For Matt we were requested to make a walking cycle. I was very ambitious about this as I enjoy animating. I immediately started the day after we were given the task, I spent around 4+ hours trying to animate looking for rigs I was stuck it was not happening. Frustrated I took a long break and was given a different character set from Gary, another teacher.
When I got this the due date was on the horizon, now with a working character I went home and worked on making the walking cycle and I under estimated the complexity of it. I had ambitions of making the character do some cool things like jumping but by now even the simple walk seemed to be a challenge so I took to the internet for some help. I found the pose to pose drawings of the walking cycle identifying the key positions and the main movement. This helped a lot but I was still struggling with the timings and speed of the walk.
I then opened the graph editor and realized all of my key frames were all over there was no real consistency to the walk cycle. Put politely it was awful. I then slowly went through all the different components of the player the arms, legs and torso movement were the ones I had focused on. I went though and removed the unnecessary key frames which were causing problems making the curves more fluent on the graph editor. I then opened up both the left and the right arm at the same time because I realized these would be opposite to each other as one arm will be doing the opposite to the other so I aligned these and made it so they were opposite, I made the arm movement the same length and I done the same for the legs.
The torso was all over the place he was so jagged, his torso moved up and down and he looked like he was trying to do a hula hoop. His hips went in a bitty circle motion. This was really bad before my tweaks he was walking like Tinman and now he is at a stage where I am happy with he movement as I refined the curves on the graph editor and got the movement more consistent.
The point of the task was to make a walk cycle, meaning it will cycle though the walking animations fluently. This was a focus of mine as I wanted to get it as wanted to get this as accurate as possible. So when displaying my animation it would not last 1 second as I was working with 25 frames, and this is around 1 second. The graph editor helped with this as well as I could line up the last frame to the first frame if I set the settings to loop I could see the start in a grey box.
After I had finished with the animation I had rendered him out using the batch render on Maya. I then imported the images into adobe premier as an image sequence as if I do it this way premier does all of the work for me and turns it into an animation for me instead of still images. I then added a solid that was a contrasting colour to the character to make him more clear and stand out more. It also meant my final video was a lot less grey as well. I then compressed the video using handbreak greatly reducing the file size as 16 mb was a large file size for a 5 second long clip.