Alright, so it’s time to get moving with this shot. SIGGRAPH is only a few weeks away so I need to get this shot done so it can go on my reel for the job fair. I had a nice relaxing weekend with my family and a couple days in Vegas with the rugby guys, and with Libby away for the day, time to work some on this shot.
So now that the idea and our reference looks good, what’s next? Well, first it’s creating the shot and getting a bit of a scene. But since we are still very early in this shot, and only focused on Animation, well, I don’t need it to be some amazing looking environment. I’m actually terrible at that, so I focused on 2 main things. 1. He’s inside someplace, so put him in a room. Then, he needs a cup and something to put the cup on.
So a cube scaled up a lot, and a table preset from the CINEMA 4D Architecture Edition, and one Cylinder edited a bit gives me all three things. So now I can focus on blocking in the animation. When I’m blocking my animation, I look to my reference to try to find some of the key poses. I think of about which are my key poses, which are interesting, which ones are good breakdowns and such. Below are some of the key poses(The start, The Choke, Putting the cup down, and then the end).
So I focus in on some of those first. I’ve found that I work more in a straight ahead fashion when blocking in a shot. I start at the beginning and work towards the end, adding some breakdowns right at the beginning as well as I strive to make the motions looks pretty good and to really understand how I got to those poses.
This proves to be a bit of a double edged sword for me as I find that poses towards the end suffer as I begin to think less about animating and making good, strong, clear poses, and more about just getting it done. I WOULD ADVISE ANYONE STARTING IF YOU FIND YOURSELF THINKING “JUST GET THIS DONE” TO STOP AND THINK MORE ABOUT THE SHOT AS IT WILL LEAD TO MORE WORK PROBABLY.
When I’m blocking, I key EVERYTHING except for Facial controls and I work in Step Mode and I just go to town. What I sometimes do is work on my poses in layers a bit. Focusing on getting the body and limbs right, and then I go back and focus on things like fingers. I playblast a lot, and CINEMA 4D rules here because I can just render to the picture viewer and play it in there with sound and see right away how it’s looking.
With Blocking, I think that all I want is for it to tell the story and for nothing to be too distracting. I aim for this, but I cannot say I always make it. When I say distracting, this typically means popping from one pose in an unclear way that doesn’t really make sense. It typically means there’s not enough breakdowns for it to be clear. So I try to block it out and I keep it light at this stage because I want to make sure I’m heading in the right direction. That’s the stage I am at now. I have done some blocking and I need to get some feedback from others before continuing, which means this post is finished for now. Below is my blocking: