AuthorTopic: skeleton figure; first attempt on movement  (Read 1816 times)

Offline kauheaa

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skeleton figure; first attempt on movement

on: September 23, 2018, 02:05:17 pm
So I'm doing some character design, this is a skeleton of a spirit being, the "ghost stuff" and probably some organs and other details to be added. The first go on adding movement. It's a bit clumsy but it was basically only done to test how easy/difficult it is to make the figure move at all. It'd need more frames probably but this was only the first test.

Struggling with animating her feet a lot, really need to work on that.... It was supposed to look like sort of like she's raising the other foot to tiptoe position? But ended up making her do a very discreet pulp fiction dance ::)

With anatomy and outcome otherwise I'm happy.

Offline 32

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Re: skeleton figure; first attempt on movement

Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 04:31:56 am
It's difficult to tell what you're trying to achieve here. Seems like you've got the character moving which is a great start though! I think if you have a clearer plan for what motion you want to achieve you're going to find yourself a lot more inspired with how to proceed. What exactly is it that you want the character to be doing, and what are you trying to communicate with that motion?

I'd also recommending thinking about all three dimensions when you're animating. Things like the pelvis, ribcage and clavicle rotating in 3d space will add a lot of appeal to any animation.

The character is a pretty complicated choice for 2d, and especially pixel art. All of the small bones in the hands and feet are going to cause you a lot of headaches. What is your reasoning behind this style? Is there any way you could go back and consider an approach that is either more suited to pixel art or a technique more suited to this size and shape of the character?

Looking forward to seeing how you go ahead with this  :y:

Offline astraldata

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Re: skeleton figure; first attempt on movement

Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 04:58:28 pm

Two words -- CANVAS SIZE.

Though, to add on to what @32 said regarding 3 dimensions, it can help a LOT to use less-detailed "volumes" with a basic 2-color approach to form (light/shadow). Adding a color for shading on parts to keep motions (and their 3-dimensional movements) under control and easily-understandable is a solid approach, but there is one caveat with doing this with pixel art: -- the more colors you add, the more tedium you'll add, and this tedium increases exponentially with canvas and subject size, and with the smaller the "surface-area" a single pixel covers.

I know it might sound like blasphemy with me suggesting this on a pixel art forum, but if you are attempting to animate "pixel art" at such a large size/resolution, you would probably be better off using 3d rendering software and manually tweaking the results for the "pixel" look instead. The advantages of this are many -- the rotations will be done for you, and even coloring if you like.

This resolution is much larger than most 2D fighting game sprites, and the number of frames you're going to need to keep the motion convincing and less "jerky" is going to increase proportional to the drawing resolution / canvas size.

The smaller the pixel is you draw with, the less a "pixel" based approach is going to work.

With pixel size becoming smaller -- at a certain point, to get a solid animation done that doesn't look too jerky or janky, the number of frames you're working with is going to have to increase to account for the amount of distance being covered for larger motions.
For the moment, a very small movement -- a slight foot twist -- doesn't look too bad with a small number of frames.
However, upon moving arms or legs around across larger distances over a smaller number of frames (and moving fingers or toes to the correct position without the frames between to suggest the anticipation or recoil from such subtle motions), you will quickly notice that the animation feels to lack a sense of fluidity that gives a sense of "life" to it.

Clearly, animating pixels at this resolution "can" be done, but there is a point when you should ask yourself "is it worth it?" -- This point will come sooner when you get into adding more colors and details (like the toes). It will get tedious -- and for an audience that (in most cases) won't appreciate the effort involved -- you might want to reconsider your approach (or your canvas size!)

See this article for a good explanation of why your audience might not appreciate your love and tedium going into pixels (at this size). Despite the care and attention to detail that went into it, only the learned will really appreciate your effort -- to everyone else, pixel art is "easy" to do. That's why people have such strong feelings about it being used (or not) in games:

That being said!

Please don't let me discourage you from creating a solid animation though! -- What you have does look workable, and as @32 pointed out, if you had a clearer direction on what you were going for (i.e. with keyframe planning), you likely would still have a solid base for animation.

Now, if you try to add more details and shadows on top of that animation -- this is where things get tricky. And if you're going for SNES-level coloring... and are bold enough to go your own way and try SNES-level coloring -- I suggest you only attempt this AFTER accomplishing the 2-color shading on your animation. If you manage to make it through the tedium though, you will probably have some pixel animation really worth being proud of. :)
I'm offering free pixel-art mentorship for promising pixel artists. For details, click here.

Offline Tuna Unleashed

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Re: skeleton figure; first attempt on movement

Reply #3 on: October 04, 2018, 08:43:39 pm
Great start, you have a lot of ambition animating an anatomical skeleton. There's a lot of good parts in the animation, the balance and overall "wobbly" feel are really charming. I think you want more of a flow to the way the body connects, however. Picture the force of the movement as starting from the feet, pushing off of the ground. The muscles of the legs stack on top of that, balancing the pelvis. From there the spine curves upward, supporting the arms, neck, and head. If you plan the movement out in that order, you should get a much more naturalistic feeling motion in the end.