So progressing on Ridley’s animation, I wanted to take it into the next section in the sequence I planned, which in the plan is a sort of half turn to look back and a little stumble as a result:
It seems to be going ok, when I scrub through slowly things run smoothly enough; however at 100% playback the whole look back and stumble happen far too quickly – Ridley’s dismayed expression as she nearly overbalances doesn’t register to the viewer at all, it goes by so fast. So I need to extend the duration of that reaction, maybe inserting another step or two into the stumble to exaggerate both that stumbling action and to let her change of expression ‘land’ with the viewer. As it is currently it also make the run look a little too slow, but I’ll see if fixing the timing on the stumble affects that impression.
There’s a jag in the animation currently just before she trips where her legs swap position; this is because i realised I had her arms and legs on the same side moving together rather than opposed (…not sure how I missed that). It may well work out, though, because in finding a way to stitch the animation back together I can have her trip. or put a foot wrong. or whatever causes her to nearly fall.
I also tried adding a bit of secondary animation so her ears and the tail end of her bandana respond to her up and down movement. I noticed maya inbetweened her foot as it kicks off from the ground as still being slightly bent, so I keyed that out to have the foot spring back to an unbent state, which looks much better.
Lastly, I stuck another NURBs curve in and set driven keys for all the facial expression components I made for her, so I can control those directly in the workspace and key them easily now.