As part of their placement year, the former research students began work on a project for the University of Gloucestershire’s Psychology department. They were asked to build a virtual reality cafe environment to assess user’s responses to particular stimuli, such as a crime occurring. I was brought onto the project later on to produce several animations for them to use in the scene.
Most of the animations that I produced were for the bystanders sat around the cafe. I spent some time noting down the usual sort of things that people got up to in such environments – such as chatting with friends, reading the newspaper, and so forth – and set to work hand-keying animations for individual CAT rigs. These included someone browsing their phone, another talking on the phone, and a third reading a book.
So that there was some interaction happening between the characters in the cafe, I also had two CAT rigs talking/reacting to one another. This was a considerably more challenging task than my previous work for this project, as it meant double the frames with both CATs having to be constantly moving to avoid them becoming noticeably still, and also have them work in time with one another.
Lastly, I also worked on a reaction animation for the waiter behind the cash register. One of the former research students had animated a robber pulling a gun on him, so I worked with his timings to produce a believable reaction wherein the waiter hands him the money and subsequently relaxes once the gun is turned away.
Overall, I am quite pleased with my work on this project, and fully intend to include something from it in my main animation reel once my placement has finished. It was also extremely beneficial to receive such positive feedback from the clients, as it really boosted my confidence in my animation work.