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Cartoon Physics #2- Eddie's horse


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#1 RS3D

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:31 AM

This is my second attempt at doing one of these types of animations.  The first one got so corrupted I gave up.

 

In this one, there will be 4 scenes:

1) Eddie rides horse in a open elevated / mountain area.

see horse5a for a very rough preliminary animation.

Attached File  horse5a.mov   396.95KB   106 downloads

 

2) Eddie rides horse descending into a narrow rocky trail where he should slow down.

 

3) Of course, he will not slow down and shoots off the trail which triggers a cartoon-type response by

the horse to get back on the trail and avoid disaster.

see horse6 for a very rough preliminary animation.

 

4) A final humorous scene, where the angry horse bucks Eddie off his back and kicks sand in his face, etc

 

I hope I can get some feedback for the following:

Is the horse gallop in horse5 animation believable?

Does the scene in horse6 animation convey the dangerous situation and allow for playing with the horse gallop

action to become a 'road runner' or other cartoon character's type actions to get back on the trail? Would a

different angle be better?

 

 

 

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#2 Rodney

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Posted 20 November 2017 - 11:26 PM

I hope I can get some feedback for the following:

Is the horse gallop in horse5 animation believable?

 

Yes, most definitely!

I think I'd add just a little secondary action on the part of the boy riding the horse to sell the effect of the horse's movement.

It wouldn't have to be much.  Just enough to convey that the boy is reacting to the movement of the horse.

Note that this is basically the principle of squash and stretch but it's enough for the bones of the boy to simply react.

 

I like!

 

Does the scene in horse6 animation convey the dangerous situation and allow for playing with the horse gallop

action to become a 'road runner' or other cartoon character's type actions to get back on the trail? Would a

different angle be better?

 

Yes, looks dangerous!

At first I was thinking that a lower angle looking upward might be better but in thinking more... no... I don't think so.

It has been said before that humorous scene setups often work best  if squared off (or horizontal) with the camera so you've found a good angle for that.

Perhaps best of all you've left plenty of space for the horse to pause and react to the situation.

I"m tempted to suggest a little camera movement (similar to your other video "horse5") so that the delay will be further emphasized.

The camera could be pulled in closer at the beginning and zoom out even as the horse is galloping off the cliff.

The camera then begins to track/follow the horse again after the horse has changed direction and motivates back toward the path.

 

Fun stuff.

More please!  :)


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#3 steve392

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:42 AM

I agree the guy on the horse needs to move a little but looking good


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#4 RS3D

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:28 PM

Thanks to Rodney and steve392 for your input.

 

Attached is an update for the the 3rd scene on the cliff.  I hope this gives a little better idea of what I want to

accomplish.  There will be a lot of work to go through all the alignments of Eddie, the horse's reins and

the horse, and secondary animations for Eddie's hat and body positions.  If anyone sees opportunities for

improvement, please let me know.

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#5 RS3D

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 12:55 PM

Attached is another update to the project.  This one is a roughed in animation of scene #4 where the angry horse throws Eddie off his back

after the close call in scene #3.  The white puffy spots are markers for action objects showing where dirt will be kicked up by the horse's

hooves in the final animation.

Attached Files



#6 robcat2075

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Posted 28 November 2017 - 02:08 PM

Attached is another update to the project.  This one is a roughed in animation of scene #4 where the angry horse throws Eddie off his back

after the close call in scene #3.  The white puffy spots are markers for action objects showing where dirt will be kicked up by the horse's

hooves in the final animation.

 

Here are some of my thoughts..

 

The general gallop loop looks promising but there's a hiccup in it.

 

Any dust kicked up by the horse would be left behind, not continue forward.

 

 

The cowboy looks like he's floating over the horse rather than riding on it.  That is a tough thing to make work. :o

 

A horse skidding to a halt would crouch lower and have the feet farther forward in front of his weight. Think of a "stubborn" mule resisting getting led somewhere.

 

the cowboy flung off the horse will pretty much follow a smooth arc until he lands. He will not halt in mid air and then fall vertically.


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#7 RS3D

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 01:28 PM

To Robcat2075, thanks for the excellent suggestions.  As usual, you have identified the things that need to be done to raise this scene to the next level.  Hopefully I can complete them all in my lifetime.

