Here is my updated planner as per normal.
Disaster has hit. I am finding the rigged model I was originally planning to use has not been rigged well enough to make it do half of the stuff I am needing just like with my own one. This has caused me to make the hard decision to find a new model to begin my animation on. Looking around at freely available models I have chosen a new one to quickly whip my animation up on.
I am switching to the below model as after having a look at it I have found that it is very well rigged and I can do everything I need to on it. It is CC-BY-NC copyright which means that I am allowed to use it for non commercial purposes. This suits me just fine.
The first animation I am performing is that of walking. I am starting the character off standing in a relaxed position and then starting to walk from this.
To start with I am only inserting key frames every 5 frames. If I find time later on I shall endeavour to revisit the walking and fine tune it, but for now I need to press on with the rest of the actions to ensure I have enough time to complete everything. The areas I have taken care to observe while creating this walk cycle are some of the following:
- Twisting of the hips as each leg moves forward.
- Tilting of shoulders back and forward in direction of arms as they swing.
- Lifting of body as legs push off and lowering as each step forward is taken.
- Slight tilting of upper body and head as each step is taken in the direction of the leading foot.
- Swinging opposing arm as each step forward is taken with the arm swing being just a bit behind in timing.
- Bending of toes as foot lifts.
- Heel landing first after a step forward with toes being last to make touch with the ground.
- Rear foot lifting a bit before it comes forward.
Now that I am up to non walking animations I am finding there are plenty of images but not really any videos that are completely useful so I’ve resorted to something that will get what I am needing. I have recorded myself performing the specific actions needed in the animation and studying the recordings, using them to learn the various steps needed to perform each animation.
For this first one I videoed myself turning to the right, the movements of which I have been studying and have successfully working on the character.
For this second I am wanting to have my character do a stretch so I videoed myself doing one to reference. 🙂
The final animation action is the kneel. Once again I videoed myself performing the action then studying the stages I undertook to get to the ground I took my character step by step through the same movements. Below are shots of several different stages in my kneeling of the character.
This I found to be one of the more complicated actions to create. Various things I had to consider as I created the action were:
- One leg takes the weight as crouching happens while other one goes back and bends the knee to the ground.
- With first knee on the ground the second has to swing out a bit as it gets brought back and down.
- Arms swing out for balance then back in once both knees have made contact.
- Body straightens and sit back onto the legs in kneeling position.
With this completed I finished off with setting up the camera and its various shots and movements. For the walking I set it to move vertically at the same rate as the character and then when the character stopped I set it to pan down on an angle and then orbit around her while she kneels by 180 degrees to show her kneeling and staring off into the ocean.
Now at this stage there is no ocean or land but my brother who excels at the modelling side of Blender quickly whipped up a rough land and ocean scene for my character to move around in. I figured this was alright since this isn’t a modelling course and there are no marks in the assessment for the scenery. 🙂
So I could have a sky I quickly grabbed an HDRI image and followed a tutorial to learn how to set up a sky box in the node editor. Below are snippets of my character in the roughly created scene.
With the animation and scene done all that is left to do is render the animation. With this I am very fortunate as both my brother and I have powerful computers so I split the frames in half (total of 540) and had each computer render half of the animation.
Just before rendering I had to add in a few setting such as:
- Set the render engine to cycles and to render on the GPU.
- Set desired sample sizes which in my case I decided 200 was sufficient.
- Ensure the render resolution was the required of 1920 x 1080.
And I am done. There are a few things I would love to do better had I the time such as refine the walk cycle and improve how I pan the camera but I am sadly out of time.
One thing also I found weird is there is a glow on the charcters skin when it is near the sand. I think it is something to do with the light bouncing off of the sand but I have not the time to look into this so had to leave as is.
Overall I am quite happy with the animation. It turned out far better than I expected and I learn some very useful tricks in Blender along the way. Now to write my professionalism reflection and I am done. 🙂 The professionalism reflection I am creating a separate post for.
Below is my completed planner. Yay 🙂