March 12, 2011

3D Midterm Demo Reel

I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I think I've put together a pretty awesome demo reel:

Animation Demo Reel from Michael Barquero on Vimeo.



Seriously though, I'm struggling big time with maya. I'm still trying to understand the basic mechanics of animation, and doing that along with learning how to do it in maya is mind bending. I do feel though that I know what I have to do (arcs, timing, spacing, etc) it's just getting it down in maya; don't really know how to approach it.

Anyway, serious demo reel is uploaded. That last one, I have no idea what happened. After rendering it through premiere, it got this strobe light thing going on, so I though trance music was appropriate for the occasion.

Demo Reel from Michael Barquero on Vimeo.

I kinda like the first one better.

Also, if you're digging the music, you can get it off Jamendo for free:

it's called (Hymn)


Elizabeth McMahill said...

yeah, maya's a pain. I still don't get how you're supposed to animate with that thing.

Some crits on the walks:
-get that knee straight on the contact pose, that way it can change to bent when the weight comes down on it. Animation is all about change.
-Work more with the rhythm of the cog (center of gravity). Satisfying up/down motion could be more satisfying, and some rotates would help bring it to life. When doing walks I work first with the cog to get a rhythm I like before ever really getting into the feet and other stuff.
-dragging the toes some more through the passPos would be nice.

Michael Barquero said...

Haha, the thing is, maya is kind of awesome on paper. It's like being a digital puppeteer. Sometimes though the strings get tangled up and idunnowut I'm doing.

Thanks for the mini crit, I tried getting the legs straight on contact but the popping on them was insane.

I never really though about the rhythm of the cog, hmm...

Elizabeth McMahill said...

Yeah, I think rhythm of the cog is one of the most important things. It's going to do a lot to describe the character of the walk.

Getting straight legs takes a bit of management of those frames and a lot of tweaking but it makes a big difference in the end, totally worth it. I'd usually save something like that once the walk is established and pretty close since IK is so sensitive.

Michael Barquero said...

lol, I think I'm now more confused than before. The main thing though, isn't the cog dictated by the legs?

Since the legs are ik, it's in charge of pushing and pulling the rest of the character. How could you establish the walk without first moving the legs?

It seems like all you would be able to do is make the character crouch and stand.

Thanks for helping!

Elizabeth McMahill said...

In theory the cog is dictated by the legs, that's how it works in real life, yes. The beauty of an IK setup though is that the cog is the master for everything, and the feet/legs can operate independently. The cog is always the most important thing. That's why you can animated a bouncing ball with personality, or a flour sack - they're basically cogs with all the extraneous/distracting stuff removed.

It's actually pretty easy to animate by focusing on the rhythm of the cog first and then matching the feet/legs in second. Working that way help a lot for me at least. Even in traditional animation, it's just an easier way to wrap your head around things instead of trying to reverse engineer movement. For example, I got this rhythm working before I even attempted the legs, final:

Michael Barquero said...

You know...I had no idea what you were talking about :D

After a couple of experiences, I think I'm starting to get it.

See, one of my profs from tippett was telling me how he usually tries to get each pose just right. He also was saying how one of the guys that worked at tippett who came purely from stop-mo background (like just about everyone who works at tippett) just spends a great time sculpting each pose and rarely opens up the graph editor.

So, you have that pose to pose thing going on. But then I was talking to one of our alumni who works at pixar and he was telling us how he actually was doing that and one of the pixar animators set him aside and showed him the "other" way to animate in layers.

Which, according to one our guest speakers was the way pixar animated toy story 1. except they they were way more hard core and could basically visualize the puppet moving in 3d space between the values in their animation editors (matrix-style).

So you would start with the root, and work your way out, because that way you're not counter-animating.

Here's something I find funny though. You can totally work pose to pose, space it out about 10 frames each key pose. Start beginning to end, do the break downs, more break downs, then start timing a bit with add inbetween, have auto key on, a select all script, start offsetting, and it's basically the same especially with autokey.

Bahaha, anyway, I'm just starting to get a hang of this so don't mind my writing. Alot of you Ringling kids seem to already be living and flying, prettty wicked stuff you guys are making.

BTW, congrats on JIBJAB!

Elizabeth McMahill said...


Write away! It's crazy how much you can come to realize just by writing. Glad this stuff is coming together for you too! So much of learning is based on time and just doing large amounts of work... But yeah, that's how I learned, the "pixar way". My first year of CA I had a teacher who animated at Pixar for nine years, so he brought us up in the layered method. This past year though I had a teacher who was less "disney" and more "warner bros" in animation style (actually has been doing freelance with the new CG warner brothers shorts that have been playing before certain movies). Anyways, we was much more about the pose and worked from a pose to pose way working with stepped splines. I was used to working with poses every 12-36 frames, but he would get a key on about every 4 frames before going into spline. For a lot of people that works, but it didn't with me. I couldn't get a real sense of how the animation felt that way... I did really like how he would do break downs though... Basically, working between poses, you decide want you want to lead and what you want to follow or accent, etc. and then w/ auto key just grab and keep it back or bring it forward. Pretty much the way you described. I thought that was a rather intuitive way of working... He demoed a very similar way of working when polishing stuff up in splined.

There's so many different ways to work... I even have a friend who worked in stepped and then took stuff to linear tangents, autokeying in breakdowns, eases etc, & getting it all pretty much there before taking it and cleaning it all up in splined (buffer curves are so great here...). I tried that too and liked that a lot since you can get things moving sooner than just staying in stepped. Workflow's pretty much been the bane of junior year for me... heh. That and polish.

But yeah, there's my little rant :V

and thanks on JibJab. I'm so freakin excited!