Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Half A Walk

Michael Sporn has a typically interesting post illuminating a problem of poor craftsmanship being inculcated in today's animation students.

It reminded me of a half-walk we did for The Stepford Wives.

Six drawings B13 through B18.

B 13

Sure this was a big Hollywood movie, but here's the rub: they needed rewrites after a test screening and were hoping to help "fix" it in our sequence because the lab needed the new cut in just over a week.

B 14

Given the timeframe another 6 drawings (times two for clean up, times two for paint) wasn't insignificant.

B 15

Above is the passing point, it's the "trick" drawing where the legs switch.

B 16

Fortunately, this shortcut is stylistically acceptable in the context of the whole piece.  It also makes for funny animation.

B 17

Doug Compton is the animator here, and it wouldn't work without his considerable skill.  It's only a "short cut" if 20 plus years of honing one's skills as an animator is a "cheap" way to do something.

B 18

In the context of what he's criticizing, Michael's point is right on target.

I do like George Griffin's thoughts to put the problem in the larger world of motion study:

Plympton made fewer drawings work and it was not a decision based on narrative or character; it was experimental animation; it did break the rules; it let the scratchy lines move slower and not distract. A cycle is anything that’s repeated. The running Nazi gained some interesting qualities with fewer drawings: his head is obsessively facing forward to emphasize his menace, not twisting to the side on the stride; and the crazy legs give him a loping kind of nutty asymmetry.
Advice to students: Forget about “good” or “bad.” Just think about your objective, your time base, your momentary design and how it will flow or jerk in time.

Here's the animation cycled on twos.

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