The W.I.P. dance sequence is going steadily. I will go through the upper-body animations and then smooth out the key-frame tangents, so that the pressure and flow of all the limbs look rhythmic, continuing a nice organic tempo (as is the case past the halfway point).

Since my last update, I've been working on refining Hemmy's run cycle. The previous one proved to be odd: it looked more like he was elevating rather than launching up. I also tried combining his run cycle with a pause to suggest playfulness. My first attempt for him to pause proved weird since he looked like he was scared of something, so I changed that to a 'playtime' dog pose. 

I have been continuing the W.I.P dance and progress is okay, however clocking in around 9 seconds of block/ refined animation in two days. Things should gradually speed up when the animations are not so dynamic. This particular segment will have another 15-20 seconds added onto the end. My main focuses are to blend out the frames (e.g. some minor elbow-"snapping" movements) and establish feet pivots to eliminate foot-gliding. I am going to do my best to generate quality seconds that will count towards the final piece, but with some pacing in regards to unit deadline consciousness. Like the previous video update, this one includes some nCloth/ silk preset experimentation's, though by using the same preset setup - and this is towards the end - there is this elastic spread in the nCloth. I will have to integrate it to look more natural later on, but for now, using it helps envision how it look like.


Hello, I have been working on another W.I.P dance sequence these past two days (mid-shot camera), using the Thai Academy footage as reference. We both decided it would be best to study the forms of regal-curving and on the dancers' limbs in the footage. For this segment, the dancers in the video are knelling and perched with upper-body movements only, except through to the pelvis and with subtle bouncing. Mid-shots (and some other shots) are being considered to help break away from the many establishing/ wide-shots that are currently active in the final piece. The video also includes some nCloth/ silk preset experimentation's.

Update: Some quick mouth phonemes, blinks, dilations, sticky lips and pose deformers were created for the character before proceeding on to use the Thai Dance material as animating reference. I have been working on getting back into the mode of animating these past three-four days. I say this because the rig used in the first batch of dance animations had some errors that made for an unnecessary charade (simply forgetting to lock and make non-keyable two translate axes! See below in the first clip of the video where the character is jittering). There are two W.I.P animations: a dance segment and a generic walk cycle. The walk cycle may be edited later; some of the movements are out-of-character. Even so, I had an epiphany. It is a good time in this technical pipeline to rehearse the cuts out with interaction animations between the two characters, by impersonating and recording both of their movements. It will really help to understand the personas of our characters even better. Hopefully, some of the footage from our recordings will be uploaded to the blog some time next week. We can anticipate using them to drive our other animations.

For the past week or so, I've been working on Hemmy's run cycle. He'll be running for most of the animation so I want to perfect it. I am pleased with my progress so far despite some little rigging issues I had. Next step will be to perfect the run, resolve some skinning issues that show up during the run cycle and later on  'combine' animations like run with turn, run with walk, walk with sitting etc. It's exciting to finally see him come to life. It's a slow and painful progress but a rewarding one at the same time :)

Here is the footage I've been using as reference.

Production: Environment update

So I did a bit of experimenting with the updated 'enameled' props, fog and a bit of gobo lighting. I am liking the colour pallette so far; its saturated with a tint of blue and gold just like Thai murals. I am not fully satisfied with the way the gobo works nor with the actual material of the props (the inner bit looks a bit like tin foil), possibly need to lower down the bump on the inner colour.