AuthorTopic: Atalanta Animations  (Read 19660 times)

Offline NaCl

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Atalanta Animations

on: January 11, 2009, 02:59:56 pm
Hey everyone,

This is an animation of the Greek hero Atalanta, shooting her bow. I tried to keep the animation brief but smooth and readable, as it would be used in a game. In the game, you can hold down the shoot button to charge up the shot, so when you see the delay between the bow being drawn and her shooting, it is the frame that will remain displayed until the player releases the button. I haven't drawn an arrow or anything yet.

->

All crits and comments are welcome, especially about the animation itself. Thanks!

Update:

->

Added the bow. It's starting to come together, how exciting.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 10:01:09 pm by NaCl »

Offline dekutree64

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 09:39:54 pm
Looks good. I'm working on a game with this exact same mechanic :)  Except my animation uses very few frames because I needed so many variations.

For the animation, maybe you could add a little change to her right leg. Since her left leg moves out and bends a bit, then the other leg should bend too. Nothing too noticeable, just not nothing. Also, maybe the bow string could vibrate a bit after it snaps.

As for the drawing, I think some darker shadows would be good. It's good that you put dark stripes periodically so she won't be totally invisible in front of a light background, but for a player character she still doesn't stand out quite enough, IMO. The overall proportions/shapes look good as they are though, so just one more shading level on her robe and some palette fiddling should do it.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #2 on: January 12, 2009, 06:08:50 am
Just an observation - she isn't...pulling any arrows from that quiver.

Edit pending. I'm definitely not used to working on that scale!

before anyone says anything, this is a really quick and "dirty" edit here,
And i'm feeling a bit too lazy to add the pulling form the quiver mvoement so i just assumed she already had an arrow in hand.



The front leg movement makes it seem as though it's actually growing in size. if you're stepping forward , the rest of your body moves in tandem, it's not just that leg. if the other leg stays in the same place, then only the foot is going to do that, the rest of the leg will stay with the rest of the body. well more like the waist, but anyways,i'm rambling.

If you need a reference, look for a mirror and pose in front of it. observe how *you* move.

now as for archery in general, watch some youtube vids of archery. there are a few of them.

And just from my own personal experience, it's much easier to draw up a very simple model and animate -that- before adding in details, that way you've already got the motion down. chances are if the animation is fast/fluid enough a good number of the details are going to be lost anyway.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 06:43:52 am by Corsair »

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #3 on: January 12, 2009, 06:17:19 am
Yeah that's true, but to have her reach up and grab an arrow, then shoot it may take too long for a game scenario. It would certainly look better though.

I also agree with Deku that the other leg should move somehow, but I can't think of what it should do that wouldn't look ridiculous.

Offline Corsair

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #4 on: January 12, 2009, 06:45:22 am
Edited my revious post, adresses someof the leg movement. I'll freely admit that animating legs...i somethg im sill working on, so take my advice wih a grain of salt.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #5 on: January 12, 2009, 07:37:01 am
Hey Corsair, thanks for that insightful edit. I can see now that the body needed to move, and was one of the things that I could not figure out. I've tried to make her tilt her leg a bit, and move her body forward with the step in this edit:



Thanks again.

Offline Zenobia

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #6 on: January 12, 2009, 08:12:22 am
I have some non pixel-art related comments if that's ok. I'm sorry, I can't help it.

I just have to point out, that if you're making this because you played Rise of the Argonauts: Atalanta was not one of them. They got it so, so wrong. She is in fact known in the story of the Argonauts for them refusing to let her become one.

I'm sorry. That said, she's still an awesome herione. For realism however, her hair should be dark brown or black since that's what most people in ancient Greece looked like.
At the moment she looks more like the virgin goddess Artemis gone blonde. A nice thing for your game might be that Atalanta was known for her great speed and she could run faster than most men. If you'd like to add more detail, some myths say she was raised by wolfs, and the most well-known myth about Atalanta is about golden apples. So you could use either of those themes for decoration. I like how it's simple right now though.

