Update - 14 Jan 2022
My Final Rendered Submission
Update - 13 Jan 2022
When trying to fine tune and tweak the timings of my animation I found that everything felt rushed and too fast paced, especially towards the ending. To fix this I decided to alter the ending by changing the Spider's full body step and pivot to simply just an upper body turn and hold. I feel like this improved the animation more than I ever would have expected. Having no period of rest at the end even briefly felt like it had an effect on the overall tone of the whole animation. Before I made this change when the video finished it didn't feel complete. It felt as if it was cut short and rushed.
Overall I am quite happy with where I've gotten my animation to. For a while in the process of this challenge I wasn't quite sure if I was going to smooth out my animation without it being a choppy mess. At one or two points especially I felt disappointed and without a sense of direction. However, I am glad that despite these setbacks I was able to find a way to make something that I am happy with.
Initial Spline - Straight from Stepped
Looking at the Initial spline I immediately realised a mistake that I had made. For this type of movement I really should have done all of my keyframes using forward kinematics. Not doing this meant that the interpolation was very lineated and doesn't naturally create arced motion. In my animation there are many flowing movements that would have been made so much easier to animate in splined interpolation had I used forward kinematics.
For a couple days I was hitting a wall where I would try to fix the interpolation by adding more and more keyframes until my graph editor became an absolute mess. Realizing that I was creating more problems than I was fixing, I decided to restart back to my stepped save files... twice. Obviously not having learned from my previous mistakes I fell into the exact same trap where I was cluttering my workspace and making things more complicated for myself. Third time lucky, I managed to control my urges to pose and keyframe and instead payed a lot more attention to the graph editor itself, cleaning up curves achieve the arced movement I was aiming for.
Update - 11 Jan 2022
Updated Stepped Pass
Going over my initial stepped pass I added in some more between keyframes and adjusted the timings on some key poses. I also adjusted some of the existing poses to push their dynamics and make them a bit more extreme. Making these adjustments I feel conveyed a greater sense of weight to the round spider character helping with overall believability. From this point I feel like I can go into splined interpolation to begin focusing more on the in-betweens and overlapping actions.
Looking at the pass, I am feeling as if the final action of knight spider turning and looking up at the toaster is a bit rushed and is crammed right at the end. I may have to change it to just be a look rather than a full pivot to both save on time and give both the action and animation as a whole a bit more room to breathe.
Update - 6 Jan 2022
Initial Story Ideas:
Knight Spider finds a shoe and decides to make it his new home. He struggles to clamber up the side of the shoe before tumbling over the top. He then peers out before looking around and ducks back down into the shoe.
Knight Spider comes out of a shoe and struggles to get down. Part way down, he slips and falls bouncing off of the ground before landing upright. He looks back up at the shoe and then hobbles away.
A plastic food container rattles around before opening to a fat spider with a full mouth as he swallows the last of whatever food was previously in the container and lets out a thundering belch. In a 'food drunk' state he struggles to climb over the small container lip as he stumbles over its ledge and falls to the ground. After a deep breath he clumsily pushes himself back up onto his feet and trudges towards screen right.
Knight spider shows the viewer into an apartment where a sofa, lamp and coffee table sit in the background. On the right wall there is a shelf lined up with an assortment of ornamental vases. With a cocky and 'cool' demeanour, Knight Spider inspects his nails and leans on the shelf. Under his weight, one side of the second shelf buckles and collapses causing the vases to begin sliding off the end. Panicked, Knight Spider rushes to catch the vases as they fall off. With the help of his many limbs he just manages to save all of the pottery as he looks back at the viewer with a relieved chuckle. From all of the commotion a single vase on the top most shelf is still rocking back and forth, teetering on the edge. As Knight Spider goes to place a vase back the precarious vase tips off the edge and lands on his head, causing him to drop all of the previously rescued ceramics. As he covers his head in the pain, he opens his eyes and peers back at the viewer with an embarrassed, guilty look.
Knight Spider is tanning in a toaster until the timer pops and he is flung out of the top with sunglasses on, exiting the frame at the top of the screen. After a brief moment, he plummets back down and bounces high off the ground flapping his bottom arms and flailing to soften the next impact in a panicked state. On landing he immediately grabs his glasses and throws them on the ground in a fit of anger. He then looks around for a culprit and postures menacingly punching his fists together. Upon realising there is no one nearby that could have interrupted his tanning he relaxes and looks back at the toaster while scratching his head in confusion.
Knight Spider Stepped Interpolation
For creating the stepped version of my animation, I wanted to pay particular attention to the posing and timing of Knight Spider's performance. I wanted to go for a cartoonish aesthetic to the posturing and movement of the character. Aiming for this I tried to make conscientious of the toon controls and make use of exaggeration wherever possible. An issue that I have had when animating in the past is being too timid in pushing both posing and timing to establish a dynamic result. This has ended up with a boring and monotonous feeling. Looking at the stepped result I can see the effort I've made to learn from my previous attempts however I still feel as though there are certainly places where I can break up the timings and poses more than I already have.