After producing the first image I felt that the image looked very flat and not 3D enough to look real. So I chose to submit the second image as my final image as it achieved the dramatic pose and effect I wanted.
First Image – I rendered the character and pasted it onto the final image but this looked very flat so I tried a different approach.
Second Image: During this attempt I applied the final image onto an image plane and adjusted the background to capture the correct shot. This felt like I was being more creative because I could see which way the shadow of my character should cast. Hence I placed an ambient light behind my character and adjusted the ambience according to the amount of light I thought would shine from a setting sun. I also added a tint to give it the orangey-yellow glow. This shot below looked like the character had popped out of the image as well which I really liked. As an improvement I could have used the image to look like it was part of a book. The image could have appeared on a page that Aloisius turned, or the image could have appeared in an open book that Aloisius was walking or running over. I think then the pop-up effect would work it’s best. I’m still happy with this final image.
I’ve been looking for videos on YouTube and websites like Reference Reference for animation walk references. I was looking for a male walk cycle because my character is masculine so it would have to walk like a masculine person. Below is the walk cycle that I have used to animate Aloisius the cardboard figurine.
I ripped the YouTube reference video, sped the footage up to real time in After Effects and exported it as a JPEG sequence.
I then applied it to a plane in Maya and trimmed the footage cycle as required e.g. from right foot contact to left foot contact and back to right foot contact again. When I play the animation it would be on a loop so it is important that the first foot contact and the last foot contact are the same. After examining the footage, using the reference below I noted down the key frames that best matched the necessary positions.
Walk Key Frames Notes:
FRAME 1 CONTACT
FRAME 5 DOWN
FRAME 8 PASSING
FRAME 11 UP
FRAME 14 CONTACT
FRAME 17 DOWN
FRAME 21 PASSING
FRAME 24 UP
FRAME 27 CONTACT
I have included screen grabs of the process of creating Aloisius and presenting him on a background that shows he is walking through an open crop field during a sunset with no other toy or figurine around. This symbolises his search for himself after losing his memory in a battle. I have included annotations and descriptions to further explain what is happening in each screen grab.
Below I have uploaded the turntable and walk sequences to demonstrate my characters final look and movement.
1. Aloisius – Turntable
2. Aloisius – Walk Perspective
3. Aloisius – Test Walk Sequence
The walk sequence for my character is necessary as it would have to appear like it is walking in the final image.
I’ve just created a rough sketch of how I want the final print to look like or something similar to this concept. I will collect images and use copy, cut and paste technique to create the final background image.
I’ve edited and added subtle changes to the original sunset. This is because I want the attention to go to the character that will be placed in the image and at the same time I want the background image to have tranquillity and serenity. This would only reflect the loneliness of the character and it’s search for itself.