Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Crazy golf! Final video

Here it is: the finished project for my 'introduction to digital animation' module.


As said previously, I am very proud of this animation. CGI is something I have never experienced before, and I have taken to it quite well considering I did not think I would like it! I wouldn't perhaps go as far as saying I would specialize in this field (this is a tie between stop motion and 2D at the moment), but I have for the most part enjoyed this module. 

Since one of the key specifications for this project was to implement the principles of animation into my work, I feel I should take a moment now to provide a quick overview of those included, and where:

'Squash and stretch' was used multiple times during the animation. The golf ball squashes once only, when it is hit with the putter at the beginning. This was to accentuate the action. The flagpole wobbles when it is hit by the golf ball, technically constituting stretch. Lastly, the purple ball squashes both when it is knocked by the flag, and also when it hits the golf ball (though the latter was toned down somewhat).

Likewise, 'exaggeration' was actually rather reserved this time, since I was aiming for something more realistic. Nevertheless, the flagpole required some degree of exaggeration to wobble as much as it did. Perhaps the golf ball was given it's dose too- in reality, it most likely would have stopped rolling well before it reached the hole!

'Ease in/ease out' was applied appropriately to achieve smooth and sudden actions where needed. I mentioned before how this was important for rapid changes of direction when the ball deflects off a surface. In truth, due to the way Maya implements this principle by default, I gave this a lot of thought when animating. This is directly linked to 'timing and spacing'.

'Anticipation', and 'reaction' were consistently applied to make the animations believable. Movements such as the golfer shifting his weight when stepping, taking practice swings before his shot, and the follow through of the golf club showing momentum are all examples of these principles. Also of note is the purple ball, which continues to roll a short distance after hitting the golf ball, due to it's larger mass- the golf ball did not provide enough opposing force to stop the purple ball completely. Lastly, the mallet is stopped mid swing by the second supporting beam. You will notice in the video how the mallet handle impacts this beam, and how the handle therefore bounces several times instead of coming to a complete stop.

Right, looks like I'm off for Summer! Over the coming months, I'm going to have a lot of free time, but that doesn't mean I won't be doing anything animation-related. I still have several personal projects to work on which will be revealed in due course when the time is right! Whether that time will be over this break it is too early to say, but check back occasionally as I might finally have more work to update my 'Digital art' page!

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