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Refining the animation

From: Character Animation Fundamentals in 3ds Max

Video: Refining the animation

We've animated the character's body and head, so now that has motor control. We still haven't worked on the arms, so let's do that in this lesson. So let's go ahead and take a look at the character, and just do a quick playback here. And as you can see, he has control over his hips, and his torso, and his head, and that allows him to twist his body, and look over his shoulder, as well as drop his weight, but we still don't have animation on the arms, and those are kind of still flopping around. Now, before we actually animate the arms, let's understand what we're going to do with the arms.

Refining the animation

We've animated the character's body and head, so now that has motor control. We still haven't worked on the arms, so let's do that in this lesson. So let's go ahead and take a look at the character, and just do a quick playback here. And as you can see, he has control over his hips, and his torso, and his head, and that allows him to twist his body, and look over his shoulder, as well as drop his weight, but we still don't have animation on the arms, and those are kind of still flopping around. Now, before we actually animate the arms, let's understand what we're going to do with the arms.

As the character is being pushed back and forth, one of the main things he wants to do is maintain his balance. So we want to go ahead and put the arms out a little bit to kind of steady the character. So let's go to the first keyframe here, I'm going to go ahead and select my left shoulder here, and let's go to Frame 8 here, and that's where we have that first keyframe for the arm. And let's make sure we have Auto Key turned on here, and I'm going to go ahead rotate that arm out to kind of start to get him to catch his balance.

Now, one of the things I've noticed here is that this arm is really straight, and when you have no motor control, and you're being pushed forward like that, the elbow will be straight, because it's just undergoing drag. So if we bend this elbow, it will tell the audience that, hey, this character is controlling the arm. He is not being controlled as much by physics of him being pushed around. So let's go ahead and do a nice bend on the arm, and get that out to the side, so he is catching his balance. So even doing that gives much more intention, so let's just play that.

As you can see, it gives a much stronger pose. Now, if we contrast that to this other arm here, you can see that we've got actually no control over that arm. So let's go ahead and finish off with the left arm here. And I can just use my selection set that I created, and let's go ahead and select that left arm, and you can see that as he pushes himself up, that's good, but then here at 16, he has kind of got a strange keyframe here. So let's go ahead and just copy in a neutral, and then just kind of dial in a nice pose here for the character. Grab that left shoulder, again, put that arm out to the side, and let's go ahead and just kind of keep that a little bent.

So now that character is basically straightening up a little bit. And then at 24, let's just go ahead and just relax that arm a little bit, because he has got his balance. But I don't want to make it completely straight. I kind of want to keep a nice bend to it. And again, if I want, I can select the entire arm, and keyframe it, just to make sure I've got that locked in. So now let's go ahead and take a look at this left side here.

So that looks pretty good. There is a little bit of a hop here at the cycle point, but we can certainly fix that a little bit later. So now let's go ahead and do the same thing for the right arm. So I'm going to go ahead and grab that right shoulder here. So now, as he moves out, I'm going to go ahead and get that shoulder out, and then start bending that elbow, so that way, he has got a little bit more control over his hand.

And by Frame 24, again, I just want to select everything for my right arm, and make sure that I have a bit more of a kind of a neutral pose here. I seem to have rotated that thumb somehow. Here we go! Okay, so let's go ahead and get this character back in position here.

So, I want to maybe even rotate that arm just back a little bit; there we go. Okay. I've got pretty good little animation up to Frame 24, where he starts moving back, so let's get a strong pose as he moves back. So again, we want to indicate motor control. So right there at Frame 32, he's starting to look over his shoulder, so let's go ahead and accentuate that with the pose. So I'm going to move that arm out and up, so that way his shoulder looks like it's more back.

And let's go ahead and rotate that arm just a little bit here, and go ahead and just tweak that in, and let's twist that hand to get a nice little curve here. And then on the other side, we can do the same. We can get his arm out a little bit, because he is still trying to catch his balance. Grab that hand, and rotate it. If I want, I can even work a little bit with these fingers here. Rotate those fingers back a little bit, and even on this one, let's go ahead and relax that hand a little bit more.

That gives it just a nice curve. So now as he goes back, you can see, it gives so much more of a stronger pose, and then we can relax the character back into his initial pose. In fact, what we can do is we can select everything in the character here, and make sure we have that final pose at the last frame, so that should work out pretty good. So let's take a look at this. So that looks pretty good.

I can tweak it a little bit more. But the basic point in this is that we have two types of forces that are affecting our character. In the first half of this chapter, we animated the external forces: those forces that are acting upon the character, so drag, secondary motion; those sorts of things. And then in the second half, we actually animated the character himself, bringing him to life. So when you animate a character, always be aware of whether the forces acting on the character are coming from outside or inside the character, and when they come from inside the character, make sure you understand the character's intention, and that will guide your animation.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals in 3ds Max
Character Animation Fundamentals in 3ds Max

64 video lessons · 4856 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 8m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
    3. Character rig overview: a simple character
      1m 53s
    4. Character rig overview: a full character
      1m 54s
    5. Using screen drawing tools
      2m 28s
  2. 22m 48s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Using Selection Sets to help pose characters
      2m 43s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 16s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 23s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 59s
  3. 25m 45s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      1m 59s
    2. Understanding drag
      6m 43s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 35s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 51s
    5. Refining the animation
      6m 37s
  4. 33m 57s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      6m 12s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      6m 53s
    3. Moving holds
      4m 38s
    4. Animating weight shift
      3m 13s
    5. Animating pose-to-pose transitions
      7m 8s
    6. Animating a wave
      5m 53s
  5. 45m 51s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      4m 13s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 46s
    3. Animating a walk: the feet
      9m 5s
    4. Animating a walk: the lower body
      8m 9s
    5. Animating a walk: making the cycle symmetrical
      4m 45s
    6. Animating a walk: working with the spine
      6m 26s
    7. Animating a walk: arm motion
      7m 42s
    8. Animating a walk: the head
      3m 45s
  6. 26m 28s
    1. Changing a walk using poses
      4m 52s
    2. Changing a walk using foot placement
      4m 52s
    3. Exaggerating a walk: the extended position
      6m 22s
    4. Exaggerating a walk: the passing position
      4m 18s
    5. Exaggerating a walk: the cushion position
      6m 4s
  7. 42m 49s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 22s
    2. Animating a run: the passing pose
      3m 26s
    3. Animating a run: the extended pose
      5m 19s
    4. Animating a run: mirroring the basic poses
      10m 23s
    5. Animating a run: adding weight
      5m 21s
    6. Animating a run: the spine
      6m 5s
    7. Animating a run: left arm motion
      4m 49s
    8. Animating a run: right arm motion
      5m 4s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. Animating blinks
      6m 33s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      6m 1s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 49s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 33s
    5. Overview of the mouth controls
      1m 58s
    6. Animating vowels: A, E, and I
      13m 16s
    7. Animating vowels: O, U, and Y
      10m 11s
    8. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      12m 25s
    9. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      10m 11s
    10. Animating lip sync: assigning phonemes
      10m 9s
    11. Animating lip sync: head motion
      7m 18s
    12. Animating lip sync: the eyes
      7m 31s
    13. Animating lip sync: the body
      5m 46s
  9. 50m 28s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 2s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      5m 31s
    3. Animating moving holds
      6m 51s
    4. Creating weight
      7m 33s
    5. Adding secondary motion
      8m 56s
    6. Animating dialogue
      6m 40s
    7. Adjusting head motion
      5m 10s
    8. Adding blinks
      5m 45s
  10. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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