AuthorTopic: GR#076 - Bird Design & Animation  (Read 12230 times)

Offline Charlieton

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GR#076 - Bird Design & Animation

on: September 22, 2011, 05:51:19 pm
Hiya, all you lovable people of Pixelation! I need help!

This first one is a traditional walk-animation. I've kept it simple by having the legs be mere straight lines (though that ain't far from what the finished product is supposed to look like), and all the other body parts be masses of a single color.



As you can all clearly see (maybe!), it's a robot-type thing with a comically oversized head, thin "neck" and tube-like arms (though only one is visible at the moment). The arm will eventually get an extra joint to move with, but for now it's just an inflexible piece of color that drags along like a useless appendix. But first I'd like to sort out the issue of the legs. It appears to me as though it's limping a bit, and also that the legs simply "glide" across the ground. I don't get the feeling of it moving with any forward momentum. But I can't pinpoint exactly where the problem is. Can you see what's wrong? Are my observations correct?


While the first one will be used for a project, this one is just a fun experiment I started doodling on, with the distinct purpose of practicing animation:



It's a bird, though I really hope I didn't have to clarify that (otherwise I really do suck!). I like the effect that the single color silhoutte gives, but I might want to give it more colors (and thus details) at a later stage. I'm also going to give it some more "actions", and I'm open to suggestions of what those might be. They should all be along the line of typical bird behaviour, of course.

Excepting the head, it's very static at the moment. I'm wondering if there are any minor movements that its body should be making, while the head moves. Or are we looking at sub-pixel animation at that point (which wouldn't work with the silhouette style, I guess?)?

When it's done (at least in the silhouette style) I think I might use it as my avatar for this forum. :)


Well, that's that for now. Here's hoping for a lot of helpful comments and clever observations! ;D

Thanks!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2011, 09:25:14 pm by Charlieton »
Det skulle vara lätt för mig att säga att jag inte gillar dig, men det gör jag; tror jag

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #1 on: September 24, 2011, 12:52:10 pm
Here's an update on the bird:





I've added in a small step forward, and back again. Also, the bird squawks now!

I feel that the squawk should have more impact though, and the wings' movement is a bit repressed. I'm thinking about adding another frame to that motion, and/or to radically change the wing motion. Instead of just kinda tilting the wings, maybe it should be opening them fully, to make itself appear larger.

Furthermore, I'm unsure of the animation speeds. Is it moving too quick at times? Should the beak stay open longer at the squawk, or should it be shorter and made more powerful (for example by making it open wider)?
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Offline Elk

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #2 on: September 24, 2011, 01:11:04 pm
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Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #3 on: September 24, 2011, 01:20:51 pm
Thansk for the reference! I hadn't really reflected on how the legs move.
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Offline Elk

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #4 on: September 24, 2011, 02:05:43 pm
When it comes to Animation, the best reference for natural movement is always video material :)

There are also xray scans of animals moving 1300 fps but I guess they arnt released yet...only for scientists :/...
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Offline snooch

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 02:15:14 am
The bird looks like something you'd see in those old Sierra adventure games.

Overall, I think they look good (particularly the bird, very natural movements).

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #6 on: October 05, 2011, 10:50:01 am
Thanks!

I regret that I haven't really got anything new to update with, and haven't for some time now. Sure, I've worked a bit with giving the bird the more natural walk pattern from the reference above, but there ain't much to show yet.

Also, I've been animating another couple of sprites. Might update with one of them soon.
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Offline Mike

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 08:22:39 am
Seems like you could pull off a lot with just different timing.

Even though your animation is really smooth it doesn't really help to convey a mood.  You need to make this bird look like it's thinking.  Why is it turning it's head?  Did it hear something?  These are things that should be considered when animating a living thing.

Also the bird looks pretty awesome slap some lighting on it and should be good to go.

