Monday, 22 February 2010

Tennis Refining Pass

Have worked really hard on the tennis shot, putting in a lot of hours over the weekend. I'm starting to see it come together but there are still alot of areas that need more work. I think the beginning is starting to work, but the running backwards and the fall still have plenty of room for improvement. I'm glad I was able to really put the hours in, but it's a little frustrating to spend so much time working on it, and only see it improve infinitesimally!

Agreed with feedback last week about it all being too fast, so I cut the racquet spin. Was really sorry to have to let that go as it was one of my favourite parts, and I felt it really added to the character. However, I think the shot as a whole is working better now it's got some more time, and that's what counts.

By the way, I've removed the ball at the end as I needed to re-position it, but didn't have time. It will be re-instated for the final!

Thanks a lot for stopping by, let me know what you think!

Tennis - refining from Sarah Knight on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Tennis - next pass

Here's the next pass at my tennis shot. It's starting to come together (complete with new ending now), but still got a long way to go.
However, I thought I'd post it for those interested in seeing my progress - hoping the next pass should be a LOT better! (... I hope)

Still need to work on the hands in a lot of places, and the fall is supposed to be a lunge at the tennis ball that's out of reach, rather than a pathetic stab at the tennis ball that's practically at his feet.

Tennis blocking plus from Sarah Knight on Vimeo.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Anyone for tennis?

Right, in an effort to keep these posts regular, here is the blocking pass for my next shot. I thought a tennis serve would be pretty cool body mechanics to study, and I also really wanted to do a fall. I think falls are pretty hard to get right, and I fancied taking on that challenge. As you'll see below, falls are hard, and mine still isn't reading properly! T. Dan made some great suggestions in his critique though, about where the weight is coming from and how it would probably work better if the hop to screen right started from further over, to allow a greater weight shift across. So I'll try to apply that in the next pass.

So this is the blocking pass I submitted on Sunday. However, since submitting, I discovered I really needed to have paid more attention to some tricky little things called constraints (that allow characters to hold things). Holding is fine, but letting go ... that's were I came unstuck (unfortunately the racquet didn't, which is the problem!). So basically I had to learn about how to set them up, and then discovered that it messed up all previous animation.
So I ended up spending a precious day off, re-blocking out the arms. And they still don't look as good as they did originally! Grrrrrr.

So anyway, this is how it looked before I had to re-do it. Once the re-done stuff is looking ok, I'll post that too. Sill need to do a final polish pass on the Monkey Bars, but they'll make an appearance at some point too.

Tennis serve 1st blocking pass from Sarah Knight on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Oscar nominations

Really exciting news about the oscar nominations - Pixar's Up, an animated feature film, has been nominated for Best Picture! This is only the second time (well .. joint second if you count Avatar?!) that this has happened, and I believe this is the first time since the Best Animated Feature category was introduced. This is such fantastic news, as it means that animated films are being taken seriously as films, rather than just "cartoons" or whatever people think they are. This can only be good news for the industry, and it's really exciting that Up is getting the recognition so many of us believe it deserves. (Best Picture is one of 5 nominations).

It's also great to see a variety in the Best Animated Feature nominations - stop motion, hand drawn, as well as CG, reflecting a great year for animation. I'm delighted to see that Disney's re-entry into the world of 2D animation (The Princess and the Frog) has been recognized as well. However, I was disappointed that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs didn't get a nomination, as I thought that was a great film. But on a positive note, it's great to see that Wallace and Gromit are still up there with the best in the animated shorts category!

So all in all, a very exciting time. I would watch Up in celebration, but as it still hasn't made it to DVD in the UK yet, I'll have to settle for listening to the Oscar nominated soundtrack...