What's in the Box?

This is a 3 week assignment will account for 15% of your final grade. Hand-in will be due at the end of class 5


What's in the Box. (WIB). This is a pantomime* acting exercise using a humanoid biped rig with robust controls (Ludo or similar rig). There is a box in the scene and your character must interact with in in some way. The character also needs to clearly show some sort of emotional reaction to the box. Use of video reference is recommended. Play-blast from a 3/4 perspective view. Featured principles: Posing (Solid Drawing), Staging, and Appeal. Exactly 6 sec. long. (180fr).

*Pantomime: the art or technique of conveying emotions, actions, feelings, etc., by gestures without speech.

 Rubric (What I'll be grading on this assignment):
  • Does your character clearly convey what they think and how they feel?
  • Are you continuing to apply principles of good posing, especially balance?
  • Are you effectively using FK/IK for prop interaction?
  • Are you applying all your principles of animation?
  • Is there a clear change of emotion within the scene?

This assignment is all about acting and reacting.  The schedule is all about time-management and good decision making. "What's in the Box" will be due at the end of class in week 05

Start with a good humanoid rig with solid animation controls and proven functionality (I highly recommend Ludo for this assignment.) Then make a simple box. The box can be rigged or un-rigged depending on what you want to do with it. The box doesn't need to move or it can even be an active character in the scene: It's up to you. Don't build anything complex - I'm interested in your animation skills.

The scenario is a simple one: Your character encounters a mysterious box and interacts with in in some way. Your character should clearly show some sort of emotional reaction to the box, perhaps curiosity, suspicion, trepidation or avarice. Anything is possible here so have fun with it.

The scene must be exactly 6 sec long (180 frames). Not one frame more or less!

There must be a box in the scene, that your character is interested in. They must interact with the box in some way and then react to what happens. We have 3 weeks for this assignment - so work quickly and efficiently. if you can't make up your mind, flip a coin. Here's how your time should break down:

Start by planning out what you want to have happen in the scene, gather or shoot some reference and analyze it. Test out the rigs you plan to use and make sure you understand how they work. Then start laying in your keys. Remember to consider good staging when you place your camera and character in the scene. Watch weight and balance when you're making your key poses. You should have all your key poses with rough timing done by next class.

Tighten up your timing and refine your key poses based on feedback. Insert your breakdowns and make sure all the acting is working. Show it to as many people as you can to make sure the acting reads clearly. Don't forget to post your work to the blog. You should have all your refined keys, and rough breakdowns done by next class.

Refine animation based on feedback. Now you can add offset and overlap with in-betweens. Use polishing workflow and strategies to refine path of action and arcs. At this point you'll want to check arcs and path of action. This will be your last chance for feedback. You should be finished at the end of the week. (for us, that will be the end of class in week 05)

Hand-In will be at the end of class, in week 5. Good luck and have fun!
                - Dave