Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pose to Pose Again and More

I am back to animating and so far I am learning what my shortcomings are and what should I do to improve myself. It is a great feeling when you know what the problem is and what could be the solution.

The biggest problem in my animations is that they look very pose to pose. The solution to this is simple! Add overlapping and not have all body parts reach the key pose at the same time. I understand this and I have added overlapping in my new animation, but it still looks pose to pose to an extent. Here are some points from my learning so far,

- Body parts reach the pose at different times and some body parts overshoot a little bit in the follow through action
- There are few times when in real life we go pose to pose.
- So overlap is good, but not all the time. Depending upon the emotion or the action we have to do partial overlapping, only few body parts overlapping. (This comes from James Baxter's notes taken by Amrit here)
- Too much overlapping makes animation feel like rag doll. It depends a lot on style of animation of course e.g. slapstick comedy needs quite a big of overlapping. But in general for a little more realistic action we have to be careful in using overlapping.
- When adding overlapping you have to think what is leading the action. Or what makes action clear and stand out. In a simple example if character is punching somebody, you want to delay arm as much as possible and have arm hit the target in the last couple of frames with bigger spacing.
*-Always push the poses for overlapping and exaggeration to find the limit where you feel that it's not too much and too obvious. If we don't push the poses to extremes sometimes overlapping is too subtle to even notice and it can make animation pose to pose and stiff.
(I think this is where my main problem is.)

So in conclusion it is important to remember that we are creating feeling of natural motion and not actually showing overlapping itself.


Virgil said...

hey, nice to see a rigger who is also an animator.
about overlap, one quick tip - think 'whip action'. a lot of great looking overlapping action is actually whip action. used more in cartoony animation, but looks great anyway, and feels right, even if it's just a whip and not actual realistic movement.

Virgil said...

oh, but I forgot, the solution to getting rid of the pose-to-pose feel is not simple, it takes practice and experience, and also a lot of work on polishing every gesture. one way to animate more fluid stuff though is to animate in layers - animate the hips first, then the chest, then the limbs, one at a time, and finally appendages. but you need some experience 'cuz you have to be able to understand and visualize your animation as you work. it's more like straight-ahead and less like problem-solving. you can still start with a few poses, of course.

Maulik said...

Thank you for the comment. You gave a few nice tips. Later after this post I have actually improved quite a bit on this front though I still have a long way to go. Where I struggle particularly is to control the use of whip style actions to keep balance between cartoony and realistic. I have seen a lot of people overdo it in acting shots. And I read about James Baxter telling that we don't have to throw overlap in every single pose, only the key gestures that we feel need it. Sometimes it's just difficult for mind to decide what knowledge to apply when.