Thursday, 8 August 2013

Teddy Bear Walk Sequence | 3D CGI Animation

Recently, the College I go to held an art exhibition. I had two pieces in the exhibition (would have been 3, but there was a slight mess up) - an animation, and a comic. They were both final pieces from 2 different projects. Both of which were about Depression. Ontop of that, I wrote an essay on artists with Depression for my Art History class. If you don't know anything about Depression then I highly suggest you look into it, or ask me about it or something. Anyway, that's not the point.

As part of the animation project, which was a 2D animation, I was required to experiment with other forms of animation. For example, zeotropes, stop frame, flip books ect. I already had a basic knowledge of how to use a free - but yet again basic - 3D animation software called Anim8or. Their website can be found here. So I decided to try and improve my skills from basic to slightly-more-than-basic. Seeing as 3D computer animation is what I want to do once I finish College. 

So I did. I decided to try and model the character I was planning on using in my final project. The little teddy bear on the right. Solely because it seemed, and was, very easy to make. I just imported a few spheres, converted them to meshes and morphed the spheres until they were the correct shape for the appropriate body part. Then just added on some solid textures. Then came the skeleton. I built a very simple skeleton with one bone for each limb and changed the joint limits to move each limb 90 degrees forwards or backwards. The final part of the modelling was adding each body part to the corresponding bone. Then finally, came the fun part. Animating it.
Seeing as the bear only had one bone per limb, and it was just a matter of simply tweening each limb, making a walk sequence couldn't have been easier, making this a very easy way for me to actually find out what I can do with 3D animation before moving onto more complicated (but still open source) programs such as Blender. Which I will move onto fully when I get the hang of it. For now, I'm stuck with the basics.

The program is so easy to use, I highly recommend it to anyone just starting out with 3D computer animation, the website also includes some tutorials.

As simple as the animation is, my College lecturer thought it was brilliant. Well, maybe not the animation, but more of the fact that I'd managed to just pick up Adobe Flash and a 3D animation software without any training or help whatsoever - excluding tutorials on the internet. So hopefully it'll add a few extra marks the project!

So, that's it for this post. I'll probably upload the final animation when the project has been officially marked, incase they think I've just took it off the internet or something.

Thanks for reading!

- Jake

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