jeudi, septembre 17, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 06

The first animation was the Run of JFK and the beast. This was done with a looping animation.
The endless loop was compiled into an avi-Movie ready for import  into the Anime-Studio File containing the entire Scene. Within this scene, the AVI-Movie can be resized, rotated and moved just like any other object, such as a still image or a Vector.

I scaled down JFK in order to place him far behind in the scenery, deep in the woods. Then I had to slowly increase his size as he comes nearer to the viewer. This is done by a keyframe on the timeline in order to determine a point at which the object shall have a certain size. This operaton takes a lot of try-and-try again, because either JFK grew big too quickly or too slowly. The whole movement must match as best as possible the speed of the running loop, in order to make everything look natural. A total perfection is probably out of reach, but I try to obtain the best possible result.
Not only will JFK increase in size as he approaches, he will of course also move trough the landscape. This is done in the same way, since the timeline has a track for size and one for move.

I did the same with the beast. The Beast tough, appears a bit later: We first see JFK running and then, after a while, the beast emerging from the same origin and following his way. I had to give poor Jack a bit of advance. The beast is faster than him, it would not be plausible that he can escape the monster this long otherwise.

Finally, the whole movement - running, size-increasing, movement within the forest was in harmony and JFK  as well as the beast run from the bottom of the landscape up to the dead tree. Arrived there, it is now time for the second animation in the whole cycle: Jumping over the tree.

The Jumping animation is of course not a loop, but an animation with ongoing evolution. And there is an additional problem: Both figures will change the Z-Depth when jumping the tree, meaning that  they were behind the tree-object before jumping it and on front of the latter, after. Unfortunately, Anime-Studio does not allow to rearrange the Z-Position of the layers during the Film-Play. The solution was to create two independent AVI-Movies out of the jumping-frames: As soon as JFK is up in the air above the tree, the AVI-Movie is replaced by another, which shows the down-jump. This new, second movie, is placed as a layer above the tree-layer, while Movie 1 was behind it. This method requires a lot of concentration, because when the movie plays, the Jump shall be smooth, never revealing the truth:  that it is made of two "pieces".

The above screenshot shows the first drawing of the second jump-Avi. The pink area on the timeline beyond indicates that this layer was not visible until a specific frame.On the same frame, the preceding Avi was made invisible, enabling a smooth swap of these two Objects, in order to create the illusion of a perfect jump over the tree.

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