June 12th, 2018:

Updated: Jun 13, 2018

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018:

DAY 02:

None of the animation leads (supervisors) are in today due to either working from home, or they are at E3 this week. So I'm shadowing Brandon again! We are continuing with the shot that we were doing yesterday (the combo shot for one of the video games we are working on), and I realize I need to do a lot of documentation reading on MotionBuilder. I've worked with it for about 2 years now, but haven't gotten the amount of knowledge out of it that is required to succeed in the industry, so I'm going to prioritize that while I work today, and follow his lead.

As I watch Brandon work, I see that he looks for overshoots, ease in, jittery data (which may or may not be necessary to keep from the original mocap), and where that data is hitting walls or 'pops'.

Today, with the combo shot, we have the blocking done. So moving forward we are cleaning and polishing the animation, but bit by bit. ALWAYS FIRST start with the hips. Clean. The. Hips. They are the center of gravity where all of the data stems from in motion capture data. We clean, then bake, clean, then bake. We are doing this through the FCurve section of MotionBuilder, and Brandon has taught me to use the 'save buffer' tool. Essentially this is so that if we clean data, and down the line find out we have screwed up, we don't have to Ctrl+Z 500 steps, because the 'save buffer' tool allows you to continue working with the data, but also see what the original data curve looked like and directly go back to it.


KEYS: Sometimes also in the FCurve tab, when you use the hot key S to make a key for the animation, it has a gimbal and throws your animation all out of wack. So Brandon suggests if that happens, Ctrl+Z that error and rather just insert a key manually.

ORDER: After cleaning the hips, move on to either the chest (torso area) or the feet (only if those are completely bonkers). In cleaning these, Translate and Rotate fight each other on everything, so turn off on in the IK Blend, do the cleaning, bake it, then turn it back on, turn off the other, do the cleaning, and bake. Don't try to do both at once because that reads as doing almost 50% IK from both the Translate and Rotate and your data won't know which one to favor.

MOTION TRAIL: He also showed me a tool, which almost would remind me of the motion trail tool in Maya, but can be 'set on selection' so that you only see that 'trail' or 'path' on the selected control (so just the hand or foot rather than the full body).

PINNING: With pinning (things for the hands or the feet primarily), Brandon showed me that if you pin the translate on the hips and the chest, this allows you to rotate the body of the torso at once so that it makes nice curves.

AUX PIVOTS: He uses these for feet landing, where he creates an aux pivot and then X drags it to the ball of the foot, and aligns the translation. From here, he bakes the selection so that the foot data is now also in relation to that aux pivot. It almost looks like a quick rig set up to set down the foot on the landing.

POSE LIBRARY: When you apply a pose to a foot that has an aux pivot, the pose library will ignore it and not transfer one piece of data to the other. So first bake it (the current take you are working on with the aux pivot control), and then apply whatever pose you want from your pose library to get the position to work.

POSING: Since we are working on a flip, we have to add in torso curl - make everything appear as if it is a comic book cover (aka good silhouette). Brandon is making her look more like a ball so that extra ligaments have more breathing room to read the pose. Also, make sure to have a good line of action (LOA). Also pin your rotates in flip (ask about this side note).

OVERLAP: Today we are working on the overlap with the land.

* FEET: In this, particularly with the feet, a little bit of sliding is okay so that it doesn't hit a wall.

* ARMS: Also in this with the arms, pin the shoulders so that they try to stay in position if you start moving the spine.

* KEYS: So when you exaggerate a key, make 2 keys surrounding that one and then delete the extreme to smooth it out.

* WEIGHT: Instead of changing the poses too, just play with the weight and then we have to Blend to Stance (BTS) for subtlety.

* HEAD: You can get more fine tuning with the head via pinning

* SPINE: Basically this just needs a better silhouette, constantly check the shoulders

TIME WARP: You can time warp just a body part individually rather than the entire body by selecting that body part in the GUI - TR - Time Warp


* If you have the knee with the feet pinned down, you can tweak the FK legs- editing a bit, but won't do a ton of difference.

* IK always fights FK

* Smooth filter dappens the curves

** Don't run the smooth filter on your whole rig

** It will ruin your data if you do so

* Arms - just keep rotates on, rarely go into the F curves to do tweaks, but mainly just work with the GUI

* Riot games adds a character pose before back into the idle pose to give a sense of personality to the character, rather than just looking mechanical

* ORDER: Hips, Chest, Feet, Arms, Head

* When you match pose, only do so in TZ, never do rotates

* Don't forget to double key with Time Warp to keep certain portions you want to keep the same linear

* When doing silhouettes, ideally, we don't like hand/arm over the face, or noisy arms

* Again, try to stay as true to the data as possible, and add more drag/overlap/pass after

* Not only with layers but with story - you can dial down exaggeration

QUESTIONS: Last part, "copying" - go over again - subtrack - override - change weight section within the story portion of merging and blending clips.


Blend to stance, Good posing, overlapping the spine, overlapping the neck, etc.

DAILY HOURS: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (9 hours)


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