I like the character by the way, despite my inner historian.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 08:53:49 am
I have never played Rise of the Argonauts, but there are conflicting accounts on whether Atalanta sailed with the Argonauts. Some believe that she initially did, but the story was revised over time to Jason talking her out of going with them. Regardless, the game will not be taking place on the Journey of the Argonauts, it will be following her on other adventures, namely the Calydonian Boar hunt, and her battle against the two lusty Centaurs. Also, there will be "race" levels between the regular platforming levels where you have to race against suitors (if a suitor beat her in a race, she vowed to marry him). I could have sworn Ovid's description of her included blond hair, but I just checked and it doesn't. I will try making her brown or black or something, but I will probably just take creative license here.

So, I am making this game out of love for Greek mythology, not because I saw the character in another game. As for using common symbols like the golden apple, I was thinking about having golden apples be lives or something.

Thanks for the input.

Offline Zenobia

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 02:54:21 pm
That's really great to hear ^_^

Do we get to see the finished game?

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 09:24:21 pm
The problme in the leg movement is that the toes seem to actually draw closer to the body before getting lifted. Make them keep their position, and don't darken the very toes, as the foot doesn't bend much before the ball. Now other things in your animation are, where is she going to get the arrow from? Why is it suggested the arrow slides into it's position, in theory straight through the hand holding the bow. Find a bow, modern hand bow will suffice, and see how it works before doing this.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 10:34:00 pm
I love this character and animation, but there is, as I see it, one major problem.  She's supposed to be shooting an arrow, no?  That did not read at all until I looked at it for several minutes. Her colors blend in with the skin tones, and there should be some subtle movement after she steps.  Try some sub-pixeling.  Then, when she's ready to shoot the arrow, make it loads more obvious, get a nice big arrow, a large twang and rebound for the string, and have her right (Our left) arm do something besides release.  Then it will look soooo pixel delicious I'll be licking my screen.  Okay, that's creepy.  I won't, but you get it.  Hope I could help!

Toodles!
Shrike

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 11:54:40 pm
Okay, I cannot let this slip by without me saying anything. So here goes. I know how everyone is talking about where the arrows are coming from, the foot, or the historical aspect. What concerns me is the ehem, fluidity of the animation. Here's a very early crappy sprite that I did while working on an RPG battle system.



I'll have to squeeze a gif animation out of gimp in a little bit. Here's what I see in your animation. It is far too jaggy. I'm sure this is a wip though, and will be much better in the game/mockup. Still, bows, normally don't jerk like that. They either hold still, or if the animation is going for a more lively look, bend all the way. Take a look at some fire emblem sprites to see what I mean. The hair should also have a lot more movement to it. Jerking slightly forward first, then the opposite direction backward. Your new animation looks better, however. And there is nothing wrong with showing the arrow. Again, check out some Fire Emblem sprites for reference.

Other then that, I think your heading in the right direction. Just add a bit more shading, decide what your going to do with the bow, and see if your can't add that arrow. Heh, sorry if this sounds a bit harsh, coming from me of all people. Meh, what do I know, right? Anyways, keep at it, I want to see this finished. :)

(I'll try to get that in gif form sometime soon hopefully. Dang Gimp.)

Offline Dr D

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #12 on: January 13, 2009, 12:25:40 am
Her hair looks like it defies gravity. And I can't help but notice the flickering of the shadow on her leg.

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #13 on: January 13, 2009, 12:32:14 am
oh boy, this has got some interesting issues ^_^

  • the bow is manipulated primarily by the shoulder axis - the bow arm barely moving in relation to the body.
  • the arrow is knocked with the bow aimed down, meaning the right shoulder is generally higher than the left.
  • the arrow can be lain overhand on with the bow horizontal, as per "yeoman" style, or threaded underhand with the bow remaining vertical, and IN FRONT OF the archer, as per tradition.  In either case, this is prior to lifting the bow and the arrow always is on the side of the bow closer to the body, and the bow is NEVER lowered behind the archer.


either method allows the archer to shoot with high speed and would not impede game mechanics.  the Lord of the Rings games provide a good example of legolas and the humans carrying, loading, and firing the bow very quickly in the yeoman style.

where this hiccups is when you try to mix styles.  In general, those firing yeoman style will have a quiver on their backs, as this allows a fluid draw over the shoulder overhand onto the bow.  Those firing in the traditional method will have a quiver mounted on the lower back or hip, or planted in the ground, allowing them to pick up an arrow and quickly thread it into the bow before them.

