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For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Friday, January 25, 2013

No.29, Problem Five: Bringing the Fox Down (Part 1)

This new animation problem is a fascinating one for me; I hope that you will find it interesting as well.

Once again, my director (me) has called me, the animator, into his office to discuss a scene I have turned in.  Together we review the pencil test. It is the scene right after Problem Four, where the fox, atop the man's head, has shaken himself out.  Now the man lifts the fox down from his head.

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"What do you think of it?" the director asks.

"Umm, well, it certainly has to be changed because of the man's attitude at the beginning.  He was apprehensive about the fox's moving, but now he is just amused.  We have to match the two scenes."

"Yes, there is that," the director says, "but there's more.  Jim, I want you to do it again, start from scratch.  Don't even look at the old drawings.  When you get your extremes and maybe a few key breakdowns done, test it again and we'll look at it together."

A day later, I am back with the new test.

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"Well, this is a lot different, isn't it?" says the director.  "You've really got a lot more acting into it."

I had, in fact, thought it through much more thoroughly.  Now I had the man playing to his wife, rather than worrying about getting the fox down, and the key drawings were more dynamic.  I had worked in the Z-axis, too, moving the fox close to the camera as he comes down.

"Okay, now go ahead and rough in more of the drawings, so we can look at your timing."


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