Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


The Olympics this year were a truly inspiring event. For animators, it was a smorgasborg of reference for action, emotional responses and most everything else. Watching it in Hi-Def made it even better to notice all the details. One of the Olympians, Joey Cheek, made a huge impression on me. Watching him skate and win was the best experience for me, personally. His reaction to winning the gold medal, made me understand what it is to be an Olympic athlete. As he stood up on the podium and listened to his national anthem, you could see all the different emotions running through him. I was so moved by watching this, that it was more interesting than the event itself.I thought it would be fun to go through some of the “key” poses and analyse them. There is a lot of subtext going on, but his face tells you everything. I called this post “change” because this is a phrase we hear a lot in dailies. “Can you get more of a change of expression” “I’m not seeing the change in his body as he gets hit.” We try to show a change in our characters through body and expression. Change can happen in many ways. It can be in timing, pose, spacing of those poses, contrast and so forth. When we are talking about seeing a change of expression, it doesn’t have to be Tex Avery to be seen. As you can see from the images following, subltle and broad changes are represented. You just have to make sure that you see the change. It this case, it is easy, because the camera is focused on his face. In your scenes, you may not have that luxury.

Try to look at the images from left to right and see the different attitudes that he has. When I get the time, I will break down each pose with the subtext underneath and also include the quicktime for this. It has been very buzy at work.

Stay tuned for some more stuff and a new SplineCast with Art Director, Ralph Eggleston.



Blogger Marie said...

Wow great caps, you can imagine a lot of what hes thinking just by watching some faces: happy, emotionnal, proud, astonished, etc...

Nice picture, very interesting!! Cant wait for the quicktime video... and the next SplineCast!

Good luck with work :)

1:30 PM

Blogger Goro said...

Very interesting! Thnx for sharing!

2:40 PM

Blogger Brad & Anette said...

Great Reference. It's amazing how the tension and clarity of the expressions are maintained throughout. Lots of neat 'microemotions'

Check out the BBC's John Cleese Documentary DVD set on Beauty, and Faces for loads more of this type of breakdown. An incredible resource.

Brad Kinley

2:58 PM

Blogger Doron Meir said...

Looking forward to the Ralph Eggleston interview - I was very impressed with his color sketches for Finidng Nemo.

8:46 PM

Anonymous Emil said...

Yes! Looking forward to the new splinecast.

10:19 PM

Anonymous Andy said...

Great stuff... and it can be taken hilariously out of context, too.

4:19 PM

Blogger Bill said...

Great post, very interesting stuff. Ralph Eggleston is my hero!! WOOO!!

4:46 PM

Blogger Tony Papesh said...

I know exactly what you mean - I had no idea just how animated curling was. All the screaming, the fast movements, the statue-like gliding and, above all, all the sudden changes of moods as the other team makes a shot.

7:39 AM

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