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

Thursday, July 11, 2013

No. 45, Jim on a Limb: One (Part 3)

Digging Deeper

Last time I determined that something had to happen before the man lowered the fox; I needed to show the man coming to the decision to do that: in short, I needed to show him thinking.

Here are the new key drawings.

The beginning pose.  The man still stares in shock.
Suddenly he realizes he must take charge.  He focuses and becomes serious.

He leans in close.  His hands, with the fox, have not moved out of position yet.

Now he looks up and makes eye contact with his wife.  Then he nods to her (not shown), indicating that he intends to start moving the fox.  Nervously, she nods agreement.

As an anticipation he raises his elbows.

He lowers the fox down.  It is still gripping her nose.

Having got this far, his expression now returns to one of puzzlement.  Why has the fox done this? What can he do now?
 Only the changes in the man are seen here, but in a scene this complex, there are many things that must be animated one at a time, each time passing through all the drawings and keeping each movement in sympathy with the others. 

The woman will have trouble keeping in step with the man, so her nose gets stretched out a bit at first, causing her some pain.  The fox, rather than just holding on, gives the woman's nose a good jerk as they start down, further adding to her discomfort.  Last, the fox's tail will be animated in movements that give expression to his moods, but not so as to distract from the more important movements.

Next: How it looks in pencil test.

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