Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Animation Practice


So far I've been spending most of my time working on the narrative, aesthetics and design of my film. Obviously animation is a huge part of it too and as I've never done it properly before, I have a lot to learn.

After experimenting with different softwares at the start of the module, I accessed Photoshop CS6 and it's improved animation timeline. I followed this tutorial on the basic functions of setting up to animate using video layers. Whereas before, animating in Photoshop meant you ended up with hundreds of layers that you had to manually make visible/invisible on each frame, the new video layer feature and timeline easily allows you to draw and edit each frame of a single layer. 


It's taken me a while to set up keyboard shortcuts and get used to navigating/organising everything, but I managed to create the below walk test for Nycteris. This was an exercise in using the software and creating basically  consistent-looking movement, there is a lot wrong with it on an animation-theory level and I'm currently doing a lot more research and learning on animation principles and process in preparation for starting the final piece. I did try to experiment with a bit of overlap/secondary movement with the dress and hair, but it needs a lot of work. Her hips/head should be bobbing up and down with the movement, her dress isn't behaving as a real dress would, and I need to apply a lot more principles like overlapping action, arcs, rhythm and squash and stretch. 





Whilst working on this I had this gif of Glen Keane's test work for Tangled in the back of my mind (I've only managed to find it again now). There are a lot of sketchy tests by Keane online, looking at them is a useful insight into how drawings are made from the very roughest stage. However I would like to research other, older Disney animators, such as the 'Nine Old Men', to get a broader understanding of the Disney approach - a lot of students tend to focus on Keane, which, although he is obviously talented (I particularly admire how he captures dynamic movement in such a loose, broad way) causes people to disregard other amazing animators who work in different styles.








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