Friday, February 15, 2008

Keyframe Animation

Sometimes at a sketch group I’m at a complete loss with the one-minute static poses. I can’t get anything on paper. But give me a real life scene with the subject in constant motion, and for some reason I have better luck.

I happened to be holding my sketchbook when my young son was pulling a bell rope. Naturally he didn’t hold still for a second. But as I watched a couple of repetitions of the action, I realized that he kept returning to the same extreme or "keyframe" poses. So I switched back and forth between those poses, using the flash-glance method to hold them just long enough in memory.

As early as the 1930s, the Disney Studios hired instructor Don Graham to offer the animators a class in “action analysis” using models who moved through a series of poses.

Tomorrow: The Sultan's Elephant


Eric Orchard said...

I think this works well for me, it's helped me get my paintings looking more kinetic. Isn't there a rule about capturing an action either at the start of the action or the very end?Showing a hammer in mid swing is supposedly less effective than the start of the swing or the moment of contact.

Patrick said...

"Flash-glance"....Genius! Exactly what I need. :)

Erik Bongers said...

I still have lots of trouble with that.
Getting the right pose to suggest a certain action.
I think it was on this blog that I read that at one of the Animation companies the focus for newcomers was on 'Pose' first and all the rest(anatomy, color, light,...) was of lesser importance.
I was surprised by that, but one of the main critisism I have on my own (comic book) drawings is that the people often look too static.
So when sketching out a page, I now focus much longer on 'roughing out' a correct pose before 'detailing it in', and I think the dynamics are gradually improving.
Just one of those little things that I learned (indirectly even !) from this blog.