Phil Osterbauer (phoenix4690)

47 replies · posted

Polybook - Phil Osterbauer

Hello and welcome to my Polybook....or maybe its an "Animbook"? Animation is what I love and enjoy. I love taking what was once a lifeless static model and breathing character and emotion into it. I want to one day do this for a living so its time to roll up the sleeves and practice practice practice.  My hope is to use this to post some of my current works and stay motivated to keep moving forward. Please feel free to provide any feedback or ask questions. No feedback is bad and no question is dumb, so let me have it. :)

Alright lets do this....

  • There he is!! 😄 

    Looking forward to your animations 😎😬

  • Awesome to see this. I look forward to youre works :) 

  • So, I've already gone through the animation courses here at CGC. I wanted to pursue more and after a nudge from waylow I joined iAnimate early this year and about 9 months later I graduated from it. It was a very good experience. Below is some of the work I've done and some of the work that I will be polishing up in the next month or so.
    This was workshop 1 where I learned about movement cycles, jumps, and attacks.

    For workshop 2 I focused on hit combos and character interaction. Unfortunately I had some family emergencies during workshop 2 and was only able to complete my hit combo.

    Finally workshop 3 is where I learned about ingame cinematics. This was pretty much a crash course on cinematography. This shot never got finished. I hope to share the progress of this shot on its way to completion. There's an important lesson to be had with this shot that I want to break down and pass to you guys in a later post. For now let me just say. PLANNING IS IMPORTANT!! 

    That's what I have so far, please let me know what you think.
    If there is feedback you want on your own animation, feel free to post a link here as well. I'm always happy to take a look.

    • phoenix4690 Hi Phil!

      A question for you: is game animation something you wanted to pursue yourself because that's where your interest lies? Or was it recommended for you by Wayne / iAnimate? Just curious 😊

      On to your work, I watched the first video multiple times and made some notes, since I learned from waylow that giving feedback on other people's animation is a great way to train your animation eye 😬 Also I love helping people learn/improve. And it's fun to do!

      Part 1: Walk Cycle. I love the 'character' you put into his walk/movement! Really fits this big dude. Great overlap and drag on ax and shield, the pushing of his shield looks very believable and his weapon and shield have weight to it. Great job! I do think I see a knee pop on his left leg when he lifts his foot of the ground? That was something I noticed. Very awesome walk cycle!

      Part 2: Jump & Transform. This one is super creative and wickedly awesome!! You already knew that 😉 The extra jump midair looks great, I love a game character who can do that! I also love the extra quake of the ground after you broke it with your landing. Well done!

      Part 3: Ax Swing. The antic swing above the head is great, very dynamic! Makes for an interesting move. After that the ax comes down and the ax burries in the ground, but the character stays upright. I feel there should be more power behind this move to get enough speed, it feels a bit light to me. Maybe the character should move down with the ax, put his weight behind it to really pull this effect of. That's just some thoughts I had while watching this.

      Great result of the first workshop, I really enjoy watching it!! 😄


      I will watch the rest later, its dinner time over here 😊 To be continued!

    • phoenix4690 Another quick question before I forget to ask, did you do these with Maya or Blender?

    • smurfmier1985  Hi Miranda!

      Great question. So I love the whole medium of animation. To me animation is animation and the only thing changing is the vessel its being delivered in and the technical challenges that come with it. Wayne pointed me in the direction of iAnimate for its great learning platform and because he actually went through their feature workshop first hand. The real reason I took the games workshops was because of money. I had none. What I ended up doing was going to my employer and pitched them the idea that learning these skills was a great asset to the department and a skill set that would take, previously outsourced animations, to something that could possibly be done in-house. Most of the animation that we pay to have done are very mechanical and more in line with advanced body mechanics. So, they found more value in me taking the games course over 4 extra classes learning about acting and lip sync in the features course. Like I said, animation is animation, and I was completely happy taking either path. There are jobs in both fields and I have no intention to stop learning. I'll fill in what ever gaps I need as I press forward.  That's probably not much help if you or someone is on the fence. It just depends on what drives you. If short films or games is what does it for you, it probably makes the decision much easier. For me it was just doing and getting started cause the skills are going to be there to pick up the further I go.

      Thank you very much for the feedback. Its awesome to go back and see these. I was looking at most of these shots everyday for 2 or 3 weeks and my eyes start to not catch these little things anymore. Seeing it now with fresh eyes, I cringe just a little bit. Great catch on the walk cycle and you make some good points on the ax swing.

      All of these were done in Maya by the way. Just because the rigs provided were Maya only and the instructors taught using it. I'm not as hardcore as Wayne is and re-rigged each character for use in Blender. haha ;)

    • phoenix4690 Thanks for your answer! Guess we're a lot alike, in that I love games and I love movies, so I'm interested in all of it 😄 

      Haha Yeah Wayne is funny that way 😬 I eventually want to get some experience with Maya just because is more widely used throughout the whole industry and because I believe it's not good to be stuck in one software program, you gotta be flexible. That being said I will probably always use Blender on the side just because I love it!

