John Sanderson (procyonlotor)

163 replies · posted

Polybook, procyonlotor

I've been inspired to start one of these.  I am attempting to do one sculpt everyday for 90 days.  I haven't participated in sculpt January before so I grabbed the calendars from the last 2 years and will be doing those this month and next and then participating come January.  I am hoping this will be a good place to post for feedback.  I won't post all of them probably, but the ones I really want feedback on I will. Here is the male portrait sculpt.  Feedback definitely appreciated.  Anatomy isn't my strong suit, and I am really trying to push my learning there especially:


  • Polish pass #2: Smoothed out the head bob.  Increased the head's total x-rotation and moved overlap forward by three frames.


  • crew

    Nice update.

    There's a weird pop as the head rotates back up.

    Lower the amount of overlap on the lower lip

    And see what you can do about the feet sliding on the floor as they move forward.

  • Thanks remingtongraphics for a fun course:


  • Walk cycle #3.  


  • crew
  • waylow  Thanks so much Wayne!  Happy Christmas! I'm afraid I didn't get you anything :(   But I tried to take your advice.  I still struggle with the knees.  I tried zooming in on the motion path and using the knee tweak (I am super thankful this rig has one) to get good spacing, but when I zoomed out the thighs were stretching too much.  Sometimes I would get to a place where I thought it looked good, but when I came back to it later, it didn't.  It always feels like I don't have quite enough frames to get it as smooth as I would like and still have all the parts where they need to be on time.  I usually just get it to where I don't feel like I know how to improve it any more and then stop.  But (I think... I hope...) my skill ceiling moves a little higher each time. 


  • crew

    Feet are working much nicer,  but now you can add a little rotation to point them outward a little (so they are not pointed straight forward)

    The Rot Z on the hips still feels like it preempts the movement, it is feeling too sine wavy, same with the translation on the hips (side to side).  Try reducing the the translation a little, and spend a little more time over the legs and less in the transition.

    Plus you can reduce the amount of side to side on the head too.  (just a little more than the reduction on the hips)


    Hope that makes sense.

    But listen to your instructor ;)

    And great improvement dude.

  • Walk to stop exercise.  I know the arms and settle need some work, though I would still love suggestions there, but I am really struggling to get the initial step looking smooth.  Any pointers would be appreciated.


  • crew

    It's going to be hard to point things out without the frame counter but here goes.


    Side View:

    -with the left arm on the first step, don't bring it forward so much on the contact frame. Lower the extreme position so it doesn't start slow and then shoot forward so fast.

    -The down rotation on the head seems to be happening on the down on the hips.  Delay it a frame or 2.

    -When he wants to slow down at the end, don't lean him forward so much, you want the weight to be almost leaning back to help slow him down.  That should help you with the settle.

    Front View:

    -don't drag the foot inwards and outwards so fast on that first step.  It's going too far into the centre line (and too fast)

    -The same thing is happening with the hips, the weight shift onto his left foot at the start is a little big, but then the shift onto the other foot is super big and fast.  Check how far he is translating in this section to the actual walk cycle part.  Don't forget that you can rotate the torso to get the the weight over that foot.  (Guys usually shift there chest and torso more than women because their centre of gravity is higher)


    Hopefully that help you out.

    Happy Holidays, Sando.

  • Block out for sit to stand exercise. Struggled with the left elbow, I think partly because the chair scale is too big for the character. Feedback welcome!


    • crew

      I would edit the chair to fit, or rotate the camera a little more screen left to get a better silhouette (maybe both)

      When you're a student you can bend and edit things to fit your scene, so enjoy this while you can.


      In production, the props will either be bespoke so it's easy, or they won't fit at all and you have to figure out how to make it work.  (mostly the latter)


      Blocking is ok - you're missing the frame counter 

      You will see where the timing can be shifted when  you switch to spline (don't worry, you'll see it)

      as an acting note, small thing...make him start to look away just before he retires his king.

