January 30, 2020 | Animation
Updated: Jan 31
Getting into the animation phase of the project was actually more difficult that we thought. Since none of us are riggers or animators, we asked some of our friends to help us out. Our Ferrari was rigged by Yanni's friend Antonio Rivera, and all the animation was done by my friend Zachary Ates (https://www.zacharyates.com).
Here is the rig that Antonio made for our car with the controls and functions as shown on the image on the right.
As one of my responsibilities, I was in charge of setting up the shots for our animator with the assets needed in each shot: the camera, background plates, the car rig, and a rough layout of the scene. We went through many iterations of animation passes since we got our rig, tracked our cameras, and finalized our desired shot angles. Here was the first version of our animatic with camera angles and animation.
Animation Pass 1
We made a few changes to our cameras and timing of our shots since getting feedback from our latest previs. We realized that we would probably benefit from not panning the camera in shot 1, the car positioning in shot 2, and not to over exaggerate the drift in shot 3. It was also advised that we change the tunnel model to something slightly similar in order to avoid the "warp" illusion on the viewers' eyes and to add an additional shot at the beginning of our sequence in order to show off the lightning FX. We decided to call that Shot 0. In our newest animatic, we have all 4 shots, and revised camera and car animation.
Animation Pass 2
We implemented the changes given to us from our peers and our professors and communicated to Zachary what we wished to see, and he made it happen! Here is our second pass of animation, shots, and cameras.
Here are some of the references used to create the shot composition and helped Zachary match the drift of a Ferrari. This first reference our team liked the way the camera follows the car (0:39).
Here are the references that Zachary used to animate the car.
This last reference was the video we used to explain how we wanted the car to come to a stop. This helped not to over exaggerate the drift and the halt.
The hardest part about this process was having to communicate with my team, the professors, and the animator on exactly what we were looking for in our shots. Although I did not animated these shots myself, I did learn a lot about working with an image sequence, shot composition, and timing in animation especially communicating with Zachary on what would look good and what was the most effective animation strategy. This animation is definitely something that can still keep being refined, but for the most part I think we have animation that we can all work with.