Progress: Slowly but surely

I’ve been working on getting this hippo to dance, and it is coming along. Not to the point where I want to post a video of what I have, but it is coming along. This guy is dancing to the hippo salute now, though I’ve got to get the last couple of moves together at the end of the salute. But, he’s dancing, blinking, smiling, and all kinds of things. It’s really a great payoff to see him move after all of the time taken to create him, and I can’t wait to add even more movement so that the dance looks like a finished product.

I’ve had a bit of trouble along the way, but that is due to the learning curve more than anything else. I had some problems with the color of the hippo. Somehow, I did not connect my outline color to the correct palette, and I ended up having to re-color the outline to make sure that the entire hippo was connected to only one palette. I am hoping that I haven’t created problems for myself down the road, but I think I fixed the situation. It was also a little tricky figuring out how to work with the bone system. It is really simple, but I feel like the bone system in Toon Boom does not allow for as much control as boning in something like Maya. Granted, IK in Toon Boom is really only supposed to be used as an assistant within the pose-to-pose animation. It’s really reserved for more complex moves, such as sitting down and bending the body at the knees or something like that. With dancing, though, it does seem that I need IK quite a bit in conjunction with the pose-to-pose. But, when I try to clean up keyframes, I find it much more difficult to clean up the parts where I used IK versus where I used pose-to-pose animation.

I’m also having trouble getting the hang of the graph editor, which is not at all similar to Maya’s (or at least as far as I can tell at this point.) I remember when doing walk cycles in my animation classes with Mike Hussey, the graph editor ended up becoming my best friend, as I could do a lot of troubleshooting in there when something looked wonky on my cycle. It may be that the graph editor in Toon Boom becomes my best friend at some point, but it certainly isn’t particularly friendly at this moment. Again, at this point I blame it on my own learning curve and not on the software itself. For the most part, I have had a great time with this software and have found it much more intuitive (for me) than Flash. Also, I LOVE that Toon Boom has such a great support system — from videos to message boards to tutorials to e-mails with tips and tricks — as usually when I have a problem I can quickly find a solution. Other software programs provide support, but I have never found anything as comprehensive as Toon Boom.

So, I’m going to keep plugging away at this. It really is exciting to see the project come along, and I can’t wait to see it all put together.

Comments are closed.