Here we go, I am pretty much done with that shot. It is still in French but I added some subtitles for those who want to understand what this is about.
The audio clip came from a funny french candid camera show my friend animator extraordinaire and BYOA organiser Samy shared on Facebook.
In that clip the host was pretending to be a tattoo artist until, looking at the work he had started on their body, people realised with horror he didn’t know how to draw. Fortunately the needle was in fact a felt pen.
I really liked the audio as it couldn’t get more genuine, presented with an opportunity for a “take/gear change” and allowed for something broad without looking overanimated.
The original character was standing fairly still but I believe entertainment doesn’t come from under-animation or over-animation but instead in stylised choices situated at the edge of both. A good showreel should demonstrate understanding in broad and subtle acting. This will be my broad piece.
I will leave it in playblast for now and do a full render if I do an other pass. My goal wasn’t to have the best shot ever but just to get more experience with some of the concepts I rediscovered studying “the work of the masters” few weeks ago and hopefully get a junior or even a regular animation job in a french feature animation studio.
For the technical nitty gritty, I used my world orient FK spine again, world orient head and arms. I really like that workflow as it allows me to work in a layered method and keep adding levels of detail even when in polish. For my next close up shots I will be using an IK spine instead but I am still unsure how Bishop handles that.
For the nose I did something a bit fancy that I think is participating to make the face look more organic. In real life, if you observe people talking you will notice that the tip of their nose, nostrils and cheeks keep moving up and down following the opening and closing of the mouth.
Bishop has cheeks controls but with my custom nose, moving the nose control up and down wouldn’t have looked realistic. The skin of the face doesn’t just move up and down shifting the nose, it actually slides over its cartilage and the skull, causing a stretch of the soft parts of the head. (the ears also move actually)
Instead, I created a custom blend shape where the side and lower part of the nose came down simulating the pull of the skin according to the opening of the mouth. The effect is very subtle right now and I would have liked to push it further but after breaking the rig several time and using up few evenings with technical things I think this will do for that shot, time to move on, I think it is a nice close up shot with very stylised facial animation.