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Farhad_azer
07-31-2016, 05:01 AM
Hi ladies and gentlemen,

I am trying to make animation of Helicopter landing but instead i wanted to ask it in more general way.

If you deal with a rare scene (which is not so regular like jumping ball or etc) what is your approach? Do you do test and error or watch it on the internet or put background and mimic every frame or what?

what is your mindset and guide and more importantly what do you suggest to beginners?

I am testing a scene and my lighting/testuring and overall progress is really good but at the end the whole motion seems too unnatural and cheesy so to speak.

Please give me detailed answer and guide if possible,

Thanks in advance.

OlaHaldor
07-31-2016, 06:25 AM
Would you mind sharing what you've got so far?

I'd get a reference video on YouTube or a movie and try to mimic what you see.

Kaptive
07-31-2016, 06:41 AM
This might sound like a strange approach, but when I am first blocking out an animation, I imagine what I'd like to see in my mind, and at the same time, keep my eye on a clock/stopwatch and count the seconds. This way, you can get a basic idea of how long the shot and action will take. I then rough it out in LW... keeping it simple. I mean, you can just get a couple of boxes in a helicopter shape and make it land. Once you have the basic timing and feeling down, then you swap it out and put in your proper model and go into the finer details.
As OlaHaldor says, watch plenty of youtube videos and get an idea for what you are going to do.

Everyone has a different approach I expect, so take from the above if it is of any use to you.

ernpchan
07-31-2016, 07:41 AM
... the whole motion seems too unnatural and cheesy so to speak.



When you watch your animation compared to reference, what makes you think yours is unrealistic? Using reference will help you see the subtleties that make something what it is. As you gain more experience in observing and dissecting what you see, you'll become a better animator.

wibly wobly
07-31-2016, 07:46 AM
As mentioned before, always get reference. If you're copying reality, this is even more important. If your timing / sense of weight is off people will notice. It just won't look right. Also work big to small. If the large broad actions aren't working and you spent a lot of time doing the small details, none of it will hold up. It's the same with design. Take a Star Destroyer for instance. I'd pretty much a big wedge with a block on top. Simple design with a ton of details. It's instantly recognizable even from it's silhouette because it's a good design.

Post what you have and we can try to help out.

jeric_synergy
07-31-2016, 04:12 PM
Even seasoned Disney animators used references, ie rotoscoping. Very difficult to beat reality, if reality is your goal.

Some of it might not be motion per se, but deformation: in this case, the skids of a helicopter flex slightly on touch-down, so while the main body might be moving well, you may need to have bones in the skids to allow them some 'give' on landing.


(It's the VFX that have no RW correspondance that amaze me: who was the first person to think up that creepy "head wobbling around in high speed while the body stays still" effect?? Or that quintessential Japanese "walking up the stairs on all fours backwards" thing??? Brrrrrrr.)

Farhad_azer
07-31-2016, 04:57 PM
Thanks for really helpful hints,
I will definitly post my results ASAP.
The approach by kaptive is really great (especially using simple models). High five kaptive, there is only one problem that my imagination is really bad. i have a very analytic brain and i would be really thankful if you give further helps please.

I can not describe Ernest why it seems very bad but it is not even close to getting the feeling of landing a very heavy object. My motion was set to linear and by changing it to bezier it improved a lot but still not good (as a matter of fact terrible).

Maybe i am wrong but reference videos are not very helpful IMO since they all have different timing, recorded from different angle and etc. i mean if it was character animation refrence would have been totally different story and could have helped since most of timing for them are almost the same. but that does not apply here. the scene is given to me (it is not a paid work, i am just learning from it) and the timing of background and helicopter does not match vid refrences.

Again, if possible i want to keep this general and not specific for helicopters. there are lots of scenarios that are not taken from everyday activity and this makes them much more difficult even compared to the challenging area of character animation.

I will answer wiblywobly and jeric's points in my next reply.

ernpchan
07-31-2016, 05:26 PM
I can not describe Ernest why it seems very bad but it is not even close to getting the feeling of landing a very heavy object. My motion was set to linear and by changing it to bezier it improved a lot but still not good (as a matter of fact terrible).



This sounds like a timing or spacing issue. Stuff rarely moves with linear timing. You gotta think in terms of physics and how the rules of the world apply to things. I don't know what your thing looks like but let's say it's a helicopter landing. This item is heavy. When it lands, there's a change in lift which causes the thing to drop much faster than when it was under powered flight. But once it contacts the ground the struts absorb a lot of that energy. So there's multiple things happening over the course of a "simple" landing in terms of timing and what is physically happening.

jeric_synergy
07-31-2016, 06:54 PM
What ernpchan said: very few things move in a linear fashion, except small machine parts, or when something collides with something massive, like a truck hitting a cliff. Even then, a bunch of other stuff goes on (the rear end lifts up, pieces go flying, the body crushes). Bezier is the way to go.

Here's a counter-example: When Frodo drops The One Ring in his entryway, it hits AND DOESN'T BOUNCE. It's like it weighed a 1,000 kilos. It was very unnatural, which worked in this case because the Ring is unnatural. But a normal mundane ring would have bounced and spun about.

As an animator, you have to look at all your references shot from various angles, focal lengths, and differing machines, and figure out what are the commonalities between the landings that makes each one 'real'. --Assuming you are trying for reality.

