This is as far as I got: Walk cycle underlay, plus some very rough drawings (mostly keys) to indicate the performance.
In other words, another failed effort. Another GIPE.
I also started trying to remember how I used to draw people when I was younger, like in second grade. After making a few of these retro drawings, I started experimenting with ways to make that style work dimensionally, with the ability to suggest just enough anatomy and acting ability to meet the needs of this project.
One of the first things I did when I started this project was to email my parents and ask them to find, scan, and send some old photos of me when I was younger.
Rough animation, first pass (walk cycle)
This is just to establish the rhythm for the character’s walk cycle. Drawings are based on reference from one of Preston Blair’s books.
I drew the chart first, on an arc to help visualize the “up” and “down” positions of the character’s walk. Then I added the “metronome” to make sure I had the beat down correctly. I actually ended up modifying the x-sheet by hitting each beat two frames earlier than originally indicated, because that’s what felt natural when the audio was added.
Then I drew the character — keys first, then breakdown drawings, then the in-betweens. I wound up massaging the x-sheet even more, adding and dropping frames as necessary. I also advanced the whole thinganothertwo frames, so the music’s beat is timed to the complete footfall, rather than the initial heel-contact as originally planned.
The piano run at 0:11 - 0:13 also required a major rework. I wound up re-timing that part of the exposure sheet completely.
To make things even more interesting, the walk cycle switches after the piano run. Before the run, the left foot contacts on beat two, and the right foot contacts on beat four. After the run, the right foot contacts on beat two, and the left foot contacts on beat four.
Again, this pass is just to establish the walk cycle. The actual performance — with the character undergoing his costume metamorphoses — still has to be done. That’s also dependent on finalizing the character and costume designs.
Here’s what the x-sheet looks like after the data has been entered into Harmony.
The first column contains the individual frame numbers.
The next column includes annotations about the song’s meter and the character’s walk cycle. LFC = Left Foot Contact, RFC = Right Foot Contact, LFP = Left Foot Passing, etc.
The third column includes time indicators for every eight frames. This helped me keep track of everything as I entered the data from the x-sheets my dad sent me.
The fourth column indicates drawing numbers for the first rough pass. “K” indicates key frames (each foot contact and passing position). “B” indicates breakdown drawings. Most drawings are on twos, except where frames had to be left out to maintain the music’s rhythm. This was slightly challenging because of the song’s syncopated beat, especially during the bit where the character’s steps match the piano rather than the kick drum.
The fifth column indicates the phonemes that will be used for the lip sync. Actual lip sync starts two seconds after FFOP (first frame of picture), and ends shortly after the twenty-three second mark.
The sixth column is for the audio track.
These are the exposure sheets that my father marked up for me, from the audio clip I sent to him. Indicated are: phonemes for the character’s lip sync; beat markers for the walk cycle; and special marks for the descending piano chords at 0:11 - 0:13 of the sound clip.
“Project Duncan Snyder” Proposal
This is the project I wanted to do as my final project for Animation I but never completed.
The original requirements were to animate something that used all of the principles and techniques we had learned that semester: squash and stretch, walk cyles, metamorphosis, lip sync, etc.
This animation will have a character (representing myself, though not necessarily a self portrait), in a walk cycle toward the camera as the camera dollies back. The character will lip sync to a single chorus from “Try to Believe” by Oingo Boingo (Dark at the End of the Tunnel, 1989). The character’s costume will be constantly changing, never the same way twice, representing the different roles the he is (I am) expected to fill, by himself (myself) or by others. Total run time will be about 23 seconds, exclusive of title slide, etc.