Walking in Maya and Stop Motion

Building on my work animating with the two blocks, I went further and applied the same rules to a digital puppet. This puppet was a lot more complicated as there were so many things to control if I wanted it to look convincing such as ankle pivots and toe controls. Eventually I got there with something I think worked. I didn’t animate the arms as I only wanted to get the legs and feet to look right. One of the most challenging parts of this task was changing the pivot points, so that the toes are the last thing to leave the ground, and the ankle is the first.

 

After making this animation, I wanted to try out a more hands on method and animate an armature in stop motion. This one was my first attempt.

This short animation took about 2 hours to create and I don’t think was a bad first attempt. I shot the animation on two’s but I think in some areas it looks a bit too harsh, and not very casual. My main mistake with this is that I wasn’t animating from any reference footage. So for my next attempt I decided to film some reference footage first.

Using this footage I was able to much easier animate because I had a guide to keep referring back to.

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I inserted the footage into the rotoscope track on stopmotion pro and tried as best I could to align the armature wth the post in the frame.

Using this method resulted in a much more convincing and accurate animation which I think is quite a significant improvement from the first.

In total the entire animation took about 2 hours 30. So it wasn’t really much longer than the first attempt. However, it is a few seconds longer so I think overall this is a much more efficient method.

In conclusion, I much more enjoyed animating the stop motion armature because I found I could emerse myself properly into the zone, and I didn’t have to worry about software, controls, and keyboard shortcuts. I just had to repose the armature how it was meant to look.

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