Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Overlapp in Style...

When ever I get to the part of the scene where I am getting into overlap and follow thru, it gets me excited. It means that I am almost done with the shot and I am adding the last details. These details are so important to make it look correct. In the case of animating the antenna on a character, as in A Bugs Life, the antenna really helped keep the character alive. The were not just floppy, they had to be animated to reflect the attitude of what the character was feeling. I also enjoy doing small details on characters when they hit a pose quickly. Jiggle Settles for instance. Doug Sweetland, a Toy Story veteran, was well known for having these intricate jiggle settles on his characters. It added a sense of hyper realism. It also became a stylistic choice. As you animate for years, you start to develop things that set your work from others. So when you have to animate those floppy ears, or jiggle the fatty parts of your characters, do it right, and do it with style. As the industry turns Hi-Def, all these small details are going to be easier to see. Our life as animators is getting tougher because of how high rez everything is, and how stylistic the characters are. One thing to always note is where you eye will be directed. As animators, we look at our shot over and over, but most viewers see it only a handful of times. Its important to get the overlapp right, but more important to spend your time in the areas that count.

Some well done stylistic overlapp that I can remember off the top of my head is:

The Penguin in the Wrong Trousers (the red rubber glove on his head)
Madagascar had some amazing tail animation on the lemurs king
Jungle Book (any of Milts work on King Louie)
Woody coming out of the box in TS2

I'd love to get people to site some other great examples

There are so many. Sometimes I choose to let the computer figure out certain aspects of the overlapp. Its hard to go in and exaggerate when you are burnt out, but it can make all the difference.

I forgot who said it, but great overlapp can turn a mediocre scene into a mediocre scene with great overlapp.



Blogger Weston said...

I love that penguin from the Wallace and Gromit! I think Sid from Ice Age has really good overlap at times because he was animated with such a heavy bottom half that his upper half of his body is delayed a bit. But that might also be a bit of follow through, but definitely full of overlap.

How about Pixar's short film Boundin'. Those ears we full of great overlap.

Looney Tunes characters like Bugs, Pepe le Pew, Wile E. Coyote, Sylvester... well a whole lot of them had really nice overlap.

3:24 PM

Blogger Matt Williames said...

Dude, anything Baxter has touched has taisteful overlap. It always feels like it should. those waiter bugs in "rescuers down under", the antennae have that sorta buggy feeler quality. But then his wilbur dancing stuff with the scarf. ohmagosh, makes me weep.

11:22 PM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

Yes, James Baxters stuff is amazing. He knows exactly how much to put in and it always compliments the scene.

How bout Eric Goldbergs stuff in Fantasia Cont..

The Flamingo doing yo-yo tricks.. Amazing stuff..

11:27 PM

Blogger Bobby P said...

I think I read somewhere that Mr. Goldberg animated the whole sequence himself?
Not to mention the whole thing is hand water colored, amazing.

12:25 AM

Blogger Matt Williames said...

Yep Erics amazing... I've seen him do stuff that just makes your brain hurt. There was a shot in Looney Tunes: Back in Action i was gonna take but didn't have the time, so Eric did it. 3 characters, 35 feet. He did it in 3 weeks, in between meetings! Not to mention he does everything in the first pass. He sees it clearly, then executes it. In the words of Frank Molieri, "it's already done, now i just have to draw it."

12:13 PM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

I worked with Frank Molieri at Warner Classics. He was my mentor. Frank is a great guy. Do you work with him?


6:19 PM

Blogger Matt Williames said...

Yeah, Frank and I are good friends. He's one heck of a guy, and an amazing draftsmen!

7:55 PM

Blogger Drew said...

chuck jones' stuff with looney tunes was pretty amazing. he's probably known more for his timing, but he had such an ironclad grip on each pose and each drawing. i think of the cape on the "scarlet pumpernickel" and the baggy clothes on "robin hood" with daffy and porky. great stuff. probably my favorite director of all time.


8:33 AM

Blogger Elliot said...

I'm do not understand what overlap means in this instance.
Anyone happy to fill me in?

1:00 PM

Blogger Bobby P said...

Matt- Wow, Gadzooks man you got to work with Eric Goldberg!
Speaking of BIA, last time I checked the credit list it was a like an all- star list of 2D vets coming from every studio to WB's. Was it Anthony DeRosa supervising? Well, in any case, must've been a blast to work on.

1:23 PM

Blogger anthea said...

Great post! You definetely hit home with this one since my entire job consists of adding overlap to sleeves, hair etc. I have begun to see how important this step is to the polishing phase. Still trying to learn how to make a sleeve settle in a perfect arc.

6:04 PM

Blogger Matt Williames said...

indeed BIA was great to work on even though it was a 'not so great' film. Eric really took a chance on hiring me, i was real young and not experienced. but he gave me a shot, and i am very greatful. and yeah, i worked with Tony D a lot... i just finished working with him on curious george.

9:02 PM

Blogger Dr. Gordon said...


Overlap, Is a term used in animation. It refers to anything on a character that is affected by the primary motion of an object or body part etc...

Here is a great wiki definition...

Take the example of moving a character's arm from a position of rest to that of picking up a set of keys on a table. A common mistake would be to advance a few frames from the at-rest position, then move all of the arm elements (objects) to the final position. This technique would result in a very lifeless motion (because everything starts and stops moving at the same time). The proper sequence requires that the upper arm begins to rise first. Then the forearm pivots out, followed by the wrist bending back. Finally the fingers curl around the keys. Each of these motions begins before the preceding motion is complete, providing the realistic overlap that your viewer expects. In other words, the motion of the arm rotating upward is overlapped by the wrist bending back.

6:44 PM

Blogger Elliot said...

Cheers Doc Gordon.
I live in a small island to the south of mainland Australia and am very much removed from the industry I am actually a part of.

9:40 PM

Blogger Mark DeRidder said...

The scene of Woody coming out of the box in TS2 has always been my favoirite scene in both Toy Story movies. It blew me away when I first saw it and I love to watch it frame by frame. Good to know who actually animated it. Doug Sweetland is quite an animator.

Any other Doug scenes worth noting?


5:23 AM

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