  • the right hand is always higher than the shoulder, allowing you, should you so desire, to kiss the arrow before shooting (a technique used for measuring form more than anything else).  Moreover it allows you to sight along the arrow comfortably.
  • feet have nothing to do with archery unless you are firing from a fixed position.  In this case, the stance should be sturdy, but not spread.  Wide stances offer little stability, allow the torso to pivot less controllably, and are generally unique to hollywood and toy soldiers.


I'd provide an edit but I have no time atm.  If the description isn't clear do let me know.
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Offline f3dot

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #14 on: January 13, 2009, 01:54:42 am
Allow me a little edit regarding the shooting technique, it still has too many errors (obvious after adarias' post)
but i couldnt help posting, so here goes:

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #15 on: January 13, 2009, 02:52:54 am
Hey everyone thanks for the crits and edits! I tried to integrate them (except nschristie, I'll get to you in a sec) in this edit. Some of them I didn't understand (can you clarify what you mean by jaggy?), some would require an entire remake (I initially though you shot the arrow on the opposite side of the bow as the hand, I'm not sure fixing this technical error would justify the work required).

Shrike, can you clarify what you mean by "Her colors blend in with the skin tones", and sub pixeling? Other then that good input, and thanks for the encouragement.



Ok, ndchristie, I want to clarify a few things you are talking about before implementing them. What you are suggesting is that after she shoots the bow, she grabs another arrow from the quiver, and to make it so that the right hand is above the shoulder? Then I suppose I would make another animation where with the bow raised, she grabsw the arrows from the quiver and loads it? I suppose I could have a single animation that does this, and just scrap the raising and loading animation. Are you also suggesting that i scrap the step forward?

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #16 on: January 13, 2009, 05:39:24 am
you never knock and arrow with your bow raised.  it's Hollywood silliness.

what i'd suggest (you've got a lot of it but just for clarity) :

she begins with the bow aimed, arrow loaded.  Like you're current aiming pose only with the hand higher be be touching the cheek (i mean seriously you can bit your thumb without looking down).  Fires if she like,s whatever.  Or runs around, with the bow lowered either in front of her, horizontal, or in front of her, vertical, but either way pointed at the ground.  Theoretically you could keep her aiming while running but this is....well very few people can pull it off with anything but a short bow.

after firing, she drops the bow, either in front of her horizontally or in front of her vertically but either way pointing down.  IMMEDIATELY she grabs an arrow and either lays it on the horizontal bow or threads it through the vertical bow, which is STILL POINTED DOWN.

THEN she goes back to aiming stance.  So the loading animation does not interfere with the first shot fired.

what this involves : the frames where the bow is behind her need to go.  this can be done by simply redrawing the bow in the same position in front of her, as per tradition, or in front of her horizontally, as per yeoman.  I suggest the former.  raise her hand to where it let go of the arrow (as you never move your hand immediately after firing for fear of moving too early and throwing the shot).  then, if you've got traditional, drop the hand to a hip quiver, draw the arrow straight back, then thrust it through the bow, with her arm on the outside of the string but the inside of the wood, then pull back to knock and finally raise/draw/aim.  if you've got yeoman, which requires a new loading frame (complete redraw), reach over the shoulder from firing position and swing it overhand onto the bow, pull back to knock and finally draw/raise/aim.
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Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #17 on: January 13, 2009, 02:10:07 pm
Hey everyone thanks for the crits and edits! I tried to integrate them (except nschristie, I'll get to you in a sec) in this edit. Some of them I didn't understand (can you clarify what you mean by jaggy?), some would require an entire remake (I initially though you shot the arrow on the opposite side of the bow as the hand, I'm not sure fixing this technical error would justify the work required).

Shrike, can you clarify what you mean by "Her colors blend in with the skin tones", and sub pixeling? Other then that good input, and thanks for the encouragement.