      Going to watch the rest now 😊

    • phoenix4690 Workshop 2.

      First of all, sorry to hear you had a family emergency. Hope everything is all right now?

      Question: are you planning to do the other assignment(s) you missed?

      On to the hit combo. She a bit like a street fighter, I like it 😊 I like the bouncing at the beginning, getting pumped for the fight. Feels really natural. Even shortly letting her guard down a bit before getting focused and on to the fighting. The first punch is not as strong as could be I think, she makes kinda a hook with her arm before punching, instead of punching straight forward,  feels a bit awkward to me. The second punch is strong! I do feel like the legs are too wide and she leans a bit forward to much, in real life you would loose your ability to quickly move out of the way when they hit back if you stand like this. She also feels a bit glued to the ground in the punching section, because her foot is planted flat on the ground for a fair bit of time. You would expect some more action on the ball of the feet to stay moving, dodging counter attacks. Then the uppercut on the kidney, nice shot! Great placement of the fist. The kick is awesome! Good squash and stretch, nice settle at the end, and I like how the pony tail moves with the movement of the body.

      Overall I think this is a great hit combo, got exited watching it! Well done 😬👍🏻

    • phoenix4690 Woohoo!  Welcome to the Polybook fun!  I'm not interested in animation right now, but I'll pop in from time to time just to see what you're up to =]

    • phoenix4690 Workshop 3.

      Oh yes, I would say planning is one of the most important aspects of any project! Wholeheartedly agree on its importance.

      In Game Cinematics. Already had seen the one you posted before in color, but this one has more at the end I see! It's very rough still of course so harder for me to give feedback on as a newbie (harder to see with my untrained eye haha). What I did see I liked a lot, this really has a lot of potential!! I like the camera angles, captures the action real nice. Also love that jump attack on the first creature, so dynamic! Then a take down from that second creature and that closeup on the struggle, nice! 

      It's a great start! Looking very much forward seeing this one progress 😃

    • phoenix4690 One last question, for today 😉

      Are you planning to do the Acting for Animators Course to get deeper into what drives a character and level up your animation skills?

    • smurfmier1985 from workshop 2 I don't think I'll go back and do the assignment I missed, just because in an indirect way I already am practicing the skills that it taught. It focused on the interaction of 2 characters with each other or with other objects and my final cinematic is already doing that.
      Will I be doing the Acting for Animators course? Yes, I'm looking forward to acting silly in front of everyone and diving deep into my CROW.  haha. You did an awesome job by the way. Its super cool how well you champed through that.
      Again, thank you for your great feed back and compliments.
      Tomorrow is Friday! (Feedback Friday? can that be a thing??) Good day to stay up late and animate ;)

    • phoenix4690 Thanks for the compliment about my acting silly video! Also no probs about the feedback, I like diving into your animations, they look great and it's fun to dissect them 😎 Feedback Friday has a nice ring to it, I like it!! 😊 Good day for making a long night indeed. I'm going to finally touch a rig I think, doing some pose practice 😬 This weekend I'll be filming my Lip Sync Acting exercise so that's coming up too. Looking forward to your next posts, and to your silly video and other acting videos of course! 😃

  • crew

    I love you phoenix4690 and smurfmier1985 

    Yeah, I gave Phil a push towards learning more animation school.  He was the genius that made his work pay for it!

    Did I mention that was genius?

    I learnt at iAnimate, but I did the Feature Animation side of things. (character animation). I tried to stay neutral in pushing Phil towards a school of his choosing, but he chose the Games Workshops at iAnimate.  (I secretly wanted him to do the feature workshops so I created a little mini-me but he didn't seem to receive my esp mind messages haha)

    The art of animation is the same no matter what the medium is.

    That is why I tried not to show the Blender interface as much as possible in the Animation Bootcamp Course.

    Blender animation is just Animation.  Blender in the tool.  

    I hope you can see that I'm giving you a push too Miranda.  Well not really a push, because you have enough that in you already, I'm more like that back seat driver that will tell you when you're going in the wrong direction.  Don't we all love those people haha.

    I love both of you guys.

    • waylow Oh yes, you gotta love those back seat drivers! 😆 You did a great job with Phil over here preparing an pushing him, and phoenix4690 your hard work has paid off, your animation stuff looks great! You're going places I'm sure of it 😊 Also Wayne I appreciate your support greatly, I'll certainly do my best to keep up the hard work! 😄👍🏻

  • I updated some hip rotation and adjusted the the arcs on the elbows and fists toward the end. Started animating the hair by hand cause I hated the simulated result. Animated hair up until the kick.

