Sunday, 13 November 2011

Character animation workshop at Bradford Animation Festival

Thanks to everyone who attended the Character Animation Workshop on Thursday 10th November at Bradford Animation Festival at the National Media Museum

Some good photos on the Animation Festival Flickr site

Animators at all levels can improve the way their characters move by working on these principles. We worked through all of these with practical exercises and watched video clips to improve our understanding of each of these.

Wikipedia have a good summary of the principles as outlined by the Disney Masters Ollie Johnson and Frank Thomas

Solid drawing is key to good animation - seeing your character in 3D

We began with a quick drawing exercise. We looked at this Daumier drawing and tried to draw it as if we were looking at the characters from the side window

We had a play around with Staging - people in the workshops experimented with different decisions to be made about how to stage a sad character.

Anticipation is also critical - to attract the audience's attention before a movement takes place. The use of opposites here is important - go backwards before going forward, bend down before going up. We did some quick video reference here which others may find useful.

Here's one of our course participants getting stuck in showing us how to jump. It is impossible to jump up without bending down first.

We went on to look at the anticipation in walking - there's also a good bit of secondary action here.

We also looked at slow in, slow out and spacing. This is the importance of varying the pace of your characters movement - characters start slowly, get faster and then slow down again before stopping.
We showed this with a couple of toys - the variety of speed adds depth to the movement.

Would love to do more of this. You can see people's understanding develop really quickly during the sessions.