Ok, ndchristie, I want to clarify a few things you are talking about before implementing them. What you are suggesting is that after she shoots the bow, she grabs another arrow from the quiver, and to make it so that the right hand is above the shoulder? Then I suppose I would make another animation where with the bow raised, she grabsw the arrows from the quiver and loads it? I suppose I could have a single animation that does this, and just scrap the raising and loading animation. Are you also suggesting that i scrap the step forward?

Ahaha, well done.  Much better.  This is great, the rebound is perfect.  (Almost, I'll get to that.)  :D
What I meant about the skin tones, I wasn't really thinking clearly and it came out wrong.  Most of the color on this sprite is white or very light colored.  I would think about adding some black thingies to her, the make it more contrastful.  The only reason this is a concern is because the hand that's pulling back the arrow doesn't stand out from her chest.  This isn't really a big problem, because if you're playing as this character in a game you're looking at it the whole time and you've gotten used to it, and clarity isn't super import if it's something like this.  Maybe add a black or dark green wristband to her arrow-wrist?  It was just a nitpick, really.  Not that important.  Only thing about the clothing for me is the line of skin showing between the skirt thing and the top.  I would get rid of it, or make it larger.  The first would be better, because it the space was bigger it would make her look sexy as opposed to godly.  The only important problem I would say about the colors is the hair, make it brown.  I think that would ad the needed contrast.

About subpixeling:
Subpixeling is a technique that I'm not good at, really, but is super-useful for this kind of thing.  If you were to anti-alias this character, the colors you use would use for that you'd use for subpixeling.

What you do is you anti-alias an inbetween frame on the outside, so it blends in better with the next- and previous- frames.  This works on the inside as well.  But, as this is a WIP and you're trying to get the mechanics down right (Which I know nothing about- I've shot a bow once in my life and failed miserably), the animation is purposefully rough, until it's finished.  Only thing you could use this on now is the string, for the rebound, as opposed to dithering which sort of sticks out.  Take a mid color between the bckrd (Or the bckrd color as it would be in the game) and the string color and add at bit of a blur-ish-thing.  I can't expand on this now, and I'll try and get an example out later.  Also, if one of the pixel gods need to correct my horrible explanation of subpixeling, that would be great. 

So, recap:
Make the hair brown.
Maybe add some darker elements to other parts of her body.
Get rid of the skin line on her waist, or make it bigger.
try subpixeling on the bowstring, if you feel up to it.  Might want to wait until someone corrects me, unless I've miraculously gotten it right.

EDIT: I just noticed something odd going on with the foot she steps with.  She picks up her heel and then it goes flat-foot immediately.  Make it a bit more gradual, with the heel hitting first and then it goes down.  Just a thought.

Good work, really really good.
Shrike
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 02:14:31 pm by Shrike »

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #18 on: January 13, 2009, 03:37:20 pm
Foot has been majorily improbed, but I though of something else. When shooting a bow, you look straight through the arrow. The arm holding the bow is stretched and held in front of the face, the hand wielding the arrow is stuck against the cheek. This way oyu see the end of the arrow, and you can change position of the left arm to see nothing of it's tip. That makes you certain of the fact that the arrow is shooting straight forewards, and after that all you need to do is use your hips to turn and angle your torso until the target matches the dot that you are seeing as the arrow. So in this image, the bow is held too low, and so is the arrow. Take note of the fact that the elbow will rise to become the highest point of the arm in the by me described position.

Offline dock

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #19 on: January 13, 2009, 04:30:45 pm

The Fire Emblem games get around the arrow loading by giving the archers a low hanging quiver.
Alternatively you could have her grab a new arrow after firing, and carrying it ready to load. 

Is her quiver facing the correct way for her hand? Do archers reach from the near or far shoulder when loading from a shoulder quiver? (I don't know!)

I also really think this girl could do with wider hips, and maybe a longer skirt (to have more shape and movement). It doesn't need to be sexed up, just a little bit more like a female body shape.

