Thursday, November 6, 2008


In looking at my last post as well as playing around with differing ways of laying out shots at work, I realized in trying to teach animation, there's a murky gray are that happens in that time in which you finish roughing things in an acceptable level of detail, to the point in which you're just smoothing out curves and adding overlap to the fingers.

I call this pre-polish.

Why pre-polish, and aren't I getting a bit semantical in trying to talk aobut animation? Probably, but there isn't always a concrete vocabulary to talk about this sort of thing amongst animators/educators/dilletantes. What I'm defining to be pre-polish is that awkward phase where things can, and often need to take a turn for the worse before they improve. When you're a student, or feeling precious about your work, this is where your animations can fall into a pit of indecision and minor change and don't seem to ever get to the next level. This is to me the single most frustrating part of animation.

There are reasons for how and why this happens. The main one being the decisions made up to this point aren't precise enough to allow for smoothing out your animations. This is a notorious issue when going from stepped to linear/spline/plateau. Something that looks great in this graphic, snappy, lively 2d sense, suddenly looks slow and mushy and unappealing.

if going past your stepped is failing, go back to stepped and ADD MORE POSES.
there may not be enough information to allow for the leap into refining

Really, at this stage, the most important thing you can do is to is to really start looking closely at your work. The benefit of the stepped method of blocking, or even just holding poses, is to really focus on strong posing and good timing. Once you start splining out your curves though, you can lose the timing and overall feel, usually because there isn't enough information in the scene. In stepped mode, it's like a slideshow of movie stills, so your mind fills in the blanks. The challenge at this point is to really look at your poses and see how they're working in motion..are they too extreme for the speed of movement? Too slow? Is the path of the motion too jagged.

This is just a quick post to get you thinking, but at don't be afraid to really analyze your work at this point.

Also, make sure everyone goes to Keith Lango's site and go through is tutorials..they're all eye opening, even if you haven't looked at them in a while

No comments: