AM - Class 2 / Week 6 - Lecture

And another Blocking to Final lecture by Mike Stern.
Mike was among the first group that graduated from Animation Mentor, now he is working at DreamWorks as a character animator.
His impressive list of credits includes: Bee MovieKung Fu PandaHow to Train Your Dragon, and recently Puss in Boots.

Check out his AWESOME Animation Mentor graduation short: Distraxion.

AM - Class 2 / Week 5 - Lecture

Weight and Balance

Weight & Balance are crucial elements in animation, sometimes it feels wrong even when watching a high budget animated movie from major studios.
To create a solid character animation we need to understand weight & balance in real life before we start applying it into animation.

In order for a character to be balanced; its weight needs to be evenly distributed a long its center line of gravity, (the center line is the vertical line that connects the supporting foot on the ground with the base of the neck)

In real life, a fat person requires more time and power to move forward as well as to stop, same in animation, a character with a big mass requires more time & energy to propel it self to obtain locomotion than a smaller character would.
Balance wise, the faster the person is moving, the less balanced he is, the slower he moves the more balanced he is,
But if the person is completely balanced he can't move anywhere, therefor we need to break off that balance in order for us
to move around.

If you don't follow the rules of real life weight & balance while animating a shot it will simply look lifeless, there is a fine line between exaggerating the rules of weight and breaking them, you can exaggerate the rules of weight but the one thing that you Can Not exaggerate is balance, you can only break the balance of a character during locomotion & that is about the
only time that your character is off balanced, like walk, run, jump, or what kind of locomotion you have for the character.

Quick notes:
- A well balanced character is the one that all its parts are working with each other to balance itself.
- Extreme reversal action helps selling the idea of weight (for something like a pull, a push, or a jump)
- In order to sell the weight!! exaggerate!!
- Exaggerate the squash & stretch by compressing its body clusters closer together, or stretching them a part.
- When you're animating a character throwing a heavy object; make sure to utilize the entire body to make that object go far... same principle applies to a jump.


Line of Action.

Our mentor John Nguyen shared with as a very nice article that might be known for some but not for others!!
It talks about the line of action, and the Rule of Thirds..

Here, check it out!!

AM - Class 2 / Week 4 - Lecture

 Walk-Through: Blocking to Final

Yet another lecture hosted by Ethan Hurd explaining his way of approaching a shot from start to finish.
Ethan is such an amazing animator, he animated on famous titles like Toy Story 2, Shrek 2, Madagascar, Open Season, Surf's Up, Bolt, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and Gnomeo and Juliet.

Its really cool to see professional animators walking us through there process of animating a shot..
They are humans!! just like us!!

AM - Class 2 / Week 3 - Lecture

In-depth Look at Hips

In this lecture, Bobby takes a closer look (through real life references) at hips & how they move.

When we watch beginner animators reels we'll notice that the hips is often ignored!!

Well.. actually everything starts & drives from the hips, and to start understanding how hips moves you'll need to analyze
live footage & see how the weight is distributed between the hips and legs.

One thing to keep in mind is that the center of gravity is always above the point of suspension.
In a well balanced character pose; you should be able to draw a straight vertical line between the base of the neck and
the supporting foot on the ground.

Another thing is that the hips (in most cases) counter rotate the shoulders, this will make the pose rather appealing.

And like we always say, once we understand the principles of hips rotation, we can exaggerate it to serve the purpose of
that shot.