Modeled 3D artwork alone is typically not enough to create a convincing experience in today’s media. For this reason, it is necessary to “breathe life” into the work through a process known as animation. Seeking to add this spark to my repertoire, I set out in early 2013 to explore this craft. Below are the results of this endeavor.
Starting off, I began by experimenting with variables such as squash, stretch, lean, tilt, and roll. The goal was to make it seem as if the ball was alive and aware of its surroundings. In this way, I was able to give it emotion and spunk.
More complex than the first, the desk lamp paid homage to Pixar’s Luxo Jr. and felt more like working with an actual rig. Among other things, the elastic nature of the head and neck, allowed for a more convincing performance. In addition, animation graphs were used to emphasize the excessive breaking of joints, thus giving the animation a looser feel.
I decided to tackle the challenge of moving a biped forward. At the time, tending to the hips knees, toes, and heels was quite a challenge, so the absence of an upper body and torso was a welcome remission. For these two clips, I wanted to emphasize the sense of motion, while keeping the little guy in proportion with his surroundings.
In the case of the X-Marks the Spot clip, the goal was to move Ballsy from point ‘A’ to point ‘X’ within a seven-second interval. To accomplish this, I decided to incorporate a nest, suspended by jet engines, and a see-saw.
In more recent endeavors, I have been working with full, humanoid rigs; more specifically, the Mavis rig provided by Professor Eric Kunzendorf at Jacksonville University.
My work with her mainly consists of various standard cycles (eg. jogging, running, sneaking, skipping, walking, and strutting), as well as the occasional forward movement. As a final touch, I chose to incorporate subtle blinking.