Hey, finally some new animation! This is a fairly vanilla dog gallop:
I thought I’d take advantage of the couple of weeks between AM terms and use some of that free time to do a bit of playful personal animation. I found this cool great dane rig on highend3d.com. The model is by Chris Baker and the rig is by Javier (Goosh) Solsona (thanks, guys!). I love the model — it begs to be animated, and it’s fun just to look at. The rig is pretty sweet, though it lacks any facial/ears/tongue/eyes. The scaling function isn’t working on the front left leg (there are a few frames where it kind of blows up), and the ankles can be a little clumsy, but those are quibbles.
I’d love to have a smooth skinned version of this rig with the extra controls to get all that great overlap (look at youtube reference of real great danes running — tons of great overlapping action on the ears, tongue, etc.). Anyway, I didn’t push this cycle much, so the animation isn’t as cartoony as the model. I think it’s fairly correct, at least as much as I can make it in a couple of hours.
This gallop is just a little exercise to help me get to know the rig. Doing a quadruped cycle was also like revisiting working on Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron . Man, did we study quadruped gaits for that film! I got promoted for that film by doing a neat bison gallop cycle, which was fun because there’s almost no reference for the way buffalo move. We all did horse walks and gallops and trots, but everyone’s work tended to look alike because we all had access to Muybridge. I wanted to do a test that wouldn’t look like anyone else’s. For the bison, I had to scrounge around to find a decent diagram of the skeleton (they have amazing vertebral processes), so I could get the proportions and leg motion right, and I went through a lot of films before I found two good scenes from Dances With Wolves. The best clip took place in tall grass, obscuring most of the legs, but there was enough info for me to make it work. The extreme size and power of a bison makes for a fun cycle, as does the size of a great dane. They’re amazing beasts.
Anyway, if I have time I’m going to do a little physical comedy bit with this great dane rig and Bishop, the AM human character. If I don’t get too ambitious I’ll be posting it here soon.