Friday, February 15, 2013

Comparison Part 2

Greetings friends!

Lion here with another update on progress.

I got a little bit side-tracked this week due to a special request by Michael Brockhoff (The director on the Bronies documentary)

Looks like you guys will have a little selection of Special Tee-shirts at one point in some conventions!  And yes, Prof John is part of the lineup for those Tees.

Now.  Last time (last week?) I said I'd render a comparative shot between what was done before and what I modified to my new and improved standard.  I'm not 100% sure about the ending of the new version but it kinda fits the song well.

I'll ask advice to my lovely Wife-Partner when I can get a hold of her.  But for now, here's a little sneak-a-peek:


This is Before










And this is After.

If they seem out of synch, just refresh the page, they should synch up afterward.





As you can see, the movements are more circular and not as jerky. Of course, since they are on '2s' now instead of being tweened, it also means the animation more or less runs at 12 FPS. Less 'Flashy' as some would say but slightly less smooth.  It's a matter of balance, really.. can't have everything all the time but I think I'd take more lively animation over smoothness of framerate.

So let us know what you think of the improvements :)

Be safe!

-Lion

44 comments:

  1. The difference is quite noticeable,
    it really looks and feels more real!

    Cannot wait to see you guys finish it and receive your earned reward :3

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  2. The difference is clear. Luna looks much more life-like in the new version of the animation. That's very impressive.

    Eager to see the final product!

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  3. Okay, I will be honest unlike others and tell you that I don't see noticeable difference. Pretty sure there is one for you, because you now where to look, but for casual eye it is really hard to see and we both know it.

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    1. I didn't notice it at first either, but it's the little things. Things such as when the head moves it'll overcorrect a little before coming to the center, slightly more exaggerated movements. More of the components move and move a lot more orangically than the original. Also, her body moves where it stays rather static in the first.

      It took a couple of critical watch-throughts for me to notice it. It's something you won't get through a casual glance. If you decide to try to look for it again, try watching one all the way through, then the other, then try to compare.

      Regardless, it makes them feel better about the work - which is what is really important :)

      Delete
    2. I'm sorry you feel frustrated somehow but I do beleive the other commenters were honest in what they wanted to say. Just because someone doesnt see the same things you do does not make them dishonest.

      Now.. you can zoom in on the images by clicking either one. It will take a moment, as the GIF files are slightly over 4mb in size but you might see it better up close.

      Again, if you don't see a difference, it does not mean there isnt one. However I'm convinced an animation professional (Disney, Warner, Pixar) would see where the steps were upped a notch. Which is the goal of this blog as well as this entire project: Show what we (my wife and I) can do.

      Delete
    3. But Lion:

      Again, if you don't see a difference, it does not mean there isnt one.

      this is exactly what I said in my original comment:

      Pretty sure there is one for you, because you now where to look, but for casual eye it is really hard to see

      I'm sorry you find it offensive, but I waned I will be honest.

      Delete
  4. The difference is very apparent to me! The added motion to the head turns and nodding really seems to add more emotion to this scene. If the work you are doing in improving pieces of CotN is represented by what you have already done here, I don't mind at all the extra time invested into it. The change is enjoyable to watch, and for an attentive eye, the little details go a very long way, especially for a die-hard Luna fan such as myself. Love it!

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    1. It'S like I told Kein.. you can click on either image to get a larger version which might help show the changes more in detail.

      do give it a bit of time tho.. both files are quite weighty :)

      Delete
  5. I love how the body move with the head now and compared to the first version, there's à lot more life in it (^-^)

    For the and of the second version, she look more angry and it's feels like (if we could see the whole body) she would hit the ground with her hoof at the same time and it had a lot of intensity in the mood of this scene.

    I don't know if you understand what i mean because it's difficult to explane in english but I love it.

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    1. We understand your point. Don´t worry about your English. For your family name I would say you are francophone, if that is the case, you can comment in French (we are too).

      Delete
  6. My stars! Not that i didnt love what you did before, but THIS gives the beauty and emotion i envisioned with the song! It feels like the first week i followed this blog all over again, so ill be patient :)

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  7. To tell the truth, I like the way the old gif said "shadows" better. You were very right about her static body in the first gif, it should move, but keep in mind that less is sometimes more, subtle movement might look a little better.

    Btw, did you use a fluid simulator for the dark part of her mane? Very good idea, though the part to the end of her mane looks very jittery.

    Good luck Lion and Spirit with your endeavours, and remember, the brony community is fickle, they like things to be their way (see above 2 paragraphs for reference), as long as YOU are happy with YOUR project, that's mostly what matters.

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  8. It seems better. The main thing I noticed was just the fact that Luna's body, rather than just her head, was making subtle movements that made her feel more alive and less like a robot. Great job. I just know that this video will be that much better once finished.

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  9. I like the improvements a lot, especially her breathing in. Very realistic and beautiful to look at.

    There's only one thing that seems out-of-place: her sudden movement right at the end. It looks like someone off-camera just pushed her. It doesn't feel fitting to the somewhat soothing ambiance.

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  10. "Ambiance"... Maybe "mood" is a more fitting word.

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  11. Wow, she really looks more alive! Great work guys!

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  12. I'm really sorry for being in the minority opinion here, but I think I liked the first animation better, where the "framerate" was faster. The new animation on 2s just seems a little to "jerky" for me.

    I'm sorry. But I'm sure the final video will still be amazing, and I/we will be so focused on the package as a whole that such things like this animation change won't be noticeable (in the long run).

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    1. I agree, it does seem more jerky in the second one. The first is more fluid, and unfortunately, I prefer it over the new one (also, the new one's colors seem more light)

      Delete
    2. I also feel like her body is shaking way too much in the second one.
      Maybe go for a happy medium, something between 1 and 2?

