Monday, 14 December 2009

Animation Final: Final Product & Evaluation

Finally the animation is finished, whilst it is not perfect I'm quite proud of what I have achieved as along the way of learning how to animate in Maya I've found it quite difficult but I'm glad I have stuck it through as not only have I learned how to animate but I have also learned a little about myself.

(The Final Animation)

When I first started this brief there was a lot of information to take in about character design as well as the 12 main principles of animation, once that was over I was introduced to the computer program Pencil which was a digital version of what traditional animators do. I found this to be very exciting as I found it quite easy to get used to controlling the pen and tablet to create images on screen although I did find the ability to "ease in and ease out" difficult to grasp at first but over trial and error I began to understand how to make things look more realistic to real life in Pencil.

The hardest part of this brief was learning how to create objects and then animate them within the 3-D animation program Maya. I feel that I'm quite strong at creating objects in the 3-D Environment as I have little to no difficulties put together an object, for example The King Chess Piece seen in my animation is made up of around 12 different objects all blended to create the one, I also feel I am confident at mapping and adding textures to objects in Maya as after learning how to I found do difficulty giving my Dice it's spots. Altogether I feel that I'm strong at making a scene including lighting and shadows as my final products look similar to something a professional may produce but it is when I start to animate in Maya that I begin to feel that I am not very confident.

The process of animating in Maya is very similar to Stop Animation in that you save key frames and the computer will then add the missing movements to string one key frame to another. I found giving the effects easing in and out and weight to the objects movements quite difficult as to change these I had to use the Graph Editor, each movement appears as a mathematical translation onto a graph of the time line. By using the Graph Editor I was supposed to make the animation look much better but in the end I never did quite understand how to utilise it properly even with my tutor's help, the animation would often look worse than it did before I began to use the Graph Editor.

If I could go back and change one thing it would most likely be the camera angles, I do not know how to use the camera in Maya but the perspective camera has done a good job in capturing that I want to present. Overall I found this whole experience quite interesting as 3-d modeling and animation is the future of the business but with the soon to be released "Princess and The Toad" by Walt Disney Pictures perhaps traditional two-dimensional animation is quite dead which is quite exciting for me as it is an area I want to explore more as I feel that would be much more capable of creating a piece of animation through those means than that of 3-D rendering. Through this all I have learned that 3-D animation is not my strong point, but I am not useless at it and it's a skill I am grateful to have learned.

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