Change of Emotion (COE)

At first angry about it's poorly aligned colour, the circle eventually found peace and self-acceptance. Unless you read right to left.

Please refer to FOL for assignment weighting and due date.

Change of Emotion (COE)

    This is a short single character pantomime acting scene with no dialogue. There must be a distinct change of emotion shown by the body and face within the scene. Try to select two emotions that contrast well with each other and focus on your key storytelling poses to establish them.

    Pick a simple context to explain a change of emotion as your starting point. Make sure the context allows for a sudden broad change of emotion.  For example; Your character gets a phone call with great news. Maybe they are relaxing until annoyed by a buzzing fly. Your character could be excitedly opening a gift that turns out to be deeply disappointing. Just keep your scenario simple so that it is generic and easy to understand. Remember that the goal is to show the emotion through the posing and facial expression not by context (no signs, subtitles or writing) Don't worry about getting the perfect idea: it's more important to pick your scene/emotions so you can get to work.

    Assume around 10-15 keys/breakdowns to show the whole idea - so expect approximately 3 hours work for each animation pass. The scene will be exactly 5 seconds (120 frames) Featured principles: Staging, Exaggeration, Posing (Solid Drawings), Appeal

Consider how staging supports the conveyed mood
Hand-in file parameters:
  • Movie file type must be .MOV  or .MP4
  • Either H.264 or MPEG4 compression
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution 
  • Animation controls, resolution gate hidden
  • Frame counter (current frame) visible
  • File size must be less than <250 MB
  • File must be named as follows:
       <Your last name>_<Your first name>_<assignment code>.<file type>

What I'll be grading on this assignment:

- Staging/Tech/Docs (camera/layout, filename/format, requirements, planning and note-keeping)
- Posing (Silhouette, Balance, Line of Action, Asymmetry, Structure, Flow Lines, Rhythm)
- Timing and Mass (Ease In/Out, Changes in direction, Offset and Overlap)
- Polish (Arcs, In-betweens, detail, cycles of revision, organic movement, face, eyes, hands, feet, etc.)
- Feedback Applied? (Show work in progress, following direction and make revisions as requested)

Break it down and follow the stages.

Step 1 - Planning and first pass posing.

    For this, come up with context in a quick brainstorming session. Sketch out the idea, thinking about staging. Next, shoot some quick reference. Try to matching your reference camera as close as you can to your intended scene staging. Practice acting the scene out within the time limit and do a few 'takes'.

    Select your take (or takes) and trim them. Mark your key poses and breakdowns in the reference video and put it onto an image plane in Maya. Block in your scene in stepped mode with 10 min per pose, with  facial posing on the two most important poses.

You're ready for dailies.

Step 2 - Second pass posing, timing and adding the face

    Does the idea make sense? Do the emotions read clearly? This is where you may need to revise a couple of key poses or breakdowns based on feedback. Pay attention to your principles of posing (Silhouette, Line of Action, Balance, etc.) If you need to shoot supplemental reference or find additional supporting images, that's ok.  

    Once you have a second pass at your poses. Revise your timing and start adding additional breakdowns for offsets, overlap and follow through. Keep a tear off copy of your scene shot cam visible so you know what your audience will be seeing. 

    Get rough facial posing done for all your keys and breakdowns, with careful attention to the eyeline. 

    Time for a second review!

Step 3 - Third pass posing, refined timing and polishing.

    This is your third pass at posing, second look at timing. You should be adding in-betweens to refine arcs as well as some moving holds. Check out this handy guide on that topic: Moving Holds - by Keith Lango. Refine your facial performance, especially where the head is more stationary in frame.

Step 4 - Final Polish.  

    You're in the home stretch: focus on generating a polishing list that you can complete in 1 hour. Play-blast and repeat the process 2-3 times. Get as far as you can and get ready to submit. Check out this great list of tips: Polish - Most Common Animation Mistakes. by JD Haas

With diligent planning and efficient workflow, you'll be surprised how much you can done in a very short time frame. 

 - Dave