Really great first animation! I know this is old and does not in anyway show what you could probably do now and I am in no way a super pro animator but just thought I'd leave some points.
Great start! with animation I don't know if you do know but when doing animation in 3D a lot of animators animate in stepped mode first to block out main poses and actions, this allows for you to work on your timing and gives you an idea on how the animation should look once it is cleaned up in the curve editor after splining it. The animation is great and technically all beginner animators do exactly what you do. As it is (Sure you recognised though) it is very floaty in her action. I would suggest add holds to her action. Another good point to make is always film yourself for reference or at least find a reference similar to the action you are trying to make as well as always plan you animation with thumbnail drawings first.
I don't know if this can really be called a critique but I thought I should just tell you what has helped me understand things better. Most your animation if you can should be done in blocking pass. try to get it as close to as you want in the blocking pass and then spline it.
Check out a guy by the name of keith lango on moving holds as well as blocking.
Just note that This is coming from a student to another individual wanting to learn. I am in no way saying I know it all but yeah. Hope it helps. I also know that this is very old and you may be onto all that I am saying already lol, but yeah just in case. Good luck with all your future endeavours your models are amazing by the way and your deformations look really good (I hate rigging)
few question 1. Was the setup FK? did you take real life reference ? i blink timing is not good. some how by default i good at eye blink so i can't tell you the mistake but there's one thing eye closing and opening time should be offsets of each other.
Since I'm not a subscriber I can't do an "official" critique but I'll leave a message at least...
Overall, I really love this animation. Your renders are astounding and your attention to detail is extraordinary. I love how you can give so many versions of the female form that all look wonderful without being just slight alterations of the same shape (or if they are, I can't tell).
The only real critique I have for this animation is a slight stiffness. While the primary motion is wonderfully smooth and natural looking and I like the addition of her blinks, there are a few points on her frame that seem a little too... off, I suppose. The first: Her left leg. I watched the animation several times and her leg doesn't seem to move at all, or if it does, it's a bit too subtle. With that much motion going on, and with the shift of weight under it by her right leg, her knee and/or foot should move at least slightly during the shift, but it doesn't and it seems a little unnatural. The second: Her right hand. While I understand the implied motion, it looks like she's having to flex her arm to keep her palm and fingers flat while she moves them forward. It's a little awkward that she does that, as I tried the move myself and my wrist naturally relaxed during the movement. The third: Her hair. Over her left shoulder there's that flow of hair... and it just kind of sits there, splayed out like it was oddly hair sprayed into maintaining its form. While no actual animation should be needed here, perhaps a slight shift in position? So that maybe it would lay closer to her body? And the last, is it just me or is she sitting a little high? Like under her right butt cheek, when she moves her leg, it seems like there's space between her and the ground so that she's floating a little? I might just be looking at it wrong but I thought I would ask.
Overall, very minor tweaks and just me being nit picky. xD Especially for a near first attempt, I think that this is very good. You definitely understand motion and the subtleties of animation, as can be seen by her tilting posture throughout and the couple little blinks that were tossed in, as I mentioned before. So a great job throughout. Can't wait to see more work! ^^
Watch it when she lifts her hand, het leg shouldn't move there. As soon as she lifts it she'd actually lose her balance. Try looking a bit more at reference when animating, do the poses and movement yourself so you know what works and what doesn't and film others who pose for you. it'll make your work look a lot more realistic.
I have to agree with one of the other earlier comments that she looks a little too animatronic and stiff, but it's still an impressive piece of work. I hope you'll do more animations with Saph in the future.
Animation comes off as a bit stiff, to me, especially around the arms. The movement of the leg seems out of place, as well. It looks like you created a set of 3 poses, which, while great looking on their own, don't look so hot when the animation program is interpolating between them.