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

Monday, October 15, 2012

No. 16, Problem 3: The Fox On the Man's Head (Part 5)

The Breakout of the Shakeout

Before we get back to the tail, I thought you might like a close look at the drawings involved in the fox shaking himself out after being matted down beneath the man's hat.  It involves drawings on both 1's and 2's, and also the use of multiple images.

Here again is a look at this portion of the sequence at full speed.  I remind you again, we are at this point ignoring the tail, which will now be on its own layer.

Now here is another  version of the same drawings, but this time with enough frames exposed for each that you can observe every drawing and its relationship to the others.

Up through drawing 61, the drawings are all exposed on 2's, with 61 itself being held for 4 to stress the anticipation.

Then 55 through 78 are on 1's, after which we return to 2's with 79 through 85.

The drawings with two heads each--66, 69, 72 and 75--are used where the fox whips his head across from one side to the other, spanning a distance where there can be no overlap of forms of the head.  In such a situation, some artifice is usually advised to help the viewer bridge the gap between the widely spaced drawings.  This might be a blur, a smear, a trail of speed lines arcing across, or, as in this case, the use of multiple positions of the moving object on one drawing.   (Note: The trailing heads on drawings 69, 72 and 75 are drawn in red only to make them stand out in the pencil drawings from the blue lines that they cover.)

Note that the head in the drawing following each of these is very closely related to the forward head of the multiple drawing; it is advanced just a little more, and the ears continue forward in a follow-through.

Mine is only one way that this might have been done.  There are many ways of convincingly  animating a quick motion like this, and therein is the joy and intrigue of animation, that although it is possible and useful to work with formulae, one may also invent something new that may be more effective than the old. 

Next: Tail and All: The Full Scene Put Together

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