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Looking For Critiques

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Looking For Critiques

Hi,

I'm looking for critiques of this little bouncing ball exercise (sorry :o). It is a character ball that can't decide which way to go. I am aiming to convey this through acting alone, so there are no props or shape changes. I did it in Flash just so I didn't have to worry about my drawing and I just concentrated on the timing, spacing and acting.

I look forward to your thoughts on how I can improve it.

Thanks,
Claire.

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Visit my website: Claire O'Brien.com

Visit my website:

Claire O'Brien.com

Hi Claire.

Basically I think you've done a fine job of the actual bouncing action. It is well timed, has a good sense of ‘slow-in’/’slow-out’ at the top of the bounce, as well as a nice sense of squash at the bottom.

My only advice to you would be to resolve the 'looking around' better. I can see your intention here (and I do recognize that your are limited by what Flash is capable of) but you do lose the audience in just distorting the character in the way you do by just elongating it along diagonals for its ‘look-around’ parts. Whereas using a simple 2D deformation of the character is fine for the main body of the bounce, for these sections you really need to rotate, twist or in some other way distort its shape in order to communicate that its really stretching and really looking around. I believe this straight deformation you have now does not convince us (the viewer) that the character is straining to look around at different options it has… indeed I think it spoils what is otherwise a very acceptable piece of animation.

Also, never just ‘freeze’ a frame like that and hold it for such a long period of time. It effectively makes your animation 'die' at that stage. If you want to hold a pose for a while and you're working in 2D, at least trace-back the hold drawing several times and randomly re-used the drawings, frame-by-frame, for the duration of the hold (to keep it 'alive'). If you're working in 3D, place two very, very close keyframes at the front and end of the hold period and tween them very, very slightly to give it that same 'alive' effect.

In the case of your Flash test I would suggest the timing of the hold is far too long anyway and I would therefore a) shorten it for the least amount of work on your part, or b) put some additional action/distortion in there to communicate that the character is looking around and summing-up its options.

I hope this helps? :)

Tony. :^{)}=-

Personal Blogsite:
http://blog.animaticus.com

"The Animaticus Foundation"
http://www.animaticus.com

Thanks for taking the time to crit my work Tony, I know you're a busy man. I've got both of your books which are invaluable.

Thanks for the compliments on the bouncing! I knew there was something wrong with the looking around bits but I just couldn't work out what it was, so thanks for the suggestions, I'll post back when I try them out.

Thanks again,
Claire.

Visit my website:

Claire O'Brien.com

Second Pass

Thanks again for the crit Tony, I have tried to apply your suggestions, what do you think?

Second Pass

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Claire O'Brien.com

Hi Claire.

That's a lot better but I think you need to work on it a little more.

Remember on head turns that things always move on arcs. In other words, if a face is looking to the left and wants to turn to the right it will dip down slightly on the move from one to the other... i.e. on a downward arc. (Or an upward one if that is the kind of turn you want.) At the moment you have some distortion happening on the band across the ball but it doesn't feel like its actually turning.

Also, never forget 'anticipation'. If you want something to move in one direction then take it in the opposite direction first.

Finally, whatever you do, with any turning of the ball, try to take it off the perfect circle... otherwise it just looks like the band you have is sliding around while the ball in static.

I hope this gives you more food for thought? :)

Tony. :^{)}=-

Personal Blogsite:
http://blog.animaticus.com

"The Animaticus Foundation"
http://www.animaticus.com

Thanks again, Tony, I've had another go, here it is:

Third pass

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Claire O'Brien.com

Hi Claire.

Looks great! I think you've really nailed it now. Congratulations... it works! :)

Tony. :^{)}=-

Personal Blogsite:
http://blog.animaticus.com

"The Animaticus Foundation"
http://www.animaticus.com

Thanks for looking again, I thought that would've been a relatively simple exercise but it was actually more difficult with the constraints of Flash and the character being a bouncing ball. I have learned a lot from doing it. I think I'll keep adding more tests to this thread for critique. It really helps to keep trying and not give up at the first hurdle like I have done in the past. Next up, I think I'll practice some head turns as that was part of the problem with my bouncing ball exercise.

Thanks again,
Claire.

Visit my website:

Claire O'Brien.com

A good idea Claire. I'm glad you're avoiding the 'giving up if it doesn't work' syndrome. We experienced animators can give the student everything but 'experience'. In my opinion, experience is what you get from pushing your limits further... especially if it is a process of 'attemp/fail', 'attempt/fail', 'attempt/succeed'. The last bit is the part that shows but the earlier parts are where the experience comes from.

Don't forget to do your head turns on arcs. And if the character is looking in different directions front and end of the turn, add a blink in the middle to increase the impact.

Good luck!

Tony. :^{)}=-

Personal Blogsite:
http://blog.animaticus.com

"The Animaticus Foundation"
http://www.animaticus.com

3D Animation for Crit

Hi, I have been really busy so I haven't had time to post. I'm still working on an exercise that follows on from the one above (which contains the hardest drawing I've ever had to do!) so I'll post that soon. In the meantime I've been doing this 3D animation for work and I think I need some crits on it while I'm off for the weekend so that I can go back in with fresh ideas on how to improve it. I'd love to hear your thoughts, thanks, Claire.

Pointing at a UFO in the Sky

PS, I've already fixed the knee snap at the end and the motion blur on the eyes.

Visit my website:

Claire O'Brien.com