Yesterday, I went into uni to meet with the third years and work on my shot, while receiving their feedback. I found that I prefer working on the sequence with them as opposed to working on it on my own, at home. They told me that I did a good job but there were a few things that needed improvement. First of all, the spinning at the beginning needed to be slowed down and also at the first time he attempts to grab the chicken, I needed to exaggerate the lean and grab.
I slowed down the first spin simply by making the starting point of the spin closer to the end point, resulting in a shorter degree of turn. I exaggerated the grab by key framing his hips so they move up with his arm movements and also bending the arm more at the points when he grabs, creating more follow through. Here was the first out come.
After reviewing this piece of animation, the third years had decided on more changes to be made. They decided that the first grab wasn't really working, as there it is far too stiff and weighty to happen in mid air. Therefore they decided to cut it out and have it so the marmot climbs up his arm as soon as they swing around. I did this simply by deleting the keyframes between when he begins grabbing and until the marmot changes facial expression and then moving the remaining keyframes back.
The second part that they wanted changed was the animation in between when the marmot bounces on the mongol's head and catches the chicken. They wanted the movement to be much slower than it was. I did this by moving the keyframes of both the marmot and the mongol apart. This was very difficult as there were keyframes for the locators, and arm controls at different positions meaning I had to spend a lot of time deleting frames and moving frames into position to make it even again.
They also asked me to make the mongol's second grab for the chicken more subtle, so that the movement was concentrated in the hands rather than the arms. Finally they asked me to make the movement of the chicken leg more wobbly, as the way I had it before was quite static. I now had to shorten the camera movement so that it moves faster, but it still stops at the point when it is supposed to stop, which is when the two characters discover they were falling.
Here is how the falling sequence looks now; shorter and quicker than before.
The third years believe that this sequence looks much better, although one member of the team is not keen on the spinning movement as the marmot catches the chicken. The movement in this looks more natural for characters that are falling. I have sent this file to the third years to be textured and rendered; I am hoping to receive the fully rendered animation so I can include it in my showreel.