Join David Andrade for an in-depth discussion in this video Polish off the end result, part of Blender: Creating a Finished Character Animation.
- Polishing is the magic last 10% that really makes your animation shine. By focusing on a few key controls, we can really push our character animation skills. Now one of the first things you can work on is Arcs. Arcs are how your character moves over time. They're really handy and will tell you where your animation isn't fluid. To draw an Arc in Blender, you want to hit T, go to Tools, and calculate a Motion Path.
Now I'm going to focus on Arthur when he's moving during his big push back. I'm going to mute my scrubbing, and I'm just going to go right here. And you know what, I want to track his nose, so let me go to Layer Two. There's a little nose control right here and I'm going to go to Tools, Calculate Motion Path. I'm going to calculate between 80 to about 110. Now, Tails and Heads, that's how the control is built, do you want to track the bottom or the top of the control.
Typically, I like to track the head. Now I'm going to turn on my Body Layer so I can access the head. And I'm going to watch how my head moves over time. You can see that Blender has drawn this little black line that shows you where all the kinks are in our animation. There's a big one right here that we can fix. So let's move it right about here, and just start rotating the head. Now the great thing about this is that Blender will update this motion path in real time, so I don't actually need to recalculate it.
I'm going to really smooth out this little curve here. And also note, I am actually manipulating the head, even though I tracked the nose, I actually don't want to move the nose, I just want to move his head a little bit. Now another thing we can do for polishing is Squash and Stretch. During this whole movement, Arthur is pushing back really fast. I can add a little bit of stretchiness to his head to feel way more fluid. Let's go to Scale Mode, let's drag his head up a little bit.
A little bit more. And a little bit more. Now you'll notice that as I'm doing this it is adjusting my curve, so I want to get back in there, and make sure that I have a nice, flowing curve. Let's fix this one right here. Great, now let's watch it. - Dude, I service society by rocking.
Okay? I'm out there-- - We can even add a little bit of Squash and Stretch right about here when his head lands. To do that, I'm going to set a key right here, right here, and then right after it. Now I'm going to add a little bit of Squashing right when his head lands. Now let's watch it. - Dude, I service society by rocking. Okay? - Might be a little much, but that's okay.
We can always fix it using our Breakdown tool. Let's play it one more time. - Dude, I service society by rocking. Okay? I'm-- - A lot better. You can keep finessing and tweaking this just to get it right. Now to get rid of this motion path, all you have to do is select the control that you created it with, go to Tools, and go to Clear. If you forgot which control, you can always just hit A twice to select all controls, and then go to Clear.
Though all of these things seem insignificant at first, taking the time to polish your Arcs and add Squash and Stretch will push your animation to the next level.
- Listening to the dialog clip
- Sketching out the animation framework
- Learning how character and facial rig works
- Blocking key character poses
- Getting feedback
- Adjusting appendages
- Matching dialog to the animation
- Cleaning up frames with the Graph Editor
- Lighting and rendering the animation