AuthorTopic: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)  (Read 10622 times)

Offline Darien

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Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

on: August 05, 2005, 04:32:12 am
So recently I've decided to help someone out in making a game, for fun and to increase pixelling abilities.  And so, I'm doing something I've hardly done before: animating.  So the first thing I've decided to do is a ninja run cycle.



 I've been working on it for a few hours, but no matter how much I keep editing small details, it still looks a little off to me.  I'm not sure what it is, though.  If anyone could take a look at this and point out where I'm going wrong, or just general pointers about animating, that'd be great.  Also, is it generally a good idea to sketch out the animation frames on paper, first?

EDIT:  The legs are too short, aren't they?
« Last Edit: August 12, 2005, 01:07:47 am by Darien »

Offline lief

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #1 on: August 05, 2005, 05:23:53 am
it looks like he is skipping.  in a very sexually-orientationally-confused way...
I think i know what you are getting at with the hand held up, like in tenchu, but keep the hand still and move the body.
ive had a look at this frame by frame and i am not sure... maybe piggy, crab or helm can help you out.

Offline Rox

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #2 on: August 05, 2005, 10:52:44 am
I think the problem is that he's not moving enough. Even for a ninja. As it is now, he's not even running, he's just walking randomly. If you want him to run, you need more movement. Make him bend over, tweak the timing of the frames and give him some exposiveness. Running needs explosiveness. As it is now, he has none at all, that's why he looks like he's just strutting along.

Do what I did and watch Samurai Jack! He's got plenty of explosiveness going on.

Offline Darien

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #3 on: August 05, 2005, 06:42:09 pm


I worked on it some more (the shading is incomplete, I'm just trying to get the motion right).  Am I on the right track?  I tried keeping the hand still, but it didn't look right.

EDIT:  Another update.

« Last Edit: August 05, 2005, 08:30:48 pm by Darien »

Offline Schu

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #4 on: August 06, 2005, 04:56:53 am
Hmmmmmmmmm not bad~ Though if I'm allowed to say, "To pixel a ninja, you must first become a ninja!"

Well, no you don't have to but check out other ninjas to see how they run about. They don't really move the upper-part of their body so you got that down. But maybe put more of a curve in him or bend his knees more. For example, check out good ol' Ryu from Ninja Gaiden. He runs like he's on the edge, ready for confrontation.

Offline crab2selout.png

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #5 on: August 07, 2005, 07:17:24 pm
The best thing to do, I think, would be to go and look at some references of people running. In fact, I've got a real good example for you right here http://photo.ucr.edu/photographers/muybridge/index66.html (warning:nekkid man ahead) Like every other area of art, animation requires studying from life to improve so take note of how each leg is positioned during each point in a single cycle.

I'm new to animation as well, only been going at it for maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of a year now, so I'm reluctant to really impart any wisdom since I'm pretty much guaranteed to learn in the future that I was either completely wrong or misguided in many areas. However, back before pixelation tooks it's latest nose dive, Sals(Adam Tierney) always posted the same advice to people looking for critique for animations. When I began to take in this advice, I noticed a dramatic increase in the quality of my animations. This increase being that my animations went from crappy-horrible to better. It's his advice that enabled me to make the leap to where I no longer feel completely flustered when starting an animation.

Anyways, Adam's advice basically goes something along the lines of: "keyframes, keyframes, keyframes". If you wanted to, you could animate a 60 or 120 frame running animation just so that you could show the leg in every possible position that it creates while running. There really wouldn't be much point however because it's not like we would notice all those frames. To express movement, you just have to place focus on the key gestures that indicate movement, and these key gestures become your keyframes.

So, try not to create your frames by thinking where the leg will be every .1 seconds.
[.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .]
Decide on which frames will indicate the running action better and focus on them
[...      ...      ...]


Here's an example Adam used once. I recommend saving and taking a look at the individual frames. You'll notice that when the little guy leaps through the air, Adam doesn't place him at the various points he would appear at in the air. Instead, Adam has him pushing off the ground in one frame, at the peak of his jump the next and in the frame following has the guy landing on the wall or floor. That's really all that Adam needs to let us know that the little guy is jumping and landing. If he wanted to Adam could add some more frames to smoothen the jump, but he wanted to show just how valuable keyframes can be when used effectively.

I also made an attempt at an edit for you. Main changes are to his legs which I made to resemble a real person's run more. I kept the hand positions the same to keep with how you imagined them. I did add a little bounce to them, though, as the lack of movement in your version was slightly distracting and a bit odd. If you don't like it go ahead and change it back.

[mine]  [yours]

« Last Edit: August 07, 2005, 07:22:52 pm by crab2selout.png »

Offline Darien

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #6 on: August 07, 2005, 07:39:44 pm
Thanks for the great crit, crab.  I knew about keyframes; I remember Adam (and Tsu, and probably more artists) talked about them, but  I wasn't sure exactly which frames would be the key ones.

The edit is great;  From looking at your edit and mine side by side, the leg positions in each frame are rather similar, except yours is much more dramatic, and puts so much more of an "oomph" into it.  I kept the top of him stationary, 'cause that's what I always see in ninja games, but compared to yours it really does look odd...

