How do we transform my punch captured at home with an MVN Mocap System into the punch Neo uses at the start of the Matrix Lobby Shootout?
Well, for that, we’re going to need to do some Motion Editing.
In this video I’ll walk you through how to use the Human IK (HIK) Control Rig, Animation Layers, FCurves, Ghost Keys, Poses Control, even a display settings to exaggerate the animation and increase the speed and impact of the punch.
While I’m editing, I’ll explain what I’m doing and why I’m doing it so hopefully you’ll be able to pick up a few tools and techniques you can use the next time you’re editing your own motion capture.
Don’t Just Move Things
Begin by reviewing your mocap. Analyse the character’s movements and gestures and ask yourself if they clearly show what your character is thinking and doing. If they don’t, you need to plan what changes you can make to correct this.
Before you start editing, make sure you know exactly what you want the final animation to look like. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself constantly editing the same sections as you search for something that looks right. Eventually, the idea behind the action will be lost and the final animation will look confused and lifeless.
When you’re editing, break the action down into its key moments: the anticipation, the action and the reaction and then make your edits during these key moments. This will help disguise your edits and maintain the illusion your character is moving because they want to and not because of a key frame on a timeline.
Maintaining the believability of the action is crucial. Your edits need to find the right balance between over exaggeration and realistic believability. The existing mocap is based on how a person moves in this world. Your job is to translate that motion into how your character moves in their universe.
Finally, try to avoid the temptation to adjust everything just because you can. Remember, your job is to show the audience what your character is thinking and doing, not how well you can make something move.