She also walks a bit I think, so that's kinda neat.

Anyway, this was a test animation I wanted to do after finishing up Twilight's model (mainly the hair for the mane and tail for her). I first had to make a walk cycle animation (I believe the technical term here is a prance), and then work that into implementing that walk cycle into the scene itself and smoothly transition out of it.

I then wanted to show off Twilight's mane. Twilight's mane shifts shape based on its rotation relative to the active camera. And having her head turn a couple times was to test that out. Twilight's mane in the actual show is really hard to make any real sense of in 3D space, it cheats perspective a lot, despite how simple it might look. You may know how other 3D Twilights look, such as the SFM model and a few others, struggle to replicate its show-style look a lot more than other manes. To get around this problem for my model, I opted to have the shape, or the silhouette, adapt depending on how the mane is rotated relative to the camera to help keep its shape relatively close to how it should be, while also not being so jarring with it that it just becomes obvious and distracting whenever it does change. I think I have a fairly neat middle ground for that.

As for the rest of the animation, a lot of it is sort of standard stuff I normally do for making ponies act, so not much more for me to add there. Always like to focus on continuous motion for the main body to make sure the body feels more real combined with weight shifting, and also make sure to nail the micro-expressions for the face during acting. Kind of curious how people will interpret the acting, actually. What's the scene's context that fills your mind when you watch this animation? What is Twilight reacting to? What is she doing after her main reaction? I have my own reasons, but I am curious what some of you think.

One negative thing I noticed is probably the ears. Subsurface Scattering is probably tuned a bit too high, so too much light is passing through the thin parts of them. And it looks a bit strange with the new shader configuration I added recently that essentially blocks off some of that light to imitate hairs that block it. I think in general the effect is good, just overtuned. I will make adjustments to that now that I see its issues in motion with this test render.

Now with this test animation out of the way, I plan to get back to work on The Magic Inside 3D. I really wanted to make sure Twilight's mane was going to work in a final setting before I started using Twilight for the introduction of Coloratura's speech before her song.

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Katharine Berry

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