    • phoenix4690 Oh my, I don't want to be on her bad side! 

      So much smoother, the punch looks great. Also love the hair. Nice improvement! 😄👍🏻

    • phoenix4690 Oh hey it's the guy who saved my Halloween contest entry, hello again!

      The kick animation is looking sick, it'll be nice when you fully animate the hair, so looking forward to that! Another polybook to keep an eye on, good Lord, not complaining though, keep it up!

    • phoenix4690 

      Cool stuff! I am now following you. ;)

      First of I love the looseness in the boxing. Both in the shoulders and in the feet. That liver punch (hook to the body) is a thing of beauty. It makes me want to protect my side just from looking at it.

      I think you know this because I see it partly in the hook but just to make sure. All punches are like a long whipping motion. Foot through leg through hips to shoulder to arm (and fist). Punching is not done by the stretching of the arm, that's only the tiniest bit in the movement and not where the power comes from.

      It can be subtle to see but essentially everything lags behind its originator. With that I mean the hips lag behind the foot/leg, the shoulder lags behind the hip and (very important) the arm lags behind the shoulder. Only a little bit but its there. Shoulder moves first, arm follows, at the hit everything is fully rotated "out" at the same time. Long story to make the following points: make sure the order is right and see if you can have the shoulder lead the arm just the tiniest bit.

      Now, the kick. It does not work for me at all. I think there are two reasons for that. The first one is that you are having her kick with the instep of her foot. Now, I could be wrong but I feel its almost impossible to kick that way coming from the back. It is impossible to put force behind it for sure (and you will hurt your foot). I've tried kicking like this just for laughs and my body was just fighting itself. :)

      Now I don't want to say you "have to" make her kick a certain way but I looked up this reference: Play it in slowmo, its a fast motion. Maybe it gives you an idea how to approach it differently.

      My second point is that she does not counterbalance. Your legs are big and heavy. With her proportions this is even more true. On top of that you are swinging it out forcefully. That means you get a lot of centrifugal force and momentum. If I shield her legs with my hand and just look at her upper body I don't really feel she is doing a roundhouse. There is no counterbalance. :) It's also much too easy for her to stop the spin imo. Show there is some weight behind that leg and some power in that movement. She stops on a dime now.

      So, take these for what they are worth. Just some observations. I certainly can't do better at this point. But maybe they can help you make some decisions on how to improve this even further.

    • 3dioot Thanks for the follow and I absolutely appreciate the feedback! These are some solid observations you've made and the reference you found is great! (its been bookmarked for sure :)  )  You're not the only one that has brought up these points, which is good. Its a sure fire sign that something is just not right haha. I feel bad because you guys are first seeing this at the point where I'm one detail pass away from calling it done. So, please don't feel like  the feedback is going on deaf ears. All of this is going to stick with me  to the next shot.  Hopefully I can plan and catch these body mechanic mishaps in the early blocking stages where big feedback observations are easier to incorporate. Thanks again man, and I can't wait to see what you have going on as well! 

    • phoenix4690 

      Hey Phil. Glad to hear its useful to you! And don't worry, I am not expecting you to redo all the work you already put into this. That would be rather silly. :) Although, when I am honest, I do feel that the kick now kinda detracts from the awesome boxing animation that is before it. But that probably can't be solved without a whole lot of work.

      I am happy to hear you are looking forward to my work although it will be a while before I can show you anything substantial. I am still just animating balls at the moment! Can't way to move up to character animation and I'll make sure to post my work here on the forum.

    • 3dioot Don't worry about anything substantial, that will come with practice. Bouncing balls are the most important thing you'll learn cause "Everything is a bouncing ball." If you ever need feedback feel free to reach out. 

  • Alright, I need to call this done. This is the first of much more to come. Hopefully with each one they get better and better.

    Rig from iAnimate, animated in Maya (30fps), rendered in Cycles:

  • Since were all being "mean" to phoenix4690 mind if I chip in? Since I believe a picture says more than a thousand words I'll just throw this in here.

    Why did you render your awesome animation that you slaved over for hours upon hours on a glossy plane of all things? And that "horizon", the way it crosses her legs and the angles it forms, I can not not look at it. Its like you made a composition to make me focus on her knees/crotch. That could not have been your intention.

    You spend way too much time on her animation to present her like this man. <3

    I am going to be presumptuous here and assume you like what I've thrown together. If not feel free to disregard anything I say. I won't be offended (but will be curious why you like what you have better). Here is what I've done and why.

    Contrast/show the pose better. When avoiding a harsh horizon line, you pretty much end  with a gradient by default. Since she is so dark in the legs I chose to go from light to dark to med. This emphasizes her shoes/legs while still giving some contrast for the upper body.

