So I will be completing my final hand in for the year later today when I submit the work for this project. This has been the most difficult project by far this year and I have really struggled with it at times due to my complete lack of 3d knowledge. I honestly still feel like a beginner but everyone has to start somewhere I guess so I'll just keep working at it.
The final project turned out ok I think and unlike last year I managed to finish the animation and hand in a completely animated film which is good. I mainly stuck to my storyboard, only changing the composition of shots where I saw fit. Another positive was that although my character rigs weren't great I managed to figure out how best to manipulate them to get as good a performance as I could. It was something that I was stressing about when I started animating as I couldn't work it out but I was quickly able to make the best of it.
The biggest negative is that I wasn't able to add a facial rig to either character which somewhat limited the performance I was able to out of them I did try to convey the story through their actions and body language. I would also have liked to have been able to add textures and fully render with lighting but I ran out of time and it would have been a long process as, again, I don't really know a lot. I needed to have spent more time learning to rig the characters myself as I ended up having to use a site called Mixamo to rig the girl and a plug in called AdvancedSkeleton for the dragon. Both of these did still require some work on my part but they didn't end up being the best rigs to work with, although that could have been partly down to the modelling which I think was responsible for the deformations. It also caused the body of the girl character to appear through the clothing and the hair to deform when the arms were moved.
I've still got tons to learn when it comes to 3d animation but like I said earlier in the post I think this project turned out ok. I will be putting more time in over the summer to work on areas in 3d like animation, modelling, lighting, texturing and how they relate to each other in the pipeline. I also need to spend more time in Maya learning the tools and techniques that are available.