Thanks again, I'll be sure to make a major update.

Offline Darien

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Re: Run, ninja!

Reply #7 on: August 10, 2005, 08:07:58 pm
Okay, here's an update on the ninja, plus more animations for the game.




The protagonist's idle stance.


Punching.


Walking.

When I first got done with each of these, I was satisfied, but looking back, I'm not so sure anymore...
Comments and critiques greatly appreciated.

EDIT:



Jumping...
« Last Edit: August 12, 2005, 09:19:36 pm by Darien »

Offline Faceless

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #8 on: August 22, 2005, 01:53:50 pm
Hey, I like the design of the protagonist.
Don't feel like typing much,
but might I suggest lightening the bottom of her leg (the one closest to us) in her walk to add some tonal difference between the different depths.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2005, 01:59:49 pm by Faceless »

Offline Pju Pju

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #9 on: August 22, 2005, 03:39:01 pm
Nice work, would love to see those in a game :)

The jumping animation looks nice, and it's hard to critique not knowing how she will move in-game. Seeing as she gets down on her knees upon impact I'd recommend having her move her legs faster near the landing as this would increase the speed and power effect you already got going. Just adjusting the timing would most likely do it as the legs pose and position already looks good.

Also if she is going to be jumping down things(rooftops, balcony's etc) or doing long jumps you might want to add another frame to get a nice wind movement effect in the hair, nice work on getting character into it btw  :)

Also, alltough there are exceptions to every rule, straight lines are very often to nice and clean compared to their surroundings so I think you could benefit from changing her arm a bit so it's not perfectly aligned with the camera. She could just punch a little bit higher or lower or bend her arm slightly, I'm sure you'll work something out. I think the sword on the ninja might benefit in the same way if he tilted his hand slightly downwards which would go well with getting the feel that he is running and about to attack ;D

Nice work so far and good luck to you  :)

Offline sedgemonkey

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #10 on: September 01, 2005, 04:11:12 pm
The revisions based on crab's suggestions to your running ninja have worked out great. It looks much better now. The rigid upper body thing can work sometimes, but it usually has kind of a Hanna Barbera feel to it.  :-\

As for your new chica... adding a little movement in the ponytail would go a long way in all of your protaganist's animations.

Offline Peppermint Pig

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #11 on: September 05, 2005, 03:28:04 pm
Fist to Face Style!!

No, seriously, your protagonist punches at a height about the same as where the ninja's heads get up to?? It's kind of amusing.. I don't know if that's your intended result, but will there be ninja brains splattered on the floor or just a nice clean knockdown?

Your ninja is improved. How about lighten up the blade color for the Ninja?

Your protagonist needs a better walk cycle. First, try getting her upper body to twist left and right in accordance with the arm movement... the position of the legs in the frames is too similar to one another, so it looks kind of choppy. I'm sure someone better than I with animation could show how to do it right. The best thing to do is get some examples. (And my host is down at the moment)

Offline Zach

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #12 on: September 05, 2005, 04:04:36 pm
i think the ninja should be in a more aggressive stance when running, meaning chest forward, left hand stretched out in front of him, the arm with the sword should be behind about the shoulder.  It's kinda hard trying to describe what i'm thinking about it right now, but if you've ever watched a anime with ninja's and stuff they usually run really forward with their legs pushing, instead of just running normally
EAT PUNAJI  BECAUSE IT'S GOOD AND TASTY

Offline Mercury Rising

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #13 on: September 05, 2005, 04:30:20 pm
Isn't the first rule of being a ninja never run with your sword out?
I mean if I was carrying a large blade and running ready to strike it would be facing the other way so I could lunge and slash.  Now he looks like hes worried about the birthday cake he got for his son and is now running to the store to get some chips.  As for the other person she looks like those self Sims people create, all photo detail on the head but then the body looks cartoon.  Two final thoughts in the punch animation add a frame from the punch back to idle it can be a repeat frame.  Plus the jumping animation add a frame of recovery after the jump.  A normal person would never go from jump to land to straight back up ready to jump.  Like push he fist against the ground to push herself up or something.

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Offline Darien

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Re: Run, ninja! (Update with more animations)

Reply #14 on: September 06, 2005, 08:28:55 pm
Thanks for the all critique, guys.  Unfortunately I don't have a lot of time to update the animations now that school has started, but I will take all your critiques in consideration once I do find the time. 

I'm not sure about adding another frame at the end for the jump.  It already has too many frames, I think(particularly at the beginning) , and if I add too many it might force the gameplay into awkwardness.  Same with the punching frame... but I'm not sure.  I agree that the walking frame needs a lot of work, however.

Brotherinwar - How does the girl look photorealistic on the head?  Because she doesn't have a face?  I doesn't seem to me that her body is much more cartoony than her head.

As for the punching the ninja in the face, that was kinda unintentional.  I made the ninja shorter than intended.

EDIT: Some minor updates, hurt frame, and new enemy.











« Last Edit: September 22, 2005, 11:23:24 pm by Darien »