Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Animation Notes: Part 1

There are several animation ideas that have sinked in lately. I've been obsessed with producing polished animation and in my journey, I realized I didn't have an ordered checklist. Here is a list of things that have helped my workflow.
  1. The translation channels should transition smoothly unless you have fast motions.
  2. The orientation channels will probably not be smooth if the controller has active curves on all Euler channels.
  3. Run the Euler Filter constantly after adjusting poses.
  4. Always chart out your phrases and refer to them till the end. The chart will force you to check your timing, spacing, favoring, easing.
  5. Do not shift keys! Keep all your "drawings" on their own space and time.
  6. Be sure to have your stronger poses hold for at least 2 frames. This will allow the pose to read long enough before transitioning to the next key. This is help reduce that floaty CG feel.
  7. Always work from the root out.
  8. Try to have your breakdowns favor a key, especially if your timing is even or centered.
  9. Be sure to add texture to a motion by making sure the slow-in's and out's are asymmetrical.
  10. Write down where your keys and breakdowns are and mark them if your software allows it. Maya allows you to mark breakdowns [they become green ticks] and will also scale them along by the bounding keys.
  11. Use buffer curves before making major changes to a curve.
  12. Do not over polish by removing too many keys on rotation channels. This will remove the texture and the life from your animations.
  13. Pole/Aim constraints can be useful when rigging rotating props. You can avoid Gimbal Lock by translating the control curve instead of orientating the rotating prop itself.
  14. When rigging props, try isolating rotations to avoid Gimbal Lock. For instance, create a control curve for RY and another separate control for RX & RZ.
What kind of things do you think about when polishing your shot?


  1. Thanks mate! these are great, and so right! Its important to just get in there and get your hands dirty to start with, worry about polish, when we know what we're doing :P

  2. Great advice, and perfect timing for me!

  3. These tips are gold Lewis!! Thanks so much :)


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