The assignment for this week was basically work on any revisions for the blocking pass and add more details to the animation. Some might call this stage: blocking plus. Once we finish our blocking plus we can finally move into spline mode. Also for blocking plus, I turned all my keys into "Linear" mode. This way I could have a better visual of what my timing was looking like. At this stage, knee pops might be a bit more obvious.
Here's some of the things I focused on during the blocking plus stage:
Hips: Added hip rotations and some overlap between the side to side/ up and down movement.
Feet: I chose to animate straight ahead, frame by frame. At this stage, I also added some drag and overlap on the feet. Just be careful of adding too much or it might add to much personality to the "Vanilla" walk. Remember, this is a very basic walk. I also went back and double checked my feet placement and corrected any sliding on my feet, if any. Also worked on the peeling of the foot as it lifts off the ground. It should be nice and smooth as it makes contact and lifts the foot again.
Arcs: The cleaner the arcs the smoother the animation and the less chances of getting those pesky knee pops. I used the arc tracker tool from AM to track all my arcs.
Polishing / Final
I'm ready to spline and polish the animation. Yikes! Once splined, I went in order of hierarchy and clean up all my key frames/ tangents. I started by the hips, worked my way to the feet and finally the legs. Make sure to work on the hips first, the feet and finally the legs. Otherwise you might find yourself going back and forth between the poses fixing and breaking things.
One trick I learned from Bobby Beck was to used the stretch knee controller on Ballie to fix any knee pops that you may have. Just be careful not to stretch or shrink the leg too much, otherwise it might start looking a bit odd and deformed. Also, remember not to lose your key poses when using the stretch controller. Before my revision, I made the mistake of using the stretch controller too much and lost some of my extremes down poses. Lesson learned! ;)
For this week I also had to do a pose with STU depicting "concern".