Sunday, 19 May 2013

Major Project Evaluation...

So, it's been a almost a month since I did the last update, I've been very busy with Major Project, which is what I am now here to talk about!


The journey with 'ECHOES' has been an awesome project, even though we are all glad to see the back of it now, haha. It allowed us to work together to create something that we couldn't even make a fraction of by ourselves, and thanks to Ruth's Directing and her and Joe's Unity skills, we've actually made a game! It allowed me to animate a vast array of different creatures, which was great for my personal taste and my showreel. I also enjoyed doing some game rigging for the 'Bark Basher' character, and animating his complex anatomy was a challenge, but good to put me out of my comfort zone. 'ECHOES' has definitely improved me as an animator overall, and made me realize I have a fondness for creature animation.


I took over a shot and a walk cycle for Rachel Williams quite late in the project, but surprisingly I enjoyed animating in a tighter time frame. I wish I could have made the 'Shot_18' animation a bit better, as I was quite limited by the trunk following the monkey, but having to do a limited animation like that was a good challenge. The walk cycle was enjoyable to do as it was going back to the creature animation I like to do, and I have never animated a huge creature like an Elephant before, which added more diversity to my animations. Overall I wish I could have improved them a bit before having to hand them over to Rachel, but I was happy with how the walk cycle turned out!


I had been looking at the Tiny rig on Creative Crash for awhile now, so it was a rig I was keen to try for my personal project this year. I would have used the Nico rig as I think he's awesome, but as I already had a lot of creature animation in my reel, I wanted to do a body mechanic piece with a 2-legged character, which Tiny was perfect for.

As for the rig, it produced really nice animation, although it was a bit daunting at first to get used to all of the controls. I also noticed that you could break his hands very easily while attempting to get to know what moves what, and his wrists would twist when the elbow was pulled or had high values on them. The rig file was also huge, so that if I tried to delete him from the scene it would crash Maya, so he could be a little awkward to animate with and move, but he was still a good rig.

As for the animation, I was quite satisfied with it, but I would have liked to have improved it more. It was also annoying that his teeth didn't render! GGRR. Oh well. Again, the sequence was definitely another challenge to completed the jumps and slides, as was difficult at first, but again it was enjoyable to animate and I liked the challenge.


To conclude, I think I have challenged myself a bit with this major project, and wanted to do animations that I hadn't done before. I discovered that I like creature animation above character animation and would like to pursue this, and I enjoy working to a shorter time limit, a challenge which I thinks improves my skill. Overall I think this Major Project, while long (as sometimes soul destroying...), has been darn good, and I have enjoyed animating it. :)

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