Saturday, September 6, 2008

Walking backward.


The other day, I decided to rig up a make-shift test set for a few walking sequences I knew we were badly in need of running. (Ever wonder how I procrastinate before a math test? I was busy sorting bricks the night before.) I picked up a green city baseplate and pieced together a small building, then quickly dressed the set with whatever I had on hand.
(If you haven't noticed, those large not-building lego objects behind the set are the torsos from my last sculpture which had been collecting dust in my closet for the last several years. You see, I needed something to go in the background, and since after recently disassembling all of our other buildings so as to sort and tally the bricks, the only other things left were a pirate fortress, a medieval fort, and a rainbow-colored studio set [the one we used for our 'Happy Birthday' film].)


That little person posed there next to the (trashcan? light fixture?) was a draft for one of the main characters. (She's just undergone a major overhaul along with the rest of the characters.) I picked her for this animation because heh, she's really one of the only ones I'd been doing a lot of work on, and thus the only figure with a head, arms, and legs. (The others were incomplete.)
Since we still need to get a decent camera especially for brickfilming, I had to use the family's digital camera. A couple hours, wads of of blu-tack, DVD-and-VHS tape-tripods later, I finally came up with a 5-second animation which was sloppy enough to not post here in entirety. No onionskinning; just 82 frames running at 15 fps (frames-per-second) and my computer mouse jumping around like crazy. (I really need to get a new one.)
Terrible really, especially when you consider that I'd forgotten to lower the picture size. (I'd been wondering why it was taking so long to load.)

Yesterday, I was going over the animation with Jay when I noticed something odd: the sequence looked different when I played the frames backwards.

Here's the original (trimmed) sequence we were going over (17 frames running at 12 fps) :
video

And here's the same thing backwards:
video


That's when it dawned on me: She's leaning the wrong way!
When walking forward, a person typically leans backward slightly. When walking backward, you lean forward. I'd done the entire sequence the wrong way!

After a short laugh and a repetition of one of our lesser-known favorite phrases ("Backwards, backwards, backwards!" from the book Phantom of the Opera), Jay and I jotted the note down and went on with the sequence.

Today I rewrote the movie's summary and altered the entire cast of characters. Ian wasn't thrilled.

- E

1 comment:

  1. I've actually found that Lego people look best with their torsos erect when walking forward, just because of their shape. They look a little off-balance leant back.

    This all looks very interesting. I'll make sure to be following along.

    ReplyDelete