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;


Robert said...

hey that clock pendulum overlap thing turned out real well! And the squirrel tail.

Yeah, I think coming up with great poses is tough . That's where most of my mental anguish goes when I'm animating.

Robert said...

One other thing... I've always felt "line of action" was the most misnamed term they ever came up with.

Pose line, spine line, posture line... any of those would better describe what the "line of action" is for when you are drawing.

To me "line of action" sounds like it is showing where things are moving and it really doesn't do that in a pose drawing, does it?

I think the UN should look into this matter. Or maybe the Bureau of Weights and Measures.

For me, the line of action is just the quickest, most basic description of the shape of the character that you can dash onto paper and it really doesn't "mean" anything until you hang some more details on it.

Dhar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dhar said...

You make a major point there, Robert. I don't know why they call it a line of action when no action is happening. At AM they call it "walk cycle", yet the walk does not cycle at all and Elliott (my mentor) doesn't know why it's called a walk cycle.

I guess when people become so advanced in their field they get to change the meaning of words at will. Why is it a mouse for a computer part?

Heather said...

Thanks Dhar for everything! I don't know how I would have survived without your awesome words of wisdom :O). I am so excited that I will finally be officially in AM! And It is going to be really fun watching you go through class two. That when you start getting into the really juicy stuff. you've got the basics under your belt and now is the time to perfect them and let your creativity soar!

Be seeing you around the Virtual Halls in a week!... oh is it just me or are other AMer's experiencing campus withdrawals...LET ME BACK IN! hahahaha :O) good times.

TTYL Dhar,
Heather Kilber