Friday, 6 July 2012

Male & Female Animation

One of the more entertaining moments during yesterday's mocap training was a short capture session where we were playing with walk capture. With all the animators present the discussion around male and female 'power centres' and how they effect a walk cycle was very interesting. Men driving their walk from the shoulders while women driving from the hips. Having our suited-up male actors trying the female walk was a real laugh. It seems clear that capturing rehearsals and tests for use later would be very helpful as the actors are more relaxed and arent 'acting' so much.

Anyhow, the discussion around both the mechanical differences between male and female walks (hip ratios etc) and the power centre differences was very interesting. The Bio Motion Lab has done a suite of research on walk motion and with some nice mocap created the interactive demo BMLwalker that allows us to play with a variety of traits in a walk cycle including a slider for male---female. You can see how dominant (forward) the shoulders are in the male data while the hips are the focus in the female captures.

[Bio Motion Lab demo - screenshots of female and male]

The BMLrunner does the same things with running data - more exaggerated again, love those girlie arms. The bone version is kinda fun as well, though it is too tempting to push the sliders to extremes.

[Bio Motion Lab demo - screenshots of  running and the skeleton]

For those with Digital Tutors suscriptions there is a whole set of walk-cycle tutes, the last of which is converting the male cycle to female. It is a relatively simple conversion as it doesnt actually push or pull hips/shoulders forward or back, but does accentuate hip sway arms, feet and knees.

There are reference videos online as well like these Male and Female standard walks.


To finish, here are some more screengrabs of me editing markers (including swaps) from some of the mocap captures yesterday in Blade. This can be a rather painstaking task when we have lots of occluded markers, it would be fast for a mocap specialist, for any of us 'occasionalists' it will be tricky. Last day of the training is today - I hope it all sinks in...

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