(This post contains details about the work I did between the dates 30th of January to the 19th of February)

During my initial two weeks of my Game Practical Project, I spent my time coming up with and then finalising my project idea and plan. I have decided to create an animation short  using a 30 second audio clip.

I decided to use both a premade rig and audio from a pre-existing product, so I can focus purely on the animation and not on creating the character and audio as that can take up a significant section of my limited time during the Game Practical Project.

Through the project, I will be focusing on developing the portrayal of emotions through the characters movements and facial expressions. To make sure I will do this effectively, I will be studying facial animation, body movement and acting. To help with this, I have selected a number of books to help me with my studying.

  • ‘Stop Staring’ by Jason Osipa
  • ‘Animating facial features & expressions’ by David J. Kalwick
  • ‘The Uncanny Valley in Games and Animation’ by Angela Tinwell
  • ‘The Animators Survival Kit’ by Richard E. Williams
  • ‘Character animation fundamentals: developing skills for 2D and 3D character animation’ by Steve Roberts
  • ‘Acting for Animators’ by Ed Hooks
  • ‘Acting and Performance for Animation’ by Derek Hayes and Chris Webster

I will be developing the animation from audio, so I will have to create storyboards to help me visualise what I will want for the audio clips. This will additionally help me, for if I have the time to create a second clip, I can go back to my storyboards and select one of them to animate.

I’ve highlighted all the details of my plan in my project proposal, which I hand in on Friday the 10th of February. Using the deadline dates, I have created a timetable of the time I have to work on for this project, and a rough gant chart that gives me a good idea on how long each aspects of my project will take.

timetable1

gant_chart_3

Once I came up with my project idea I found a number of potential audio clips I could use for my project. I’ve placed a link to the selected audio clips below:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B77LVsdmypGvRzRGLVdCN25DRms

I also obtained a number of rigs that I could have potentially used for my final animation piece. I was limited to the number of rigs I could use as the majority of high-quality rigs with facial animation are made emax_rigxclusively for Maya, but I have found one rig that I can use which has the degree of control which I need for my project, the Max rig.
Available at: http://www.3dluvr.com/clisk3d/

The only problem with the rig I have chosen (Max Rig), is that due to the way it has been only one version of the rig can be present in a scene. So if I edit my final piece to include another character, I’ll either have to split the screen into two half’s with one for each character, or have the other character in separate shots from the initial character.

 

Plan for the next week:

During the next week I intend to create a number of storyboards that link to my audio clips, so I can decide which clip I will be using. I will also be continuing my study into facial animation and acting.

 

 

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