Animators by day Animation teachers by night.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Residual Energy


Someone asked me to talk more about residual energy. There are alot of different ways this can be put to use. Residual energy is the energy left over from a primary or secondary movement. For example, a character does a gesture. When he hits the pose there may be a slight settle in the arm, hand and fingers. It is paying attention to these details that make the gesture look more believable. It could be how a hand comes to rest when it is placed on a surface. It is the small details that make it look physical. Overlap is another way of explaining this. When you think overlap, you think about hair or appendages or other broad things. Residual energy is a bit more subtle. There is a great scene in the incredibles that Animator John Kahrs did. Its when Violet is on the plane and is jostled by the turbulence. The way her leg bounces bounces up and down really makes her feel like she has flesh and bones. Understanding where the energy comes from is one of the most important parts. Then you need to figure out how it should be used. You don't want to over do it so that it take away from the main action.

Another thing you want to try an get into your work is patterns. I'll try to cover this in a future post.

-Andrew

17 Comments:

Blogger amelia said...

That shot of violet is super vivid in my head because it always looked so awesome! Thanks for the information.

3:38 PM

 
Blogger Marcos Gp said...

Andrew your dedication is awesome!

Keep on the good Work....

http://www.marcosgp.blogspot.com/

4:23 PM

 
Anonymous davidbernalr said...

Thanks for keeping them on!!!
Great topics and great explanations Dr.!
Always wondered, any special reason for being called the Spline Doctors?
Any anecdote or story?

Thx

5:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks a lot andrew! great topic. I was wondering if you could also (if you had some free time) talk about Contrast in animation, I've read that human mind likes to see contrast but how can one take advantage of it and use it to plus the story and a particular shot (examples would be awesome!)

thanks again.

10:53 PM

 
Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

The Spline Doctor name is just a joke. Someone a long time ago put Spline Bender on their business card and people thought is was funny. We are not doctors and you dont need to call us doctors. It was all for fun and we do not take ourselves seriously. We are just trying to have fun teaching animation.

-Andrew

PS. I get alot of junk mail that is directed to doctors.

10:56 PM

 
Blogger Emanuele Pavarotti said...

Great post Dr. Gordon!

About residual energy after a gesture:
Do you apply overlap in the wrist too? Isn't there the risk of obtaining a "springy" or too soft look?
How do you avoid that?

Thank you = )

Emanuele

2:50 AM

 
Blogger Dave said...

Thanks for another great post - always insightful.

4:40 AM

 
Blogger Olivier Ladeuix said...

Dear Doctors! Thanks for the regular prescription of animation goodness.

Just one comment about the Podcasts, my mp3 player doesn't play M4A files so I went ahead and encoded all your podcasts in Mp3. Now few friends asked me to put them on download on my website.

Is it something you are happy with or should I restrain myself from doing so?

Thanks again.

6:17 PM

 
Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

About the podcasts. Its fine if you encode them in mp3. Send us a link and we will put a link to your website.

7:45 PM

 
Blogger Olivier Ladeuix said...

Here is the link Andrew.

http://212.2.2.90/splinedoctors/mp3/

3:27 PM

 
Anonymous davidbernalr said...

thanks Doc..it always reminds me of Back to the future! You guys are like Dr. Brown, with an incredible mind making things like time machines or Mike Wachowskys or little talking rats!
and we are like Marty McFly checking out all your new inventions and how is that you make them, telling us like"when it get to 88 miles per hour..ja! then you need residual energy",its been great!Thanks! Its aslo pretty close to the Spline Docs Blog firs happybirthday! Its been a year!

8:32 AM

 
Anonymous Nico said...

I'm not sure where I read/or was explained this but I had a run in of this type of energy before. "They" said to think of the force of a character like ripples in a class of water. The drop would be the initial force, and the rings would be that settling force acting back throughout the character. That force travels up and down through appendages and back to the hips etc. (Seems that this rings more true for more physical actions) but I can see where things would also take shape in more subtle scenarios either.

Great Post!!

10:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where are you doctors????

10:14 PM

 
Blogger Dr. Gordon said...

We are in heavy production crunch...

5:09 PM

 
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