Sumo Digital Rising Star 2018 - Stage 2 Submission
A downloadable asset pack
The main thing is to make sure that each animated segment works individually and as a cohesive whole. The rig I’ve chosen (P. Starostin, 2012) is relatively blank, but it’s a good rig to work with and the fact that there are no secondary visual elements means that there’s nothing to distract from the motion. If I can convey a sense of character with it, I know that I’ve done a decent job that would only be enhanced with extra optical splendour.
As for the contents of the animation, I’ve decided to aim for a drunk character, perhaps with a bottle in hand, going through the process of taking a swing at an opponent. The four stages will therefore be: the character swaying about on his feet; the character seeing his opponent, pointing at him and winding back for the swing; the character taking the swing and nearly being flung to the floor, just keeping his balance; and the character pulling back into his original position, stopping to catch his breath on the way. I think this will be an interesting motion because it will tell you a lot about the character, not only that he’s drunk in this moment but also that he’s brash and a bit of a bruiser who’s not quite as capable as he thinks. It should also just be quite entertaining to watch, enhancing a relatively simple scenario while providing an interesting challenge.
Due to unforeseen technical issues, I only had a around week to complete the actual animation. As such, it isn't as refined as I would have liked. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the end result and don't think its time-frame is immediately evident. In a way, having an increased time-pressure was a unique challenge as it allowed me to gain experience of working under a stressful deadline. I feel that the motion is fairly fluid and tells the story of the character, who has a decent amount of personality and is clearly drunk. It follows the brief and is a successful slice of small story-telling. I also think that the render came out pretty well, with a nice back-lighting that could perhaps simulate the warm glow of a pub the character has just exited. There are a few areas I would like to improve. Some of the animation is a little rigid and, as I mentioned, it isn't generally as refined as I would've liked. I think it’s a bit slow, both in general and in some specific areas, which is a result of me sticking too close to the reference video. There is small segment where the bottle passes through the character’s leg, which I didn’t catch until after rendering and didn’t have time to fix. I also ran into a lot of issues surrounding the export process. In the future, I would definitely leave more time for this and also work on the animation for longer, fixing any issues and getting it as refined as possible. I would do a final pass without the reference, speeding up certain segments to give them extra punch. Hopefully, the technical issues wouldn't occur again and I would be able to do the project in a more appropriate amount of time. I am still happy with the work I was able to produce and enjoyed doing it. The experience has compounded my love of animation and my desire to pursue it as a career.
NOTE: As mentioned, I encountered several exporting issues and was unable to produce any usable .FBX files. I have provided the actual 3DS Max files instead. This is also the reason that no Sketchfab link is present, as that site requires .FBX files to function.
Starostin, P. (2012). Max [3DS Max Animation Rig]. Retrieved From: http://www.11secondclub.com/resources