 

I have been most concerned about scene #3 because the extreme action poses are what will make this into a cartoon action sequence.  Attached is an update to scene 3 with some changes to  smooth out

the actions.  I also added some sound effects to ramp up the actions.  I am going to have to look into a sound editing program in order to make these effects work correctly.  Can anyone recommend a 

sound editing program?  Once again, like in scene 4, the white puffs are just action object place holders, in this case they will probably be rocks falling off the side of the cliff as I get closer to the final rendering stage.

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#8 RS3D

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 09:49 AM

Here is an update to Scene4.  I changed the viewing angle to better match Scene3, I added some sound effects and refined the animation a little bit, but

it still needs work.

 

It is still a process of roughing things in, but I now have a pretty good list of things to do (thanks to people who have made suggestions)  to put the whole thing together.

 

I located some good mountainous images on the internet that hopefully will give the various scenes a consistent look and I am still looking

for a sound editor that will be necessary toward the end of the project.

 

I'm always grateful for any input people may have about the current status of the project.

 

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#9 robcat2075

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Posted 03 January 2018 - 10:21 AM

It's basically a problem of momentum.

 

The rider doesn't stop because the horse has stopped.

 

The rider keeps moving after the horse stops and only stops because he falls and hits the ground.

 

FallingOffHorse.png

 

 

 


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#10 RS3D

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Posted 08 January 2018 - 12:33 PM

Thanks again for the input Robcat.  At this point, I am more interested in getting the camera shots and scene layouts consistent than in refining the animation.

There are two reasons why I want to delay the final animation adjustments until the very end.  First, I seem to have a lot of problems with adjusting

animations and characters in the choreography windows, where it is sometimes difficult to know where stray erroneous key frames have been built while testing

alternatives.  Once I am done making changes in everything else, I will try to finalize the actions.

 

The second reason for delay is that I am trying to explore "cartoon physics" not necessarily scientific physics.  If I am trying to get the viewer to accept

the unrealistic actions in scene 3, I would like to try to get as humorous as possible in scene 4 and go for more unrealistic actions to follow scene 3.

 

Attached is another update combining current state of scene 3 and scene 4.  I still have work to do for consistency on the sound effects, backgrounds and lighting, but

I hope it shows progress.

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#11 RS3D

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Posted 03 February 2018 - 06:03 PM

I refined scene 1 and added scene 2 and combined these in the attached file.  I added a horse gallop sound effect and happy background music.

I think I will need a scene 2a to help set up the sharp turn action in scene 3.  I am still not refining any actions just yet, just getting all the pieces in place.

 

I downloaded the free Audacity sound editor.  It looks to be pretty sophisticated, so I will have to spend some time learning it.

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#12 RS3D

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 12:56 PM

I completed all the preliminary work on the backgrounds, sound effects, camera angles, textures and basic layouts for scenes 1, 2, 2a, 3 and 4.

See attached file for the .mov.  I will probably add a scene 5, where  the horse leaves Eddie in the dirt and gallops off into the distance.

 

If anyone sees anything weird about anything related to the backgrounds, etc. so far, please let me know.

 

Once It looks like everything is ok, I will start tweaking or redoing the individual scene's character actions and action objects to include some of the suggestions people have previously made.

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#13 Rodney

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 03:35 PM

I think you've probably accomplished what you set out to do for his one.

 

 

If anyone sees anything weird about anything related to the backgrounds, etc. so far, please let me know.

 

Does the guy at the bottom of the screen sitting there without a shirt in the second shot count?  ;)

(I assume that must be your cameo in the film)

 

My only suggestion would be to add some post effecting to make the style look like black and white (or sepia?) to give a sense of old timey film or western flavor.

I've got something of an example rendering now.


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#14 RS3D

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 08:43 AM

Thanks again for the suggestions Rodney.

 

It is not me in the picture. I lost the name of the person who posted the mountain pictures on the internet, so I left the person's image on the background until I am done making changes.

 

In your previous suggestion you said:

                    The camera could be pulled in closer at the beginning and zoom out even as the horse is galloping off the cliff.

 

I am thinking of trying a cut away during the middle of the scene3 where the horse and Eddie fly off the cliff.  It would be very brief and just focus on Eddie dangling from the horse's reins as seen from above and show a look of terror on his face. This is the kind of thing people would associate with cartoons. This will be tricky to do while maintaining the sound effects, but it may (or may not)  add to the effect of the action.



