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2D female jog cycle - suggestions?

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Ok, this is a bouncy female nude, not quite work safe, so I'll link to it rather than pasting it right into the thread. Thin Female Avatar Jog Cycle v.2 Some of you may remember this from a few weeks ago - I finally found some time and energy to get back to it. The main thing which is bothering me is that the head/torso looks so stiff. Do I need to add some head-bobbing or something to make it look more realistic? I know the shoulder/bicep is ugly and inconsistent so I'm working on that. Do you think I should delete the line where the hip attaches to the torso, or alter it somehow to make it look better? I'd really like to get the animation of this nailed down so I can add some detail and shading to the the body.

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Looks pretty good as far as the motion goes. I think I typically move my sholders less up and down then back to front, kinda like swivling if my head was an axis.

Good job.

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Looks pretty good as far as the motion goes. I think I typically move my sholders less up and down then back to front, kinda like swivling if my head was an axis.

Good job.

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Being a runner myself, I think that the range of arm motion is too much for that speed of running. The hands move as far as they might when in a sprint.
Reduce swing range or increase animation speed (Unless of course it is supposed to look like slow motion.)

Don't worry about the straight torso, it seems fine. Nice work!

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I agree the motion looks pretty good. One point of critique is that the image is a little flat. When running/jogging, the torso will twist to facilitate the shoulder movement. So when the right arm is back you should have an angled look at the chest and vice versa. This should also appear around the pelvis, and perhaps even the head for emphasis (remember, animation is all about exaggeration). Take a look at some of the older Disney animation tutorial books, if you can still find them. They're golden.

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The lower legs (calves) never break the vertical plane. When you run, there's a point at which your legs stretch forward, which doesn't happen here.

When the torso twists, as Prototype mentioned, it causes the head to bob laterally, so adding that would be good.

The forearms don't seem to move enough relative to the upper arms. I can't quite put my finger on what's wrong...

The line where the hip attaches at the torso is useful for now, as it illustrates your grasp of the shifting pelvis. In the final work, depending on color scheme, you may wish to lose it.

It's Friday! I'm going home to draw! (after I watch a movie.)

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Wow, actual positive comments on my art for once. o.O I'm astonished and flattered. [grin] I'm thinking what I need to do is print out all the frames of this and draw a more detailed body over them, that will help me see how the torso ought to be twisting - probably it should even be possible to see part of the second breast at points, currently there's only a uniboob lol.


Quote:
Original post by iMalc
Being a runner myself, I think that the range of arm motion is too much for that speed of running. The hands move as far as they might when in a sprint.
Reduce swing range or increase animation speed (Unless of course it is supposed to look like slow motion.)

Don't worry about the straight torso, it seems fine. Nice work!


Interestingly, the sprite set I used as a reference had the same amount of arm motion and less leg motion - that was one of the sprites from Mortal Kombat 3, the only ones I could find which were distinctly "jogging", not "running". I wanted a "floaty" look, like effortless running in a dream, or maybe on a planet with slightly lower gravity. I looked at some vids of runners doing "high-knees" exercise and also at horses running with a "pacing" gait while trying to figure out what style of motion I wanted. Increasing animation speed might be good though, I'll test the animation at a faster speed and see how it looks.

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Also, breasts don't point upwards like that, even when breaking into a run. They normally bounce pretty much straight up and down.

Pretend that wasn't the first thing I noticed.

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I feel like there should be one more frame between the foot's furthest forward extent and where it is flat on the ground, showing the powerful "heel strike" moment. As it is the foot kind of flashes backwards without much transition.
I really like the contrary-wise rotation of the shoulders and buttocks, btw. Aside from the inconsistent outline (which you already noted) that works very effectively.

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Quote:
Original post by PlayfulPuppy
Also, breasts don't point upwards like that, even when breaking into a run. They normally bounce pretty much straight up and down.

Pretend that wasn't the first thing I noticed.


I'll bet good money you're far from the first to notice it. It's _normal_ for the human eye to notice the unexpected: that's why we're still around today, and not extinct. Edge-detection and pattern prediction are fundamental to human vision. Unfortunately, we learn from a very early age to spot discrepancies and unexpected features in humans and their movements; that's why it's so very, very hard to get it right.

The upper body motion looks quite wrong. The far breast should be visible in some frames, but isn't. The upper torso should be twisting more than is currently shown in the animation. (And PlayfulPuppy is also spot-on about the breasts' movement: they're just sacks of fat, so they should move more like water balloons: more like a vertical rippling movement rather than the current 'flapping up and down' one shown.)

A bigger problem is that there's no sense of weight. Jogging, running and walking are all forms of controlled falling. Your character isn't leaning into her movement at all, which makes it look mechanical rather than natural.

Most of the force from running comes at the point when the foot hits the ground. Note how your character's feet are _completely_ flat. This is Wrong, with a capital 'W'. Even while walking, you place the front -- the 'ball' -- of your foot on the ground first and use your calf muscles like a spring to bounce yourself back up into the next part of the cycle. Your feet then 'kick' backwards as a reaction -- much like the recoil from a gun -- so the more energy you expend on that kicking motion, the less energy you're putting into forward motion. For a jogger, your character is kicking her legs far too much; her movements are closer to that of a runner.

