(This post contains details on the work completed between 27/3/17 – 9/4/17)
During these two weeks I made some significant updates to my animation. The updates can be broken down into three key areas:
- Smoothing the Animation
- Updating the Facial Animation
- Changing Problem Poses and Timings
Updating the Facial Animation
There were two aspects I focused on when updating the facial animation, adding blinking and updating the mouth shapes to add extra emotion and asymmetry in the characters expressions throughout the clip.
For up to this point, I had just set up the base shapes of the mouth to show what they were saying, but not show what they were feeling. The eyebrow positions I had previously set up nicely outlined the characters expressions, but the addition of the mouth shapes really helped express how the character’s feeling during the clip.
You’ll also notice that in a number of the comparisons, the eyebrow positions have also changed. This was because when editing the mouth expressions, I realised the eyebrows weren’t showing the expression I wanted at that point in time, so I changed them to express the emotion I want them to show at that point in time.
Smoothing the Animation
After updating the facial expressions, I then moved onto smoothing the characters movements. As you can see in previous videos, when setting up the key poses I used stepped keys. So they only moved once they reached the next key, instead of smoothly transitioning to the next position.
As you can see in the image above, once I went into the curve editor, the movement now had an easing in and out of key poses, so the character would now move smoothly between poses and expressions.
Changing Problem Poses
Due to the differences between Stepped and Curved Animation, there were a number of issues that came up in the characters movement that I had to change or fix.
For some of the characters movements moved too fast once ease-in and ease out was added, where as that wasn’t a problem during the stepped animation phase. This meant I had to remove and change some minor movements and poses, for the character to continue to move naturally through the clip.
One of the biggest changes I made was the replacement of the face palm with a sigh backwards. While in stepped keys, the face-palm action looked fine, but once I smoothed out the transitions, I found that it took up too much time to enter the pose, so I instead changed it to a sigh back into the chair.
My current animation and a rough version of the update notes for work between weeks 7-10 can be seen in the video below: