Posted by & filed under RMIT AIM course notes.

In today’s class with David Atkinson, we started by looking at Still life with aeroplanes by Lloyd, a trippy and marvelous film sitting somewhere inbetween the analogue and digital world.


  • Find out what is important and leave out the rest
  • Different parts of the body have different weights and travel at different rates

Eyes in Animation
We looked at the use of eyes in Lady and the Tramp to express emotions. Eyes can be used to bring a character alive and the blink is the cheapest animation you can have. If you have a character which doesnt move at all and just make it blink every now and then it will seem to be alive.

Eyese are important for story telling because it lets you get into the mind of the character, the eyes are the windows to the soul. Eyes can be used to illustrate thought. Thought -> Eyes -> Physical action. The first physical expression of a thought is shown in the eyes. Often the eyes can betray a character and reveal their true beliefs. Ask yoursekf how the eyes can heklp you in your animation?
Asymetrical eyse can create more interesting characters, in toy story we see very asymetrical blinking in Buzz’z eyes creating an even more bewildered look.

Eyes go with eyebrows and the two can be used to express so much, just look at Gromit for example, he doesn’t talk at all and expresses so much by his eyes and eyebrows.

When a character is thinking they start to look up or somewhere other than the person they are talking to as if disengaging and going in search of the bit of information that they are looking for.

Two frames are often sufficient for blinks. Blinks can be used for when the character is about to change the direction of their gaze or a head turn.

The eye line of the character can be used to anticipate the cut to the POV od the character, getting inside the character’s head. Or it can be an other the shoulder of the character shot.

Here is a little formula:

    1. Setup POV
    2. Show character’s POV
    3. Show reaction of character

Our guest for the Hunters and Gathers lunch was our own John Powers, who showed us a messmerising array of films which can not be so easily understood yet they leave you with a definite feeling.

The rest of the class was taken by Yeap who showed us some funky ways to grow plants inside after effects, very useful now with all the water restrictions.

Finally I went to the Animation Club weakly meeting with my half finished film. I was the only entrant from my year which made me feel a bit of an outsider. The quality of the works was really amazing, I felt a little bit sheepish with my little half finished film but it was good to have a go. I will post some of my development drawings soon.

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