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3D Character Animation 1 In Summary

March 18, 2011

Hey everyone! This past quarter I also took a 3D character animation class, where I started honing my animation skills in Maya. I still feel like I have a long way to go, but I’m pretty happy with my three projects, so I thought I’d let you take a look at them here.

The first exercise we had to do was a basic hop – our character had to move from one foot to the other, and it had to look convincing. Now, me being me, I decided to animate him in a more cartoony style, a theme that you’ll see build throughout these projects. I absolutely love exaggerated motion, and while I know the importance of dialing it back and using contrast, these animation were all mine. So why not? Here’s the hop:

Nothing too exciting, but this was my first time animating in Maya for about six months. Despite my rustiness, I feel like I achieved all the goals I set out to achieve with this little thing. Sure, I wrestled with the software on this, but the outcome was fine in the end.

Next up we have a lift. Of the three projects, I feel like I could still spend more time fixing this guy up a little bit – but I’ll let you be the judge:

I still love his walk-up, but I’m not 100% sure on the rest of him. I learned a lot from this project, however – especially the importance of keeping my keyframes in Maya organized (for those of you not savvy with 3D-animator-speak, just suffice it to say that while the animation makes sense, the programming I made to get it there is much less… sensible).

This last project I have was an acting and lip sync project – initially it was supposed to run for about ten seconds longer, but my professor suggested I focus on the “fun part.” Of course, that for me means the most ridiculous part, so here’ s the little bit of direct acting I have:

Yes, he’s mad at that chair. Over the break, I’m going to be working on the rest of this so I can show you WHY he’s mad at the chair, and it should contain some much more subtle animation. I’d like to mention that I applied a new technique to this, in that I treated this much more like I’d tread a 2D animation. I had full control over everything, and while it took more work, I felt the results are much better. I was inspired by a Dreamworks animator who came to visit (who might be a future professor here – fingers crossed) to try this technique, so much thanks to him (who shall remain NAMELESS) and my professor, who invited me to come and see him talk to a few students.

And that’s it for 3D Character 1. Expect much more Maya-based content here soon, as I’m getting involved in a production class that should have me working a LOT in the near future.

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