      (also less pieces on the board will make it easier to read - or even scale it up bigger too)

      with the final pose, twist the left foot more to his left (so it's not pointing down the line of the camera)

      This is because you probably want him to exit to the right of the camera, but this trajectory looks like he will come straight at the camera.

      (twist the foot more on the pose where it is planted)

      And with the other foot on the final pose, drag the twist back towards where it came from.


      Good stuff man.

    • Block plus

      Fixed chair.  

      He still exits toward the camera.  I didn't change that as I pretty much intend to cut on the final pose. My instructor wanted me to cut even sooner (which I will probably do for his submission, but I think the shot works better if he at least starts to walk off).

      Added frame counter (I finally remembered!)

      Added left glance.

      Dragged right foot.

      I haven't done anything with the chessboard.  I may yet, but as it isn't a critical part of the exercise it would be a finishing touch.

      And I know his head collides with the table on the lean.  Working out the best way to fix that without having to fix too much else.

      Appreciate any other feedback as always.


    • crew

      Getting better man :)

      With the chess board, you can hide everything that isn't important until later,  Then you can position only the pieces that you need (you can try to make them makes sense on the board but that isn't that important).  Just stage it so you can see him knock over the king.  (Plus speed up the timing in the King piece)


      The only other comment I have is about the exit.  Keep him moving.  He is slowing down because it's the end of the shot, but animate it like it cuts to the next shot in the scene.  What I was saying the other day is that the exit should be more screen right rather than straight at the camera.  But just check his balance here too - I think that is part of the 'slowing down' issue, if that makes sense.

      I think you are ready for spline, but wait to see what your instructor says.

  • Splined.  The IK-FK  switch (frame 61-62) is giving me some trouble, so if you have any pro tips there, I'd be grateful. I have yet to go in and pretty up the chess board, but I did speed up the queen's fall.

     (he tips over the queen and not the king because I was initially going to have him make an exciting move, but realized after setup it would exceed the frame limit for the exercise. so when I imported the chess board into the scene, it was set up so that only the queen could move; all the other pieces are a single object. I then changed the plan to have him resign.  Being too lazy to reshoot reference footage is what yielded some of the timing issues I had earlier... and hopefully fixed...  I'll do better next time)

    Any other comments and crit welcome!

  • crew

    Hey Sando.

    Good work.


    With the chess piece - I don't know how to seperate it in Maya anymore (been too long). But you could import the obj into Blender, separate any pieces you need and then reimport it back to Maya. But it isn't a huge deal if it's the queen instead of the king.

    With the animation, it's getting there but it does feel a bit linear (even) in spots. And stiff in the torso in spots too.
    It's a matter of polishing and offsetting things now.

    -start the eyebrow move sooner (maybe f11) but be careful to avoid moving them up at the same rate that the head is moving down. As this can create a weird illusion where they are stuck in space (just saying look out for that)

    -feet legs f21-40. This feels a little slow. I think maybe there's something from the reference that you are missing. Maybe they lift up and back down before the bigger move?
    But the right foot can definitely be faster in getting to its position before f57. It needs to be ready for the weight as it starts to transfer onto it.

    -With the right hand, does that rig have pinning?
    Or is that just the elbows? (Not sure)
    Anyway you can constrain it to the thigh while it is stuck there, and then just use the motion paths to keep the animation looking correct when you animate it off (over 1 frame is correct). It's tricky but don't spend too much time on it until the end when everything else is done.

    -the way the head/neck go all the way back at f83ish and then forward again can probably be simplified.


    -get the hand to the chess piece sooner. It should get there before the body turn happens and lead with the hips, delay the chest and head.
    But once he knows where the piece is head can start to look away before he knocks it over. It's hard to explain that in text but hopefully you know what I mean. There's a few things going on there.
    First thing is the turn being stiff from 93ish-103 (don't let everything turn at once.)
    Second thing is the acting note about when to knock over the King/Queen.

