The transfer from video reference to my five key poses was my focus for this week. Taking what I saw as the primary positions for my animation and wrangling with my biped character, I found pretty quickly I was working from the wrong starting point.
I was originally using the FK character, but came across trouble as I was trying to rotate the elbow. The movement as the skateboarder shifts and transfers his weight between almost standing, to push and finally jump, is quite fluid and effects each joint independently. So I returned to the beginning with the IK character instead.
Whilst the IK character took a while to get used to (the limbs flail about like a puppet on a string), I think in the end it will give me more control and a (hopefully) more realistic movement. Here’s where I’m at so far…
Whilst I identified these as the major keyframes, there are clearly a lot of frames that I will need to add to create the arcs of movement needed to make this action realistic. I think the sequence I have chosen will be quite complex, but if I manage to get it looking okay, should be great.
I had a look around YouTube for some CGI skateboarder work and the result was dire. I mean really, really bad. Here is an example of pretty much everything that you can do to make computer animation look terrible…
…awful filters, thoughtless camera angles and no attempt at making the skateboarder look like he’s got any weight, or real world physics to contend with. It’s all bad.
So instead, I looked up Travis Pastrana for inspiration. Not because it’s helpful to this weeks work, but because I needed a laugh after the last video…