Here are the first storyboard images for my ball and tail animation. It lays out each section of the animation so I can reference it later.
Here, is the final playblast of my ball and tail, I had to export it into Premiere and speed it up, to fix the issue of the play blast replaying slowly, compared to what was on my view port. This however does the the video a little more choppy and not as smooth as it is in Maya.
Excuse the large amount of reference videos for this project, this was so I had a wide knowledge of the way different animals fall, at that point I was unsure of the personality of the ball and tail and all these videos helped me to define one.
This a rendered frame from the start of my ball and tail animation. I have modelled the arm chair, lamp and table myself, using a various techniques we learnt from the modelling sessions. I also did some experimenting with different ways to light the scene. I wanted the light to emit from the lamp but I was unable to make light pass through lamps shade. At the moment I have applied a mia_material and connected a mia_ light surface to it, but I have also been using ‘object lights’ applied to the shade, both have the same effect, which i like a lot because it gives the scene a very warm feel. This is particularly good because it creates the perfect environment for a sleeping cat (ball and tail). the only issue with this is the lamp loses all definition and shading, I am unsure of how to fix this but I will keep searching.
I used this video as a reference to create the arm chair in my animation, overall the process was very easy and I was able to use techniques from the modelling sessions to my advantage in this model.
With this playblast I have finally come up with a solution for my slow playback speed.
The issue was the frame rate in the viewport compared to the playblast was different, the playblast played at real time 24fps, whereas the viewport was set to play every frame and timing set to free. I tried speeding up the key frames, but this messed with the curves on the graph editor and some clipping occurred between the objects in the scene. Then I tried increasing the frame rate, but this still didn’t look as smooth as it did in the viewport.
I finally managed to create the correct speed and smoothness by converting the the frame rate to 60fps, baking the animation, then, shortening the key frames on the time slider, to the desired speed. although I don’t think this is the correct way to solve the issue, it will do for now. in the future before I start doing any animation I will change the playback speed to realtime to avoid any issues.
In this test I have focused on making the ball movements more fluid and also adding some tail movements.
I’m finding some of the tail movements quite challenging to make look realistic, in particular the movements of the tail as it falls off the cushion, I have looked at some references but it is hard to apply. I’m going to have a look, more closely, at the graph editor, to see if I can smooth out some of the animations, to fix this.
On the other hand, I feel I have done a good job on the tail movements as it jumps back up, I had a good reference video for this movement and I can see how much it has helped. I should see if I can find another falling video reference to improve my other animations.