  (this is slower in browsers than it is in Ggale or Promotion)

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #8 on: October 21, 2011, 10:41:37 pm
Updates! Yummy! :D

Seems like you could pull off a lot with just different timing.

Even though your animation is really smooth it doesn't really help to convey a mood.  You need to make this bird look like it's thinking.  Why is it turning it's head?  Did it hear something?  These are things that should be considered when animating a living thing.

Also the bird looks pretty awesome slap some lighting on it and should be good to go.

  (this is slower in browsers than it is in Ggale or Promotion)

I'm not sure what mood you want it to convey. Also, birds generally turn their heads all the time when sitting still. I guess it's just to look around, and not necessarily as a reaction to something else. As such, the movement doesn't have to be too rapid, as it would to a potential threat.

I don't know. I think the head-movement looks pretty natural right now (though I think I sped it up a little bit since the last one). Any second opinions?


I increased the size a bit to give room for more realistic-looking bird feet. The back-and-forth-steps were replaced with a few hops before the squawk. When watching how birds move around, they seem to hop around a lot more than walk. It varies between species, of course. The magpies and smaller birds outside always hop, while the chickens walk most of the time. I'd say my bird is closer to a magpie than it is a chicken, and therefore it hops!


Here's a caterpillar on the run. I had originally planned to combine it with the bird above, having it chase it around. I might still do the chase thing, but I think I'm going to make another bird that does the chasing instead (one that walks! Maybe a chicken, then?).

Shading is lazily done for now. If the animation seems okay, I'm going to add all the "caterpillary" details. And decent shading.


Here's also a bigger one that I'd like some crits on. For one, I wonder if I'm going in the right direction with the shading in the rightmost picture. It's not animated, but I'll include it here anyway, instead of making another thread.

Thanks for your time! :-*
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Offline jams0988

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #9 on: October 22, 2011, 06:38:54 am
I like the last maggot/catepillar larva thing a lot. The shading is very well done, imo. He looks nice and 3D. Good work!

Offline Mike

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #10 on: October 22, 2011, 11:04:19 pm
It looks pretty good I was merely making a suggestion of what you could possibly think about while animating.  Keep up the good work.

Offline ErekT

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 11:37:12 am
Quote
I don't know. I think the head-movement looks pretty natural right now (though I think I sped it up a little bit since the last one). Any second opinions?
It's a good animation but I'll second Mike's suggestion to speed it up more. As far as I can tell birds move their heads in rapid jerks all the time, even when they're relaxed.

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #12 on: October 30, 2011, 08:22:14 pm
Quote
I don't know. I think the head-movement looks pretty natural right now (though I think I sped it up a little bit since the last one). Any second opinions?
It's a good animation but I'll second Mike's suggestion to speed it up more. As far as I can tell birds move their heads in rapid jerks all the time, even when they're relaxed.

Yes, that's completely true. I sped it up and have cut away a couple of frames, and I think it looks good still.

I've tried adding color and giving it more depth. I'm sure there's some banding. Need I add AA-colours, or what is it you usually do in the case of banding? Also, is the palette okay, and do the lighting/shading appear consistent? I get blind when working with one piece for an extended time, it seems...



edit: As stated, I was unsure if the shading was consistent. I made a simplified version where I try and define the shape of the bird with just gray tones. Already my previous, colored-in bird, doesn't seem to react to the light the way it should.



Yeah, it's a little silly to shade the tuft of hair on the head, as though it were a solid object. But that'll have to do, for now. Other than that, is the shading done right in this one, you think? Can I build off of it?

edit, edit: I went on and used the gray toned shape, did some additional tweaks, and got this:



I think it's much improved! I'll be adding some extra colours (for the beak, and maybe the wings), and then start applying this look to the other frames as well.

I like the last maggot/catepillar larva thing a lot. The shading is very well done, imo. He looks nice and 3D. Good work!

Thanks! It's some sort of beetle larva, according to the source.

