Animator vs. Animation

October 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm (Animation)

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Gulp. The making of.

July 12, 2013 at 6:28 pm (Animation, Uncategorized)


See the final movie here:

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Animation Action Notes

September 13, 2006 at 12:55 am (Animation)

Action, Reaction, Secondary Action, Overlapping Action, Line/Path of Action

Action – The actual movement (which is made up of a number of drawings, each specially spaced and placed on the page in relation to the timing of the gesture).
Reaction or Secondary Action – The movement that happens just after a previous action (a slight frame delay) , and directly as a result of it.
It is any action that supports the primary action, thereby strengthening the illusion. For example: Using emotions and body language, and/or body parts like hair moving after a head is turned, a tail following an animal, floppy ears/coattails, gelatinous bellies, etc; Also, having a character smile with his eyes, wrinkles, ears, toes, etc. as well as his mouth or the flustered attempts to regain composure after a “take”, etc.
Ask, “What’s the rest of him doing while this happens, and why?”
– It’s usually a loose item. It’s the Extra business. It must not go against or have more emphasis than the action it supports.  I.E. – Don’t put anything there unless it has reason. Don’t make it too busy. USE WITH CARE.
Projects: A stalk of grass blowing in the wind. A whip snapping. A “Take”. An emotion or movement that shows in the whole face, and perhaps even the body.
Screen Examples: Disney’s 101 Dalmation, the character “Edgar”. Hercules, the Cyclops’ hair and clothing and body fat. Mulan, Mulan’s sleeves and long hair, the flags. 

Follow-Through or Overlapping Action – This is a secondary action (see above) that has time to run its course. E.g. When the ears or the hair is allowed to swing to a stop. It shows the effects of gravity/wind or force during movement.
Projects: Swinging pendulum. A Pendulum that slows to a stop. Character or animal head turns with hair or floppy ears following
Screen Examples: Most feature film animation pays special attention to these kinds of details.
paintbrush.gifLine or Path of Action – There are two related definitions:
– In characters, the line of action is the invisible line through the character (the first line drawn) that represents the summation of their action. It expresses their pose, and makes for a more dynamic character drawing. When used with two characters, these lines play off each other as compliments, making a well-planned scene.
– In an animated scene, the Path of action refers to the continued movements of objects or characters on a predetermined path. As in the bouncing movements of a ball. The ball’s path follows a rhythmical decrease of arcs.
Projects: Line – Any character animation… Path – A bouncing ball or other simple exercise.
Screen Examples: Almost all animation

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Animation Principles

September 12, 2006 at 2:39 am (Animation)

The following notes have been compiled from numerous sources during my studies. They’re in no particular order (quotes were taken from various animation books). These are princilples that can be applied to almost any type of animation (flash, stop-motion, computer, classical…)

The Principle of: 

Solid Drawing and Appeal

– This means: Putting proper balance, weight, depth, asymmetry, pleasing lines and life into the drawings. Make the drawings fascinating. Toss those weak, complicated, hard to understand ones. Do them again – better.
Projects that highlight this principle: All animation.
Screen Examples: Warner Bros.’ “What’s Opera Doc?” has great appeal and very solid shapes. It’s masterfully drawn.

– Make the storyboard point the main action in the scene. Leave out extraneous stuff that might distract or be lost. Be clear about what is going on.
Projects: All animation 
Squash and Stretch

– By maintaining the volume, but changing the shape (in relation to how it is moving) you can show how that movement is affected by gravity and centrifugal force. It’s the rubber-like ability an animated character or face has to change shape as it moves. When reaching up or falling (any elongated action) it stretches to accentuate the action. When hitting the ground (or other gravity-type action) it squashes in response.
Projects: Bouncing ball, jumping sack. Character walks.
Screen Examples: In Disney’s Mulan, when Mushu grabbed the jaw of the lead Ancestor, also watch the troops fighting. They squash and stretch.

thot3.gifPushing an Expression or Exaggeration

– Overdoing an action so it isn’t missed. It’s that one extra drawing that pushes the expression to the limit, before the character changes. It is used in facial and even body expressions when the character gives a look; by taking that look a step further in the next drawing and accentuating it almost to a distorted level, this will give the action extra energy and verve on screen.
Projects: The animated “take”.   
 The “Cheat”

– These include: Speed lines, multiples (arms and legs for a scrambling run or scrappy fight), distortion (extreme perspective in the key poses only for a wacky look), smear and blur (accentuating speed of movement or “morph” quality), etc.
Cheats are used for some drawings in between key poses that show exaggerated action, like a “take” or a run. By stretching the in-between drawing to include a little of both key drawings the character is distorted or smeared, representing speed. Extra extremities can be added also to show fast moving limbs. This creates a zany look to the movements.
Projects: Animated “take”, run.
thot1.gifScreen Examples: Phil in Disney’s “Hercules” when he is sitting on Herc’s shoulders wizzing through the forest after Herc’s date with Meg. Do frame advance to see Phil’s face distorting. Elmer Fudd in “What’s Opera Doc?” where he is demonstrating the immense power of his helmet to Bugs. Elmer’s arms do amazing things.

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