Thursday, August 27, 2015

Coming to a Bookshelf near you!


I'm happy to hear that animation legend, Andreas Deja has a new book coming out called "The Nine Old Men." This book is about the nine young men who Walt Disney teamed together to create the Disney classics, that you know and love.

I'm wondering if Mr. Deja includes Freddie Moore or Bill Tytla anywhere in the book or perhaps these may be future books to write?  Anyway, here's a link to his blog in case you're new to animation, Check out Deja View: Coming to a Bookshelf near You...

Monday, August 17, 2015

Meet the Patels: Animation on the Big Screen!

Please excuse my self promotion, but "Meet the Patels", a documentary film I worked on and blogged about, is now headed to a movie theater near you!  Here's an article from the LA Times!

Here's a nice interview with the filmmakers.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Leaf Test

After animating a bouncing ball animation, the next animation test you should try is known as "The Leaf Test". This is a fun little test where you will learn more about animation timing,
moving holds and ease ins and outs while you are making a leaf fall from a tree. Here's an
example by Tyler Roberts, a student of mine who animated two different leaves falling in different ways.

This test involves several Principles of Animation beginning with "Staging". Begin by creating a layout of your scene which sets a stage that the audience can understand what's going on and have enough room for your leaf to move about. 

Next you need to create a "Path of Motion" that your leaf will follow during its descent to the ground. You also should determine a simple leaf drawings which you want to keep from changing its shape and volume throughout the animation. No need to use squash and stretch in this test, instead you will be using "Ease ins and outs" to slow down and speed up the leaf's motion. You will also learn about the "Moving Hold", where the leaf might glide upwards and slows down to slightly hover before moving backwards to continue its journey to the ground. Moving Holds keep your character, even a leaf feeling alive.

You should also create your "Exposure Sheet" as you begin generating your Key poses and other drawings to figure out the timing. Here's a great video explaining how to make an exposure sheet.

Make sure you have at least a second or two at the beginning and ending of your scene to allow the audience to see where we are first before the leaf begins its falling performance. In the above example, notice how long we see the tree and its moving leaves just sitting there before anything happens. In the above case, the other leaves are in a leaf cycle created for the tree and repeated throughout the scene as the other leaves fall to the ground. The leaf cycle continues even after the falling leaves have hit the ground. You need to let your audience see the end of an action, instead of ending it right when the leaf touches the ground.

Audience attention spans are getting shorter these days, but good timing needs to be mastered as much as good drawing skills showing the motion in the scene. 

I'm still adding to this posting. Is there anything I need to add? Do you have any questions so far or would you like to know anything else? Let me know in the comment section, I won't post the comment if you don't want me to.

Thanks again,