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

Sunday, November 10, 2013

No. 49, Jim on a Limb: One (Part 5)

Note: I have now numbered all my posts chronologically, in addition to having series and subject headings.  I think this will make it a little easier for me to refer back to previous posts, and for you to locate them, especially as the parts of  series are are not always consecutive.


The Pencil Test

Here is the pencil test of Victoria as promised in my last post.  Remember that the fox has her firmly by the nose throughout this scene.  I have not included that layer of the fox only because using too many layers in a pencil test makes for a dark and murky image that you may have trouble viewiing.


It works pretty well now, but as in most complex things that one tries to plan in advance, there were some changes along the way.

Changes to the Plan

First, two new extreme poses were added.  They fall between poses E and F as shown in Part 4.  Here are those poses again, with the new ones placed inbetween.

Pose E
Pose E expresses her feeling of despair.

Pose E-1
The first new pose, call it E-1, shows her stubborn nature returning; she will not be defeated!

Pose E-2
The second new pose, E-2, is a cunning expression; she has an idea and she is calculating whether it will persuade the fox.

Now we go to pose F and then G, where she gathers herself and then adopts an attitude of pleading or supplication.

Pose F

Pose G

Thus we have her thinking her problem through in a way that the viewer can easily follow.  This is the sort of deep exposition that I am just now learning to do, and which I have often failed to understand in the past, largely because my experience in professional animation has been mostly confined to commercials of 30 seconds or less, with no time and frames to spare for looking into a character's motivations and thought process.

In Part 6, I'll talk about how the animation itself went on this little scene.

Next: What Came Easy, and What Was Hard

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