I went through two to three stages of blocking before I went onto smoothing it and getting the weight there. I then moved onto the lip sync and facial animation, making sure that was working before going back and tweaking the whole thing. I enjoyed getting into the routine and method of animation. I'm sure this is something I will perfect when I am more experienced.
During the smoothing stages, I realized I had underestimated how much movement I added to the hands. I found it tricky to get the timing correct on them. There was also a lot of problems with the hands and arms slipping across the legs and clipping through everything. It took a lot of work to fix it while not detracting too much from the gestures I wanted initially. I was ultimately happy with how the gestures turned out with the time I had. I personally talk a lot with my hands and I love character animation that uses hand gestures well. When I had a friend look at this she mentioned how it scared her because my character had the same gestures as me. I suppose you animate what you like and what you know without realizing.
Here is the finished character animation and the facial animation from the project:
During the weeks on this project we learnt a lot about humans facial expressions and eye movements. I found learning about when and why we blink especially interesting. I always enjoy gaining more knowledge about people and why we do things. Even how we look towards different directions when we are remembering something or creating something in our mind. I wish I had known this when I did A-level drama. I would have been the best little actress there.
Over all I would have liked to spent a lot more time on this honestly, especially with the facial animation and the acting of the character. Even looking at it now, I know what I would change. Still, I am happy with this and it has made me want to do more character animating as soon as I can. I love bringing life and emotion out of a character. Its definitely something I have lent towards since the beginning of the course and wish to pursue in the future.
[This animation was made using Josh Burton's Morpheus rig]