Animating Ross

So my team has split up the Ross animations between myself, Kirstin and Samantha. For my part I am to do the newspaper peeking scene and the ending when the door finally opens so he can apply for the job. So when I began to animate I quickly realised  that the Mixamo Automatic rig was TERRIBLE! It totally had a mind of its own. I wanted Ross to side step in a sneaky fun way behind the newspaper, and just doing those simple steps was a hassle. The rig has a foot control and a knee control that must be moved to correspond with the other. Which is fine, until you do one move, move onto the next and the previous move you did completely changes! Also I noticed that the rig controls seems to move the way you want, but the foot of the mesh does a little dance whenever is pleases. I couldn’t do anything about it since the rig control itself was staying steady and the graph editor showed that no other movement was meant to be happening. The only other explanation was that the movement of the waist control that moved the body downwards was effecting the feet, but that didn’t help much when I couldn’t find a way to fix it. To resolve this I made sure that Edna’s hand partly covered the foot so you didn’t see it when the feet left the ground at one point.

I got some feedback from Alec during the animating and he suggested doing a follow though and over lapping motion on the head when he moved across. I also did something similar to the hands.

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Other than the dodgy rig I still had fun with the newspaper scene. He just breaks the door and tries not to make it obvious by sneaking away. I then made Ross peek over the newspaper the same as in the animatic.  He looks over the paper with a curious look, turning his eyes left and right and wondering what the receptionist has been doing all this time and why he hasn’t been called. We wanted to make it slightly funny so the first look is over the top and the second is to the side. The whole time Edna is ignoring him and I rotated her head slightly as if she is just reading the newspaper and not paying any attention to him.

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I used different blend shapes for the emotions of Ross. When creating the blend shapes we did not realise they had to be made before the character was rigged so that they would have been part of the rig. At first we thought the only time we can use the blend shapes was when his head wasn’t moving. Further down the line we were made aware by Alec that they can be used when the rig was moving and that the settings just needed to be change. Although with my particular scene it didn’t matter since his head wasn’t moving during the expression changes anyways.

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The other part of Ross that I animated was when he looks around to see that the door is now opened to let him through. At first he looked confused at the sudden change in the receptionist mind ( which I thought was very similar to the script as the change in policy was also very sudden) Once the door opens and he turns he soon realises that he is being allowed in, which makes him smile happily. For this scene I tried to get a natural swing in his arms when he turned around to see the door. I did the movement myself and made note on how the shoulder plays a part in the turn aswell as the waist. I tried to get a follow through motion with the arms as they softly swing. I moved his head first because the sound of the door is what causes him to turn, and then be directly followed by the shoulder.

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