Heavy infantryman run animation

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pixeL73XId
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Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by pixeL73XId »

I started to work on the run animations for the heavy infantryman unit (it's my first animation attempt at all)
Human heavyweights have been always my favourite Wesnoth units so the choice was obvious here :)

Here are some points of consideration:

1) First of all, I wasn't sure whether this guy should be even running on the battlefield, taking into account his heavy armour and mace. On the other hand, a walking unit would look quite odd comparing to other run animations.
So I came into conclusion that he should be running but the run should be kinda heavy-footed and asymetrical as his shield and mace are of different shapes and weight.

2) The other hesitation came when I check this guy's portrait with wooden mace while on the base frame there seems to be nothing wooden at all. I opted for steel here (hopefuly it's OK)

3) The armour appears to be quite thick and wide at the base frame. I think it was deliberately exaggerated to make this guy look more tough (again, compared to the portrait). For the SE-run perspective, I decided to slightly weaken this effect.

4) Number of frames. Currently there are only 7 (frame duration is set to 0.15 sec) which is probably too few. I'm currently considering the extension to 9 frames.

Please note that what you see is VERY preliminary version. A lot of stuff is missing and shading in far from being perfect. So please don't focus on the shading and pixel preciseness. I'm rather interested in what's your opinion on the following:

* kinematics and number of frames
* proper SE direction & perspective
* size of body-parts and equipment

thanks a lot for the opinions

I know many freaks start with the wireframe animation model but I'm not this type of guy :) I admit that some parts have been created using rotation and perspective features in graphic editor but as I said, shading will be improved as soon as the kinematics and size is approved.

thx
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thespaceinvader
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

Thanks, but no thanks, you're really not up near mainline quality yet. Moved to the Workshop.

That being said, there's a reason people block animations first. It avoids really awkward-looking animations.
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pixeL73XId
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by pixeL73XId »

thanks, I accept the criticism but perhaps telling me wha't exactly is wrong or where's the main problem with that animation would be more helpful

Max
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by Max »

it's flat, walks like a zombie and seems to randomly develop new joints...

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Reepurr
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by Reepurr »

Max wrote:it's flat, walks like a zombie and seems to randomly develop new joints...
...has a very thin torso, has no depth to the torso whatsoever, and has completely random arm length.
That said, it's all right for a beginner, but I do suggest you block first, and try and be consistent with the HI's body size and shading when you paint over.
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Crendgrim
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by Crendgrim »

And his right (our left) foot jumps to the left (our right) between two frames.


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thespaceinvader
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by thespaceinvader »

Frankly, there's way too much to go into - it's hard to hear that sort of thing, I know, but it's true. You've macerated the base frame, cut-and-slid all over the place, and not really given much thought to how a person, particularly a person encumbered by heavy armour, mace and shield, moves. The feet don't go back far enough. The arms don't swing believably. The spikes on his helmet swish back and forth like blades of grass. I could go on.

My advice:

Get some reference. Find some video of people walking. Find some reference on how to draw walk cycles. Above all, BLOCK your work, somehow. It doesn't matter if it's wireframes, solid colours, or neon colours, block your work. It's so, so much easier on you as an artist to catch mistakes at that strange than when you've spent days carefully finishing every frame of an animation. Your enthusiasm is admirable, but you've got a long way to go.

Compare your work with:

http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=32311
http://forums.wesnoth.org/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=30402

Look at it objectively, and realistically. Work out why Sleepwalker's stuff, and Jetrel's stuff, is good, and yours has a ways to go. The MOST important thing and artist can get, and get early in his career, is a critical eye for his own work. If you can't see what's wrong with it, you can never improve.
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pixeL73XId
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by pixeL73XId »

thx for all advices guys

You forced me to sketch the animation first :)
Besides of redrawing some parts, I extended the number of frames to 9.

I looks slightly better to me than my first attempt. I'm desperately trying to achieve that heavy-footed look but now it rather seems that his left (purple) leg is injured or perhaps the terrain in very rough (or that he's running down the hill). I think that last two frames are responsible for that. Shall I shorten that pruple leg ? Any suggestion on how to avoid that downhill look is appreciated.

Aside from mentioning errors, please let me know whether 9 frames are optimal number for this kind of animation in your opinion (regardless of the current state)

Looking forward to reviews
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ancestral
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by ancestral »

In the original animation it appeared as if he was trying to run on crutches. It still looks that way. The shoulders appear to move forward and backward instead of pivoting (when you run, you should notice your upper arms move far less than your forearms, not the other way around) and the torso seems to move an awful lot.
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em3
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by em3 »

I think that, when you run around with such a big and heavy shield, you either keep it in front of you, more or less steadily, or you keep it parallel to the direction of movement so that it does not come in the way of legs.

I can't find good reference to back this up, though.
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Scatha
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by Scatha »

[Disclaimer: I'm far from an expert in this]

In a related direction to the two posts above, I've realised that something which makes it look odd to my eye is that normally when someone runs their left arm moves forward in sync with the their right leg, and vice-versa. You almost have the left arm moving with the left leg (they are not quite in sync), which makes the whole thing look more like flailing limbs than a running motion. To be clear, I'm not sure that the left arm should be exactly in sync with the right leg -- you'd need to do some more research on that -- but I am pretty sure that they should be a lot closer together than they are in your current animation.

pixeL73XId
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by pixeL73XId »

thanks, I will try to fix these errors today

Scatha: Normally they should be in sync as you mentioned, but I want to achieve kind of asymetrical look because of wearing heavy
mace and shield (not sure if this is good idea though)

Anyway I'm going to improve kinematics, so stay tuned for the update

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shiremct
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by shiremct »

His hips and waist need to be probably at least 1.5x as wide as they are right now. They should be just slightly smaller than his chest or alternatively, just slightly (2-4 pixels probably) thinner than the his hips in the base frame.

The kinematics of the upper body aren't too bad, so I'd suggest to focus on sorting out the lower body and see where it needs to go from there.

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artisticdude
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by artisticdude »

pixeL73XId wrote:thanks, I will try to fix these errors today
I commend your perseverance. :)

Perhaps the biggest problem you're running into right now is that you're trying to give the sprite realistic human proportions in the animation. Thing is, Wesnoth sprites don't have real-life proportions. I know it's hard to avoid doing this, especially when blocking an animation (been there, done that! :wink: ), but it's something you'll just have to work through, using a lot of reference and a lot of double-checking. It also helps to just step away from the animation for a while and come back to it later so you can view it with fresh eyes. I've spotted many issues with my own work this way that I had previously been completely unaware of.

As far as the motion goes: more lateral rotation in the upper body, longer, broader steps, and have him left his legs more when he prepares to take the next step. You're also probably going to need at least 8 separate frames for the animation, otherwise you run the risk of having the animation becoming too slow or choppy. TSI's links above are excellent reference material, study them fame-by-frame (especially Jet's elf blocking, since it's closer to the proportions and anatomy you're working with) to understand exactly what positions the body should be in at each frame.

Good luck! :)
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pixeL73XId
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Re: Heavy infantryman run animation

Post by pixeL73XId »

update...
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