Thursday, September 11, 2008

Critique - Dialogue & Run


The acting piece felt way too overacted. They are both really exaggerated and are acting out the words. When she says I killed him, don't have her gesture the killing moment. I would keep it subtle, have her do something sweet and delicate, so you add contrast between the words and the action.


The run looks really cool, nice work! Alright, let's be picky (since it's so good). :)

Let's start with the root. Even though the run looks great, overall it feels a bit poppy and stroby. I would give it another pass and really check the spacing. Let's check the up and down and I'm going to use the top of his helmet to trace the spacing.
So x1 to x2, there is no up and down, given how much the head goes down from x16 to x1, that's a sudden stop, so ease into that stop a bit more. The head goes up till x5 but then goes down on x6, which is too sharp. Give it more hang time. Even it's just one frame. You should also rotate the head up (his chin up), to add drag. Not much, don't make it floppy, just a little bit. Keep checking the spacing though. So, big movement down on x5 to 6, sudden small one from x6 to 7, after that it gets bigger and bigger, but then we get to the same point where the head just stays flat in Y from 9 to 10, etc.

Changing all of this will affect your hips and leg action, so adjust accordingly. But still look for the following:

side view:

look at the heel of his left foot at x6, now check the spacing from x5 to x6, then 6 to 7. It gets suddenly a lot bigger, but then smaller from x7 to 8, then bigger again to 9, then a lot smaller to 10. So long story short, the spacing is too uneven. When you look at it playing, it feels like once the feet get off the ground they move pretty fast so you're expecting to see fast strides and steps, but then the way the foot goes forward feels slow. If you look at the front view the guy feels very energetic, but that energy is missing in the sideview.
Frontview: check the arcs on your feet. From x1 to 3 you go screen right (looking at the screen left foot), but then from x4 to 6 it's all straight forward.

His hips: Now this might must be me, it's hard to see with everything being grey, but I think you could amp the hip Y rotation a bit more as the legs go forward and backwards. I'm stuck on x12 (sideview still btw.) and even though his right leg is stretched back and the other one ready to plant, the hips feel in default Y position.

Speaking of x12. If you look at his upper and lower torso in the front view, it's loose and moving, which is nice, so it would be cool to get that action working in the side view as well. The hip and lower body feels a bit stiff. Not that you have to add crazy stuff to it, just amp it up a bit more. So looking at x12, following the line of his back leg, you could rotate the hips counter clockwise a bit to follow that line, same with the lower body, then rotate the upper body back clockwise. During the steps you can reverse the spine a tad more. This will make it a lot more bouncy though in the head, so you'll have to adjust that.

Arms: there's a sudden drop from x5 to 6, which makes that swing a bit fast (and it's also accentuated by the sudden stop of the arms during frame 9, 10 and 11). Either ease out of that or at least drag his wrist to give it more overlap.
Frontview, screen right arm: keep your arcs clean. Going towards x5 you swing screen right to left, then you get that sudden drop straight in Y. Finish your arc. Same from x9 to 10. x15 to 16 the forward move is too straight, keep you arc going.

One more thing about the head. Looking at his visor (front view), that line stays horizontal pretty much all the time. You should add little sideways rotation, little dips whenever his foot lands, to accentuate the weight and give it a bit more complexity.

Hope that helps!


Joey said...

Thank you for being picky~!
It helps alot! :-)

Avner said...

Hey there JD,

I was wondering who are the people/ students you critique their work?

Are you teaching animation somewhere?

Jean-Denis Haas said...

Hey Avner,

I'm teaching at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. So whenever there's a critique post, it's a clip from one of my students (or sometimes a clip from someone that sent me a clip via email).