Saturday, 14 January 2017

Minor Project - Reflective Statement

I found the minor project to be a really fun experience, from early on I knew that I wanted to make an animated short over the minor and major project. My initial plan was to be completely ready for animation by the end of my minor project. However, I realised that to create four characters to the standard that I wanted would take longer than planned. I put a lot of effort into creating the characters and I am disappointed that I couldn’t get the last character created in time for the minor project submission.

Throughout this project I’ve come to realise a few things about myself, one of them being that I find rigging and skinning to be a massive challenge. When I was rigging the boy it felt as if I wasn’t making any progress even though the project was moving forward. I think this step of the pipeline is one that costs me a lot of time because I always want to push myself and do the best I can, so I try to do slightly more complex rigs. Although it was time consuming I believe that it was a very practical use of my time, as I was able to get a good translation from concept to CG. I’ve also learnt that my knowledge around lighting and rendering is lacking, when creating the turnarounds, I struggled to get them lit nicely and unfortunately I over exposed the Mum turnaround with the rim lights. This is something that I really want and need to improve on, as it is extremely important that my animation is well lit.

I am happy with how the Boy and Parents turned out, I think that the boy is a very successful translation from concept to CG and I am very excited to move on with the Major project and to begin animation. I noticed a few things that need improving with the Boy as I created a test animation. I need to add a control which can move his mouth texture, preferably position and rotation so that I have more control over his mouth. Another very important thing I need to add is animated phoneme shapes, I’ve spoken to Alan regarding this and it is something that will be developed very shortly. With the Mum I need to re look at her dress rig, as all of its deformations are a bit lumpy at the moment. Lastly I need to finish off the Bed/Monster, I was having a hard time translating it from concept to CG. So far it isn’t where it needs to be and that is one of the first things I will do moving forward.

I think it is important to mention that at the moment I don’t think I am achieving the animation style I want for this project. It’s getting close but not one hundred percent there yet, I will make sure that I do a few more tests and get something I am completely happy with before committing to the animation for the short. I keep watching Jelly Jamm and similar styles to pick apart their methodology, this is something I want to make sure I get right as I want to sell myself as an animator.

Overall I am happy with how the project went, I feel as if I did as much as I could in the time I had. I am very happy with the Boy and I am very excited to create some rich animations that can be added to my demo reel. I feel like I am in a good place to go over into the major project and I will make sure that I quickly and efficiently get to the animation stage, so I can give it all the care it deserves. This project has largely been successful in my eyes and I think that being in University most days has really helped me to stay on track and to be motivated. 

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