AM - Class 3 / Week 5 - Lecture

Blocking to final.

Another blocking to final lecture, this time by Pixar animator Dovi Anderson, this was the best blocking to final lecture by far!

For some reason I felt very related to the way that Dove approaches his shots because he animates the same way as I do, He dose not use stepped tangents, he blocks his shot straight into Spline Tangents, & keeps adding levels of polish until its done.

Check out this short Youtube Video from Dovi talking about how you should tackle revisions and feedback on a given shot.

AM - Class 3 / Week 4 - Lecture


In this lecture Dave Mullins talks about locomotion in the human body; He shot himself performing different types of physical actions like siting, standing, lifting, throwing, then analyzed these shots in terms of 'source of force' and 'weight shift'.
Here are some random notes I got from Dave analyzing his reference:

- Fulcrum is the point of balance in a character or an object.
- The mass is evenly distributed around the Fulcrum ( or what we call center-line of gravity )
- Our bodies developed a way to move in the most efficient manner, always taking short cuts to preform any action.
- In order to the human body to stay in balance while moving, it counter balances its self between the hips & legs to     sustain a well balanced locomotion.... that's a very confusing sentence :)
- External force changes the natural flow of any locomotion.
- When lifting weights, the heavier the object being lifted the more body parts are involved in the process.
- Anticipation before the movement, and settle after the movement, are key elements in animation.

The butter of this lecture is that, before you start animating you will need to shoot / find a reference, analyze it thoroughly, find out where the fulcrum is in the character, how the weight is shifting between the legs once that is well understood, fire up Maya, & start animating!


AM - Class 3 / Week 3 - Lecture

Advanced Arcs and Path of Action.

Arcs can add more to animated scenes than any other animation principle you may know, it could lift up a shot form amateur level to a Wow!! professional level.

Every part of the human body moves on arcs, the only part that dose not arc on movement is the eyes, they tend to move in a snappy, poppy fashion...  In fact, everything in life moves on arcs! well.. other than Robots of course. 
Check out Dr. Harold Edgerton's book: 'The Anatomy of Movement' to get a visual idea about arcs in real life.

Adding arcs while animation any action creates more believable performance for your characters because it will feel more organic, no body could explain it better than Frank & Ollie, they said in there book The Illusion Of Life
'Straight inbetweens completely kill the essence of an action'  
so DON'T forget to add inbetweens that creates nice clean arcs in the scene you animate!

Its really a good Idea to grab a scene from your favorite animated movie ( Disney movie.. I like Disney ) and choose a part
of a character, like the nose, or the hips...  & track it on your monitor with a dry marker, you'll be AMAZED to see all these arcs flowing, that's one of the reasons that makes these movies alive & iconic.

Even though its sounds like tracking arcs is more towards the polishing stage, but you need to plan them early in the game, even from the blocking stage, because it will make the process of tracking arcs a lot easier.

The more you pay attention to details like arcs, the more spontaneous it will become, AND the better your work will be.