Above is the evolution of the final dance walk – you can see how it changed from the second to the third, i felt that the second one (closer to the live footage) was actually quite robotic and not as lively as the final walk. I spent time trying to animate the arms to overlap and produce this fluid arm swing. The only thing I’m not happy with is the head which moves quite abit (i guess that this is good for the beat of the walk) but the rig has the neck connected so when turning the chest the head goes – i needed the rotation of the back and so the head moves quite a bit. But not terribly bad.
Above are my experiments I made before committing too an idea – I really just needed to experiment like this for a while so that I could get a better idea what the Rig could do and just using the splines to affect the way that the walk cycle moved. I made around 4 or 5 different tests – some I tried creating into a dance walk cycle (for instance the one where the girl is turning with arms out wide) and this was really important as it helped me too choose the right dance walk cycle for my final walk – especially since I have a short time period and need to pick something I could create in time. After playing around with both rigs i decided that the orange one was best as it gave me the hip control for a female rig that the blue one didn’t (i had to sacrifice the eyes for the hips this time). But this meant I didn’t rely on the facial expression to give away the story and instead use the body.
When deciding what camera angles to use I created some rough storyboards in my sketchbook however I also found it useful to open my scene and play about the cameras to where the character looked best with her walk cycle – in some scenes, such as when she puts her hair behind her ear she has to be side on because the hand reaches a little to far to the side – I used the camera like this in order to prevent any error from being scene. In addition my second character is barely animated over than the head so I tried to make sure he wasn’t featured in most scenes. Lastly because the lighting is quite dark I used the camera to prevent the character being sucked into the environment. Below are some of the frames I thought about using for my final animation. (Some of these made it to the finished animation whereas some I felt didn’t work.) You can also get a pretty good sense of what the lighting is like (If we go down to there are two frames very similar – the lighting has been edited from the camera).