As ever, this is a whole lot easier if you post examples.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Just for laffs, here's a 15 minute helicopter mesh-- you'll have to set the tail rotor pivot point yourself.
133890



133889

RebelHill
07-31-2016, 08:29 PM
There really is no such thing as a "normally realistic" helicopter landing. I mean... what sort of chopper is it? A huey, a blackhawk, a chinook? Whats it landing on... a carrier, a helipad? Is there a crosswind? Whats its payload? Etc, etc, etc.

Forget trying to make it look real, and instead focus on making it look believable. How to do that? Well, you'll have to develop a "sense" for motion and animation in general, and that simply MUST entail developing and cultivating an imagination and an eye for the subtleties of motion. If you dont already have this you will have to acquire it across multiple exercises and scenarios, trying to focus on one single thing, in one specific situation wont help you any more than copying a single paragraph from a book over and over and over will teach you how to be a writer.

You take a given something, you apply the standard techniques of putting together an animation, you work it through to the best of your ability, and then you move on, and you have a go at doing some other thing, some other motion, and over time, you will either learn these instincts and sensibilities, or you wont.

prometheus
07-31-2016, 09:04 PM
I agree with RebelHill here, you have to define what type of helicopter vehicle it is, or otherwise put some minutes or hours in watching helicopter vids of them landing, that needs to go in to the backbone, or follow close just one good one.
Too bad reelmotion stopped, it had helicopter motion from inside the cockpit.

Unatural motion, well probably because of lack of physics, cheese probably because of wrong timing.
I wonder if bullet dynamics would help to add that sense of physics, not sure if itīs motors would be of any help.

BokadCastle
07-31-2016, 09:43 PM
There's a motion modifier called "Jolt".
Select your helicopter, go "m" for "Motion Options" and "Add Modifier".
You could also put some irregular motion into the camera same way - to get it to move independently.

Maybe "Jitter" -
https://www.lightwave3d.com/assets/plugins/entry/jitter/

prometheus
07-31-2016, 10:21 PM
There's a motion modifier called "Jolt".
Select your helicopter, go "m" for "Motion Options" and "Add Modifier".
You could also put some irregular motion into the camera same way - to get it to move independently.

Maybe "Jitter" -
https://www.lightwave3d.com/assets/plugins/entry/jitter/


I would rather guide to "m" for motion options and try to use the FX_motion plugin, can work nicely for some flying things...if you learn it.
Edited...Sorry, Jolt can be better maybe...there is a lot of motion plugins, texture motion, relativity ofcourse.

js33
07-31-2016, 10:34 PM
There's a motion modifier called "Jolt".
Select your helicopter, go "m" for "Motion Options" and "Add Modifier".
You could also put some irregular motion into the camera same way - to get it to move independently.

Maybe "Jitter" -
https://www.lightwave3d.com/assets/plugins/entry/jitter/

Hehehe. I like your style.

jeric_synergy
07-31-2016, 10:54 PM
Here's about twenty minutes of futzing around, with no references.

133892

BokadCastle
07-31-2016, 10:57 PM
I would rather guide to "m" for motion options and try to use the FX_motion plugin, can work nicely for some flying things...if you learn it.
Edited...Sorry, Jolt can be better maybe...there is a lot of motion plugins, texture motion, relativity ofcourse.

Yeah, could be that FX_motion will duplicate the same smooth path - I don't think I've used it much, if ever. So I wouldn't really know.
What I was getting at, was a way to break up the mathematical accuracy of the computer and introduce some real world irregularity.
Whatever gets the job done.

BokadCastle
07-31-2016, 11:18 PM
Hey, we still goin' to invade Russia and teach Putin a lesson.

I might have an early night tonight.

prometheus
07-31-2016, 11:32 PM
Yeah, could be that FX_motion will duplicate the same smooth path - I don't think I've used it much, if ever. So I wouldn't really know.
What I was getting at, was a way to break up the mathematical accuracy of the computer and introduce some real world irregularity.
Whatever gets the job done.

To bad bullet forces canīt be used properly as thrusters (not sure) I thought I managed to do that with a hoverboard one time, but I could be wrong:hey:
You can not parent bullet forces it seems to follow the very object it is affecting.

otherwise he could use a bullet forcefield anyway to make a chopper dangle a bit.

Fx motion may work better as a take of motion, rather than a landing motion.

Farhad_azer
08-03-2016, 02:17 PM
I have not been able to digest everything you have said but i think i am getting closer and it looks more real.

May i ask Bokadcastle plz why i should use jolt? i am familiar with that and i use it a lot and it is really simple but how is it useful for this job? maybe for vibration during landing or random and fast rotation of body? correct me on that please. 2:50 untill 2:59 of the following clip maybe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvUreW61KqQ

i will post my final result ASAP.

prometheus
08-03-2016, 04:45 PM
I have not been able to digest everything you have said but i think i am getting closer and it looks more real.

May i ask Bokadcastle plz why i should use jolt? i am familiar with that and i use it a lot and it is really simple but how is it useful for this job? maybe for vibration during landing or random and fast rotation of body? correct me on that please. 2:50 untill 2:59 of the following clip maybe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvUreW61KqQ

i will post my final result ASAP.

testing landing with bullet, and using graph for the various envelops and the noisy channela oscillator, I got nice movements in there ..but still experimental, the oscillator doesnīt seem to work with bullet but noisy channel do..there are other options as well with textured motions.