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!"

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