really makes the sound, live action is always synced, why shouldn't animation be? the 2 frame lead comes from the sound being different then the mouth movements (happening with the tongue or throat instead)MBP shape is not a sound, it's the anticipation needed to make the sound.

T is the sound of your tongue coming off the roof of your mouth (not just touching it)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

acting for animators II

last few notes I found useful from Ed Hooks' Book

He talks about operative word. Saying find the word that sticks out of the phrase as being odd or akward or strongest, the one that sticks out. And try saying until you can totally buy into how it's being said, then look at whatever you've had to do to get into character to say it.

He says the audience will hang on captivated if you give the indication you're going to speak, they want to know what you'll say, so put that in there, and use it where you can.

Make strong choices. If the character is wishy washy over something have them committed completely to 1 path and then a second later completely commit to the other, that's how to keep it engaging.

Physiological Eye Movement

Kevin Koch's post on eye movement

we have high definition for only about the width of your thumb at arms length, so we have to shift our eyes around a lot to get the whole picture.

average refocus 3 times a second.

Physiological nystagmus: the eye tremors when fixated,1 degree, probably to get the image on fresh cones, probably only visible in tight close ups, basically dirty curves keeping the eye alive.

During fixation there is sometimes a slow drifting that's auto corrected by microsaccades

It takes about 100-300 milliseconds (ms) to initiate a saccade. That is, from the time a stimulus is presented until the eye starts moving takes 0.1 to 0.3 seconds, or between 2 to 7 frames (a common mistake is to have the animated character react immediately — on the same frame — to a visual input).
A saccade takes another 30-120 ms to complete, depending on, among other things, the visual angle traversed. That means the typical saccade takes from 1 to 3 frames.
Basically, you can reserve 1-frame saccades for very small movements, 2-3 frame saccades the rest of the time, and very rarely use a 4-frame saccade for a large, deliberate eye movement.

Saccades are a jump with the mind blanking out between, so there is often a quick readjustment after the jump because the target was missed slightly.

Eye input is turned off during a jump, and also about 1 frame before the jump.

So processing of the retinal image takes place mainly between the saccades, during the fixations. These fixations last for about 200-600 ms (5-15 frames), with 300 ms (7-8 frames) being average, during scanning behavior

one of Kevin's tricks to avoid too much eye movement is to hit the jump, and then put a tiny drift continuing it (settleing basically) which will not be seen if the head is moving but will keep the eyes from feeling dead, and from feeling to flighty.