Animations

Lately for my classes, I have been working on pieces that are going into a project scene for my portfolio. The scene itself is a desert setting, inspired by the trip I took over the break between semesters to the Grand Canyon, Arches, and Calf Creek. I’m using the scene as a main focus of my portfolio, so I’ve been working really hard on all the pieces going into it. What I really want to discuss here though, is my animation progress that I’ve been working on. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to compare what I’m about to show, but I will still go over the process I’ve taken to get where I am. I also still need improvement as with everyone with everything.

First animation is my wagon:

Wagon Animation

I started by creating the model in case you couldn’t tell. But as for animation, I started with the wheels. I just had then spin all the way around. And before I get much further, I did not rig this model; I just used the transform tools (move, rotate, and scale, but mostly rotate). Since the wagon needed to be old and rickety, I decided to have the wheels kind of bump and wiggle. That was done by using the rotate tool and a little of the move tool. The bed of the wagon needed to bounce with the bumps of the wheels, and so now comes the tricky part. I had to line up the bumps of wheels to make the bed go up or down. Most of that was also done through the rotate tool. I really just want to point out what you can do with just the transform tools because for somethings, it can save you the time of rigging.

And speaking of rigging, the Yucca flowers that I have below were done with a rigging process:

Yucca Flower Animation

After creating the flower, I used the joint tool to create a very simple bone structure. Most of the actual joints are near the top of the flower, with a total of 5 joints per flower. The leaves were animation with just the transform tools. To animate the flowers, I went in to each joint and set the starting key-frame. Then I went through and slightly rotated the joints. I had less rotation on the lower joint and more on the higher joints. It still took a lot of tweaking to make sure they looked like they were being rustled by the wind. And to help make them seamless, I actually only made about 3 main frames, them reversed the order of them to the end of the animation. For example, in a 30 frame animation, the key-frame for frame 5 would be the same as frame 25, the key-frame for frame 10 would be the same as frame 20, and etc. I thought that way turned out to work pretty decently.

I am always open to feedback, as I know these animations still need some work. In the next couple of weeks, I will post more about the scene-assembling process and my progress on that. :)