Monday, April 6, 2009

Jumping Bean

I am not really pleased with it, but time is of the essence. Do your worst Ian

bean jump from Daniel Goodman on Vimeo.

1 comment:

Frank said...


You've got all the basic requirements covered in that jump and as indicated by your post, you may have been under some deadline pressure. Getting all of the basic story telling moments organised and timed is a good start.

It does, however, look like an early pass/ version on the animation and could be improved.

At the start the viewer needs some time to settle into the sequence. Maybe put in a blink or two to show your bean is thinking and attract the viewer to the character. We need at least 6 frames before the bean moves into the look over the edge. Some idle animation* at the start settles us in.

I like the look over the edge as acting and it indicates what is going to happen. The 6 frame hold on the look lends it more gravitas. In future those holds are opportunities for *'idle animation' (as compared to Animation Idol - you've given me an idea...) back to idle animation = breathing, sighing, subtle shrug, eye movements, subtle facial expression, that sort of thing.

The anticipation and squash works but could be possibly improved by a 3 to 4 frame hold on the extreme.

The stretch into the last point of contact could be improved by pointing the top of LinusMc3bean's head at the top of the anticipated arc of the jump. It is an anticipation after all. Currently the unwind from the squash he starts to stretch vertically from fr24 through 28, and then starts to point his head along your planned path of action on frame 29 (last point of contact).

I'm looking at this in QuikTime Pro on the frame counter there. QT Pro starts on frame zero, and Maya starts on frame one, so the actual frame numbers may vary by one. For future crits we need to add a frame counter to the playblasts using some basic Mel scripting in Maya.

There is 4 frames to the top of the arc nicely spaced favouring an the top breakdown position as he decelerates to the peak and returns to standard shape. That all works.

The other side of the arc the spacing could have done with a bit more accuracy. Frame 35 he could be lower (accelerating more). Frame 36, he could be a grid square lower to match the symmetry of the arc on the other side in the uphill part. Match the position of the downhill spacing to the uphill spacing for an object that has no other force applied to it during its travel through the arc other than gravity.

On frame 37 his height should match the last point of contact pose on the top of the can.

Frame 38 he changes direction from an arc to start dropping vertically. In your planning map out a path of action, map out your arc and keep your character on it. You can use a feature in Maya called 'ghosting' that works like onion skinning in Flash to see your arcs.

Frame 39 may be redundant as it's spacing is too close to the final point of contact. The acceleration into the impact may work better by adjusting the spacing between fr38 and fr40. Try it.

That is a nice stretch into the contact pose on frame 40 BUT he is not quite touching the ground in this camera angle, so it's not actually the first point of contact. Shift him a bit further down.

He certainly lands with a 'splat'. You could consider how to 'sell' the landing a bit more, rather than just the slow return to shape. The slow return to shape is adequate, but that's all it is and it is better than a fast return to shape after such a big leap. But you have an opportunity to animate a shudder here.

I like the little bit of acting on the end where he looks back at the can. It could have been more convincing, if you leaned Linus back so it was obvious that he was looking up to where he had launched. The spacing on that turn is so even it is ugly. There was an opportunity to ease in to a small moving hold as he looks up and then ease out as he looks away again. A swooping downward arc for his facial features to follow would have added appeal to the turns rather than just a direct rotate of his body on the spot.

You have 20 frames on the end of the animation, which is good for the viewer to process the story. But Linus is not doing anything. In those 20 frames, some idle animation indicating what he is thinking about (his next move) or breathing, or blinking would improve this sequence.

You have covered the basics and added a few personality tweaks which show interesting potential. As you can see by this crit, even in a so-called 'simple' animation sequence there is a lot more that can be considered. I hope you find some of these things of use.

Thanks for posting up your work.