These consist of the more fleeting and detailed things that pass through an animator's mind as she or he works. Ask an animator a year after a scene is animated about that animation and what he was thinking when he did it, and it is likely that he will not be able to say. It might be possible to say, "Oh, that walk cycle--well, it has a nice rhythm, don't you think?" But the steps of planning, of paths considered and discarded, of things tried that did not work because they were too subtle or too over-the-top for the problem at hand--these things are most likely forgotten unless noted down or unless committed to long-term memory by a discussion or some other event that forces the thinking to be articulated or recorded.
|Thoughts of an animator.|
But my belief is that these thoughts can be useful, just as seeing the crumpled false starts from the waste basket or dustbin of a writer or illustrator can be useful, because they show to the aspiring animator that the path to a satisfying result is often not straight and smooth; that it is okay not to get it right the first time, and that a hard working and self-critical method of procedure can lead to success just as surely as the inspired stroke of genius of some Michelangelo of animation who seems to always get it right the first tiime. If there really is such a thing. Milt Kahl may have been a genius animator, but it is known that he would shut himself in his office alone for days or weeks at a time as he worked out his scenes. It is fair to assume that he was testing and discardiing, homing in on his solutions more or less as the rest of us do.
And so the message of my step-by-step blog posts is: if something you animate is not working right, it can probably be fixed, and here are some of the many ways that can be used 1)to figure out what is wrong, and 2) to fix it so that it is working right. Moreover, having established these critical habits in yourself, you may find that you do get to the right solution more directly and quickly in the future.
Let's hope so. As for myself, I feel that I am still learning more every day and improving as an animator.
How about you?