Monday, June 18th, 2018:
The layout of things here are set up so that I get some action with the set up of hands-on work in capturing motion data, and then the other half of seeing how that data is taken into MotionBuilder for animation polish. At the beginning of the weeks, I am working with Brandon to see his animation clean-up, and at the end, working with Troy primarily to do analysis and reconstruction of data in Blade/Shogun.
For today, I am shadowing Brandon primarily. He was assigned a shot that someone else had begun, but needed to be reassigned so that that person could go work on another project. To him this is a 'hand me down' shot.
First thing he does is change his camera setup so as to get everything in the positioning he wants to analyze across the fight line and clearly see the action that is being asked in this movement. He's reading the description to understand what is needed of him, and comparing it to the clean-up work done by the previous animator who touched this shot.
For me, he then acted out the pose of the motion of the character so that he himself got a feel for it. It's tough trying to analyze the work of another animator, and start in the middle of a process rather than just being handed a fresh shot to work on, so I see how he is handling this in doing every necessary step of movement.
He then wants to bake this information on the the skeleton, and create the control rig. He told me that in doing so, when that dialogue window pops up, ALWAYS LEAVE CONSTANT KEY REDUCER UNCHECKED, because if it is left on, it will constantly reduce the original mocap data that there is available to work from.
What I am learning from him is that there is a lot of artistic freedom in how he chooses to animate a shot. Yes, it has the description there, and he has to cover all of the specifics, but if there is time to get the shot done and add character flare, then he can make that choice.
With this specific shot that he has now, he is teaching me about constraints. I learned some of this earlier this week, and also knew some from Vita's class, but it's nice to know how to handle it in production. With this prop for the character:
1. One hand will be constrained to the prop
2. The other hand will have the prop constrained to the hand - using a 'marker' element
(We used this with the particle effects in Vita's class, but didn't use markers, but rather primitives, so I want to look into which is more beneficial dependent upon the movement)
3. Always constrain to the root
Moving forward on this shot, we reviewed some of the aspects that we went over last week on the older shot (time warp, fcurves, aux-pivot, posing, blocking, clean-up, check your data, etc.) but here are some new things I learned as well:
1. If the pivot for the control is bugging out, or you want to change it, select the control you want, and then the control where you want the pivot to be; hit Shift+D until you get an orange circle around your rotation tool and that will change your pivot rotation point
2. Sometimes if you can't find the problem is, you can delete frames until you do, but be careful cause once you go down a long line of deleting, you can't get that data back
3. Starting over can be more beneficial than trying to fix something that just won't work
4. Blend to Stance - apply the stance for the hips, set a key, and then the next frame Shift S out of it so you have a zero, so a smooth transition (need to go over this section again, a bit confusing)
During the second part of the day, I went into the mocap stage where I worked from scratch with Troy. He wants me to get more hands on with the position of capture operator, so we did a full run through with calibration, props, and body.
Here are some notes that I took on that:
DAILY HOURS: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (9 hours)
CONSECUTIVE HOURS: (55 hours)