Ubi NXT 2017

This piece was for the Ubisoft NXT 2017 Showcase.


Originally I planned on doing the Drama acting clip and did all the necessary pre-production for it, but changed my mind for a couple of reasons:

  1. This is a piece I’d want on a demo reel, and I already have some acting, so I should diversify.
  2. Last year a lot of people did the voice clips, and it didn’t seem like there were many traversal sequence entries.
  3. There is a lot more freedom in the gameplay clips over the Audio Clips.
  4. While I do think I had a few interesting and unique ideas for the Drama Audio Clip, I don’t think I could’ve pulled it off in the time I had.

I started researching what I wanted to do by watching some parkour montages on YouTube. I found one video in particular (Link Here) that really helped me get a good idea of what I wanted to do and so I started blocking out a track with some obstacles for my character to run along, though once I realised the potential length of the track versus how much time I had, I cut it down significantly, deciding I should make a few solid actions instead of trying to condense a lot into a little clip.

The rig I chose to use was Yellow Dude by Kiel Figgins. It is a paid, professional rig available for purchase from his website (Link Here). I bought the rig about two years ago, but never really had a good excuse to properly animate anything with it. As I looked at the rigs I owned, this one stood out and I could really imagine this guy running over rooftops and pulling off some crazy superhuman stunts.

Here is my final block-out. After cutting down the extra actions, I was left with this. I’m pretty happy with how the block-out turned out, the majority of the actions were were already broken down enough to make the animation process go a lot quicker.

During the animation process I ran into some difficulties. I found that some of my blockout poses weren’t blending too well together, especially on the leap-swing, so I found myself re-posing a lot of that action. I also struggled a lot with the climb at the end, and I think it shows as clearly the least-polished move. I found a lot of problems with animating it, and ultimately it ended up getting a little messy with keys and it muddied the action a lot.

I got a lot of feedback from profs and other students, and the general consensus was that I ended up over-working the final action in a desperate attempt to get it looking right. The weight wasn’t being transferred right through the movement and the obvious elbow-snapping was a real issue. At the end of the day though I’m pretty happy with how it came out.


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