Following on from yesterday's exercises, we first went ahead and posed a character (provided by McAllister) in a 'neutral' pose. Not moving or do anything in particular but just not completely still; nobody is every completely still.That plays a huge part in the believability of characters, especially with background ones that you're not meant to notice.

After we were happy with the pose (keeping in mind a specific gender) we were asked to start a walk cycle. I posed my character as a female due to the better reference material I collected yesterday. The walk I had in mind involved the character holding something, say a coffee cup (pictured, right).

The walk needed to use a mix of our reference footage  and our own belief in the character. We were encouraged throughout the exercise to stand up and really feel the character (calm down, mentally 'feel') and imagine where their balance would be.
After we completed a few steps, we developed the walk into five steps and then to stop, again in a still pose.

I found it near impossible to not let the tools control how my character walked. Having next to no experience in animating, it became clear how software can limit your acting if you're not really feeling the character. Susannah and Alistair constantly encouraged us to get out of our seats and walk around as our character.

Pretty much straight away I realised that I needed much better reference material so I filmed a classmate against a more neutral background so I could analyse the footage easier. Once I had this footage I found the exercise a little easier but still had a lot trouble with the movement of the hips and the timing and spacing of the steps.

If I were to begin this exercise again, Id have originally collected better references and then use that to plan on paper the key poses of the cycle and then decide which key-frames those poses would fall on.

A successful product of this exercise would be if someone were able to tell (without any defining features) whether your character is male or female.

The most important information I will take away from today, in terms of walk cycle, is that when you lift your heel off the ground your foot hangs almost like a piece of meat until it's placed back in front of you. Also, when stopping a character, actually when starting doing anything with your character, you need to think WHY is this person doing this. With a purpose you can much more easily imagine what the character's thought process is.

The exercise reminded how much I really don't enjoy animating, however was really valuable in learning the importance of observation.

There is a big difference between watching someone walk and watching how someone walks.

Stay Classy x

Thanks to Steph for the sassy walk reference

Here's my shocking first walk attempt:

*error uploading, will try again at home*

Reminds me of this.. anyone? 


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