You really need to look into studying motion and gait -- Prototype's point about studying animation books is a damned good one; if animation were easy, everyone would be doing it -- and not just look at photographs.

Digital camcorders are ideal for this. Ask a friend to point a camera at you while you jog around the garden (or the room, if it's big enough). Include some varieties of shot, such as sprints, slower distance-type running, jogging and even walking. Film a few other victims too if you can. Get this reference material into your computer, stuff it into some editing software -- even Windows Movie Maker or Apple's iMovie will suffice -- and loop related sequences for study. Watch it frame by frame, rotoscoping if you wish, and look at what you get as a result.

(It's not unusual to find an animator filming himself like this. Many will even have a mirror nearby, so they can act out facial expressions for reaction shots.)

Finally, don't forget that studying animal motion can be misleading if you want to apply it to humans. Most quadrupeds, including horses, cats and dogs, walk on tip-toe all the time. The heel is the large joint that makes the leg look 'backwards' to the human eye. (Many assume the heel is the part just behind the hoof or paw.) The long, thin part of the leg which ends in the hoof or paw is actually a long foot. This gives them a much more powerful 'spring', which is how they can jump so far and run so quickly.


Regards,

[Edited by - stimarco on March 24, 2007 12:28:31 PM]

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Was working on this some more today. Cleaning up the shoulder was relatively easy, but attempting to redraw every frame with more detail, wow - really brought home to me how complicated this project is, especially since this is only one animation of many needed ones. Will probably take me a whole week before the next draft is ready.

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Well, this is sort of halfway the next version, there are a lot of improvements I can make to it myself so it's not ready to be critiqued. But I think this makes it obvious that the head definitely need some motion, probably a 6 frame forward and back with the head moving forward when the back foot pushes off the ground. I'm still undecided whether the boob floppage is off by one frame, if anyone has an opinion on that feel free to chime in. Other than that I'm fairly pleased with how the torso twisting came out (flickering aside) and the hopping/crawling problems with the arms and ugliness of the hands should be relatively simple to fix. I also agree with the earlier comment that there needs to be a frame with the front leg at full extension.

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Wow, the legs are way too long. The hips should be ever so slightly above the center point of the entire figure. Unless that's the style your going for, but it doesn't look very natural.

I like the arm movements, they look nice and smooth, very femanine.

There needs to be a little more improvement on the leg animations as they are kicked forwards. It seems to Jump a little too much between frames, and there should really be one frame with the toes pointing up.

Also, although this character is very skinny, females tend to have wider hips and thighs. The buttocks stick out too much, right where the upper thigh meets it. Just need to be smoothed out more, and less pointy.

Lol, I think your already sold on the breasts, but nipples don't, and can't point up like that. Unless they weight 20kgs at the bottom, and the skin is very stretchy.

But although looking like a filled in stick figure, it's looking pretty good, can't wait to see how it turns out in the very end.

(Oh, and please don't use any Mortal Combat game as a referance, there animations have always been, and will always be, TERRIBLE) :)

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Very long-limbed is indeed the style I am going for - I probably should have posted the concept art first, but this is what the finished avatar will hopefully look like. Although they will not all be as anorexically skinny - my intent is to make one avatar base for each gender in each of the three body types (skinny, plump, and muscular).

The breasts are a work in progress, I have to go search for a reference animation. I have however seen real breasts where the nipples point upwards so they really do exist, I swear. [wink] Breasts come in quite a variety of shapes - cone-shaped, teardrop shaped, round, U-shaped... and the bigger ones flop quite a lot when not restrained by any clothing. I'd post reference images but I don't want to smut-up the thread lol. With these I was trying for a C-cup teardrop shape. Probably it would make more sense for a woman this thin to have B or A cups, but since the muscular body type woman will have B cups and the plump body type woman will have D cups I thought the thin one should have Cs.

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I certainly move my head more than that - it doesn't remain level throughout.

Other than that, I can't see anything wrong with it (but I'm no animator, either!). Impressive!

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The lower legs still don't kick far enough forward. Rather than exaggerating, which is the traditional animation technique, you're under-emphasizing. Interesting. [smile]

The head bobs precisely up and down - no forward and backward movement within the frame, which doesn't make sense when you consider that the torsion of the shoulder blades necessarily moves the neck within the sagittal plane.

Tip: almost no parts of human[oid] bodies move in perfectly straight lines. Our anatomy is such that we move in curves. Anywhere you have perfectly linear motion, and particularly reciprocating linear motion, is an opportunity to add life by introducing curvature.

Yes, real breasts have nipples that point upward - and outward, and various other configurations, all of which I am a fan of [smile] - but the bounce of these breasts is somewhat "off". I think it's the fact that the two breasts bounce in unison, despite being under alternating forces - there should be some transverse movement, and they should alternate peaks and valleys in response to the position of the runner's arm.

Anatomically, the pelvis is too narrow for the shoulders, and the thighs are too thin for the buttocks (the join of the rear upper thigh to the buttocks is frighteningly unnatural!) You also need a little more torso, and a little more rotation in it - if your right arm and left leg are both extending ahead of you while your other limbs reach behind, your torso is, of necessity, twisted (this is the origin of the term "torsion," after all).

Looking good. Getting better.

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