Further Animation Principles- Emotions and Blocking

So this week Alec sadly lost his voice- and so we had to do our own research!

Emotion in Simple Shapes– Alec has tasked us with making a worm blob move in a way that shows an attitude i.e. happy, sad, angry. He suggested we have a look into how certain expressions are conveyed and relate to our worm rigs. For example, happiness- humans often smile or could bob in joy, our worm could jump in joy. I wanted to have a look at some facial rigs, to explore the different emotions that could be conveyed.

Video courtesy of Dario Triglia.

Video courtesy of Jason Baskin.

Disney’s Floor Sack emotion poses. They show the use of emotion through a featureless creature.

Arcs– “arcs describe the path of action (travel) that various parts and things plot out when they move”- Keith Lango. Basically when something, such as an arm, moves from point A to B it doesn’t go in a straight line. Instead it swoops in an arc, looking more natural. Certain parts of the arm should move slower than others, giving a greater sense of flow.

Keith Lango showed a comparison video of the movement in an animation with the arcs and one without them. As you can see the first video looks very robotic whereas the second has a more characteristic human feel to it.

Video courtesy of AlanBeckerTutorials.

Staging– this is presenting an idea so that it is clear to the audience. Animators need to draw attention to the most important element in a scene, and the layout of a scene helps this.

Video courtesy of Gilles Charbonneau.

Stepped vs Splined- Alec advised we looked into the use of stepped and splines animation as shown on digital tutors.  Both are used for blocking animation poses, however with slight differences.

Stepped animation allows a cleaner animation as it prevents the computer filling between key frames. Basically you block out the key poses and then add the arcs manually.

Splined animation allows the computer to fill in these frames, timing can be altered with adding keyframes of moving them.

In these tasks I found that stepped animation really helped me, especially with the arm rigs, as it allowed me to control how I pictured the rig to work.

Stepped animation (or blocking pass). Video courtesy of Jesse Baumgartner.

Pose to Pose– this is creating or deciding the key poses for a character, then adjusting frames between these to create a smooth animation. Alec suggested we once again look at Keith Lango’swork, which was really helpful again. When working on my arm rig I attempted to place each pose then add the in-betweens.

This video shows the key poses in Disney’s Ratatouille. Video courtesy of googboog.

Do You Want to Build a Snowman progression. Video courtesy of BehindTheAnimation.

Lango also made an amazing summary of all the things we need to look for when animating, from line of action to silhouettes, he covered it all.

Breakdowns– another post by Keith Lango describes this in a lot more detail. Basically breakdowns are described as;

“a type of in-between, but a very specific type that links two keyframes. When you draw your keyframes and begin in-betweening them, the very first in-between that marks the midpoint between Keyframe A and Keyframe B is known as a breakdown.” – animation.about.com

breakdown_disney.gifCaptain Hook breakdowns.

Ease in and Outs– the final research item on the list.

“Ease are spacing that either gradually increases between drawings or gradually decreases between drawings, specifically toward the beginning and end of the transition. This change defines the incremental acceleration and slowing of motion between two positions,”- Keith Lango.

These eases allow the speed and timing of a ball






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