Through this task I learnt about the basics of creating looping action animations. Also, it taught me how to demonstrate action, weight and personality through limited graphics. This skills will be very important in creating animation for video games – something I definitely want to do.
To start with, I watched some references videos and sketched some quick thumbnails.
These thumbnails were very sketching and didn’t provide another detail, especially on the wings x-axis position. So I quickly drew a second set showing both the front and side positions for each key:
I began with by keying out the thumbnails. However, no matter how much I tweaked the timing and curves it still looked wrong. Then I realized that I had included no follow through with the wings. The tips did not drag when the bird flapped them down – they stayed in the same crooked position as when the bird was pulling its wings up.
This was throwing off my entire animation. It was so dumb of me to have not seen that! Anyway, I fixed this and continued. After finalizing the animation, I finished the scene with a sky-dome, camera and sky light. I used the following image to texture my sky-dome.
Click for source. There are lots of high-resolution sphere maps on that site that might be handy for later projects!
Below is my final animation:
I am fairly happy with this, although I still feel that it is a bit slow. However, I should have taken the time and created a second bird and / or a penguin.