#15 RS3D

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 02:20 PM

I did a VERY rough action cutaway of Eddie dangling from the horse's reins.  I do not know if it adds anything to the project or not.  In any case, I do not want to spend a lot of time on it if it won't be used.

Does anyone have any opinions?

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#16 robcat2075

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 04:34 PM

I did a VERY rough action cutaway of Eddie dangling from the horse's reins.  I do not know if it adds anything to the project or not.  In any case, I do not want to spend a lot of time on it if it won't be used.

Does anyone have any opinions?

 

I think that helps add some panic to the scene :)


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#17 RS3D

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 08:41 AM

I made another update to the project.  I added a scene following the opening to show that Eddie and the horse were increasing in elevation in order to help set up more danger for scene 3, which has the disaster action.  This added scene was tricky to do, but I will be faced with the same problems in the final scene, where the horse rides off into the distance after dumping Eddie to the ground.

 

The problem is in trying to do 3d actions against a 2d decal background.  I do not model the whole background scene, but try to use animation tricks to make it seem semi-realistic. To show that Eddie and the horse are moving away from the camera, I continuously decrease the scale for both models and set up an envelope in the sound editor to decrease the amplitude of the gallop sound in proportion to the scale changes. 

 

I use a path constraint to tie the models to a path in the choreography. The problem is that as the scale decreases, the stride length of the galloping action also decreases, which means that the horse's apparent speed increases and throws off both the sound of the gallop and the overall impression that the horse is running at the same speed during the length of the scene. So I also set up animation of the path ease channel to offset the negative effects of the size scale changes and hopefully the whole thing still looks somewhat smooth.

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#18 Rodney

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Posted 10 April 2018 - 09:10 AM

I like that Devil's point sequence... I must assume this is the scene you refer to as being added as I don't recall seeing it before.

Looks perilous!  So, I'd say in adding that scene you've accomplished your goal.

 

It sounds like you've been jumping through a lot of hoops to achieve these results and your hard work is paying off.

 

 

(If you want me to photoshop that guy out of that 3rd scene I'd be glad to do it.

He's giving me the creeps.  hehe  That or you could just put a nice deserty bush or rock there.)

 

Added:  Something like the attached.  

If you look closely you can still see him hiding there.   ;)

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  • plate003.png

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#19 RS3D

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 12:10 PM

I am at the point where I will start to add the final 2-3 scenes to the animation

scene 5-horse walks around Eddie and kicks dirt in his face

scene 6-horse runs off down the road leaving Eddie behind

 

I need to come up with a slow walk cycle for the horse.  The image is from the final frame from scene4 with the white line and arrow showing the horse's path.

In the videos I have seen, horses look like the have the weight of the world on their shoulders when they are walking slowly. 

It is not until they pick up speed that they appear much more light-footed.

 

This walk cycle is not that important to the overall effect on the animation, but if it is too bad it will detract from the overall quality enough to be noticeable.

Attached is the slow walk cycle I have so far.  I would appreciate it if I could get some feedback on how bad you think it is or what is the main thing that bothers you about it.

I will be able to cheat on camera angles. etc. to cover up the main faults if I know what the main faults are.

 

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  • Untitled-1 copy.jpg

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#20 robcat2075

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Posted 26 April 2018 - 03:00 PM

For a heavy walk the feet need to solidly plant on the ground with no sliding. 

 

There will also be a span where both feet are on the ground not moving.

 

Watch this guy's rear legs from about 1:14 on...   the leading foot is always fully planted and stuck on the ground  before the trailing foot is lifted up  to move it forward.  Same with the front pair of legs.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=nwWBxQ74i6E

 

Here's another good one...

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=1IMDtBmgFD8

 

Very smooth motion as each leg is lifted, moved forward, then pushed into the ground before the trailing leg is pulled up to do the same thing.


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#21 RS3D

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 01:48 PM

Thanks for the feedback Robcat.  As I understand it, the main objection is the feet sliding in the walk cycle.  I made a new animation for the scene which now includes

Eddie and a more realistic background placed so that they are similar to the ending of the previous scene.  By concentrating more on Eddie, liberal use of shadowing, and changing

the angle of the horse towards the camera, hopefully some of the objection is eliminated.  I can still throw in some dust that is kicked up as the horse walks and

some depression in the soil to further cover up some of the bad animation in the final stage of the project.

