Saturday, October 23, 2010

Running Out of Time? Animate the Eyes

Pete Emslie The second years are in the final weeks of animation production. Actually they should be in animation post production now. But there is always time for a bit more polish and then a re-render.

At the start of semester the class spent some time looking at eye animation as part of facial animation. We studied blinks and eye darts in relation to a character appearing alive and thinking. We discussed the importance of eye shapes and eye brow shapes as recognisable forms of expression.

Importantly we discussed that audiences look at the eyes of our characters. They look for subtext in the eye animation, emotional triggers in the eye and eyebrow shapes. Audiences look to where characters look, which is important for the animation principle of staging (yes, I had to sneak an animation principle in there).

There is a post over on Pete Emslie's The Cartoon Cave blog that talks about eye direction. It also links to John K's blog post about character design, if anyone is into exploring. I found it via Alonso's Monotreme Dreams blog.

Pete writes, As it happens, I've just lectured about the design and function in drawing eyes as part of my Character Design class at Sheridan this past week, so I'd like to offer my thoughts on that subject in regard to this particular still from the Disney film...

Pete Emslie

But all that is just 'lkhqgfwqrfgygyiggcgfgkvsd' during the CRUNCH!

Hopefully there is a little voice in the animator's zombified brains tweeting, "Running out of time? Animate the eyes!"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Animating Flight

Owls and Dragons are animators' friends I was over on my animation teacher's blog, Speaking of Animation and saw that he had made a post about animating flight. Being a DreamWorks animator, Jacob relates his post to animators working on How to Train Your Dragon, but he links to a tutorial by Brendan Body a UK trained animator who worked on Legend of the Guardians. The tutorial by Brendan is an excellent resource for animation study.

Brendan, "I created many of the hero characters' flight cycles which were then used by the rest of the animation team."

Earlier this year I posted a short animating exercise that animators could attempt to see if they could fly. It would probably be worth comparing what you learned there to this latest information.

Brendan's blog
Enjoy flying with a feature film animator. How to make birds fly good (I love the title).

More Brendan Body tutorials (Cassie will see some clips she referred to in her research about the bouncing ball)

More Jacob Gardner tutorials including animating a dancing character and understanding body language to improve animation.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cinematic Tension - Alfred Hitchcock

I wonder if this may be applicable somehow to a 200 frame animation sequence?

Or, as Corey might advise us, "Show them the banana peel!"

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jacaranda sky paint and thunder storms

Down by the Brisbane River
Jacaranda bloom and thunder storms herald the "crunch". The time of year leading up to handing in the final, major project.