As I said in my previous post, the previous class at AM helped me tremendously understand the process of going from planning to final polish. I still feel that I have to try out a lot of more things and work a lot on understanding refining and polishing.For now, this method worked for me. I based this on my mentor Joe Mandia's workflow.
I generally start with a little brainstorming of my ideas for the shot. I like to draw them onto paper as quickly as possible to get down the idea that flashed in my head as soon as possible. This lets me experiment with what all can I do. Now that I have a rough concept, I start with shooting a video reference on the lines of my drawings. As I act it out, I take time in between recordings to check how its looking in the camera. Accordingly I make changes and record a final video. Now I get it onto the computer and then study it and try to understand what all things are happening. Then I make thumbnail drawings of important stages. These thumbnail drawings help me to block out the shot.
Blocking out the poses is the first step I do in Maya. This is followed by adding more breakdowns. Blocking helps me figure out the spacing and rough timing. As far as possible I add the overlap, anticipation, follow through in the blocking stage. As I go further, I refine them. I animate the character from the root outwards. I prefer to work in stepped mode till I am sure I have control on important parts of the shot. Then comes the splining and adjusting the inbetweens to what I exactly wanted. In the polish stage, most of the arcs, popping limbs are taken care of.
For now this workflow is working well, still I want to keep experimenting new ways to find the most effecient method for me. Next I want to try out the much talked about Jason Ryan's way of making a flipbook to solve the performance.