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The Art of Animation Master Part I: Animation

1 - You're the Director
2 - A Chorus Line
3 - Move It
4 - It's a Pitch
5 - Take a Walk
6 - The Door's Stuck
7 - Can You Say That?

The Art of Animation:Master
Exercise 6: The Door is Stuck
Note: There is no video tutorial for Exercise 6.
This is considered something of a course exam... and personalization counts!

For those contemplating Exercise 6: The Door's Stuck
There is an updated Shaggy with his "fixed hand clench" at the Free Models page.
Older A:M CD's have a problem with this constraint setup.

Look for him at the bottom.
Thanks James Hash (and all responsible) for the update!
Also, check out Zachary Brewster-Geisz's own version of Exercise 6.
He calls it Indiana Shag! See how Shaggy solves the issue of "The Door's Stuck". wink.gif
Name:  Den Dotson

Exercises Completed:  Six

Date Completed:  Thursday March 7, 2005

Instructor:  Rodney (Locksmith) and that guy on the web tutorials (hey he didn't help at all with this one!)

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: This exercise seemed to drive the software crazy. The constraints didn't seem to be really stuck at all. The hands slid around like the knob was covered in vaseline. If I changed views I couldn't move the bones to animate without quitting and restarting the application. I hope there is a 11.1e on the way soon that is a little more cooperative.

Here is a link to the fourth completed exercise:

Thanks Rodney,
I like that little knock at the end. I don't recall anyone submitting one with that yet. smile.gif

Well done!

The sliding (both feet and door) can probably best be defeated by changing the interpolation of the action to 'hold' and/or adding a few strategically placed Keyframes.

Keep it up! smile.gif
Name: Tom Jansen
Exercise: #6 The Door's Stuck
Complete: April 20, 2005
Comments: One of the things I struggled with on this one was simulating collision detection, and trying not to let body parts go strait through "solid" objects. :-)

Oh, is it possible to open Shaggy's eye's up any further? The Eye Close is already set to 0%, so I'm not sure how else to manipulate his eyes.

Here's my clip:

Thanks! :-)
Nicely done!
I love that last frame... it's almost as if Shaggy is just realizing he could have just walked around the doorframe in the first place. tongue.gif

As far as Shaggy's eyes, I think that is just the way Shaggy was built. He has sort of a dense... sleepy look.

You could always adjust the CPs manually in an action and layer that on top of the action in the Choreography... or a bit harder perhaps, manipulate the CPs in the Choreography.

Name: Tenez Waggoner
Excercise Completed: 6 The Door's Stuck
Date Completed: May 16, 2005
Remarks/suggestions: This one was a pain. And it's still not completely right. The arms are very twitchy. Spent so much time trying to get the feet not to slip. But it's done. I may redo this one. Someday.
Good thing you explained your difficulties. I was wondering what was making Shaggy so nervous. laugh.gif

Exercise 6 is on top of the list to receive a Step-by-Step tutorial that breaks down some of the important controls that help smooth such animation out.

He still figured out how to get through the door though! smile.gif
My first 8 seconds is here:

There are a few flaws (left hand looks weird grabbing the knob, right hand goes through right leg just before letting go of the knob), I may fix those later. I think the gag I came up with works. I just want to get it done now. I certainly won't have any time to start something new for the contest. And how I was drooling over the first prize. :>

BTW, I love Tom Jansen's final pose. The animation would be totally awesome if he had the key frames made before moving the bone. (I've done that quite a bit. Doh! As did Den Dotson earlier.)

Tenez Waggoner's is beautiful except for the jerky stuff. That's strange, I've not had problems like that.

Good Job Chris! Very smooth.

You are right about the excellency of the gag you came up with.
I do think that having the door swing slowly open after he launches backward really would give the scene you have the extra punch it needs to get the full laugh. Who was it that had me crying on the floor when I first saw their take on it... it's buried in the archives somewhere...

But what the heck... Shaggy should have just walked around in the first place, right? That'll teach him. tongue.gif
OMG mouseman that's freakin awesome. It makes mine look sad in comparison sad.gif Argh now I have to do mine over
QUOTE (forevernameless @ May 16 2005, 11:42 AM)

The arms are very twitchy. Spent so much time trying to get the feet not to slip.  But it's done.

