Animation Study Assignment

ASU Herberger School of Art

 As mentioned in the introduction section of this course the Principles of animation are the fundamental procedures for animating realistic looking characters.

 Walt Disney setup drawing classes for his animators in Los Angeles. Most of these animators were drawing using standard shapes and using the old cartoon way of repetitive actions and gestures. In these classes the students studied motion and live action film, analysis of action became the most important role of these courses.

 Squash and Stretch

 Timing

 Anticipation

 Staging

 Follow through and Overlapping action

 Straight ahead action and Pose to Pose Action

 Slow In and Out

 Arcs

 Exaggeration

 Secondary Action

 Appeal

An important principle and thus the first, is Squash and Stretch. When an object is moved, the movement eludes to the rigidity of it. Very rigid objects such as chairs and dishes and pans remain stiff during motion. However any flesh type object will show vast amounts of movement and fluidity during motion.

No matter how squashed or stretched out an objects gets, it’s volume remains the same. If it is squashed down it sides would stretch and vice verse creating the look of shrinking or growing during movement. The more pliable the object the more drastic this effect becomes.

Timing is critical to making ideas readable. There is such thing as too little and too much time spent on any one action in animation. Correct timing defines the weight of an object and also determines whether the audience really has time to see it or not. If it is too fast the audience may not understand what they are looking at, and if it is too slow the audience may feel that the animation was unfinished or something is wrong with it. Additionally timing can contribute to the feeling of size and scale of an object or character as well as the emotional state of said character.

Any action exist in three parts: Preparation for an action, the action itself, and the end of that action. Anticipation is the first, the preparation for the action. This is used to catch the eye of the viewer and to get them interested in the action, it also lends itself well to guiding the viewer through a recognized action that may end in an unexpected way. Anticipation lets the viewer know that they are viewing something that they viewed before and know ( or at least think they know) what will follow.

Also related to preparation is Staging. It is the presentation of an idea so that it is clear to the viewer. It means that ideas and actions in the animation are presented in such a way that they will be recognizable to the audience and elicit a response, be it an action or mood that is desired.

Another important aspect of staging is that there need only be one idea presented to the audience at a time. If too much is happening all at once the viewers may miss out on a key action or idea that was essential to the story.

As discussed earlier with the three parts of an action, follow through and overlapping determines the end of an action. Actions need a clear end and an action should never come to a complete stop without another action and secondary action overlapping the first. Overlapping means continuous f low between the collection of actions.

These are the two main approaches to hand drawn animation.

Straight ahead animation is when the animator works straight ahead from the first drawing all the way through to the last. This lends itself well to creativity and wild and scrambling actions where spontaneity is key.

Pose to Pose is such that the animator decides on all actions before hand and makes sure that each pose relates to the next in size and action, then the animator will draw the in-betweens.

Slow In and Out deals with the spacing between the poses, it refers to the second and third-order continuity of motion. This idea is directly related to timing and how fast or slow we enter and exit from one pose to another.

With digital animation this is done automatically as the in-betweens are created between the poses based on keyframe location.

Just as it sounds and arc describes the visual path of an action from one extreme to the other. Most movement can be defined by an arc rarely in nature to we find straight lines in motion. Arcs add to the realism of an action and smooth out an otherwise rigid movement. Often times 3D animation software will short cut the in-betweens so the animator must add the arcs back in to complete the look.

Although it sounds very straight forward the principles of exaggeration does not mean that we randomly distort objects or make movements more violent or unrealistic. Exaggeration of an action should always be balanced with the other components surrounding that character. Exaggeration can be used to accentuate a movement and draw attention to it, to facilitate a change in mood or a new direction for the animation to go in. Exaggeration also applies to the soundtrack and all other aspects to add to the richness of the scene.

An action that results directly from another action. They add interest and realism to the complexity of an animation. These are always subordinate to the primary action and work to fill-in the action. In this example the secondary action could be the movement of the bedding but also could be the face expression of the character over the course of the movement.

Appeal is subjective but is more simply defined as anything that a person likes to see, design, simplicity, and so on. Appeal in animation of character is focused on “twins” or parts of the character or object that look exactly alike as a result of the creation of it. If you take one of the “twins” and adjust it slightly to look different it suddenly becomes more appealing and realistic than it was before.

 Read the Lasseter handout. Complete the quiz and participate in the discussion board for this section of the course.

 For those of you new to online courses in the discussion board I expect you to contribute to the conversation and respond to at least two other students on the comments they made.

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