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Finishing up my May 11 second club entry


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may_11_sec_29b_h264_framecounter.mov

 

All major animation is complete. Still needs to be polished.... especially head and eye movements. Most of it is still in linear or stepped, with the body and arms splined. I can still make minor changes, but the major action will stay as is due to short time remaining.

 

My character doesn't have eyebrows and I'm concerned it won't read as well as it should. The eyelids can be sculpted as if they're eyebrows, but I haven't done any of that.

 

The render is very basic. I'd love to try Ambient Occlusion, but don't know if there's time since I don't have a clue about it.

 

I'm curious to see if you all think the concept works. This guy works at the ACME Bungee Jump Co. at their cord testing facility and loves his job. Especially when things go right and the equipment works ;)

 

Critiques welcome.

 

Thanks

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My character doesn't have eyebrows and I'm concerned it won't read as well as it should.

 

Here's one idea for dealing with no-forehead characters... the eyelids seem to be rigged to just open and close. If you rig them so you can shape the line of the lids you can start to suggest things like \ / and / \ and _ / and \ _

 

 

Any character will benefit from shapeable eyelids, but this one especially so.

 

It may be too late to re-rig him for this spot, but for the future...

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This looks great. Nice gag. I wouldn't worry about a fancy render. They're mostly interested in the acting. And I also think it does fine without eyebrows. the body acting sells it.

 

I gave up on my entry because it was more than I had time to do. I was trying to get in some character practice for a paying project I was working on, but that's since been put on hold for a couple of months/forever, still waiting to hear.

 

Good luck! I'll vote for you when its time.

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Terrific! I particularly like the posture and acting when he says, "Well... it's dead exciting". I'm not so sure about the gestures when he says, "Let 'em fly", but that is probably just because I would expect him to make an upward gesture there. Of course from his pov he would be watching the bungie jumpers fly beneath him so you really do have him gesturing in the correct direction.

Best of luck with voting! :)

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It may be too late to re-rig him for this spot, but for the future...

He's currently rigged with sculptable eyelids, so I'll work on that tonight. See if I can capture some emotion there.

 

This looks great. Nice gag.... I gave up on my entry because it was more than I had time to do.

This has been a huge time consumer. Frustrating, rewarding, etc. Definitely tedious, but addicting. Sorry you had to scrap what you started. I've done that several times.

 

Terrific! I particularly like the posture and acting when he says, "Well... it's dead exciting". Best of luck with voting! :)

Thanks for the critique and the kind words. I wanted a different angle for this sound file than everyone else would be using. Don't know if this succeeds or not. Sometimes what works in my head doesn't translate well for others.

 

 

Is there a way I can make this bungee jumping gag work better with my existing animation? Possibly something different on the sign or in the background?

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Is there a way I can make this bungee jumping gag work better with my existing animation? Possibly something different on the sign or in the background?

 

Very cool, Mark! Extremely good job.

 

You could put another character impacting the ground horribly in the background...maybe with the bungee cord landing on top of him like it broke? Maybe too much work to add it...not as easy as just adding a sign.

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Is there a way I can make this bungee jumping gag work better with my existing animation? Possibly something different on the sign or in the background?

I think having the sign obscured by the character until the very end is what makes the gag work.

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You could put another character impacting the ground horribly in the background...maybe with the bungee cord landing on top of him like it broke? Maybe too much work to add it...not as easy as just adding a sign.

Hi David. I tried having a guy come down, hit the ground and recoil back up but it didn't work. It was a little creepy. Your idea of having the cord break is better, though. That could work well. I also thaought of having something else fall and hit the ground, as if it fell off the guy during his jump.

 

great character and animation

Thanks, John.

 

I think having the sign obscured by the character until the very end is what makes the gag work.

You're right, but there's got to be something with more impact/wit than what I currently have there. Any ideas?

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VERY GOOD! You need to remind us when to vote for it, for ya. MY only tweek- if I may...is I seemed to want to see his mouth making more of an 'O' phoneme from time to time. OTHER than that...it's great and should do well in the competition!

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What about a crumpled heap of bungee jumper in the background, balanced on his head, teetering a little. Then when your main character climbs the ladder the figure in the background topples over? Very little animating for the extra dimension.

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Well done... some gestures are a bit fast for my taste, but the motion is very fluid and quite believeable... nice job!