That is actually pretty good!
you've done a better job then me.
I laughed when his arms started to twitch.
I don't know why.
That just amuses me in a way. laugh.gif
BTW, I love Tom Jansen's final pose. The animation would be totally awesome if he had the key frames made before moving the bone. (I've done that quite a bit. Doh! As did Den Dotson earlier.)

Thanks for the kind words Chris! You're totally right about the keyframe thing, Shaggy's legs just kind of float their way up onto the door rather than looking like an intentional movement. That was a technique I wasn't really familiar with when I first did this exercise. This is such a great learning community!

Great job on yours too! I laughed out loud when I saw the end!
Lesson 6 done! I wanted to add more takes to it, but my time is severely limited this week and I'm going out of town for a week-and-a-half starting Sunday. Maybe I'll get a chance to tweak it some before then.

Name: Steve Nicholas
Exercise: # 6
Instructor: le book and all y'all
Comments: several things I'd like to add, maybe at some point I will. Hope you like it.

Very nice Steve!

That's a new twist on the old gag there at the end.
Just when I think I've seen them all... you guys surprise me.

Nice hip motion and sound too!

Hee Hee Hee Hee Hee...

that was so very good work!

Name: Doug Fall

Exercises Completed: Six

Date Completed: June 7, 2005

Instructor: Rodney and the book, which turns out to be pretty helpful for this exercise.

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: I would have to state that 1) This one was a lot harder than the others and 2) I learned a huge amount - from editing the channels and making keyframes to sound, which I experimented a bit with. And I actually figured out how to cut between cameras during a scence (which is actually the same camera just moved about with a few keyframes providing the timing. I have about 6 other versions of Shaggy opening a door which I was not happy with, but this one actually makes me laugh, so without further ado...

To anyone who actually downloads this - make sure you have your sound turned up a bit

Rodney - I rendered this in the "low" resolution and it is still 6MB - if i load it back into A:M and export it as a DIVX the sound is missing. When I rendered it straight into a DIVX avi there were several very noticeable hesitations in the movie which halted the sound and the video for a fraction of a second several times - very annoying...

Doug! Ouch. That one hadda hurt. wink.gif

Yet ANOTHER novel approach/punchline to 'The Door's Stuck'. Very Nice!

The sound really does play an important part in your take on the exercise.
Getting file sizes down when sound is attached can be trickey. I'd think because all is silent up until the very end that the sound itself might be able to be trimmed prior to merging it with the images.

One question here concerning the glitches you encountered.
Did you use a TGA image sequence when you were trying to go to DIVX or a movie format?

The amount of RAM your system has (and other programs running) might have a lot to do with the problem.

Great job on this one! smile.gif

Name: Paula Waslen

Exercise Completed: No. 6: Door Stuck

Date Completed: June 8, 2005

This one was fun to do, although a little frustrating keeping those hands correctly on the knob!

Door Stuck

Hyperlink works now. Needed %20 for the space in my hyperlink.
Great job Paula!
I'm having to think if someone has done one with Shaggy just pulling the handle off... I don't think so.

Very smooth movements you have there. smile.gif
A minor quibble... he does seem to fall down rather than out and down a little too much. Yours is a more realistic approach perhaps than one going for comedic effect of him flying backward I guess.

Very nice.

Thanks for your quick feed back! It is all I can do to get things to look some what realistic. Once I get the hang of that, I will go for the more exaggerated comical look.
I'm finally going to call it done. (3212 KB)

There is a lot more I'd have liked to do and clean up, but at some point you just have to say it's good enough and go on to the next thing.

I'm probably going to create a new project and play around with the "Left Hand Lock" and "Right Hand Lock" poses. I don't really know what they're for yet, but I have a feeling they would have come in handy in this exercise in dealing with the hands on the door.
You have really solid constraints from hand to doorknob as well as your feet and the door there. I didn't see even a little evidence of slipping. Great job!
I didn't see even a little evidence of slipping.

That would be because there was no slipping. Actually, there was a little jump when grabbing the handle of the door the first time which I did not go back and fix up. But overall the three constraints described in the manual worked just perfectly. I would not have figured them out on my own if the manual hadn't mentioned it. It's another trick to put into the bag, I guess.

