So our next step was to create motion drawings from these dance sets. We decided to take a ten second snippet from each dance style to show how a move would progress.
Video courtesy of Hamilton Cline.
I showed my group the video above by Hamilton Cline on how to animate a walk cycle, to help us create the frame by frame drawings that would form the basic movement of our character. We wanted to create a basic frame by frame animatic of sorts to lay down the key poses for each step. Inspired by the motion drawings of Glen Keane (I originally was made aware of him through Facebook) I thought it would be a good start point for the look for the movements.
Ballerina by Glen Keane.
For this process I wanted to have a look into life drawing itself. I had a look back at the previous life drawing sessions with Mike that we had, more specifically at the 60 second sketches. The line of action and movement was a lot stronger in these than my longer time period drawings as I had to work with time to demonstrate the movement.
Keane used the gesture drawings as shown above to create this beautiful video based off of a ballerina. After studying this we realised it would be important to get a grasp of these poses. We therefore did a bit more research into gesture drawings.
Video courtesy of Opéra national de Paris
After further researching I found ‘Duet’ by Glen Keane too. I loved the scene in which the ballerina goes from graceful dancing to a fall. Her elegance subsiding completely to clumsiness- possibly like our characters as they move from familiar dance styles to unknown ones.
Video courtesy of Pedro Daniel Garcia Perez.
Movement from graceful to careless.
Sorcha saw me watching these videos and suggested I look at ‘Thought of You’ by Ryan Woodward. I thought it was very beautiful- you can really capture the love of Woodward for his wife from this piece.
Video courtesy of RyanWoodwardart.
The idea of a gesture drawing is that it captures the movement of a character in its distilled form. Each drawing acts as a keyframe, put together they form the overall animation. These drawings convey the emotion and character of the person, what they are trying to show as they move. Fluidity (as told to use weekly by Michael) is one of the key aspects to this. It brings the action to the piece and combines the action of each limb together in harmony. I used Clara Lieu as a guide line, her blog provided good insight into this drawing type.
I also looked at the art of Matt Jones and Alex Woo for their guidance on gesture drawings. They even had a section on dancer sketches which was really interesting! My favourite thing was the quickness to these drawings- you could actually feel them as if the dancer is moving passed you.
Finally, Jakub found this video below on life drawing and gestures too!
Video courtesy of Sycra.
I have a lot of the gesture drawings in my sketchbook based on the reference videos of Clíodhna dancing. After we felt confident enough, we then went to the reference videos and added frames to create the movement for our character in the little animation we wanted. Clíodhna worked painstakingly to do this for Jakub to work over.
My first attempt at blocking in the poses for the ballet video.
Clíodhna’s gesture drawing for the hiphop video with the added frames to make it more fluid. Jakub had begun to block in the key poses for our square character.
I did a very quick brief animation of the gesture drawing alongside the character to demonstrate to Lina what we were doing.
From these initial drawings and the frames from the animation tests, we then wanted to place the characters in the poses, based on the designs from the previous groups. (Even, Jack, Samantha and then Kirstin’s take on these designs which was the style I focused on). Although we knew we were using the square character for our final animation, we wanted to show all the species and how they moved, as all partake in the game.
I was inspired by the graceful look Kirstin managed to capture in these frames from her groups animatic.
While we worked on these, Jakub worked on the animation, adding the keyframes between each pose to create the square character.