Page 1 of 2

amazon woman

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:35 am
by funksmaname
I've been doing a wood cut (printmaking) course, for which I've been turning up with no ideas so last Sunday I came up with this under pressure:


As an aside, I've been recently playing 'Shank' which you may or may not have heard of - its a PS3 download release that looks like an extremely violent sunday morning cartoon, using quite obviously cut out shapes and some warping to create some pretty good 2D animation! I've never really built characters in this way so wanted to try it out.

When I got home I started thinking this might make a cool animated scene so I started blocking out the woman in AS. Every limb is seperate - so when I boned it I went through every bone and pretty much attached an entire single shape to each bone.

AS is amazingly fast - I drew the shapes in an hour or two but boning took literally 10-15 mins at which point she came to life!


I used bone locking to lock her feet down so moving a single torso bone made her sway like she's doing tai chi.

At this point she was naked, so I put in the bikini, the strands on her waist are the only things which are flexi binded as they are made of quite a few points.

Then the fun bit of just animating without any target ideas i just messed about - the clothes added a nice oportunity for secondary motion, and spinning the spear was done with point motion.

The thing I love about AS is that you can work quite broadly with bones, and then go into the layer to fix up point motion (for example to keep her ankles from moving around too much)

The splashes were done with switch layers - I foigured out quite a nice way to create switch layer frame by frame, by starting building frames OUTSIDE the switch then moving them in and laying them down. I then decided to extend the motion so each frame was on screen for 2 frames, but i used an overall warp on the switch layer to make even 2 identical frames change shape so it looks like they are drawn on 1s (maybe?)

Anyway - it's not perfect, it was just some fun and exercise for me but i thought I'd share in case someone found it useful or had any questions... i might continue this a little - i plan to hopefully make it into a little teaser trailer for a series that will never exist ;)

by the way, i also think it makes a prety cool avatar - which i made by exporting PNGs, importing into photoshop as an animated sequence, cropping and exporting as GIF... loopy loopy.

other things i just thought of:
the only things on their own layer are the spear so it's on to, and the hand independant of the spear so it can be on top of it. Having the spear isolated meant that most of the time it was moved by the rist bone, but when needed i could spin it with point motion easily.

The feet were isolated so i can easily hide/show them when necessary but they were a bit of an afterthought and aren't particularly detailed.

I made extensive use of the sequencer tab doing this - really useful for copying splash layers and moving the around in time as a group of sublayers...

i love articulating the hand - each finger is boned - lots of fun.


Hope you find something useful in my unwittingly wordy post...let me know if you have any questions i've overlooked...

one last thing - working in silhouette is very forgiving!

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:12 pm
by Genete
Loks fantastic!
Despite the great elasticity of the woman to make those jumps, the animation looks pretty "beliable" what means that the gravity, pose and anticipation concepts are well achieved.

Forgive for this tiny comment. The spear should touch the water during the turn, if not she sould hurt her face!

Seriusly, almost perfect!

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:17 pm
by neeters_guy
That looks great! The nice thing about the small target size is that you don't have to fuss with a lot of small details, just concentrate on the larger shapes and movements. It reads well!

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:07 pm
by funksmaname
Thanks guys...

Thanks for the idea genete - originally the spear was anchored in the water - but as i wanted to have it move around the spin was the last thing i did just for fun - it would be good if it skimmed the water and created a curved ripple as it passes - i will deffinately add that!

Regarding the jump, yeah - i over did it so i could get her in and out of shot - she has super-human jumpy-powers. If she's going to take on that massive snake thing she needs SOME superhuman powers! :)

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 3:19 am
by VĂ­ctor Paredes
fantastic work, funksmanane. You have made several great animation pieces this last months, that's great and make the forum more funnier and interesting.

PD offtopic: I made once a character with similar strips (here is it). I couldn't use dynamics because it was a walking cycle of a few frames, so it has to be animated by hand (it's hard to explain it, but basically in 12 frames dynamics do not reach to do a good work). To make it simpler, I only animated one strip and made the bones of the other strips be controlled by the animated one. It worked like a charm. End of the offtopic :roll:

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:40 am
by funksmaname
Thanks Selgin!

