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A jam submission

Paladin Piper - Animation Concept Project #SFAS22View project page

Cai Jones's 2022 "Rising Star" Game Animation Entry
Submitted by cai_jones — 9 hours, 38 minutes before the deadline
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Paladin Piper - Animation Concept Project #SFAS22's page


CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Research + Development#14.0004.000
Final Presentation#14.0004.000
Project Documentation#14.0004.000
Creative Development#13.6673.667
Technical / Workflow#63.3333.333

Ranked from 3 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Judge feedback

Judge feedback is anonymous and shown in a random order.

  • Paladin Piper Feedback You have shown a considerable amount of reseach done on the subject, I like that You have looked at both real animals and their presentation in other animated media. You have found decent references for the mechanics and tried some of them out in person which is commendable. On thing I would like to see more of is to try and act out some other movements to get a feel for how they would work in real life. My biggest gripe is with the power-up animation where I think that taking a stick and throwing it yourself would help You understand how an object like that would behave when being thrown. The documentation is well done, showing most of the things I would expect from it in a sufficiently detailed fashion, but what is lacking is the work-in-progress shots and some more information regarding the challenges that You faced during the production itself and how You had to solve them. The final presentation is very nice, I appreciate the effort to ground the animation in some sort of setting, and adding some music and basic sound effects to help build the mood. Camera movements could use some more love, as I think they are in some instance more of a hindrance than help in terms of the overall shot. The three shots that I would change are the powerup, the throw and the final spin after pulling the sword out. In the powerup I would put the camera farther away so that it can fit both the sword and the character, or just show the character rather than the weapon on its own. In the release phase, I think it would be more readable for the audience if we could see what the sword is being thrown at, as right now the intentions of Piper are a bit vague and we can’t judge the strength of the throw properly without seeing the distance that it travels. The last one, during the last part of the recovery the camera follows the spin of the character which I think is nice on paper, but doesn’t work very well in practice as it makes the entire shot unreadable with the sword being in front of the character, creating a poor silhouette. I think it would look much better with a simple still camera placed in a way that would let us see the silhouette of the weapon and trace it’s arc clearly. The ability to get the hang of the technical aspects of the 3d pipeline with using Maya for the first time, setting up the character in unreal and creating a sequence with camera movement and transitions is in quite impressive for someone who had no previous 3d animation experience so congratulations on that. Onto the animation itself, I think the overall design and the ideas used are very nice and I like the fact that the character clearly communicates his lighthearted personality. The core of the movements appear mostly quite solid, and while more polish would be nice, I don’t think it detracts too much from the overall experience. I think both the poses and timing could use a bit more exaggeration to make the action part more impactful and dynamic. Some arcs were also quite wonky, in particular the sword when it’s being thrown in the air creates some rather weird path especially viewed from the front and it’s angular velocity is inconsistent. During the attack, speeding the action up, and pushing the last pose further would give the attack more power, and dynamicity. During the recovery, transitioning from the last jump into the spin also creates a wonky arc with the core of the character stopping mid-air and suddenly changing directions. Removing the pause and making the arc of the entire action smoother would go a long way with that part. Overall, I think You did a good job, which is doubly impressive considering it’s Your first 3d animation work and how ambitious You were with the acting choice. For the future, I would recommend going for something a bit simpler but have more time to refine the physics of the movement and add more overall polish. If You’d like to get some more detailed feedback or discuss anything, feel free to contact me at Regards Michał Niewiadomski
  • A good approach to the research and development phase, and it’s great to see your references and inspirations. The ideas for the varying states (power up, release, recover) are quite different to those normally presented for this type of sequence, and it’s good to see a more unique approach. The appealing characteristics you’ve added to the idle variation work well and really bring the character to life. It’s great to see the use of personally filmed reference, but always keep in mind that the prop used in the reference need to be of a similar size and weight as the one in the animation. In this case the sword looks (and feels) light in the characters hand, and this reflects the reference footage. Overall, the quality of the work produced looks good, and I was surprised you were new to using Maya. The various states are animated well and work well as a sequence. I could easily see these used in a game environment. It would be great to see some of sequence tightened up between animation states to help with the flow of the motion from one move to another.
  • Hey, Great work in general, I do think some of your body mechanics could be improved across the board. The jumps and attacks especially feel slow and basic poses. In games we need to keep stuff snappy and a lot fast than the current anims. If you sped everything up by 40% I think it would feel better also. The idles look cool and idle variations are always awesome. It feels like most of the time was spent on these. That is great but in game we need the basic set down and solid across the board before you get to do unique idles. Sometimes we dont get to do extra idles so we have to put the effort into all the main anims first. If you hold some poses and get the timing and spacing a bit more interesting everything would feel a lot more solid. You could of also got a script or something to get the cloth parts animated for free and help sell the movements a lot more. Overall a good start but I would get one anim polished say a jump and land then move onto the next one, this feels like its all been done at once and nothing feels finished. I am sure you will progress and look forward to seeing your work in the future :)

Challenge Tier

Rising Star

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