Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Watching what's around you


Animators by nature really have to notice how things move and how people act. What are some really good ways to access good "reference" For one, I think an animator should be building a digital morgue of clips that inspire them. Make a set of folders and just start putting stuff in them. Takes, walks, runs, facial reference, sad, happy, heavy light etc etc etc... The point is, you are putting stuff away, so that you can reference it for later. So how do you get the clips. I used to use a dazzle, but I am looking into Tivotogo. As soon as the software becomes available for a mac, I can hook my tivo up to a network and start building a good library. Aside from capturing clips, what are some good things you can do to get interesting mannerisms into your work. Here are a few:

1) family - Everyone has that crazy Aunt, or creepy uncle. Looks for interesting manerisms
2) Everyday people you know
3) The Airport - Its a great place to people watch. All the people coming and going and greeting each other
4) Look at people reacting to things
5) Zoo - for the animals and the humans...
6) Weather - look at how forces affect things and study the footage.
7) Focus in on a topic when getting footage. Maybe you want to film how people gesture down in Little Italy or how someone walks on a cold day as opposed to a warm one. Notice the details of how they hold themselves
8) Film yourself, but don't get tied down by it. Always look for other choices....

Happy thanksgiving,

-Andrew

17 Comments:

Blogger Rhaixxa said...

Awesome tips. I have this sublime dream to become an animator. Baha. :D

5:19 AM

 
Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for the tips. I love your guy's blogs. They're not only fun to read but really helpful. Keep up the good work. ps. Can't wait until the next Pixar movie comes out! I hope everyone there knows how much we all appreciate well written stories and appealing and enjoyable characters!

11:37 AM

 
Blogger Drew said...

oooo, public transportation. some of the most bizarre things i've ever seen have been on the bus. it's best to wear sunglasses when you're observing, though, nothing worse than locking eyes with that guy with a box of wine under his coat and tourette's syndrome.

happy thanksgiving.

-d

3:45 PM

 
Blogger polymover said...

Great site you guys have here, keep it coming! Observation is the key but my brain is too small to record everything i see, so a library of references sounds like a good idea :)

4:47 PM

 
Blogger starbender said...

That's Great Advice!
:)

6:08 AM

 
Blogger Ellen said...

hey that's cool, and interesting pics too. check out my site, www.iloveallmusic.blogspot.com

11:31 AM

 
Blogger Gerald said...

Good Points, Happy Turkey Day!

11:39 AM

 
Blogger Sandra Khoo said...

Great suggestion there! I totally agree. Am saving up for a digicam or vidcam to help me store up the refs footages. Meanwhile have to work with my portable sketchbook for now. ^^ Cool post!

And yea,I did haunt the airport and notice a wide variety of ppl there. Lovleh!

6:21 PM

 
Blogger TTesla said...

Thanks for the advice and for maintaining such a great blog too.
I'm already collecting ref videos from around the net but after reading this I promised to myself that I'll shoot not less than 1min per day. That can turn out to more than 6hrs of video references per year... :)

Keep up and happy Thanksgiving!

10:48 PM

 
Blogger Samer said...

fantastic site, please keep posting often, I need to see some more good pics.

6:16 AM

 
Blogger yeEek said...

Hey Andrew, thanks for the post. Just in case you feel like answering my question...
:)

What I've been doing so far is filming my own body mechanics while given animation assignments and keep them afer that. Now it seems to me that you actually go on a mission trip once a while to collect footages for future needs?

I mean, I do try to keep (start?) the habit of people watch wherever I am. But your post #6 and #7 seems to say that you film footages now and then, and way earlier than the time when you actually need it. So you carry the video cam and go out onto the streets? How do you prevent people from noticing you?

I mean its already weird when I do sketching in public. It would be worse if I film people in public. Can you share how would you get over this obstacle?

I'm asking 'coz your point #8 struck me that I should be studying from more sources than myself.

thanks man.

10:45 AM

 
Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

Yeeek,

I do suggest that you go on field trips every now and then to capture people doing things. Usually if you go to a very busy place, you can zoom in on someone from very far away. Also, if you bring a friend, you can pretend you are filming them and really be filming the person right behind them. I did this with my friend and colleague Carlos Baena. It was really cool to see people doing things in public. And, for all intensive purposes, it is legal to film people in public spaces as long as they are not children. Just keep inspired by all the great stuff that is around!

4:51 PM

 
Blogger yeEek said...

Oh wow. Thanks alot for clearing my doubts. I gave it a try today it was much easier than I imagined it to be.

- boon yik

7:27 AM

 
Blogger anthea said...

great advice Andrew, I am going to head out to do some reference on my next day off.

:)

1:13 PM

 
Blogger Piedad said...

Damn your animation is hot.. BESOS

3:55 PM

 
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