*Fuchur*

You're right. I slowed down the head nods and made them more subtle. Also slowed a few of the movements that preceded moving holds to make it look less like he "hits a wall".

 

You could maybe have the sign hanging on a bungee cord and break at end ,just a thought

I decided to just go with a new decal on the sign. Thanks for the idea, though, Steve.

 

VERY GOOD! You need to remind us when to vote for it, for ya. MY only tweek- if I may...is I seemed to want to see his mouth making more of an 'O' phoneme from time to time. OTHER than that...it's great and should do well in the competition!

Right about the 'O' phoneme. That's one of the hardest shapes for me to model. I'll have to work on the lipsync more tonight. Thanks.

 

What about a crumpled heap of bungee jumper in the background, balanced on his head, teetering a little. Then when your main character climbs the ladder the figure in the background topples over? Very little animating for the extra dimension.

I'll see if I have any time left for something like that. It's down to 48 hours. Good idea, Paul.

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Here's the latest update.

 

may_11_sec_29n_counter.mov

 

- Fixed moving holds so they don't "hit a wall" at the extremes.

- Made some asymmetry in mouth poses and worked on jaw movements. "O" pose still not great.

- Worked on eyelid asymmetry and expression (still needs work).

- Changed the sign wording.

- Improved head movements.

 

I'm open to feedback/suggestions. One day left!

 

Thanks

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I think that's a very promising clip. It doesn't have that floating from pose to pose look that most of these things do. It's clear you're aware of the challenge of showing weight and mass.

 

My favorite moment is when he launches himself up the ladder. Little things like the way his left heel sinks a bit when he puts his weight on that foot are nice touches.

 

Less certain are the moves he has to do when he is shifting from one foot to another or repositioning a foot. (some of those may be unintentional foot slips. I'm not sure.) Those are hard to do and hard to diagnose. The way he supports himself sometimes with his right arm helps to cover these up a bit.

 

 

I think the big pulling up gesture he does around 180+ would have served better to accent "see 'em back". Too late to change that now; that would be a major rework.

 

Does the right hand really need to be drifting from about 150-175?

 

 

I'm not real big on mouth shapes, but when you're doing a "w" word like "When you let..." you can probably make it stronger by doing an "oo" shape to precede the "wh", which is what we tend to do anyway. It gives you more of a place to go from than the resting mouth shape and should make the "wh" have a bit more hit to it.

 

some other notes:

 

strohbehmMP4.mov

 

(sorry, misspelled your name)

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Very well done.

Smooth.

Thanks!

 

Less certain are the moves he has to do when he is shifting from one foot to another or repositioning a foot. (some of those may be unintentional foot slips. I'm not sure.) Those are hard to do and hard to diagnose. The way he supports himself sometimes with his right arm helps to cover these up a bit.

 

I think the big pulling up gesture he does around 180+ would have served better to accent "see 'em back". Too late to change that now; that would be a major rework.

 

Does the right hand really need to be drifting from about 150-175?

Robert, thanks a ton for the great critique and video. Awesome!

 

The feet shifting from 208-220 is intentional to show weight. I don't like it when feet are stuck to the ground. There's a lot of small feet shifts that I've noticed in myself, but maybe the clip is too short for this.

 

The big shift on 180 was originally on "see 'em back", but I think what happened (now I see it) is that I did the lip sync exactly to the sound track, then actually slid the sound file forward instead of pulling the lipsync keys back. That screwed up the timing. Hmmm...

 

I think all of the pass-throughs happened after I splined this thing. I should have been more careful to check for that. In the linear stage it all worked. The elbow issues at 290 happened when I was adding more hip movement to the moving hold late last night and I didn't catch it.

 

The right hand slide on 150-175 was intentional, but if it looks like a mistake I'll take it out.

 

Your comments about hip motion from 325 on are great. I worked hard on this up until that point, then dropped the ball. Thanks for catching that!

 

Thanks again for the great help, Robert! I'll fix all of these things tonight.

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The feet shifting from 208-220 is intentional to show weight. I don't like it when feet are stuck to the ground. There's a lot of small feet shifts that I've noticed in myself, but maybe the clip is too short for this.

 

It's not that the strategy is bad. It helps keep the character alive. But hard to keep the weight on.

 

It's hard to have believable weight to begin with... and then to believably shift it... ouch.

 

It seems to take longer to polish small things than big things.

