Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Stop Me Before I Rig Again!!!
It was my intention to keep this journal honest, and to update it daily. And in THIS case, I'm afraid, it means more of the same. This evening I finished the re-rig on the Woodman, and worked to animate the 83 frames of motion required for those last two concept scene shots. The rig was vastly superior to my previous attempts, as I had made all my major mistakes on the first go, and could avoid them this time around. The enhanced rig allowed me to animate the character much more easily, and I had the animation wrapped up in a little over an hour.
Drew had given me some suggestions for fixing up the animation, such as altering the grip on the axe, and I was able to use most of them. One possible stumbling-block later down the line is the width of his stance. The design doesn't lend itself to a realistic center of gravity. Drew had made some suggestions to combat that, such as rotating his legs inward when he steps, which I attempted to implement, but to me it simply wasn't aesthetically appealing.
So I've gone with a very simple leg movement, just rotating straight ahead. I'm fairly satisfied with the animation this time around, much more than with the first attempt, at any rate. I think it's a fairly satisfactory balance between stiffness and stumbling ahead as carefully as possible as Nick takes his first timid steps forward in months. I've just sent the file off to Drew so that he might provide me with that keen insight he's so good for. We'll see if Woodman's balance becomes an issue or if we can get away with bending reality to our will. It is Oz, after all.
As an aside, some of you with sharp eyes who have been following our production with interest may notice that we have, in fact, removed Woodman's sort of Dracula collar. In rigging I discovered it impeded not only his downward head movement, but also his jaw movement, which is quite a big problem. We experimented with a shortened collar, but it looked... stupid, in a word. So we've removed it outright, which I feel gives the character a much stronger silhouette.