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Principles of Animation: Follow Through and Overlapping Action

February 13th, 2009

When you’re busy animating your character, it is easy to get absorbed by the main action of the scene. You should also pay attention to the things that follow your main action. Things like ears, tails, loose fitting clothing, and long hair are all excellent examples of places where you will have some overlapping action and follow through.

A great example of this principle would be Goofy’s ears and vest. Have a look at the above short, Mickey’s Trailer. Have a closer look at Goofy’s ears from 2:09 - 2:15. Do you see how they lag behind the motion of his head, with their motion overlapping the action of his head? These are the types of things that can really help sell the physical properties of the thing you are trying to animate. How heavy is your object? What is it made out of? What type of setting is it in? [Read more…]

Principles of Animation: Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose

February 8th, 2009

Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose are a bit more nebulous now in the world of CG animation. This is the one principle that mostly applies to 2D animation. It refers to away of animating.

Straight ahead animation is when the animator starts at the beginning of the action and animates all the way through the scene, finding poses as he or she goes. This often allows for more spontaneous action. It works great for mad scramble types of actions.

Pose to pose animation is used when you plan out your scene’s timing and poses so as to get a solid action you are after. Key poses are planned out in advance, and the timing of when those poses are hit and held is worked out. You then go back and worry about your breakdowns and inbetweens.

In computer animation, you have to watch what the computer is “helping” you with. Unaltered tangents [Read more…]