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#22 robcat2075

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Posted 01 May 2018 - 06:20 PM

How is that horse rigged? Does it not have IK feet?  Or is this a walk cycle and you are moving the model while it cycles?


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#23 RS3D

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 10:55 AM

I did not create the model, I just altered it for my purposes and left the original bone structure in place.  The bone setup is kind of unconventional (see attached) but I was

able to get a decent galloping action using it.  The problems start when I try to do a walk action (with and without the stride length grid).  Ideally, I would make another version of the horse

for walking purposes, but that would be a lot of work for what is basically a minor action in the overall animation project.  I am afraid of doing anything to the current bone structure that will

cause me to have to go back and redo the gallop action which seems to work and is in almost all the scenes.

 

There were no constraints in the original model. I added kinematic constraints that seemed to help a little with the walk in the choreography and did not affect the gallop action.

The current situation is that I use a walk action on a path and no stride length grid. But whenever I try to do too much tweaking in choreography, I get big-time corruption problems.

 

I guess there is no substitute for a good model structure.

 

 

 

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  • HorseBones.jpg


#24 robcat2075

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 11:32 AM

It's all a matter of degree, of course, and a trade off between accuracy and convenience.

that said... it just doesn't look right to have the feet sliding sideways while that horse turns a corner.

It's OK to modify the model and resave a version that works better for that shot... and just use it for that shot.

 

 

But... gun to my head... if I absolutely HAD to get this shot out somehow without fixing the feet... I'd find a way to frame it so the feet are not so obvious.

 

HorseFrame.png

 

 


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#25 robcat2075

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 09:42 PM

If you wanted to bring this to Live Answer Time I think we could make a substantial improvement in how that horse is working.


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#26 RS3D

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 02:12 PM

I did two more actions for the animation: 1) horse moves around Eddie, who is seated on the ground after being bucked off the horse and 2) the horse kicks dirt in Eddie's face as pay back for almost getting him killed in the previous scene.  Hopefully, I covered up the

bad animation cycle for the horse's walk so that it is not noticeable.

 

The white ball is just an action object which will be converted to the particle system representing a clod of dirt.

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#27 RS3D

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 12:18 PM

Attached is another video showing a rough version of all the scenes in the project (except the very last one.).  At this point, I think the story is told and now is the time to go through each scene to improve it.

Some of the things yet to be done are:

-better saddle and bridle for the horse

-add action objects such as dust, plowed dirt, etc.

-better horseback riding for Eddie (more bounce as suggested by several people)

-more consistent lighting between the various scenes

-re-edit the sounds in each scene for consistency and realism in amplitude and timing

-improve background images for consistency and realism

-add more secondary motion (anticipation, etc.) to several of the non-riding actions

 

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Rodney raised some issues about one of the background images.  I am not sure what the main objection was, but I made a couple of versions to try out (see below), you can see which one I finally chose in the video.

 

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  • post2.jpg
  • post1.jpg

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#28 Rodney

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 04:35 PM

But... but... I live in the OTHER direction!

 

Progress being made.  :)


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#29 RS3D

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Posted 30 May 2018 - 01:35 PM

Here is an update on the new rig for Eddie's horse.  The horse seems very pleased with the new gear.

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  • Saddle.jpg

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#30 RS3D

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Posted 01 June 2018 - 12:04 PM

Attached is a video of the re-worked opening scene.  I tried to address the previous issues pointed out by viewers with Eddie's bouncing during the horse's gallop

in order to make it more realistic. 

 

I also:

1) added new equipment (saddle, etc.) to the horse

2) added dust action objects to the horse's hoof movements

3) improved the texture of the ground by added a bump map

4) changed the lighting to better capture the look of direct sunlight comparable to the background

 

I want to make sure the gallop action and the other additions in this scene look right, because they are used in all of the first 4 scenes

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#31 RS3D

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 12:04 PM

I was not happy with the volumetric dust set up I had in the previous post.  It seems that a horse at full gallop would generate more

dust then a puff at each foot hitting the ground.  I added a 5th dust object and constrained it to a null that is constrained to the

same path as the horse and is offset to the rear of the horse with slightly less intensity then the other dust objects.  This is

supposed to give the effect of lingering dust emerging from the back of the horse at it gallops along.

 

See attached video I think it is an improvement.

