I wanted to do, what was supposed to be a quick test of character animation. And in the end, I worked on it for two month.
I basically did everything,
- I designed the character. I wanted to have a very simple character, almost flat and I went for a playing card with some paper legs pined to the card and cartoonish arms.
- I rigged the character by following the tutorials I got on the Cinema 4D DVD [yes the Rabbit from Wipix. Cool tutorials, very informative, but I was annoyed by the use of english words in the french version]
- Then I animated the whole thing into a plate I shot and matchmoved. 4 shots from 3 rushes with for each, a different challenge. The first and last shot was a basic "free camera", the second was a nodal pan and the third was a [almost] locked off camera.
- For the animation I filmed myself doing the most "complex" parts [like getting up]. It might be obvious for experienced animators, but for me, it was impossible to understand the timing and every move that came with what I wanted my character to do.
When I found that there was no way for the hands or feet to stay locked in certain places when I was moving the rest of the body, I also used the PSR constraint to pin them down.
Overall, it's still a test, so it's far from perfect. The rigging and especially the skinning could have been better thought of, the animation looks a bit stiff and almost stop motiony from time to time [which is not necessarily a bad thing]. The matchmove have a few frames that are a bit wobbly and the compositing and rotoscoping could use some work. Since there was some interaction with the glass/candle, I should have rendered it with a transparent shader so that I still see the whole character when behind the glass, this way I could still have the shadow and ambient occlusion interacting with it. And then make a separate quick render in order to get its matte. Maybe in a future update, I don't know.
So yeah, I'm not ready to take on Pixar or anything, and it's not my goal, but I learned a lot and found the whole animation process tedious but exciting and I always love it when I come with my own solutions to a problem. even if it's the obvious way to go, I always enjoy finding my own way to reinvent the wheel. The worst part is still the rigging, I never thought so much work came into that stage of character animation. And I avoided rigging the face of my character, which looked even more complex and time consuming than the body.
Still, I'm quite happy with the end result.
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