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #20 on: January 13, 2009, 08:07:41 pm
In the animation as it is now, she;d have to take arrows from over the right shoulder (for us viewers the left) as that's where the hand is when the arrow is released, and therefore the fastest.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #21 on: January 14, 2009, 06:02:49 am
Ok, here is my implementation of ndchristie's advice about the animation, and archery in general. I feel the piece is significantly better for it, so thank you ndchristie. Also, I think your new crit has been accounted for as well, TrevoriuS, thanks! Next I will implement some of Shrikes suggestions.

Offline xhunterko

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #22 on: January 14, 2009, 07:17:55 am
Hey, that's much better now!

Just a few style gripes. The getting the arrow part should be just a tad slower so we can tell whats going on. Maybe a flourish for critical hits? And no hair movement? It feels like it should tho. That's all I got right now.

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #23 on: January 14, 2009, 12:36:28 pm
NaCl, you're almost there but not just yet. First off, the right arm's elbow should be higher than the hand as that allows for more strength. Then the bow should be in place BEFORE any force is applied to the arrow and string from the right arm. The left arm must basically not or barely move anymore once there is pressure on both arms.

Offline CaKsTeR

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #24 on: January 14, 2009, 03:39:31 pm
When she pulls the arrow out of the quiver, it goes too fast. That's the first problem with that part. Secondly, the arrow appears to be coming out horizontally, which doesn't make sense.  :P

Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #25 on: January 14, 2009, 03:50:12 pm
Yes, I think you just rushed through it.  I do that all the time, ( ::) ) but give her a lot of time to draw out the arrow, fit it into the bow and then ready herself.  Still, though, I really like this.  :D

Toodles!
Shrike

Offline ndchristie

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #26 on: January 14, 2009, 06:02:27 pm
OK so i finally found a minute to do a quick drawing - doesn't address the larger issue of loading (need more drawings) but it does address a bit of firing issues :



from here as you can see the hand is already in the ideal position to draw an arrow from the shoulder by continuing the up-back motion or to draw from the hip by following a similar rotation out and around.  Words are failing utterly though so I suggest not changing anything based on my descriptions until I can illustrate.

You're still attempting to mix styles with the bow dropped vertically and the quiver on the shoulder.  It's going to be awkward like this no matter what you do.  more to come.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 06:06:47 pm by ndchristie »
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Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #27 on: January 15, 2009, 07:05:06 pm
I added in another frame to drawing an arrow from the quiver, I think it is smoother now:

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #28 on: January 21, 2009, 03:29:31 am
I've been working on a run for a while, here is what I have so far (still WIP):



The head and hair will be animated! No need to point it out, I just have not gotten to it yet. All other C+C welcome.

Offline CaKsTeR

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #29 on: January 21, 2009, 04:22:23 am
She sort of looks to be doing the Can-can. I think you should make her lean forward a bit more, instead of being straight-backed.

Offline Mathias

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #30 on: January 21, 2009, 05:58:30 am
Hey NaCl, what's up? I got a comment; may've already been covered - I instantly home in on the oddity of her pulling the arrow out of her quiver, the way it's already at a 45 angle ready to shoot, when she should pull it out as vertical then only once it's cleared the quiver be able to angle into place. I'm sure just one or two frames would fix this.

Keep up the good work.

Offline TrevoriuS

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #31 on: January 21, 2009, 08:21:54 am
Your run lacks weight.
The arms should make a lower sweep when coming across the body.
A bit more bent foreward and legs kicking further to the back may also make the form more realistic/

Offline Corsair

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #32 on: January 21, 2009, 09:11:45 am
I've been working on a run for a while, here is what I have so far (still WIP):



The head and hair will be animated! No need to point it out, I just have not gotten to it yet. All other C+C welcome.

Other than some balance issues which i don't feel like i'm fully qualified to properly address, the most obvious problem lies in 2 frames of the animation  that i've edited here.


Just a few things i noticed when i was doing the edit, and somebody correct me if i'm totally off base here:

in several frames, both of her legs are towards the front of her body, where, at least from my observation, unless you're jumping hurdles your body will never do this naturally on it's own. It almost makes it look like she's running up a staircase (almost, it's not that dramatic.)

watch this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5x6V48IIQRQ

Aside from taht you've got a really solid foundation there, and with a little work it could be pretty awesome, so keep up the work

on second thought, you can pretty much disegard my edit, as it sucks. However, my point still stands that the legs kick out a lot farther than they need to.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 09:22:16 am by Corsair »

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #33 on: January 21, 2009, 06:58:05 pm
Wow, thanks everyone for the input. I've worked on an update, and tried to address the issues talked about.

