AM - Class 1 / Week 4 - Lecture

In this lecture we got introduced to Timing & Spacing.

In very brief words,  Timing is what gives the meaning to movement.  as for Spacing, its how you put your characters
in space, or its the gaps between the key poses/drawings.

Timing & spacing always goes hand in hand together when talking about animation, they are usually influenced by
a number of laws :
"Wight"  "Gravity"  "Momentum"  "Inertia"  "Acceleration & Deceleration"  and "other Force"

Aside from that; the most important advice that I got from this lecture is to always try braking up the constancy while animating, repetitive motion tends to be boring.  braking off the rhythm makes (in most cases) something as simple
as walk cycle a lot more interesting.


AM - Class 1 / Week 3 - Lecture

This week's lecture was about the importance of Planning & Blocking.

Planing your work a head before you sit on your computer to animate is very important, yet its something often missed by
many people ( especially in the middle east )

There are different aspects for planning a shot, I'll try to mention some of them :

- When brainstorming for ideas, do not always commit to the first idea that pops to your mind, the first idea is always good
but its usually a Cleché that been used over & over again, so try to find different and more creative ideas.

- Close your eyes and try to visualize your shot/shots from start to end, this might be hard at the beginning but this is a skill that will develop over time.

- Observe the world around you, shoot as much video references as you can to help you out with your work, do not copy that recorded performance as is while animating but add to it & develop it.

- Drawing simple thumbnails or story board for your shot is a huge part of the planning process.

- Be sure to always ask for feed back from your fellow animators or even people outside the industry, this is a great way for you to improve your ideas & skills.

As for Blocking, there are three famous methods of blocking your shots :

1 - Layering : is when you layer the animation for a characters gradually along a sequence ( body, hands, head, legs.. etc )
2 - Pose To Pose : is when you set keyframes for the main key poses for a character, then add the in-between on later stage.
3 - Straight A Head : is when you start animating  full characters sequentially.

All three methods are correct, but its good to find the one that works the best for you, or you can combine all of them together.

OK!!.. That's it for this week folks!! Take care !!


AM - Class 1 / Week 2 - Lecture

This week's lecture was about the Principles Of Animation explained in a very basic manner, but they will be diving deeper into these principles latter on in future classes.   The lecture was hosted by co founder of Animation Mentor Carlos Beana.  Carlos has animated on many of Pixar movies like Toy Story 3, WALL.E, Ratatouille, Finding Nemo.

The principles of animation are :

Squash & Stretch.   Is what gives characters or objects the organic & elastic feel, while maintaining there volume.

Anticipation.   Is (in simple words) preparing the audience for the next action a character will make, without anticipation the viewer will not understand that action.

Staging.    Staging your characters in an interesting and clear pose.

Straight A Head & Pose To Pose.    Those are the two methods of animating.  Straight A Head method is to animate a character sequentially as you move forward in time.   Pose To Pose is creating the main key poses for a character then
filling in the in-between.

Overlapping.   A robot walking will have no overlapping action, on the other hand a human walk has a complex overlapping actions between arms, hip, head, & legs , so Overlap is what adds natural non robotic feel to the character.

Ease In Ease Out.    In real life nothing moves or halts without ease, so easing ( in-out ) is what helps giving a character natural non mechanical flow.

Arcs.    Everything in life moves in arcs, its as simple as that.  So take good care of your Arcs.

Secondary Action.    Is what keeps characters alive, it should support the primary action but not affect it, otherwise its no longer a secondary action.

Timing.    Is one of the most important principles in animation.  Timing is basically the number of frames that you have in
your animation, and how do you space them out in each frame.

Exaggeration.    Is pushing the action over the usual.

Solid Posing.   To enhance the character in the frame.

Appeal.   Is animating your character in way that looks visually pleasant and appealing.

I would like to wrap up this post by quoting a couple sentences I really liked from guest animators interview during the lecture.. The first one : " Moving a character from point A to point B is not animating, Animation is way far beyond that "    Second : " A lazy animator will create the main poses, & let the computer figure out all the in-betweens "