Sunday, 30 October 2011

Damn Blogs

Now its been a while since I last blogged on here. I have been keeping a lot of research on my computer I just haven't had the time to post it up here. I was frantically trying to get the animatic done for the Cat and Rat film and EnE took a lot of my time too getting the designs done for the market. Now they are done and out the way I can finally put all the information I have collected up on here.

After deciding there are no decent Cat rigs available for a reasonable price online we thought that it was in my best interest to forget 3D altogether and go down the 2D route. Now while my film wont be entirely 2D it will have some 2D aspects and I can still learn about timing with doing my quadruped walk cycles in 2D. It will also help me practice drawing cats which I have been struggling with lately....they seem to look more like horses >.<

Thursday, 27 October 2011


I have had A LOT of trouble finding an appropriate rig. There seems to be no cat rigs available for Maya that are free or aren't hideously expensive.

I have been searching for ages now and the few rigs I do come across either NEED rigging or are for a program other than Maya. I have finally a rig that somewhat resembles a cat. It was supposed to be a "panther" at the very least I can use this unless I find a better rig.

So this is my "panther" rig. Its simple enough to use and hopefully I wont come across too many trouble using it. It is very primitive though so I will really need to push the animation to help character show through.

I also found this rig. While its not a cat it is a quadruped. And I have found there is a severe lack of quad rigs on online that are easily accessible.

Anatomy of the Cat

Cats are very flexible agile creatures and have a certain elegancy about them...most of the time.

Cats are capable of walking very precisely because like all felines, they directly register; that is, they place each hind paw (almost) directly in the print of the corresponding forepaw, minimizing noise and visible tracks. This also provides sure footing for their hind paws when they navigate rough terrain. The two back legs make the cat able to leap far distances and fall from high places without getting hurt.

Cats possess rather loose skin; this allows them to turn and confront a predator or another cat in a fight, even when it has a grip on them

The tail is used as a counterbalance to the body during quick movements. And to keep balance for the animal.

Cats also have free-floating clavicle bones, which allows them to pass their body through any space into which they can fit their heads.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Reference Videos

This video shows a cat jumping up a fence in slow motion. In this video you can clearly see how the cat goes about jumping up a fence and that it doesn't do it in one jump. But instead does it by pushing itself off the fence before finally pulling itself up. You can clearly see here how the back legs and the front legs work together to pull itself up.

This is another slow motion video of the same cat but this time jumping down from a tree. This video really shows the extreme point the cat can contort its body. It also shows how the cat lands from a small height and how it keeps its balance when landing.

I also considered looking into something other than domestic cats. While bigger, big cats also can act the same way as domestic cats they are just bigger. While this video is just an animation test, it is a good example of a run cycle and I might consider looking into more videos for big cats. I just wont be able to get primary research on it as I don't own a would eat me.

I recently saw The Lion King 3D in the cinemas and it reminded me of this scene. As soon as I saw this I was reminded of my project and decided to look the scene up online.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

My Aim

In this Blog I am going to focus on Quadrupedal animation. I have done a lot of bipedal animation work in the past and I'd like to improve my skills as an animator.

I have always been interesting in animation but I've never been able to do much in the way of animating 4 legs. And this will be helpful towards my final film as I need to do a lot of animal walk cycles.

This will focus mainly on the Cat. I own two cats myself so I will be able to get good references with my 2 cats as they are insane.