Other than the walk cycle at the beginning and the jump back into the scene, I had the model bone stay put and only moved the hips. This seems slightly crude, however, moving the model bone moves the feet targets, and then you have to do all sorts of weird stuff to keep the feet steady -- play with constraints, turning them on and off. Blech! The walking through the door was not a cycle, I just moved the feet and the hips and left the model bone outside the door.

So is that totally icky? It would be difficult to follow that action with another action, so it would not be ideal. How would others do it?

That's got to be one of the funniest ones I've seen ... sorta ZackB like wink.gif
I'm working on this tutorial. My "Door's Stuck" has shaggy pulling on the door, giving up, and walking around instead. The problem is the walking. In the screenshot, he has just decided to walk around. I have a path laid down, but the problem is that constraining him to the path turns him so his model bone follows it. If I turn the model bone, his feet move with it. What are all the steps (no pun intended. Ok, maybe it was) to get him walking along the path? I tried doing it manually, step by step, but I haven't got that good of a grasp on timing yet, So I'm resorting to a walk cycle. Thanks for any help you can give me.
Exercise #5 deals with making a character walk along a path using a walk cycle. I would suggest just skimming the manual and picking out the information that you need to accomplish it.
I looked around a bit, and did the tuts on regarding moving on paths, but I still didn't get it. Anyone know how to do it?
I looked around a bit, and did the tuts on regarding moving on paths, but I still didn't get it. Anyone know how to do it?

You may have to be a bit more specific here.
What exactly is it you want to do with paths?
Sorry, should have been clearer. At frame 5:02, I want Shaggy to turn and walk along the path.I can't get him to do this. When I constrain him to the path, even with Compensate mode, he does his action, then at 5:02 he jumps to where he would have been had he been following the path the whole time. I want *pull, pull, let go, see around door, walk around door.* Also, how do I get him to transition smoothly from his current pose to the walk cycle– is that done by animating the enforcement of the walk cycle? Thanks. Here's the model. Ignore the image it tries to load. It's a video I was using for reference.
I've gotta tell you...

Using your project file I came up with several near solutions but none which I was completely satisfied with. I will try again later to see if I can come up with a solution worth sharing.
The folks that know the ins and outs of blending actions might be able to shed some light on the matter of course.

I think my solution would be to render both of the actions separately and join the two sections together after they are rendered. Doing it this way would allow for an additional sequence of Shaggy peeking around the wall from yet another angle to bridge the scene and further the story.

My apologies for not pursuing (and achieving!) the full fix here but keep in mind that not all animations need to be continuous all the way through in the making stage. If the final scene as it will be viewed reads right, sometimes it might be better to animate from shot to shot... action to action.

Cool! Brilliant! Of course, I was thinking inside the (bounding) box, as it were. I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for trying it yourself. That's what's so amazing about this forum... I doubt even Alias has an online community this friendly and quick to answer.
OK, dumb question time: is there an easy way to duplicate a choreography? Or anything, for that matter... model, action, material, etc., in case I want to modify or work on a copy...

PS 200 posts already? Where did that come from?
Congrats on hitting 200!

The easiest way to duplicate a choreography, model, action etc is to save it out under different names.

Example: Chor1.cho and Chor2.cho (They are otherwise the same file)

You can then open multiple instances of the same resource without conflict.
Name: Zev Eisenberg
Exercise Completed: Exercise 6 "The Door's Stuck"
Date Competed: 4 July 2005
Remarks/Suggestions: Finally! This one was a lot of fun, especially going back and doing a bit of facial animation after the fact. Strangely, iMovie made the video a bit brighter before it dimmed it with the Fade Out transition. Now, had it been A:M, I would have gone to the Fade Out motion channel, changed the interpolation to Zero Slope... oh never mind. Anyway, it's done, and this was a big hump for me. I had been somewhat dreading animation, but now I see that it's not as hard as it's not cracked up to... once again, never mind. It's late. I'm going to bed.
Excellent execution.

The drama... the pathos! smile.gif

This (I think) is a good example of taking a problem and turning it into a strength.
If one method doesn't work... try it from another angle. In this case, literally another angle.

I often think of Justin Barrett when I watch animations presented here via TAoA:M.
He has a critical eye that might catch feet slipping, awkward posing or camera angle, character motivation, arcs of movement and silohuetting. I can't respond in his voice however... mostly as I'm unqualified but also as it defeats the purpose here.