    -it still feels like everything is slowing into the final pose at f118. Animate it like he is going to keep walking. Those tangents all slow in to the final key (especially the hips)

    -Then as a final note, take a look at the left hand. It feels like it is moving through water mostly, because of the spacing. Check your ref, there will be some swinging when it is totally passive. (Work on this last as it's really flipping hard)

    Hope that all makes sense.
    Good work.




  • Reach exercise blockout.  I included the spline with just the blocked frames because parts of the block didn't look clear (perhaps this is telling?).  Still working on the final polish for sit to stand.  There were a lot of workflow hangups for me with that one, but I think I learned some valuable lessons.  Would love to hear feedback on this one:


  • crew

    I love how hard you're working Sando.

    Ok here's some thoughts.

    -All the right keyposes are there, but you can really tell that some parts need to arrive before others.  This is especially noticeable in the splined version.

    What am I talking about?  Well, it's body mechanics really.  the right foot needs to arrive before the weight of the hips at f35.

    Also at the extreme reach, the hand and the body are reaching the peak at the same time (around f50).  Usually, you will find that the arm will stretch as far as it can go, and the rest of the body will go "Hey I need to go further" and then lift up the hips and go onto the toes etc (hope that makes sense).  You can maybe raise the hieght of the fridge a little if you need too.  I don't know if it's a fridge but that's what I'm rolling with in my mind.


    -she also hits that peak at f50 and then travels back along the same path she cam from.  I dare say in the reference she would go downward (to gain stability) and then go backwards. And her back foot would have some tiny adjustments while balancing on one leg (hard to animate but don't go overboard with this)

    -Dude I love the path of action of the cup. very nice.


    Hope that all helps.


  • Here is the spline version.  Worked on making the weight shift better both coming and going.  Tried to overlap the torso rise beyond the arm raise (not sure I achieved the desired effect though). Changed the cup grip (I think I liked the first one better). Added some hair movement.  Attempted to add subtle balance movements to the back foot, but subsequently deleted them because they were distracting.


  • crew

    Nice one Sando.

    Here's some quick notes...haven't got long before a child wakes up from a nap.

    -yeah the hand pose is very 'claw'-like now.

    -the steps feel very soft and light, right foot  f27-37,  One the character has the cup you can drop the weight onto the heel, approx 50-59 (this is too slow).  Once the character has the object there's no need to expend the energy staying aloft, so you will most likely drop the heel to the ground (if that makes sense)/. Check your ref, it's probably there.

    -the back leg/foot sliding up and back along the same path is very CG.  I wouldn't return the character back to the starting point.  She wouldn't step so far backwards in the real world.  Unless she was being filmed and thinking "Just act natural, just act natural" haha.

    -watch the right knee pop around f42 ish.  and the left knee around f36

    -and the last move forward from 105-115 on the head/neck/torso is a strange.


    ....kids awake, that's all for now.

    Good stuff.

  • Week 6: walk to run blockout.  This was my first time animating in 2.8, and it was surprisingly disorienting for me.  I will have to get on some 2.8 tutorials here and make sure I know where everything lives now.  Also need to throw a nod to pieriko for his rig and excellent rigging course. Feedback is appreciated.


  • crew

    Go Sando.

    Nice blocking mate.


    Here's some thoughts, but as always listen to your instructor first.  They have better body mechanics than I do.

    -raise the heel on f10 to avoid the leg straightening out too fast.

    -overall I think it's a little fast.  Especially when he transistions.

    -spend more time around f46-53 as he needs longer to gain speed.  (that step to f59 is too far, and then the same on f67 but that one he will be moving faster by then so it can't be the same distance as the previous step)


    From the front view, try to get more rotation of is torso over the planted foot (in the walk) and then in the run reduce this and bring the feet closer to the centreline.  The faster you run, the less side to side and up and down there is, and the feet come closer to the centreline so it is more efficient.


    Hope that all makes sense.  Good work.


  • Here is the splined version:


  • crew