24 Hour Run-cycle Challenge
So, yesterday, on facebook, I was browsing down the news feed, when I noticed a friend’s 3D animation that they did, which was awesome. The description read that it was for a “24 hour run-cycle challenge,” which involved animating a single run-cycle in 24 hours, which I found intriguing. Anyone who knows me knows that ACTION IZ MAH PASSION, and RUN-CYCLES ARE MAH JAM! So after some wheedling, I got myself tagged for the challenge.
1. Key poses (roughed out during a comedy open mic night). Sadly, Flash (which this was done in) isn’t very tablet friendly without a keyboard, and I couldn’t move on to the next step that I wanted to that night. Not without being incredibly obvious about the fact that I wasn’t really paying attention to the comedy.
2. Cleaned Up Key poses. Normally, you’d do your key poses, then your break-down poses (the “keys” that break down the animation between your keys. Geddit?), and then your inbetweens. I …skipped(?) all that (I’m not a role-model; don’t do what I do how I do it), and went to cleaning up my key poses first. Why? Because in Flash (and Toonboom. And almost every other digital animation program worth its salt), you can use symbols/puppets:
- to allow you to focus on specific aspects of the the animation you’re trying to create/edit (limbs, or secondary action), rather than having to worry about the whole drawing,…
- merge the processes of clean animation, ink/paint (which I hate), and cleanup (which I also hate),..
- Trace arcs and motion paths for individual parts, rather than guessing for individual guides (see no.1 and also 3D animation)
But I’m not always the smartest tool in the lightbulb shed when it comes to process. So I took a page out of a dear friend’s book, and cleaned up my keyposes first, rather than just Cleaning up everything straight ahead, as I figured I could just use the keyposes as guides to figure out the inbetweens (as I assume my friend does).
To be clear: For each of the keyposes, I had to DRAW the individual parts (head, torso, hoodie, limbs, etc.) on separate layers for this to work. And when a part didn’t match the pose (see: the legs) I had to RE-DRAW it. Yeah, there’s a lot of flash and computer trickery going on here, but also a lot of hard work. I don’t want anyone reading this to think it sucks!
3. In betweens. And what do you know? It worked! What also helped was not having to redraw those inbetweens. When I could, I just re-used pre-existing assets, but when those assets didn’t exist, well… I just had to MAKE them exist!
4. Timing adjustments. That being said, now that I had all my frames, I didn’t like the timing. It “didn’t feel right.” It also “felt slow.” Usually when that happens, it means you have to many frames, and have to trim them. Luckily, I was working at 24 FPS (Frames per second) on “twos” (changing the image every two frames, rather than changing the image every frame- which is working on “ones”), so I had some frames to spare, namely the parts which should be fast, like “pushing off the ground” and “Falling back towards it.” I’m not quite happy (it still feels a little slow) but it does feel finished, and I’m happy enough with it to move on.
So, yeah, a run-cycle done in 24 hours! What do you think? I’d tag people if I knew how to do it through tumblr, but I don’t so I’m challenging everyone who reads this and knows how to animate. You can do it!