    I chose a complimentary color to her green army outfit. I feel this makes the green pop a little and works ok with the red lips and orange/brown utitlity belt. Its not too saturated but helps make it all look a little more fresh and exciting imo.

    I added a single shadow. I think one shadow usually looks best (even with multiple light sources) and it could be a little longer and perhaps even darker. It can help sell the motion if you see it from another "angle" through the shadow. Of course this is much easier to do in 3d than it is to draw as you can see by my "attempt". ;)

    To make the composition in general a bit better I did the usual stuff. A white elipse blob in the middle with blend set to screen and low opacity (on the layer just above the bg gradient). Some black in the corners, blurred to oblivion, blend mode to multiply and low opacity on the top layer.

    Lastly I adjusted the levels and contrast for our heroin. She really did not use the full range you have at your disposal. No real darks, no real lights. This makes the image look flat. Lastly I increased the contrast somewhat (perhaps too much if I look at her skin now but its just a mockup). I feel this brought out the shine on her shoes and even some pant details.

    So erm, yeah. I feel the end result is much more appealing. I would click on that if it was a video thumbnail. :3

    Do with this what you want. :) (also its just my opinion)

    Why do you use Vimeo? I can't loop video's nor play it at different speeds (or step through frame by frame). Vimeo makes me sad. :|

    Purple works too and has better contrast with her skin:

    • 3dioot Appreciate the feedback man. Everything is a learning opportunity. My experience with the rendering side of the pipeline is much more limited and really just use that time to experiment and figure things out and have fun with it. The color schemes and flooring are based solely off what I've seen of other professional reels and trying to replicate those looks. My goal is really minimalism and keeping focus on the animation. So thank a lot I'll see what I can do to replicate what you've shown.

      I use Vimeo because that's where the community is at. And there no ads in my way when I'm frame by framing. (Try using Shift+arrow keys next time, you might be surprised what you find. ;)) Will probably use YouTube when I have a finished reel but otherwise I'm not a  big fan posting with it. 

    • phoenix4690 

      The color schemes and flooring are based solely off what I've seen of other professional reels and trying to replicate those looks.

      I was wondering if that was the case! I almost wrote something like, unless its a capital sin to use color or something. Are there benefits to keep everything toned down? Does it make the animation easier to jugdge? (I still feel the cut that sharp horizon line left on my soul though) And perhaps most importantly, would it make my work look amateurish if I added a little flourish (omg I even made that rhyme)?

      Interesting on Vimeo. I have some stuff on there too, very old tutorials primarily. Good to know that's where the community is at! I saw some people I admire on there as well. This explains a lot. I am also gleefully happy to know I can frame by frame on Vimeo. Thanks!

      If you want to replicate this kinda look I think you could do pretty much all of it in post. You'd need a render layer for the shadow perhaps in addition to the character but thats about it.

    • 3dioot I like the purple one better, much easier on the eyes 😉

      phoenix4690 didn't know that's where the community is at! Seems like I need to check out this Vimeo thing then and create an account there. Also handy to hear about going frame to frame didn't know you could do that. 

      It's awesome to see so many tips going around in this thread, learned some stuff 😊

    • 3dioot haha yeah like I said I'm seeing one thing and doing another, what you got here is gold man.  The sharp horizon is bad I completely agree.
      Yeah the questions are spot on. What I want is an environment that showcases the animation the best and keeps the distractions to a minimum. I don't think it would make you look amateurish to add a little flourish, if you do a good job with it.

      But if its not good (like the mistakes you pointed out in mine) recruiters recommend just sending opengl renders rather than fully rendering it out. 

    • smurfmier1985 at least that what it seems with animation reels. I don't see many people posting on Youtube. The best guess I have is because of the ads. That bottom bar is always popping up when I review animations on YouTube, and if I was a recruiter watching 100's of these, that could get annoying fast. But its just a guess. I'm just following the herd lol :)

    • phoenix4690 you raise a fair point, that bottom bar is quite annoying. Guess I'll be joining the herd soon 😉

      Can you also upload videos on Vimeo as 'hidden'? That's what I did for my acting videos on YouTube, don't want to show those to everyone haha

  • phoenix4690 Hi Phil! Just being curious, did you also do the lip sync animation course here at CG Cookie? 'Cause I didn't see any of that on your Vimeo, and if you did I would love to see them of course 😊

  • Good work as ususal Phil:)

  • phoenix4690 Hi Phil, I was wondering, as an iAnimate alumni you've got lifetime acces to iAnimate right? Like using all the rigs they have, and probably a forum. But does this also include watching recorded lessons and such, including new ones? And if so, can you also watch the ones from other learning disciplines (creature, feature), or only of game animation? 'Cause that would be a great learning source that's why I'm curious :)