AM - Class 2 / Week 10 - Lecture

Walk-Through a Shot.

In this lecture Rick O’Connor takes us through his process of animating a shot form start to finish.

- Shooting video reference
- Sketching thumbnails for the key poses along with frame numbers & notes.
- Blocking the key poses in Maya.
- Second blocking pass, and tweaking the timing in the poses.
- Showing the shot to the directer or a colleague to get feedback.
- Finish & polishing the shot.

As you can see, Rick follows the same exact steps that we've been talking about in previous posts, but its always great to
see these giants in action as if they are working next to your desk!


AM - Class 2 / Week 9 - Lecture

Timing & Spacing

To understand what is timing and what is spacing we'll go back to the bouncing ball example, Timing is when the 
ball hits the ground, as for Spacing its how you place the in-between frames of the ball arcing through the air.
To further demonstrate, here is an illustration form Richard Williams book 'Animator's Survival Toolkit'

Quick notes:

- There are a number of elements that influence timing in a shot : Weight, External / Internal Force, Momentum, Animation Style.
- A great advice that all pros agree on is that Do Not let Maya make the in-betweens for you, if you do so the 
spacing will look very even & boring, adding ease ins & ease out will make the spacing much more interesting.
- Tracking your in-betweens with a dry wipe marker (same like what I've mentioned in the last post) will help you 
see and correct the pops in the spacing..
- Making simple changes in spacing & timing will make a huge difference in your shot.


AM - Class 2 / Week 8 - Lecture

Arcs and Path of Action

Arcs & Path of Action are greatly related, they always go hand in hand with each other.. 

Every time there is a motion there is a path for that motion, that path is called path of action. The path of action -in most cases- has an arc shape. In animation we need to make that arc smooth & clean to add quality to the shot, bumpy path of action will weaken the animation no mater how good the character posing is.

If you watch any animated Disney movie you will notice that it has a very fluid feel to it, that's all because of smooth arcs & path of action, and that what makes Disney work so remarkable!

I personally never thought of tracking arcs in my animation before joining Animation Mentor, and was always wondering 
why my work looked so bad!! Now, I came to realize that it was all about two things: Arcs, and Path of Action.. along with 
solid character posing of course.

There is plenty of tools in Maya for Ghosting, and showing animation path, but I found the best way for tracing arcs is by drawing on my monitor with a dry wipe marker.. try it.. it really works :)


AM - Class 2 / Week 7 - Lecture


Animation is not about moving characters from point A to point B, we have to know why we're moving these characters, 
& we have to think about the force behind the movement because : Nothing Moves Without a Force!

There are Two types of force: 
External Force: like a character puling / pushing, jumping... etc..
Internal Force: tells you that the character is a live and making its own decisions.

While animating a certain action we DON'T just keyframe the main poses and let the computer figure out the in-betweens, 
its up us Animators to direct the sequence of transforming between these poses, How we get from one pose to the other, What body parts are involved in the process, We need to make sure that the entire body of the character IS involved in the movement but each with different level of intensity..

So Force is what part of the body is moving first, and the parts that follows along, its setting up a sequence of energy being released through out the body to make the movement.
Its how we transition our characters from one place to the other, and that involves Lead & Follow, Timing, Path of Action, 
All the important animation principles that we're learning at AM.
As for Internal Force its what's going in in the character's head displayed through external posing, its the acting, the 
personality, its the reaction in a certain situation.

A very good advice I got from Wayne Gilbert during the lecture: Animators should always have a reference to work with, 
analyze the motion in that reference, de-assemble it, study it carefully, then re-assemble it into your animation the 
way like it.