Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Being Directed - part 1

Someone emailed me and asked me to talk about being directed. A good topic. I guess there are alot of things you could say about this. It always starts with clear communication. When you get a bunch of scenes given to you, you need to take good notes about what the director wants. What is the point of the scene, where is the potential entertainment value etc etc... Afer you get the shots, the next thing you need to do is present the director with clean shots. Clear blocking will close the gap quicker. The last thing you want to do is show bad blocking. The director will not know how to comment on the scenes. They may direct you in a totally different direction. If you show to much animation, you risk having to tear it up if you get big changes. I guess the key is to hit it somewhere in the middle. Every director has his or her own style. Some directors let the animator search for the idea and other directors know exactly what they want. You need to be able to accomodate both. Some problems may arise when either the director or the animator does not have a clear idea of what they want. Another problem is when the shot is directed by commitee. I can't really answer how to get past this because I have not experienced this for quite some time. All I can say, is try to really have a clear idea, before you get directed.

Hope that helps.


part two - dealing with big changes...


Blogger polymover said...

Hey Andrew, just curious, how long usually it takes for a single character shot to have it planned and blocked? I know it varies by the complexity, but i was wondering, when getting the scene, when the director or supervisor expects to see something blocked?

Love the kind of information you guys give here!


4:53 AM

Blogger erica said...

Great advice, Andrew! Notes are so important, especially for someone with bad short-term memory (like me). But I would add that when a director is giving you direction, the best thing to do is be watching him/her instead of putting your nose in your notebook. They might be acting and gesturing to show you how to do something, and if you aren't watching then you'll miss it completely! I have a little Post-it on my monitor that says "Watch first, write notes later..."

How do you usually go about getting clear blocking? Do you work with stepped keys so there's a good idea of the poses you want to get across? Do you add breakdowns before you show it to the director, or just the basic keys? And at what point do you begin showing your shot in dailies?

Thanks for the tips!

10:48 AM

Blogger Tom Rydberg said...

Hi Andrew,

I was wondering how much give and take there typically is between a director and an animator. In other words, do directors ever ask animators what they are thinking for the shot and even ask them to act it out or is it strictly about nailing down the director's vision, even when it's not as clear as it could be.

Is it the animator's job to fill in the holes of the director's vision if they exist OR rather to encourage the director to provide the missing details? I imagine going too far in either direction could irritate a director.

Your thoughts?


- Tom Rydberg

12:56 PM

Blogger Dave said...

Maybe this is a crazy question, but do you present your blocking and poses on your computer or are they drawn up. If its a preference, which do you prefer?

Really appreciate the work you guys put into the blog!

4:52 AM


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