Sunday, September 13, 2009

Schmitty Walk cycle



Watch it in HD if you like. It's extra tasty at full rez.
This is just a generic walk for Schmitty. Walks are like chicken broth. You don't ever eat plain chicken broth, but it's the basis for a lot of tasty recipes. Walks should be adjusted for moment, character, emotion, physical limitations, etc.
On a technical note I'm exploring some new techniques for mixing up the shading texture as well as distressing the mesh silhouette in order to make a more "hand crafted" feel. I'm working on some other tests that will show that better which I hope to share soon.

13 comments:

Virgilio Vasconcelos said...

Cool test, Keith! :)

Animated Character said...

Beautiful. Any hints about shading texture technique?

Keith Lango said...

@AC:
Thx. I wrote a MEL script that analyzes if there is any value change on a selected controller for the body (say the COG). If there is no change in value from the previous frame then it leaves the texture alone for the current frame. If there is a value change for the controller (ie: the character has moved some) then the script will go through various texture nodes and change placement, some ambient values, etc. The reason I have the script evaluate whether there has been a change or not is because in this style I'm using I employ a lot of held drawings- often for 3, 4 or even 5 frames. If the character isn't moving I don't want the texture swimming on him. I only want the texture the change if the actual pose changes. This approach might evolve a bit as I find more success with the mesh distress technique. The goal of that would be to achieve a kind of CG 'squiggle-vision' to keep a held pose alive without setting additional keys.

Omar said...

Haha, It almost looks like he's waddling with the arms working with his legs instead of countering them.
Very cool

Tim said...

I noticed that, too. WHat is in his character that makes him swing his arms with, rather than against his legs?

Keith Lango said...

@Omar & Tim:
I didn't set out to make his arms lead his legs into their move, but when I shifted the spacing around a bit I just felt like it fit him. He's a no-nonsense kind of character, but not in the typical type-A mold. He's laid back, but not in a surfer dude slacker sort of way. Very practical, worldly-wise, Texan accent- a low key guy who sees through the haze, but doesn't let the silliness of what's there bother him. He's an optimistic guy, but not a naive guy. His hands leading his legs seemed to capture this sense of optimism, like he's reaching into life before he gets there, but not in a way that is naive or dimwitted. And that's about as far as I think I'll go with it. :)

Daniel Harriman said...

I like this style that you're playing with. It grows on you.
Its a funny thing about watching these Otto/Schmitty animations. They make me smile...although not immediately.

At first you look at it and think, "Hey that's too jerky!". And it is jerky but the thing is, it is unashamedly so. If I just relax and enjoy the clips for what they are...that's when I smile. :)

Its always great to see something fresh!

sunny kharbanda said...

Hey Keith,

The "mesh distressing" that you talk about.. is that the subtle ripple going through his torso? Really interesting!

The texture shifts weren't all that obvious to me, even in the HD version, but I totally get what you describe as the "squiggle-vision" thing. I'd love to see how it looks on a held pose.

Great spacing on the torso and head. The spacing on the arms made them feel a bit too deliberate - but that could be in contrast with the laid-back facial expression and the really close head spacing.

Or maybe it's just too early in the morning.

Keith Lango said...

@sunny:
The rippling is indeed what I'm talking about with the distortion. The texture cycle is very evident on the non-compressed original, but the YouTube compression really knocks back a lot of that detail. I may experiment with making the textures more obvious in the primary render so that in the delivery platform (most likely YouTube or other online streaming) it shows up. But then it might just be a matter of distance from the camera. The arm spacing is a bit too even, though- I do agree on that.

Keith Lango said...

@Daniel:
Yeah, it is definitely jerky, and I find myself fighting the inner urge to smooth it out all the time. But as long as it's entertaining and expressive I'm happy with it. I think CG animation over-focuses on polish. It's an easy thing to do because the default tools and her popular product in CG allow polish on a level that most other mediums have difficulty in matching. But I'm trying to find a producable, one-man-band kind of look, so something's gotta give. I've made the (unashamed) choice of trading labor intensive polish in favor of keeping the original energy of a moment. Funny thing, most non-animators I show this stuff to like it a lot more than my highly polished "pro" work. There's something about the rougher, more visceral vibe that people like.

Josh Bowman said...

Totally understand your love of the rough look. I find that even though I animate in CG I prefer watching traditional pencil animation and stop motion any day over the smooth highly polished CG stuff.

This is one of the reasons Miyazaki has resisted moving into digital, traditional media really gives a richness and texture to animation that can't automatically be achieved in CG.

Jerzy said...

i really like it, specially because this break the traditional rules, Im a rule breaker!!!
good job Keith!!!

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