Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Study Task 2 - Animating Skills

For this task, I had to create five animations, using scenes that were already created for our group, that showed my understanding of the tasks, these were:

+ Turntable - use camera animation in Maya.
+ Pendulum - needs to have an ease in and out.
+ Overlapping action - showing a continuation of animation when the object has stopped - secondary animation - use the swinging pendulum.
+ Bouncy Balls - example of squash and stretch -  use of portraying different materials, how would these react if dropped from a height?
+ Anticipation - showing the momentum before the main action - use the ball scene to create this theme.

I found animating the swinging pendulum the most difficult to achieve due to creating a smooth follow of the overlapping action. At first I planned out the key frames much like if I was animating a pendulum, and then worked on the animation of the individual segments of the pendulum.  I found that getting the curve of the individual segments the most difficult, and showing the following animation of each part, each needed to follow at a different time. I found that using the Graph editor and moving the graph for each segment slightly behind one another worked, however when I changed some of the rotation of the segments to make it more contoured, the animation went fast and rotated the whole pendulum. I realised that I had chosen the wrong control on the graph and to solve the problem I had encountered, I had to move the tangents slightly and move the particular segment I had altered back to its original place on the graph. 

Animating the pendulum was easy compared to the swinging pendulum as it only involved animating the whole object. As the pendulum swings to a stop, I wanted to show the ease out of the momentum which I achieved by adding less key frames to make the movement slower. I could have also edited the movement by adding ease in and out tangents with the graph editor. 

For the squash and stretch, I wanted to show a normal bounce and one made from a completely different material that is dropped and is squashed from the collision with the ground. I achieved the squash and stretch by using the non linear deformer 'squash'. This created a handle in which I was able to squash and stretch the polygon, allowing me to animate with key frames.

The turntable was by far the easiest theme to animate as all I had to animate is the camera rather than the model itself. I found that the easiest way to animate the camera for the turntable, is to use Maya's preset and focus the turntable on something that the model is standing on, rather than the model itself. Focusing the turntable on the model doesn't make the camera rotate as smoothly around the frame, it doesn't contain all of the model as well as focusing on the stand that the model is on. For the turntable I used a model that I would be using more of in my acting up animation. 

To make the anticipation, I needed to show momentum before the main action that I would be animating. I used the main model shape from the squash and stretch theme, using a squash and stretch use of animation to show the ball bounce off the frame. I made the anticipation before the bounce slower than normal as to emphasize the kinetic energy behind the movement. I achieved the motion blur through the render settings, which I believed helped to show the momentum from the anticipation.

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