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Lookin' good! :)

 

 

It may be too late to get this in but you've really got to do something with that default ground plane. My attention got lost in the ground plane when it should have been on the character's face(!!!)

 

My first thought is to shorten the depth of it to create more 'sky' at the front.

That might even give the appearance of the ladder being on a thin (precariously balanced) platform.

It might add a sense of tension/danger to the scene.

 

Edit: Bringing the left side of the ground plane down vertically to make the ground angle upward toward the right would give the impression that the ladder and sign were there at the edge of a cliff. The eye would then be drawn up and around and back to the character.

 

None of this is animation related but... the composition is important.

 

Good luck with the competition!

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I like the animation, very smooth, my vote is for you...good luck in the contest

Thank very much!

 

Lookin' good! :)

 

 

It may be too late to get this in but you've really got to do something with that default ground plane. My attention got lost in the ground plane when it should have been on the character's face(!!!)

 

My first thought is to shorten the depth of it to create more 'sky' at the front.

That might even give the appearance of the ladder being on a thin (precariously balanced) platform.

It might add a sense of tension/danger to the scene.

 

Edit: Bringing the left side of the ground plane down vertically to make the ground angle upward toward the right would give the impression that the ladder and sign were there at the edge of a cliff. The eye would then be drawn up and around and back to the character.

 

None of this is animation related but... the composition is important.

 

Good luck with the competition!

Hi Rodney. Great ideas on composition. Wish I had an extra 2 days, but I'll see what I can do in 2 hours. Thanks!

 

Mark

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Hey Rodey, your suggestions were great and very timely. I deleted the ground plane and added a large cylinder, shifted off to the side so it looks like they're near a steep drop off. The effect is just as you described. Hopefully it won't be distracting anymore.

 

The entry is submitted and no time for changes now. Funny how the finality of it suddenly gives me a keaner eye for things I would have done differently. My goal for this was to FINISH an entire animation for once! Learned a ton and had fun, so I'm satisfied.

 

Here's the finished piece:

 

post-3082-1243824657_thumb.jpg

 

may_11_sec_31k_final_with_counter.mov

 

Thanks, everyone, for your encouragement and help. Great people, here!

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I like your solution Mark.

It complements the action, directs the eye to the character and allows the viewer to interpret the up and the down of it all with their own imagination. Works for me!

 

Go get 'em!

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The final product came out great!!!!!

Thanks, George. I was looking at some of the previous competition entries and even the middle-of-the-pack animations are outstanding, so I don't have huge expectations. Hopefully it will hold up OK.

 

Thats looking GOOD ,where do we vote ?

The 11 second club website has a voting section. You rate each animation (I think over 160 this month) on a 1-10 scale. I think you need to rate every clip for your votes to be registered, so it's a long process.

 

I like your solution Mark.

Go get 'em!

Well, it was your idea. Thanks again for that, Rodney. It'll be fun to see other people's take on the audio clip.

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks, Robert and David. I had hoped for a much better showing, but my clip didn't have enough interesting content to make it stand out. It was a great learning experience, though. Thanks, again, for your feedback during the process.

 

The second and third place finishers got ripped off, in my opinion. Both were so much better than the winner, it was a shame.

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The second and third place finishers got ripped off, in my opinion. Both were so much better than the winner, it was a shame.

 

Look at it this way... the guy who won needed the free crit more. ;)

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Ashamed to say I'm just seeing this for the first time, Mark. Well done! This is the challenge I tried to do, but it was way beyond my skills. I'd have voted if I was more on top of things.

 

I had decided to sharpen my character skills when I got an animation commission a few months back, and thought the Eleven Second Club would be a good stepping stone, then the commission got canceled, so I didn't really have the incentive to make time for it.

 

Again, nice work, and keep it up. I'll try to stay more abreast of it.

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Thanks, Gerry.

 

The experience of having a deadline and a lot of critical viewers was a great motivator to actually complete a project and try to make it decent. It was satisfying to finish one, finally. The whole process is good to go through at least once, because you learn so much about workflow.

 

Give it a try in the future if you have some spare time. One suggestion would be to go back to the 11 Second Club archives for whatever month and go through every single animation in rapid succesion. You'll quickly see what sets the interesting clips apart from the others. I found that if they didn't capture my attention within the first 2 or 3 seconds it was too late. Wish I'd done this myself before spending a whole month on the project!

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