Xerxes Qados / Zack Green (xerxesqados) wrote,
Xerxes Qados / Zack Green

There’s Too Much Motion Blur

Principal animation for Your Face is a Saxophone, Episode 2 has been going on for about a week now. I’m working with Erica Frohnhoefer to A) split the workload, and B) bring her animation talents to the table. Already, the character animation from both of us is looking far more expressive and dynamic than the pilot episode.

I’ve also worked out a much more effective lighting technique, using primarily directional lights rather than point lights — it gives us some nice subtle shading without the headache of positioning a bunch of points. We’ll be using spotlights here and there to cast shadows, but for the most part we’ll be using directional and ambient lighting. You can see the results in the freeze-frame below: subtle, and nice-looking.

Freeze-frame of Eddie and Blake in a cubicle

Speaking of subtlety, I realized that the pilot suffered from a bit too much “LOOK WE HAVE MOTION BLUR AND DEPTH OF FIELD!!!”-ing.

The motion blur, I kinda have an excuse for: I only realized what exactly the “Shutter Angle” option did after all of the animation was rendered. Apple Motion defaults to a 360° shutter angle for motion blur, which makes something resembling sense if you’re doing traditional motion graphics. For character animation, it’s, in retrospect, absurd. Observe:

Click for full size
Comparison of 360 and 72-degree motion blur shutter
By the way, Apple Motion was being a bitch trying to render out these two frames, so I just ended up taking screenshots of the viewer window. And the frame up top of the cubicle took about 3 minutes to render out to a PNG, even though it took only 3 seconds to render it inside the damn program. Oh, and they completely borked the Render Current Frame function in Motion 5. So, I lied, Apple Motion still sucks.

Needless to say, for the future, we’re using a 72° shutter.

Depth of field, on the other hand, I don’t have much of an excuse for at all. It was just overdone. We’ll still have it, and still rack focus when it’s dramatically useful, but it’ll actually be at plausible levels this time.

Originally posted at Plankhead
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