- Made her lean forward more
- Made the arms sweep lower as they pass the body (the lower arms, not sure if you meant the entire arm)
- Legs kick back more
- In the second passing frame, I made the legs behind her more
- Made her not kick quite so far forward (hopefully got rid of the "can can" effect as it was so eloquently put)
- I think the weight issue was addressed somewhat with these other updates. Not sure



Great video Corsair! The run in slow motion looks different then I expected. Mathias, thanks for pointing that out, I will continue o play with it, but the thing is, the arrow is so long that her arm is not really long enough to pull the arrow out, so I had to fudge it a little. I'm sure I can make it look better, though.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #34 on: January 21, 2009, 10:45:09 pm
Hey, I really like the run.  Looks like I missed out on some activity.   :'(

Only thing that bothers me, although it's a big one, is she seems too... umm...

Hm.

Legs kicking farther back doesn't solve the issue entirely, it just complicates things.  Let me show you what I mean, because I know I'm not saying what I want to.


See the bend forward below the waist on the pink line?  Not natural or good.  Make her line of action straight, aka make the waist more aligned with the body, and have her legs kick forward less far and kick back more.  Do you get it?  It's like her legs are running on an upward tilted plain.  I'm not sure if I explained it right, really, so let me know.

One more nitpick-  It isn't super clear as to which limb is closest to us, make the farthest back limbs one shade darker.  Please?  This is awesome, keep it up!

Toodles!
Shrike

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #35 on: January 22, 2009, 02:15:19 am
Hey Shrike,

I think I understand what you mean. It's like her calves are constantly bent forward? I think I addressed, or at least improved this now, let me know:

Offline robotacon

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #36 on: January 22, 2009, 10:44:42 am
Great improvements but you can do even better.

HEELS, KNEES AND TOES

Try to have the toes in the ground for as long as possible before you pick up the foot. When you run you trust yourself forward with the toes.
Land on the heel with a straight leg. You have to be a sprinter to not land on your heel and if you do so none of the other frames should have the heel in the ground either.
People often get hurt running because they overextend their knee but no one ever runs without extending their knees straight.

Finally, lookout for the beard-like hair in her face.

Offline Gil

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #37 on: January 22, 2009, 11:29:27 am
Actually robotacon, that's not true. Heelstriking while running, even jogging, is bad pose and hurts your body. Anybody doing running, even at the lowest pose, should try to strike midfoot or frontfoot.

Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fBh2qH4QbM

Offline robotacon

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #38 on: January 22, 2009, 01:33:13 pm
You're right but I'm not completely wrong.

For this character the running schema in the youtube clip you posted is the best. If you look at the runners in the clip they run like they're elfs.
But you also hear them say that it's easy to fall into running with a heelstrike and all that which I'm in favor of because that's how most people run. That's why I think it looks more natural.
The character that NaCl has created has sandals which probably is more like running barefoot and because of this you're even more right and I'm wrong.

Sorry for misleading you NaCl.

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #39 on: January 22, 2009, 01:51:00 pm
Yeah, you're not completely wrong, but in animated running, I like to stay away from heelstrikes, since it tends to look less agile. For a fat character, a decent heelstrike with followthrough on the knees can add necessary weight.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #40 on: January 22, 2009, 02:45:07 pm
In Gymnastics, running the 'usual' way, or flat-footed/heelstrike, is generally looked down upon.  To be good at it, you need to run on your toes constantly every time you're running, and it helps a ton.  Obviously, Gymnastics doesn't apply to much, but I thought I'd share my useless fact with you all.

NaCl, I like it.  It's much better, but something even more drastic would be good.  I'll get an edit out soon, if I can.  Once you're happy with it make sure you inbetween it more, it looks a little snappy atm.  Good work though, much better!  Keep it up!

