Animating group movement begins with identifying the overall energy ‘feel’. And in this sequence, the chiru (Tibetan antelopes) are purposeful, springy, carefree and unconcerned to the children that are inadvertently blocking their path.
From here, a sense to general texture and pattern of group movement begin to emerge; though still inward and abstract in manner, it will subconsciously dictate how things will unfold.
Since there are 2 main interacting elements- the antelopes and the child, it is best to approach each component separately.
TINY, being the main focal point was animated first, followed by the chiru.
To arrive at an organic texture and not becoming overly busy to overall group movement, (based on scene criteria and length), 3 antelopes were animated each with own individual mindset and mechanic variations but within relation to the herd overall mindset.
They will then placed into scene like straight-ahead without knowing exactly how the whole will look-
- One chiru at a time with Tiny as anchor.
- Adjust placement and entrance points through real-time playback.
- Variations to pattern of repeating chirus.
- Keep in mind the back-and-forth subtle switching of focal point between Tiny and the chiru.
By reusing same chiru animation several times to building herd movement, the repeat pattern generates a calmer feel. But since they’re placed differently in relating to group pattern, they don’t appear as reused animation. (It also saves time and still achieving an uncompromised result).
One thing to keep in mind while animating individual element in a group scene- it doesn’t need to be flawless in timing and mechanic to commanding solid attention on its own, long as it works within overall group. For example, chiru in variation 2 in above clip is a bit stiff and not quite right; (it would need to be further refine if it was the only element in scene).
Likewise in reverse, if all the separate chiru would command full attention on its own including perfect individual timing, the scene might appear overly active when all are combined together.
Here, color exploration of the Chiru sequence by Geefwee Boedoe. (For more images of his work on My Little WORLD, please click here.)