If anyone wants good quality references for all kinds of insects, check this page out!
« Last Edit: October 31, 2011, 09:14:34 pm by Charlieton »
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Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #13 on: November 02, 2011, 01:43:34 pm
Realized that I didn't need to add more colours to seperate the beak from the rest of the body. I think the wing is easier to make out in this, as well. Tweaked and simplified:



The head appears quite flat in this one, though.

edit: added AA-colour, and did som fixes.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2011, 05:11:40 pm by Charlieton »
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Offline PypeBros

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 02:11:29 pm
global bird shape has been greatly improved from to , imho, but there's still something quite odd with the wing's shading. I don't have a reference picture to point you at (unfortunately), but your wing convey to me a bigger volume than it should.

HTH.

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #15 on: November 03, 2011, 02:28:19 pm
I think I know what you're getting at. Though I'd like it if you could do an edit, and show how you think it'd convey the correct amount of volume.

Thanks!
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Offline Elk

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #16 on: November 03, 2011, 03:57:07 pm
Heya Charlieton, Elk here again!

I think you need to know a bit more about your little bird-friend! He's hiding alot of information beneath its feathers so check them out, I did some stalking! Maybe it helps you a little :D



Also shaded it... even though your lightsource was top-left!

EDIT: Might aswell balance mine out a little! He would fall on his beak!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 04:10:22 pm by Elk »
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Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #17 on: November 03, 2011, 04:16:56 pm
Haha Elk, that's awesome! Also, it looks like a little Conan 'O Brien-bird with that crest in the last picture.  ;D

I'll be thinking about making the wings longer and more pronounced.
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Offline jams0988

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #18 on: November 03, 2011, 04:44:04 pm
Ehhh, I actually like your bird much more than Elk's, Charlieton. Yours is much cuter and bird-like looking, where, like you said, his has this unusual "it's a person that was morphed into a bird" vibe going on. I also like your shading more. The style's simpler and easier to read. I can't tell if Elk's is supposed to have a second light source coming in from the left, of that's just the color of the bird's feathers, even when zoomed in. At the normal size, it's even harder to read for me.

And is your bird straight pixel art, Elk, or did you draw it in Photoshop or something? The anti-aliasing is a tiny bit overdone, imo, making the bird look a little muddy. Charlieton's has that awesome SNES vibrancy and pop, in comparison.

So, sorry for downing on basically everything about your bird, Elk; it's good too. Just thought I needed to give Charlieton an opposing opinion, because I do prefer his.
Also, Elk, I checked out your DeviantArt...that dragon you did is freaking amazing, hahah. I thought it was a digital painting, until I looked closer and noticed the ridiculous amount of detail you'd put into it. =D

Edit: And your bird *painting* is pretty cute, Elk. I think the main problem I have with your sprite is that you tried to cram that painting's worth of detail into that tiny sprite, and a bit was lost in translation...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2011, 04:47:59 pm by jams0988 »

Offline Helm

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #19 on: November 03, 2011, 05:22:19 pm
Of all the posts that contradict critique I've read on Pixelation that was by far the strangest. By virtue that you like Charlieton's version more I can understand feeling the compulsion to post, but other than that my mind boggles.

Offline Markus

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #20 on: November 03, 2011, 06:40:00 pm
I have to say that I prefer Elk's more realistic version over Charlie's comicy one  :y: Both of them look nice, though.

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #21 on: November 03, 2011, 07:15:31 pm
I'd like to see a mix of the two :D

Offline Elk

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #22 on: November 03, 2011, 07:20:50 pm
To clarify... my post is no critique to Charlietons work, I respect Charlieton as fellow artist.

What I am here for, is when people post their works, I contribute my information in form of art to showcase how I would do it, to open up new possibilities.