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #41 on: January 22, 2009, 04:04:38 pm
hey is it just me or on the foot. theres less straps from the archery animation. has that been pointed out

your choice of color, is your voice of color
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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #42 on: January 23, 2009, 01:42:56 am
There's two flashing pixels in her cheek in her standing pose.

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #43 on: January 23, 2009, 03:24:02 am
@ the heelstrike debate.

I'd always been curious about that. I figured I was an anomaly for naturally running primarily forefoot while most animators I talk to swear that the heelstrike is a critical part of the animation. Especially considering heelstrikes are more shock, less cushion on ye olde skeletal system.

In any case, good to know. Thanks for letting me now I'm not crazy, Gil :D

@ actual critique.

Nacl, is there anything you could add to the character, in terms of character design, that would separate one leg from the other? For example, if she has a knife strapped to her calf or a kneebrace or something it will be more obvious which leg is which in the run animation. Right now, I'm getting somewhat lost as to which leg is which.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 03:30:02 am by Willows »

Offline hotnikkelz

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #44 on: January 23, 2009, 04:37:13 am
Her neck needs movement in the run, if u want a lil more realism.  It's almost too robotic for her to keep her head that perfectly still (apart from simple up down movement)

Offline robotacon

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #45 on: January 24, 2009, 11:20:04 am
Quick and dirty edit


I put the feet running on a level ground. I'm not sure that's what you wanted but before they were shifting around rather randomly.
I tried to have the feet move at a somewhat constant speed on the ground.
I added the frame where the foot hits the ground.
I'm not so happy about the pendulum movement of the leg going forward, it's a bit jerky.

The rest of the animation is pretty much untouched and not as smooth because I move things around so much.
I've pretty much only addressed the feet.

The leather strap on her leg is there to make the legs distinguishable.
I think something like that is needed or else it looks like a 4 frame animation.


Heelstrike debate
The main reason for having a heelstrike is so you catch the moment of contact.
Anyone can make a google image search on "running" and make up their own mind on the subject.
I haven't researched barefoot or running in sandals but the evidence you provide is good enough for me.
But don't the athletic runners land on the front cushion of the foot.
In that case a proper animation should catch that moment not when the whole foot is in the ground.

Offline dekutree64

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #46 on: January 24, 2009, 12:02:45 pm
I haven't researched barefoot or running in sandals but the evidence you provide is good enough for me.
But don't the athletic runners land on the front cushion of the foot.
In that case a proper animation should catch that moment not when the whole foot is in the ground.
I run barefoot/in sandals much faster than with shoes. And yes, always land on the front of the foot first. At full speed my heels never touch the ground at all. At slower speed more like this animation, I go toes first but then the heel settles during the step, so that looks about right. Knees are still maybe going a little far forward. Not that you can't run like that, it's just s little more tiring. I do like the reduced bounce height in your edit, but I think there's something weird going on with her head. It looks like it's delayed one frame compared to her body, although I'm not sure if it really is or if it's just an illusion from the shoulder movement. Generally your head shouldn't move much. I think just getting the hair moving will be enough to make it not look stiff, and maybe a little subpixel variation on her face for skin ripple from the impact of the step and any slight bobbing type motion originating at the neck.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #47 on: January 24, 2009, 03:58:25 pm
Not landing on your heel may be correct form, but it seems to add a lot of impact to the run. In robotacon's edit, the character looks almost like an automaton, and really had no weight. If you look at the video Gil posted, I think the guys running at 0:16 and further looks quite lame running. I rather have it look good then be correct (if I can't have it both ways).

Quote
Try to have the toes in the ground for as long as possible before you pick up the foot. When you run you trust yourself forward with the toes.

I believe they are already. There is the anticipation frame where the heel is touching the ground, but the weight is not yet on it, and then the recoil frame where the whole foot is on the ground. And then passing, the foot is on the ground, and at the high point only the toes are on the ground as she thrusts off the ground into the air. I could not keep the foot on the ground longer, unless I put it on the ground for the anticipation frame, but that would remove any weight of the animation.

Here is where I am now:



I was hoping the leg straps would help distinguish the different legs, but they don't quite do it. I will continue to try and figure something out. I like the idea of a leg strap, or some design element.

Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #48 on: January 24, 2009, 04:03:44 pm
Make the legs (And arms) farthest from us darker by one shade.  Not realistic but it's in a lot of famous games, and it looks okay and totally helps it read.   :y:  on the newest WIP, I can't come up with any amazing crits atm, but well done!

Offline 32

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #49 on: January 24, 2009, 04:11:33 pm
I know you've already worked a ton on the bow animation but you could seperate the legs with a quiver, or a knife if she's gonna have a close range weapon, but darkening the back leg is probably the easiest way.

Offline robotacon

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #50 on: January 25, 2009, 06:28:50 pm
I agree with you NaCl, I think you're on the right path. Toe running looks dorky as hell.
But could you draw the ground if you make another version of the run.
You say you're using anticipation and recoil but I don't understand how since there is no definite ground.
Adding metallic lower leg protection and perhaps a bracelet on one of the arms would give the eye some guidance throughout the entire loop.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #51 on: January 25, 2009, 10:00:47 pm
There is anticipation and recoil because the viewer's mind is filling in where the ground should be, based on the movement of the thing. It's like throwing a ball at a glass door, you can determine the location of the door from that even if you can't see it.

I put a leather strap on one of her legs, I think it helps. I kind of like the idea of giving her one metal shin guard, that might be cool. Here's what i have, I think it's almost done:



Next I'm going to do the spin kick and jump.

Offline Willows

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #52 on: January 26, 2009, 01:55:36 am
Gravity-defying ponytail is causing me much fear.

http://www.pixeljoint.com/pixelart/15613.htm

good reference raat thurr.

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #53 on: January 26, 2009, 06:30:22 am
Waaa I spent so long trying to make the hair look right  :'(. Should I just delete it and start over? I was trying to have something a little less extreme then full flapping like in that reference, but it looks good in the reference so I may follow it.

Anyway, I laid out the roundhouse kick:

« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 06:35:34 am by NaCl »

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #54 on: January 26, 2009, 07:11:22 am
Where would the bow go during that kick? It seems to me that such a large weapon would get in the way of an attack like that. I dunno, maybe it'll work and I'm just not used to archers fighting hand-to-hand. xP
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Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #55 on: January 26, 2009, 07:19:52 am
If you look at the run you see the is holding it with a single hand. In the kick she will do the same thing, just hold it in her left hand and move it around as she turns.

Offline balls01

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #56 on: January 26, 2009, 08:59:49 am
i say... in the idle remove the arrow so its not clattered with things to remember

your choice of color, is your voice of color
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Offline Shrike

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #57 on: January 26, 2009, 02:41:24 pm
In think it'd look better if the arms were thrown back, in this case.  It would help balance it.  The way she's kicking she'd need to do so so she doesn't fall over.  Good work!  Still, I think darker limbs in the back for the running animation would really help readability, since they still sort of blend right now.  I like it though! 

Toodles!
Shrike
« Last Edit: January 26, 2009, 02:45:21 pm by Shrike »

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #58 on: January 28, 2009, 01:15:41 am
Made the kick snappier, and started adding some flesh to the bones.

Offline Fool

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #59 on: January 28, 2009, 09:34:24 pm
Bow stance is somewhat non convincing - it does required some body work to compensate pulling bow out. What would happens to the body when she is reaching out arrow tool? Pulling an arrow out? etc.
Here a quick study within existing framerate, but I would take a closer shot on subject. It'll pay twice - improves current piece and improves an understanding, which has a continuing value.

Offline hotnikkelz

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #60 on: January 29, 2009, 02:57:34 am
The animation Guru has spoken. Get laid Fool!!! j/k

how do you do it?! you make it look so easy. i'll have to pm you for tips!

Offline NaCl

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #61 on: February 06, 2009, 09:07:44 am
Hey Fool, thanks for making that! I have been trying to understand and implement what you are talking about, but it is difficult to make the torso movement smooth, and not look mechanical. I will continue to play with the shooting animation though.

Here is an updated kick:

Offline Terley

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Re: Atalanta Animations

Reply #62 on: February 06, 2009, 02:00:55 pm
when the legs fully extended her posture seems a bit too off balance  :-\
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