At this stage in the process it is the joy of animating that gains and keeps my attention. Such a simple exercise and yet, in your short animation you've perfectly captured the essense of storytelling and kept the fun and joy of animating alive. I love the personal touches. Keep this up and you will go far!


Name: Melissa "Elissa" Heldenbergh

Exercises Completed: 6

Date Completed: Sept 10th, 2005

Instructor: A few years of A:M use under my belt and web tutorials, plus also doing the mentor program with Paul Daley.

Remarks/Suggestions for Improvement: I remember the first time, I attempted The Door's Stuck, I was clueless, the hardest part of the exercise was the constraints, now years later they are the least of my worries. I want to have more fun with Shaggy, who really isn't the best model for this project, his big feet didn't do what I wanted. So I did this instead.
Name:Erik Kirschberg

Exercises Completed: Excersice 6: the Door's Stuck

Date Completed: 9/10/05

Instructor: A:M Community

Comments: I never really finished this one the first time so it feels good to get this one out of the way. I changed to ending a bit from the book
Today's tutorial:-


Name:Chris Wheeler

Exercises Completed: Excersice 6: the Door's Stuck

Date Completed: 12/09/05

Instructor: A:M Community and Frank Silas

Comments:- Rodney I hope that you can open these mov files now, if not can you make any suggestions? Even though I considered myself a more experienced AM user I am till learning things. It's proved well worth going over these tutorials!

{edited for spelling}
Impressive stuff all round. The TWO project animation quality is looking more certain every day.
Exercise 6 is the big one... the one that really gets the animator in everyone out.
Seeing everyone put their own personal take on Shaggy's problem is a real treat.

I hope to eventually collect a lot of these exercises into a Hall of Fame type area... perhaps especially the ones from "The Door's Stuck"... so... Keep posting those animations. People are watching. smile.gif
1 sec. is a really long time!

-- Arkaos

movie coming in a jiffy!
Hey, anybody, how do I switch between cameras? I wanna do a final render and my scene uses 2 cameras. 1 cam for my regular shots and 1 overhead cam. Any suggestions?

After much trial/error, I FINALLY got this to an uploadable size. blink.gif

Rodney, what's going on?....It won't accept any files?

I'll resort to my geocities page....again....
That is very good Arkaos. I like the camera changes. I don't think anyone else thought of doing that. I like the way it looks like he's thinking about his problem, and the tug on the door is very well done. The only critique I would have would be that it doesn't quite look like his head is touching the door when he falls through and when his legs come done from tugging on the door, it might be a bit to slow as it looks like they have no weight. All in all excellent and original.

Thanks a lot Paula smile.gif

I realized that it looked like his head wasn't touching the door after I did the final render. A little hindsight tells me I needed a different lighting approach make the head-bang on door effect work. (needed a head shadow for a frame of reference) I was actually going to do a little bit more, but I cut out the beginning sequence due to time constraints.

I agree with you on the point that he looks like he has no weight while climbing down from the door. A little follow through is needed there. At least I am learning new stuff every time and comments from everybody really help point out what I need to work on. Thanks everyone! biggrin.gif
Linda Bridges
The Door's Stuck
August 16, 2005
Instructor: Den Dotson[attachmentid=9768]
I have a curious problem with this excercise. After I constrained the right hand to the door knob, the right forearm bone started moving separately from the right hand bone blink.gif

Any ideas?
Rodney.... anybody.... hello? huh.gif

I'm having a problem with Shaggy's right hand getting separated from his right forearm after I constrained the right hand to the knob.

Any fixes?
Well, when you first do the constraint, make sure the it is the forearm that you constrain first.

-Right click on the forearm, and select new constraint, kinematic.
-after that, click the button by the maganete key "compensate" button.
-then you can use the picker to click the door nob bone. or, in the properties menu, click target, and select knob.
-After that, you have to constrain the hand. To do this, you have to right click on the hand, pick new constraint Orient Like, then click the same button at the top, "compensate button",
-then use either method to select the door knob.

You shouldn't have a problem after that. Were you using Kinematic constraint with the hand, and not constraining the forearm? If you were, that was your problem. I did the same thing. Hope that helps

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