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"Slate3" 3D Short Film-making Research Project - Newsletter 4 - 01 Feb 2009

Iafilm Walk Cycle - FREE DOWNLOAD

We have discovered published animated movements like "walk" and "sit down" that can in theory save animation time. These often come from motion capture sessions and we get the impression that when anyone puts on a motion capture suit, they tend to overact - "Look at me! I'm a toy! I'm a cartoon!". I wanted a low-key walk but what I found caused me to groan "don't give me more - GIVE ME LESS!"."

So I've done something about it. IaWalks" is the first freebie spinoff from this movie project.

Free to use including commercial work. Free to modify.
Free to redistribute with some reasonable conditions:
Redistribution: IF unmodified THEN redistribute as the same zip package as downloaded from the author.
Redistribution: IF modified THEN change the file names, name yourself as the author, and give us credit for our input.

We request credit as "Manukau Institute of Technology NZ" or (shorter) "Manukau Tech NZ" but we do not set this as a condition because we know some projects do not have credit displays. We expect that this could be a very small part of your large project and we understand if you don't have time and space to credit every component.

DOWNLOAD IaWalks.zip (0.4 Meg)

Video - see IaWalkSmall in action (12 Meg)

Files of most interest are:
- IaWalkSmall.bvh - a widely used format, optimised here for use with DAZ models in "DAZ Studio" and "Carrara"
- IaWalkSmall.gfa - "aniMate" format, for use in "aniMate", a plugin for "DAZ Studio".
The video shows "IaWalkSmall.bvh" used with "Carrara 7".

Details about the making of "IaWalks" and the making of this clip

About IaWalks

IaWalks is created with DAZ Studio Puppeteer working with poses based on diagrams based on a reference film I shot of a female actor.  This walk is however "too much" - as are they all!  What I could do in Puppeteer was to arrange the poses in a circle in the control diagram then run the mouse around slowly, well inside the circle, to "turn down the volume".

In the download:

  • IaWalkSmall is a single cycle from the best of the "small" trials
  • IaWalk is a single cycle from a run based closely on the above diagram
  • IaRawWalkSmall is the best of my Puppeteer "small movement" recordings
  • IaRawWalk is the best of my Puppeteer full movement recordings



I decided this was too big a model to do all in one scene because

  1. I wanted to avoid problems with stability and slow-computer-response. 
  2. I wanted to make the animation of Victoria easier by animating only one walk step then repeat that in the video editor.

I started with a foreground of Victoria walking one step.
I used my own walk design file, "IaWalkSmall01.bvh"
I used the Carrara "ashphalte" shader but simplified it down to a dark grey to hide the fact that it is not moving with her. I am relying on the shadows to give the sense of movement along the ground.

I then take a copy of this scene, remove Victoria, slide the "ashphalte" floor plane into the background, paste cars, pillars and concrete ceiling on it as children of the floor plane, then animate that background.

Some timesavers:
Use the "90s Compact" for one car with tail to the camera - it is the green car in the image below.
Then Duplicate that, spin it 180degrees so the front is to the camera, and change its colour to darkened yellow.

The Next Article is about other aspects of the making of this scene.
3d Diary05-The Strange Story of "Ambient Flick", or the Joys and Dangers of "Auto Keyframe"