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We spent part of the day today reviewing the animations that we had been working on for the last week. It was great to see other people’s work and to analyse what went right and what went wrong.

Here are some tips from David in regards to their cutout animations and morph exercise:

  • Introduce the characters and let them settle so that the audience gets used to them before moving them around.
  • Use follow-through to dissipate the energy. Appendages tend to keep moving, adding this to animation makes more rich.
  • Separate different actions/ideas so that the audience can see what is going on.
  • Don’t make the frame too busy, direct the audience to what you want them to look at.
  • Overshoot the action.
  • Beware of charcters which seem to be connected together via invisible strings.
  • Moving objects will upstage each other, if 2 object both need o be moving, tone one down so that the audience is directed to look at one.
  • Ask yourself what is the active character?
  • Use preemptive entrance for characters when possible.
  • Heavy objects can not accelerate that quickly so you need time to animate, if the time is too short they will not look as heavy.
  • Do not evenly animate all the parts of the character.
  • Interesting animation will result if a line of action is used for the movement.

We looked a “Cog” a student film done in after effects which is not a very good program for animation. The elements are composed of sampled textures with alpha channels which allows rotation of these elements. This film dealt with the theme of celebrity and why one person is celeberated while another with the same talent is ridiculed.

Advice given after watching this film:

  • It is better to leave the harder animation to the end because your skills will improve as you progress through your film.
  • Many beginners use too many inbetweens when working in 3D because it is so easy to add more. You must force yourself to decide what number of inbetweens are needed and not trusting the computer.

Here are the course notes on inbetweening:

We then went on with the topic of cycles, and looked at various examples on walk cycles. The notes go into more details:

Some tips:

  • Min 3 drawing are needed to give the sense o motion for a wheel turning.
  • When doing a walk cycle, work out the stride length so that you know how fast the character will need to move to cover the required distance.
  • The way a character moves tell you a lot about their history.
  • Think about what the character is feeling when it is moving, try to represent that in the motion.

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