Ah, i see what you mean - that animation is amazing btw! worth all the hard work! I didn't use dynamics - i find it easier to just grab the end of each strand and just eyeball it... i've not really mastered bone dynamics so fiddling with them to make it work would take longer than just grabbing the end and flicking it by hand using the IK :)

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:39 am
by robj
Excellent work funksmaname! Her arrival; the pause while she drifts back and forth; then her exit! ... and all the timing wrapped around it! Throw in the ancillary splash animation to give it a location and an added depth to the timing and believability ... Very, very well done.

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:45 am
by patricia3d
Great Work. Its looking like 3D Environment. Jump and water splashes are nice.

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:45 am
by funksmaname
Thanks Robj :)

New Tip: controlling path edge angle

One thing i forgot to point out, if you look at the last screenshot of the hand and the backside - the gray line that is effectively the elastic of her skirt is just a line with a large width.

However, controlling the direction of the hard edge on a large stroke can be quite tricky (or impossible) unless, once the shape is created, you add a mini un-stroked path to the end of the line... then the end points' location above or below the line it's attached to will rotate the path hard edge accordingly...

This is useful in any situation where you can get away with a fat width stroke instead of an actual rectangle/shape as strokes are far easier to animate...

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:22 pm
by jose1984alberto
awsome... good work

i would consider, though, adding a bit of anticipation right before he jumps out the screen, i think it would add a lot to it...

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:32 pm
by DarthFurby
I love the swaying motion almost as much as her gorgeous proportions. Also agree with jose1984alberto, I would've added more anticipation with a downward crouch just before she jumps, but otherwise beautiful!

As for strokes I don't use them much, I usually fake lines by overlapping shapes so they can be any width or dissappear completely, and they export well in vector format. It is a bit more work for the extra freedom tho. Also, I was a bit shocked to read how quickly you put this together, it would've taken me much MUCH longer than that, but I rely heavily on point motion, less on bones.

Posted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 9:51 pm
by funksmaname
Thanks DF (et al) - i didnt see this message till now.

Yeah i usually use point motion for anything that takes more subtle precision - but love using bones for overall motion - the ease and freedom of using bones for first pass is wonderful! For this reason, wherever possible i like to use thick strokes over shapes as i'm animating 1 point, instead of, as in your case with overlapping shapers, at least 3 points for the same movement...


Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:01 am
by fracturedray
Very Cool Funk!!

I agree with DarthFurby about the downward crouch and anticipation.

I'd also recommend slowing the frame rate down for the water. I had this issue on the Rice Field Hop so I set the water animations to 2 to get a better speed perhaps since you already used two it could go to 3? Very important also is think of the hang time of a bouncing ball, the splash of water needs the hang time as well.

And just to be picky. (snicker) I'd love to see the water splash in the correct directions instead of straight up and down :)

Maybe have one or two drops fall from her feet a little to the left of the main splash as she is leaping away.

This may help you as it helped me.

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:17 am
by funksmaname
I thought of you when i did this water... and i though - "bah - it'll never be as cool as fracturedray's so i'll just busk it" lol - i also thought "maybe i'll just ask him for the file and put it in" hehe...

Actually i did the last water first when she jumps up and just reused them for the landing which was pretty bad idea - the splash from the back foot particularly bothers me!

Thanks for the ideas... i will think about increased crouchdown - but the water most deffinately needs looking at! I'd like to put in some study time to be able to do water more naturally in future - now i've got AS7 i actually managed to simulate a drop quite nicely, and do a 2nd pass of point animation to warp it as it flies up and down... i might try using this method as a basis and build on it :)

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 7:49 pm
by fracturedray
You know out of that whole project the water splash took me the most time to learn/prepare for because I was clueless on how to do it. I wouldn't want to cheat you out of all the "fun" I had. :)

All critiques aside I think your splash is a good start and shows a lot of promise.