The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals Animation
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The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals Animation

Penny Jacobs
by commanzu on 1 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

An animation done in 15 weeks for a class assignment. Uses audio from the Starkid show "The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals". My final project at Yoobee School of Design,

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I set aside 3 weeks for pre-production in order to assure that I had all of my planning done. I then put 3 weeks into pose blocking because I had 2 characters, and that would give me a week and a half to block both out in stepped preview until I could start refinements. Unfortunately the tween frames didn’t interpolate the facial blockouts correctly in stepped preview which meant I would have to push the facial animation into my animation refinement slot. I had 4 weeks of animation. This would give me time to smooth out the tween frames between my key poses, and get my facial animations ready. After this I put 4 weeks into my render setup alongside animation refinement, although this ended up only having 2 weeks because of scene errors.

As a part of this animation I learnt how to create and use blend parent set driven keys. The scene where Mery picks up the brain utilizes the blend parent to move the brain from being sat on the ground to being held in her hand. The blend parent had to have keys already applied to it in order to give the blend parent option in the channel editor, which was an issue I dealt with while setting up the controls. The brain was parented to a curve, then the curve was set as a driven key that would switch from the curve being in control of the brains movement over to the positions of Mery’s hand being in control of the brains movement when the curve is moved on the Y axis.

I started the animation out by using the stepped preview in Maya and blocking out my important poses to match with the audio. Once I had finished with the stepped preview I began to work with my tween frames and cleaning them up so that the movements would be smoother. At this point I also blocked out my lip flaps and facial expressions, as the stepped preview was unable to interpolate the face movements of the rigs and would cause them to move to the extremes of their sliders. The top half of the image is Mery’s keyframes while I was working in stepped preview, the second is Mery’s keyframes in the final animation.

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