For the body mechanics segment of the animation assignment, I decided to do a jump. I wanted to start off with something that was simple in concept but would need a fair amount of polish to get a good result in the end.
Whilst looking into jumps I came across a digital tutors tutorial that had a jump animation in it. (click the image below to be taken to the tutorial)
The specific tutorial used covered the area of animation layers and unfortunately didn’t describe how to animate the the jump itself, but using the Maya file as reference was good enough to use as a starting point.
So as seen above, the character leans into itself in an attempt to build up momentum for the jump, almost like a little stationary bounce.
The movement to the arm moves in an arc upwards, from the characters down position to its up position, and returns back to it original down position by its sides.
Referring back to an article I blogged about earlier by Animation mentor, I decided to draw out a really rough breakdown of the jump before I started to animate it.
I broke the jump down into 11 stages, and made note of how the body will bend in certain areas of the jump.
As opposed to the layered, blocking method I used to create my previous animations (Walk and Run) in which I would polish a specific area of the body each time before moving on to the next, I decided I would try to animate in a different way this time animating pose to pose polishing the entire body in stages before moving onto the next pose in the animation.
I started off by animating the build up to the jump, really trying to capture that small bounce that precedes the character lifting itself off the ground.
I then continued onwards with the jump by animating the characters lift off the ground to when it starts to lose momentum and falls.
To finish, I animated the character falling from the jump and returning to the cycle starting position so that it loops.
Submitting it for feedback was relatively painless with regards to improvements to be made.
Edward, Sorcha and Kerry really liked it which was reassuring.
The only faults they found were in the hands, in which they weren’t really animated, and there being a slight ‘pop’ in the left leg as the character meets the ground.
So, after the following adjustments were made, the jump cycle was complete.
Really happy with the way it turned out!