Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Physicality in animation

If someone says, you need to work on your physicality, what are they really saying? This is such a large topic. Making something seem physical can be related to weight or how the character holds themselves. It can be how a gesture feels wooden and non-physical. Lets talk a bit about the latter. When a character makes a hand gesture, it not only needs to communicate what the character is doing, but needs to feel as if the character has flesh and bones underneath. You need to understand the anatomy of the character you are animating. One of the biggest things that makes computer animation not look so good is that people do not pay attention to this. The computer will and can ruin good poses if you do not do the in-betweens and breakdowns correctly. It has no knowledge of all those things you should be putting in there likes arcs, overlap, slow ins, cushions, overshoots, anticipations, squash and stretch, straights and curves, contrast, etc, etc, etc.

If you want a sample case, I was working on the teaser for Monsters Inc. Mike does a gesture and then drops his arm. I really wanted to understand how that works so I did a bit of reference and it helped me understand the weight the arms has and how it comes to rest. A lot of what I am talking about has to do with this. Residual energy. I'll get into this more at a later time, but residual energy really has a lot to do with how your character recovers form hitting a pose or gesture. In essence it is overlap and follow through. One thing you do not want, is for the character to become over animated, so you really need to understand how to use it and where it is called for.

I hope to put together a better set of examples and post them at a later date.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Andrew, i had never heard a term ( Residual energy ) and its use in animation.

I request you to pls exlain this in a bit detail if possible.

Thanks again.

10:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be really interested to hear your thoughts on over-animation and maybe flesh out some thoughts on what makes a character over animated.

Thanks for the great posting in the middle of your crunch!


8:33 PM

Blogger BrandonBeckstead said...

Fantastic insight! Keep it coming! I really liked your last post about eyes as well, lots of little things that make a huge difference. I am going to go look at the eyes and brows of my current animation. Thanks.

11:01 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read more information on residual energy. I'm in the final process of polishing up my short film now, and I'm hitting poses that need to be held and keep trying to experiment with ease-in/outs as the pose holds. They seem to be way too subtle (which results in stiffness) or they tend to be overly animated (resulting in floatiness or swiminess).

Looking forward to your thoughts!

10:23 PM

Anonymous Jon Baker said...

Thanks for this, it's fantastic stuff.

Video's would make it even more fantastic-er though!




3:09 AM

Blogger Spline Sculptor said...

Wow a great concept "Residual energy"
Spline doctors are extending a great gesture to the art of animation by educating the people in art of animation.

My request to you people is to post some video reference footage that you might have shoot your self for any scene/shot while working on pixar films or for any study purpose.
It may helps us in understanding the concepts in a betterway.

Thanks again for a lively & lovely blog.

10:19 PM

Blogger deen said...

Great man.. i'd love to learn more about this subject..


3:48 AM

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