No need to defend my standpoint. Selfexplanationary.
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Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #23 on: November 03, 2011, 11:24:44 pm
The purpose of this particular piece is to train myself in doing animations. As such, I will for starters stick to handling easier, less realisticly shaped objects, such as my 'lil bird. While I enjoy hearing that you prefer my style for this piece over Elks, jams, it's not my topic for this thread. You're all free to keep on discussing "symbolic/cartoony" versus "realistic" styles if you want to, but you don't have to "worry" (if you were) that I will sway in my decision for the style of this piece. As stated, it's for practice, and for my level of experience, "cartoony" is what I'm going to stick with.  :-[

Thanks for your interpretation of my art piece, Elk! It did show me new possibilities, and it's fun to know that I could inspire someone to create. :)
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Offline Phlakes

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #24 on: November 04, 2011, 12:50:03 am
One thing you should definitely take from Elk's is the wing. Yours right now looks more like another section of the body rather than its own form.

Offline jams0988

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #25 on: November 04, 2011, 12:55:27 am
Quote
Of all the posts that contradict critique I've read on Pixelation that was by far the strangest. By virtue that you like Charlieton's version more I can understand feeling the compulsion to post, but other than that my mind boggles.
What, exactly, was strange about my post? I felt that Charlieton's piece was a bit more appealing than Elks, and explained why. Not sure how you'd be confused by that...glad my post was one of the "******est" you've ever read on here, though. Even if "strangest" is a dubious honor, heheh.

@Charlieton: Yes, the main reason I posted was to provide feedback stating that I thought your style had merits, too. A lot of artists will take any critique thrown at them and completely change their piece for no reason, even if it didn't need changing. I didn't think your piece needed much change, so I figured I'd stop in to let you know, hahah.

Quote
What I am here for, is when people post their works, I contribute my information in form of art to showcase how I would do it, to open up new possibilities.
And of course, that's awesome of you. I appreciate you posting alternate versions of drawings for people, as I'm sure everyone else does. Because, even if I did like Charlieton's a bit more, your version still made me go "ah, you could do it this way, too?" Which is a great thing, obviously.

I hope my first post didn't sound like I was rejecting Elk's effort spent critiquing. Wasn't meant to sound like that at all. = \
« Last Edit: November 04, 2011, 01:01:33 am by jams0988 »

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #26 on: November 05, 2011, 09:24:32 pm
@Charlieton: Yes, the main reason I posted was to provide feedback stating that I thought your style had merits, too. A lot of artists will take any critique thrown at them and completely change their piece for no reason, even if it didn't need changing. I didn't think your piece needed much change, so I figured I'd stop in to let you know, hahah.
'ppreciate it!  :)

One thing you should definitely take from Elk's is the wing. Yours right now looks more like another section of the body rather than its own form.

Yup! As I said, I was going to think about making the wings stand out more.



Better? Not much different I guess, hah!
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Offline big brother

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #27 on: November 06, 2011, 12:20:27 am
The beak could use a specular highlight. That way it brings the viewer's attention to the bird's face (by virtue of detail and range of contrast).

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #28 on: November 06, 2011, 10:10:27 am
I'm not 100% sure of what that term means, but I'm guessing you're proposing something like this?

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Offline alex pang

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #29 on: November 06, 2011, 10:24:33 am
Something like this maybe?

EDIT:
or something like this:
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 10:32:07 am by alex pang »

Offline Charlieton

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #30 on: November 06, 2011, 07:44:26 pm
Hey alex! Yeah, I actually tried some of those approaches a couple times (pronounced cheeks, pointier beak), but I couldn't get it to look right. But thanks to your examples, I got some additional clues to how to (maybe) make it work.

Here's the latest:



Boy, it looks like it's getting quite tricky to animate...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2011, 07:53:17 pm by Charlieton »
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Offline alex pang

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Re: I'm practicing animation. WIPs and C&C!

Reply #31 on: November 06, 2011, 07:51:11 pm
It's because your highlight is to big, and not bright enough. Use pure white and and take up less space.
Btw, remove the one blue pixel at his eye it's a waste of colors.