Here's an email I sent to Jason Schleifer, Dreamworks supervising animator and great guy.
That definitely is a reoccurring critique. I guess I need to think about my character more. Also, I was wondering if you would be able to answer a question I have - although it might be a little to substantial for an email. Why is switching to spline/linear so odd? I usually like my blocking, but when I make the transition it's almost like I'm working on something completely different! Maybe it's just me though.
Anyway, thanks again!
And his response.
The main problem people seem to have when switching from stepped to spline is that they didn't define their breakdowns enough before the switch to really define what's going to happen. Usually people will put in their stepped poses at say 1, 10, 20, etc.. and those are their extremes. Then they'll put in breakdowns at 5, 15, etc as the inbetweens. When they watch it in stepped mode, it makes sense.. but that's because they're not seeing that interpolation between 1 and 5.. they're just seing 1---5. Know what I mean?
So what I like to do is put a stepped key on 1, then another on 4 which is just slighly different than 1.. about 5% towards my breakdown. Then I'll put my breakdown on 6, then another pose at 8 that's about 5% of the way to 10.
does that make sense? The more breakdowns you do that really definte the action, the overlapping action, the contrasting motion, etc.. the closer your blocking will look to your splined animation.
hope that helps!
Followed by another question of mine.
OK, I kinda think I get what your saying, my only thing with that is this: if you keep favoring the previous key/bd like that, wouldn't that cause a start stop thing? I just don't see how that would work if you keep favoring the previous..
And his response.
You just favor what you need to get cleanly between the poses.. the whole thing is to keep it clean and simple. Add breakdowns where you need them, make sure you have keys that help define how you get into and out of your poses, and don't let the computer do it for you. Does that make sense?