Theodore Test Animation
In preparation for animating for Dragon, I had created a test animation with Theodore near the end of the Fall semester. The purpose of this animation was to get a feel for the rig controls and troubleshoot any issues that it had initially.
Saint George Test Animation
This animation was made for the tech demonstration of the forest in our short with Saint George walking throughout the set. I wanted to portray his proud and cocky personality through his walk by giving him big strides in every step he took and having his chest and shoulders be broad with his movements. The way I animated this was done by starting with a mixamo animation as a base, then animating on top of it. This would allow the animation to loop in place and once referenced in the scene, he can be easily positioned and keyed to walk a certain distance. After having done it this way, I feel it would have been better to have done the entire animation from scratch and created all of the key poses in Maya, because transferring back and forth from Maya to Motion builder served to bring up some technical problems that were time costly to fix.
For all animated shots, it is important to set the key poses for all of the shots in order to lay the foundation of the movement of the shot and get a sense of the story that will be presented through in the final animation. After the poses are finished, I am able to add in-between poses to complete the overall movement of the animation.
Main Body Animation (Theodore)
The main movement of Theodore's animation was complete on the date that the principal animation was due. While I was animating him, I always made sure that I implemented his reserved personality within his movements, having him be stiff at times, as he has lived in a cave most of his days.
Facial Animation (Theodore)
A while after the main body animation for Theodore was complete, facial animation controls were added allowing for more emotional expression. I added facial animation to some of the animations I originally did, as well as animations that another teammate did. Above is a video of all the facial animation I contributed.
I'm very big on characterization bits that is not totally obvious, but subtle enough to get the point across. One scene that I'm particularly fond of is the final scene at the end of the video (0:23) where Theodore is exiting the cave meeting up with Saint George and seeing the Mayor outside. Theo is excited to finally share his idea with the outside world, but then to his shock, he finds the authority figure who wants him dead. I imagined how I would feel in this position if I was Theo, and I wanted to emulate that feeling in that scene - excitement leading to shock/confusion, then a sense of feeling betrayed by Saint George, looking skeptical at him and thinking "Did he trick me? I thought he was my friend."
Saint George Animation
This is an animation of Saint George getting slammed against a rock accidentally by Theodore after the two of them scare each other. This is the only shot in the entire film where Saint George is traditionally animated. This shot was originally motion-captured, however, due to technical inconveniences, I was tasked to reanimate this scene from scratch.
I was also tasked with animating all of the lizard animation, a comedic relief scene in the short. I had looked up video reference of actual lizards in real-life walking, and I found it fascinating the way they move their spines as they walk in all fours, so I did my best to mimic that movement in the first shot he appears in, given how much he is shown in the frame.