Advance Body Mechanics and Workflows
This is the second class of iAnimate’s Game Animation Workshops out of four. I took this class with Kevin Rucker, in the winter of 2017-2018. Over the course of the class, there were three assignments in total, walk cycle, run cycle, and death.
First, we learned how to do a walk cycle. For reference we used rhinohouse.com. There is a wide variety of footage, with multiple angles and good tools to help refine our animations. In Maya, we learned how to set up scripts to select controls more efficiently and how to transfer animation from one side of the body to the other, example animation from the left leg to right leg.
After the walk cycle, we moved on to the run cycle. This assignment was similar to the walk cycle. We used rhinohouse.com as reference video. The similarities in assignments gave us a new opportunity to master our skills and tools that we learned from the walk cycle.
Finally, we moved onto the death animation. Things were different this time, rhinohouse.com wasn’t used for reference and the animation wouldn’t loop. For my reference, I borrowed my friend’s camera’s and film myself. Getting the footage to match up took some planning. The cameras were propped up on chairs equal distance from the stage area. Once they were ready I shot a few different ideas of death animation. I imported the two different angles into Maya to help me rotoscope the blocking.
Animation and Game Principles
This is the first iAnimat class I took. It was instructed by Brent George in the fall of 2017. In this workshop, we learned about Unreal Engine 4. The main thing I learned how to do was import our animations and set up animation states to make sure they work in the game. Our class was split up into two sections during the twelve weeks. The first half was focused on the principles of animation and general Maya use, while the second half was focused on character animation and the Unreal Engine.
Our first assignment was the ball bounce exercise. I chose to use a marble as my type of ball. Used two old phones to shoot multiple angles for reference and imported this footage into Maya to help rotoscope.
The second assignment was a UFO animation where we were exposed to the 12 principles of animation. We could use the provided model or make our own. I decided to rig an old model I made before class. This was one of my first exercises using animation layers in Maya. The animation layers helped achieve the UFO’s floating/hovering effect.
After the UFO we started to move onto character animation. The third assignment was a jump and we used the rig Tots. It was interesting using this character because I usually animate humans or creatures. Tots is one of the most cartoony characters I have animated. For reference, we watch a lot of human jumps and then applied the notes to Tots.
The UFO assignment was the last assignment of the first section of the class. For the last six weeks, we got to choose a rig and make animations for them. We did multiple idle states and a couple of movement cycles. When we finished the animations we would import them into Unreal Engine and connect them to our animation states.
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