Sunday, October 12, 2008

Testing, 1, 2, 3. . .

(E here - Ian and I worked out that he should do the next post if I did this one.)

In the last few days, we've been gone over a few scenes (added a few), and run a few more short animations. The cast now consists of a main character, three supporting characters, two minor characters and a multitude of people in the background. Two (well, two and a half, really) of the characters are short little guys with short little legs, which, having no joints as you can see in the picture, are next to impossible to animate in a walking sequence. Even though we don't actually own any short legs as of yet (gonna wait until the script is finished before ordering, just in case we need to change the color or something). . . I was thinking yesterday that it might be a good idea to try animating a 'short-person walk sequence' anyway. (I got around the fact that we don't have any short legs by substituting a grey 1x2 brick in for the legs, which is pretty the same size and shape and, like the real thing, doesn't 'move' at all.)

The 'walk cycle' consists of substituting slanted bricks in for moving legs after every frame to give the illusion of movement. (Not entirely convincing, but hey, it works.)

video

About halfway into the clip, I'd realized I didn't have a full-height minifigure in the screen to compare the girl next to! I desperately didn't want to have animate another test character walking into the screen just for comparison so I 'cheated' and had him teleport in instead. (That proved to be the funnest part of the clip)
The whole thing took about a little over an hour for me to shoot, and has a runtime of twelve seconds. (The day before, Ian created an other animation in the same amount of time, but it was thirty-three seconds long. I don't know how that kid is twice as fast as I am! I would upload it here, but the uploader doesn't seem to be working. . .)

Speaking of Ian, he's done a few other test sequences in the last few months that I haven't posted on here. This one I had given him as a challenge; he had three test characters and a sandwich bag of 'props' (guns, swords, flags, radios, etc.), and the objective to to make a scene using the whole shebang.
The point of the challenge had been to get some more actions and expressions out of the characters by using the props, but Ian, seeing as I hadn't exactly clarified on the criteria of the clip (I'd only said to use the whole bag; nothing about how to use it), he found a quicker and easier way to meet the challenge.

video

. . . and he always seems to end every clip he makes with a short fight.

We're getting there, but what I still don't get is how come he can use the same amount of time as I do to animate something, and still wind up with something else twice as long. (Maybe this is God's way of telling me to work harder on the script and leave the animating to someone else.)

- E

3 comments:

  1. I have a question: if you are going to be using using "real" short legs, how are you going to do the slanted brick/legs trick without replacing the character's entire lower half with 1x1 bricks? Are you going to cut a pair of legs in half or something?

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  2. Well we decided to use basic 1x1 bricks for when their walking since you can't bend the short legs. And when they're standing or holding still we can use just regular short legs.
    We're not going to cut anything, just swap the legs out for bricks when he takes a step, and when he stops, the bricks are replaced by legs. Make sense?

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  3. Yes. Thanks very much.

    BTW, I like the teleporter.

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