Sunday, August 31, 2008

Class 109

This is where we get to experiment with walk cycles which is pretty exciting because this is arguably the most difficult part of animation, as admitted by the professionals as well. But that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about the other assignment, the concerned pose.
Concerned! Now that is one vague emotion to try and illustrate on a faceless character such as Stu. What I found frustrating about this assignment is the lack of a good pose that clearly illustrates (in silhouette) someone who has a concern. I googled many references for "concerned", but I either come up with previous AM students' work - which had a certain sameness to it - or pictures of actors where most of the concern was in the face. So how do you illustrate someone who is concerned with only the body? I recorded my thoughts in the hope of finding an answer to the basic of posing in animation; the line of action. What line of action best describes a person is concerned? The first thought of a concern pose almost always reads either more like a person is thinking, or is devastated. Worry is closer to concern but only to a lighter degree, yet the question still begs for an answer:

I don't know if my ideas about what line of action is most appropriate for the concerned pose have any merit, but I wish there was a book or a blog out there that explains, in detail, the correlation between emotional states and lines of action.

In my search for a pose that is unique I found the old Coppertone ad to be the most appealing, and since most students at Animation Mentor are too young to reember this ad

I siezed the opportunity to pose Stu in that fashion because I think the pose, in all its adorable cuteness, represents concern without going overboard into other emotional states that everyone (including myself) seem to fall prey to.

I am still searching for that illusive connection between vague emotions and the line of action, and I hope that someone will discover it.

In the meantime, here are some more examples of my work in Class 1. With only two weeks left this is by far one of the most positive experiences I have in my life.

In this next clip is an exercise in overlapping action. Our class had the pleasure of being mentored by Raquel Rabbit as a substitute because Elliott had to be in Germany for a couple of weeks. Raquel brought with her a fresh perspective and her thorough observations and engaging style was welcomed by all.

Here we combine the principles of exaggeration, squash-and-stretch and overlapping actions all in one act of our choice.

I, again, opted for some originality in the pose depicting strength. Almost everyone else went for the oft cliche of physical srength. I tried to illustrate a strength in attitude;

Friday, August 1, 2008

Class 101 Update

I figured its August and I better show some of the work so far;

Emphasis on clear poses, there was no specific pose required, just anything that we sketched during the week. My son Jared helped me with some yard work and this is the pose I chose for the assignment; pulling tree branches.

The first animation exercise, the famous bouncing ball. It is amazing how hard this exercise is in spite of its simplicity. The y axis (hight) and its relation to the x axis (distance) need not be mathematically correct, believability is what we're after. And if you add an x rotation, things get pretty intersting

Sketches and pose of an excited person:

More fun with bouncing balls, this time exhibiting two different weights:

Pose expressing devastation;

And more bouncing ball but this time we put it through an obstacle course and use squash and stretch and exaggeration, two of the fundamental principle in animation

So far the experience has been wonderful. I enjoy being among like minded people and everybody at Animation Mentor has been helpful and a joy to know and learn from.