Monday, December 3, 2012

Sneak Peek: My Upcoming Humpty Dumpty Animation

I've been working on what I believe will be my most ambitious Humpty Dumpty video yet.  This time, our hero will be on a dungeon quest adventure.  Like all my preceding H.D. videos, the frames are being created primarily in POV-Ray, and the story will be told in an original rhyme.  Below is a very preliminary screen shot:

Currently I am estimating a completion date sometime in the first quarter of 2013, but I make no absolute promise - I'm trying to really take my time and raise the bar on quality.  One area in which I've been trying to improve is to give Humpty a better walk cycle than the rather jerky one he had in my previous Humpty Dumpty and the Candlestick video.  I found a couple of good online references here and here. I did take a few liberties with the advice offered, such as having Humpty keep his left arm rigid in "lantern holding" position, rather than swinging it, but basically I found the information very helpful.

Once I had his basic key frame positions down for walking (for which I stored the knee and foot position coordinates), I was happy to find that I could very easily average them together to get intermediate positions (and then average those to get even more intermediate positions, and so on). In other words, it's not too hard to compute a whole lot of frames and get as smooth a walk cycle as one wants with POV-Ray.

As I mentioned, the above screen shot is very preliminary. I'll probably add a number of additional objects to the dungeon, and outfit Humpty in some more appropriate adventurer garb.  How does it look to you so far?  Is it suitably dark for a dungeon, but not so dark that you can't make out most of the main details?  It looks about right on my monitor, but I know that can vary a lot, depending on what screen one is using.  Leave me a comment.

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