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Friday, June 24, 2011

Animation Mentor Class 2-week 7-11

For our final assignment of class 2 I picked the simple dance move option.  There were a bunch of different dance styles that I was thinking of doing, like Bollywood, 80's music video dancing, Michael Jackson, something from one of the Fred Astaire/Gene Kelly musicals or the Charleston.  I ended up looking at a bunch of 60's dances like the twist, fruging, the dance from Nancy Sinatra's 'These Boots Are Made For Walking' video (which closely resembles my mom's dance style) and then I remembered the dance from the beginning of the first Austin Powers movie.  It had just the right amount of fabulous 60's-ness that I was looking for as well as a fun audio track to go along with it.  Here's the clip that I used as reference.

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The shot had to be 100-250 frames, so I had to pick the best parts of the dance and edit them together.

Here are my planning thumbnails for this shot.



And my first blocking pass.  This shot was already turning out much better than my drunken stumble...

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The next week we did our blocking 'plus' pass.  Pete told me to push the up and down of the strut poses and the punching poses and to take out the last pose change because he felt like it was starting something up again right at the end.

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Pete then told me to try taking out the pose at frame 170 because it was too similar to the ending pose and the ending pose was the stronger of the two.  He also wanted me to try to get the timing of the strut/punches to fit a little better with the music so I did another quick re-blocking pass before taking it to spline.

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After I got Pete's notes for the re-block (he wanted me to add a 3rd punch and to bring the hand down into what I like to call the 'sassy position' but on the opposite side so that it would flow better into the next pose) I converted the stepped keys/breakdowns into spline mode.  I ran out of time at the end of the week and didn't get a chance to fix all of them before the deadline on Sunday.  This is what it looked like.

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I was really unhappy with it so I worked on it for the rest of the day that Sunday and put it up in my public review area.  I knew that if I resubmitted it as my assignment I would be docked a full letter grade so I emailed Pete to ask his option on what I should do.  He had a look at both of them and said that it would definitely be worth resubmitting it regardless of the penalty because it was much farther along.  Here's what the re-submitted shot looked like.

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The last week on this assignment was devoted to polishing our shots.  I was lucky enough to have Pete use my shot in a polishing demo during our Q&A so I got to see what kind of things he would to to make it beautiful.  He used a lot of hilarious Austin Powers type language while working on it which I really enjoyed.  The main things that he focused on in the polishing demo were knee pops, making sure that the body had enough oomph for certain accents and making sure that there was enough overlap on the head.  In fact I remember his exact words during the demo, "Don't be afraid to keyframe the living shit out of the head". Hahahahaha.

Here's how my polishing pass turned out


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It still needs a bit of work, there are still some knee pops, certain parts could hit harder and the path of action on the head is a little crazy in parts, but overall I like how it turned out!  I'm really tired of hearing that music though, hahaha.

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