      Delete
    3. Well, the first one was animated with tweens. For professionals, it is a recognizable look, and falls right into a category called "uncanny valley", which is something that we avoid like the plague in the industry.

      The second one is animated on twos, some little parts on ones, just like the original show. The twitches and jerks are in part fault of the GIF.

      Delete
    4. So you're saying it will look better as a video, non-GIF? Hmm... Maybe you should upload a new video showing these animation changes, instead of GIFs in this blog.

      Just a thought.

      Delete
  13. i loved the change in the circular movements... but somehow, that last super nod of luna looks out of place for me :7 idk, it feels kinda odd, but just that, all the rest of the movement looks amazing, lots of awesome improvements that makes her more alive than evar!!!

    although, i think it would be more enjoyable if she just dropped her head slowly with no exagerations before the flash, something more like old animation, but just in that part, that is all ^^

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  14. The movement is definitely more organic, and I love the head tilt to the side toward the camera at "come little". nice touch. Seeing them side by side you can definitely see the framerate drop, but its not a problem. The show itself runs that way as far as i've seen with the videos i've done (only moves every other frame) so i know seeing the full video this will be gorgeous.

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  15. Jaw, meet floor.
    Floor, jaw.

    (Translation: Holy cow that is impressive!)

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  16. To be fair, Before is clearer, but in the end, it's worth the sacrifice for the absolute realism of After.
    Then again, either one would be amazing

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  17. A definite improvement.

    In the new shot, I am getting hung up on the way Luna's body moves. I am having trouble envisioning how her legs are making her body move as much as it does in the shot. In the second half of the shot I feel like the body's movements look tied to the movement of the head as opposed to being independent.

    I dunno. Maybe I am being irrational.

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  18. The final movement where she suddenly jerks her head forward is the only thing I don't like. I prefer the subtle head drop because it's more natural to me. It's only my opinion though...

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  19. She looks really good! I can't wait to see the finished product. This is one of my most anticipated fan projects I've seen. :D

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  20. Why can't you just tween the 12 FPS version? I can't imagine that it would give it a noticeable "tween" feel, given that you are manually animating every other frame. If the 12 FPS version on its own looks natural and fluid, wouldn't tweening it to remove the jerkiness simply do just that; remove the jerkiness?

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    1. That would work if the symbols had their anchor points all at the same place. The circular head movement would suffer as well since from frame (example) 3 to 5 the line would be straight and then another straight line from 5 to 7 etc etc.

      Flash tweens work like that: Straight line from keyframe to keyframe for a given symbol. That's what gave me tons of troubles in the previous iteration. On the other hand, if I were to tween only whe it would not show as much, then there will be even more noticable fps change and would distract the viewer.

      Delete
    2. We did something similar. After the feedback we got we switched from the usual 2´s technique to a similar procedure that they used in "This day Aria". It involves tweening and animating on ones here and there. The problem with tweens is that they move stuff in a straight line, and that totally ruins the flow of the motion curves , which are pilar stone of animation.

      Delete
    3. What about using a motion guide for the tween so that it follows a curved line you've drawn instead of the default straight line? Then keyframing it to lock everything in place and removing the guide and tween, then just tweak the individual frames as/if needed? I've seen that technique used before.

      Delete
    4. What you say is true in part. That technique can be used for a limited number of symbols. Let´s say you have angel bunny, you can probably proceed that way, and you are finding yourself inthe limit already.

      For a full fledged pony... we are talking about 20 symbols just for the head, which will require 20 guides, 20 tweakings... see where I am going?
      For a full body, let´s make it 60 PLUS the nested symbols that will appear if we use the nested ones and we do a break appart.

      Delete
    5. Hi, thanks for the suggestion but, if you look at the previous post, you can see the amount of layers (and thus, symbols) that are in this puppet. Creating a guide to act like you mentionned would require one for each and every one of those, as they have a different placement on the puppet. Each would also have to be custom-made for each layer/symbol for the reason mentionned above. And created again if I do a 'symbol swap' and matched very precisely.

      Not only would it double the amount of layers but it would also double the chances of Flash crashing as well.

      Even if that gets done, I'd still end up to breaking everything down to keyframes to do just what you said: tweak. It does not add much and I would still have to create individual keyframes to make the movement go the way I want it to.

      So yeah.. we have explored that possibility already ^^

      Delete
  21. At first I thought that "before" - it was much smoother
    but "after" it became more life - more motion
    "after" much better (more life motion = more feel)
    win

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  22. THIS IS TOO PRETTY! FOR THE LOVE OF SWEET CELESTIA DUCK AND COVER OR HASBRO WILL TAKE THIS AWAY FROM US TOO! ;_;

    The way they've been treating fan content producers lately is extremely chilling. The idea that they would stamp out your project feels like it's literally tying my stomach in knots. Please be careful... PLEASE!

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  23. I think it looks pretty good!
    But thing that does annoy me though is the how violently her whole body jerks when she says "Shaaaa-dow" It just seems a bit to fast or voilent. (I'm not sure how to describe it.)

    It does look good, but a little jerky, but hopefully that can easily be fixed? Definitely makes it look more dynamic, but maybe there's a little /too/ much movement going on, if you get what I'm saying.

    But still, looks great, can't wait to see the full thing :)

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    1. I felt similarly about the Shaaa-dow bit. I find I prefer the more subtle head nod than her whole body jerking into it. It just seems a bit more ominous and powerful.

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  24. WOAH that's a huge difference. Before it was very nearly TV-quality animation, now it's suddenly jumped all the way there.

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  25. AH!! SHE'S BALD!!! AHH!!! NOW I'M BEING BLINDED!

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  26. Oh wow~ cant wait to see the finish one..OwO

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  27. I can't wait to see the finished project!! :D

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