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#32 robcat2075

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Posted 13 June 2018 - 06:49 PM

The second version is much improved! Perhaps there is a way to have the dust  settle as it gets farther from the horse, a shape sort of like this...

 

Settle.PNG


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#33 RS3D

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 10:49 AM

Attached is my attempt at  having the dust shape that robcat suggested.  There are 6 dust objects in the scene:

1) a small one for each of the four hooves (4).

2) one larger one that extends from the ground up to just below the horse's tail with slightly less intensity than the hooves.

3) one small one that trails behind the previous one and is situated at slightly below ground level to get the desired trailing effect.

 

It is starting to look better. Is it good enough?

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#34 robcat2075

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Posted 15 June 2018 - 04:17 PM

I think that works well!


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#35 RS3D

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 08:39 AM

I worked on improving the scene where the horse flips Eddie off his back after almost falling off the cliff in the previous scene.

I made some minor changes to the sound track and added some dust objects.

 

Previously, Robcat had some issues with how plausible the action was for Eddie to be projected upward to start the action and suggested a more direct path for Eddie to be straight out in front of the the horse and on to the ground.

 

The problem is that everyone who looked at this scene laughed when they saw it.  This is the reaction I wanted in a cartoon-based animation

like this project.  So I have attempted to add a little more plausibility by having Eddie keeping hold of the reins and try to show that the

trajectory path is caused by the horse's sudden stop, rear end kicking upwards, and finally the action of the horse's head affecting the

reins causes the path that Eddie takes before hitting the ground.

 

Attached is the latest version.  Is this the right mix of humor and acceptable realism?

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#36 Rodney

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 01:54 PM

My thought is that the screeching/brakes sounds comes a little late and because of the speed at which Eddie launches off the horse it might be good to remove a few frames to speed up his flip.

There is about a beat.. maybe two between when the galloping sound stops and when the screeching/brakes is heard.

 

It works as is of course... there's humor built right in.

 

I'm adding a gif animation where I attempted to smooth out Eddies launch off the horse by removing frames that were doubled.

I see that a lot of the animation at that part of the action is on 2s and fast actions generally work best on 1s where every frame changes to augment the sense of speed.

 

I don't know how much you want to work on this segment.

I'd be good to work the horse's stop and Eddies trajectory.

You aren't far from where it should be but there are several things you can do to smooth it all out and put that final 10% polishing.

If you do want to spend some time on it.... hey... I'm game!  :)

 

Aside:  all in all I'm guessing i removed about 20 frames and a few more could have been tweeked.

The plus side of removing frames would be that you could also remove that gap between sounds (horse gallop and screech) and then the audio and images might still be in sync.

 

 

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  • horseflip.gif

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#37 Rodney

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Posted 06 July 2018 - 02:32 PM

In watching your sequence and my edited one side by side it looks to me like you intentionally want to have Eddie stop mid air... pause for a minute (wiley coyote style) and then drop straight down.

If that is the case I missed it the first time and you may want to exaggerate that hold in mid air a few frames so that it registers with the audience.

 

Here's your sequence with mine in the corner for comparison of timing.

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  • horseflip.gif

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#38 RS3D

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Posted 08 July 2018 - 07:25 AM

Thank you Rodney for your most excellent analysis.  I tried to implement some of your points in the attached version.

One thing I have problems with is being able to edit frames from the choreography play range.  I seem to recall that

it was possible to change/move ranges within the choreography timeline.  According to the tech ref manual, you have to

add the tool button with the upward-pointing-to-the-left arrow and once that mode is active you can edit within the timeline.

However, I cannot seem to get it to work at this time, so I have to work with what I have so far.

 

Your thoughts:

 

My thought is that the screeching/brakes sounds comes a little late and because of the speed at which Eddie launches off the horse

it might be good to remove a few frames to speed up his flip.

 

Me:

I speeded up Eddie's exit from the saddle with a more straight forward trajectory similar to what Robcat suggested.

 

 

Your thoughts:

There is about a beat.. maybe two between when the galloping sound stops and when the screeching/brakes is heard.

 

Me:

I moved the brake screech sound to start about 5 frames sooner.

 

You are right about my trying to slowing Eddie's flip down (road runner style) in order to give a bigger impact when he hits the ground. 

For even more emphasis, I added a little extra secondary action to Eddie's hat and a slight bounce when he makes contact with the ground.

 

Still working on it, hopefully this version is an improvement

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