www.davesanimation.com © ~ David Campbell
ANIM REEL BREAKDOWN:
00:05 - 00:13: Knife Takedown.
I made this to prototype takedown animations for an upcoming project. This was all done on keyframes. The goal was to create a semi-realistic sense of timing with the general motion, but with exaggerated timing on impacts for added effect.
00:13 - 00:19: Sword Takedown
Similar to the above, except the challenge here was the fact that the weapon being wielded had to carry extra weight. So larger arcs were added, as well as the end segment where the weapon sticks into the enemie's back for greater emphasis. Animated entirely by me with keys.
00:19 - 00:27: Spider Hit-react and Spider Death
This was animation that I made for the game "The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest", based on a great rig made by another animator at Headstrong Games. I used lot's of tarantula reference videos to get these out (a challenge in itself with me being arachnophobic!). But since this games had a lighter, more cartoon-like tone throughout, the animation had to show this as well. So getting exaggerated principles out of this was key, as well as generating lots of character from the creature.
00:27 - 00:32: Pistol Takedown
More takedown experimenting by me like those above, except this time, I decided to try using motion capture as a base rather than go in with keyframes straight away. To capture the motion, I used iPi Soft, a marker-less motion capture system which instead uses multiple Microsoft Kinects to capture movement in space based on the cameras' depth sensors. This motion was then transferred onto a custom rig (made by myself) in iPi Mocap Studio. From there, I mapped the bone movements onto another custom rig in 3DS Max which I also made.
The markerless mocap is useful for getting a sense of initial timing. But the quality of captures is rarely as precise as that of full 'body suit' marker mocap suites. As a result, I found myself not just cleaning up the mocap, but reparing it, adjusting the keys, and in many cases, adapting full keyframe animation on top of the mocap to really make it flow. You could argue that while not as accomplished as more expensive mocap facilities, this markerless workflow requires more editing by the animator, and more reliance on implementing those animation principles, which in turn provides a great lesson in how animators should see mocap: as a tool which provides guidance to their overall vision of a performance.
00:32 - 00:37 and 00:50-00:55: Crysis 2 Trailer
This is trailer footage taken from promotional material that I made for Crytek's Crysis 2. I was tasked with cleaning up full mocap on human characters, setting up cameras in 3DS Max and replicating that inside CryEngine, setting up helicopter models inside CryEngine, and animating all the alien characters that you see in the footage above. Characters were animated/cleaned up on custom rigs made by Crytek.
00:37 - 00:46: Swinging Course
This was a Biped exercise I did to try and get across some animation principles in an assault course-like environment.
00:46 - 00:50: Judo Moves
This was a CAT Rig exercise I did with hand keyed animation. I used this piece of video as reference:
00:55 - 00:59 Spiral Staff Attack Combo
Keyframe animation I made for "Spiral", an Unreal Engine game for iOS at Pixel Hero Games in 2013. The game's colourful art style and multiple enemy combat, meant that the animation had to be exaggerated but at the same time keep a grounded sense of flowing, to allow chaining together multiple anims in many moves when in-game. All anim is by me. I made the rig here as well as all morph targets and morph target animation on the staff and the character.
00:59 - 01:04: Spiral Walk / Run
Cycle anims from spiral. All keyframe anims by me. For more on Spiral, please try the game out form the App Store. All animation in the game was made by me.
01:04 - 01:12: Rabbids Sandwich Cutscene
01:18 - 01:23: Rabbids Fighting
I did a number of anims for Ubisoft's "Rabbids Rumble" game for Nintendo 3DS back in 2012. All anims here were made by me, using bipeds in 3DS Max. Due to the 3DS hardware, morph target usage was limited, and so I put more effort into making the Rabbids appear bouncy, with added squash and stretch on the props that they used to really get the feel of their world across.
01:12 - 01:18: Aragorn's Quest 'Man' Animation
Animation for the male soldiers commanded by the player in-game. I animated a series of movement outside of what si shown here too, including strafes, hit reacts and Orc animations.
01:23 - 01:29: Jump Gap
This was an anim that I made with the intention of exporting to Unreal Engine. As such, while the anim flows as one piece here, it was intended to be broken down to be exported in individual parts, hence why I have the jump and stumble, hanging idle, and recovery animation. All footage and animation is by me, on a CAT Rig I also made.
01:35 - 01:48: Valve Source Filmmaker Acting Exercise
A piece I animated using 3DS max and Source Filmmaker. I found that animating inside Valve's SFM was challenging upon its initial release when I made this (it has since gone on to be a great piece of animating kit in it's own right). So I did my numerous passes of animation inside 3DS Max by making my own custom CAT rigs for each character, and skinning exported character bones to the rigs. I used a scripting pipeline to get the finished files back into SFM, where I added facial animation, additional scene props, and lighting.
While animating, I found it difficult to develop such pieces without having the facial tools available in Max, so I made my own series of morph targets to use for rough facial animation, before animating final facial anim later inside SFM. Before SFM released, I tried animating a few characters inside of Max with my own custom rigs to see how well it could work (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfGUGGOUx_0).
This piece in my showreel was the end result of all that experimentation. The audio source used is by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, taken from the movie "Baseketball".
01:48 - end: Rabbids 'Carlton' Dance
After talking with one of Ubisoft's lead animators during my time on the Rabbids project, he mentioned how good it was to animate these characters to popular dance moves from film and TV. This was not just to replicate a popular dance, but to discover how your character interprets that dance. If a Rabbid were to 'wear' the Carlton dance from Fresh Prince, for example, how would it fit?
Giving this a go myself, it really helped me better understand animation. All the work that I did on the Rabbids project was directly influenced by this way of thinking. I was extremely grateful for the opportunity.
Thanks for showing interest in how all of this came together. If you have any questions about how any of my work was made please feel free to get in touch!
Contact me at: email@example.com