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Wolfmovie.com • View topic - Animation techniques used in Animated Films and TV

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 Post subject: Animation techniques used in Animated Films and TV
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 11:14 pm 
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Well I was going to get a program first that had no restrictions so I could create a sort of guide for film animating but I guess I'll talk it through for now.

I remember reading alot about the animating process when seeing films. It describes all the basic methods used for traditional animation. Although I no longer have the books I think I remember some of what it said.

Animation techniques:

RECYCLING: One of the most common and most useful medium for animating is known as recycling. For those of you who think every frame of a 5 minute conversation is manually hand drawn, your being tricked into thinking that thanks to the experts. I remember seeing reused character parts in scenes of simba's face in certain perspectives many times. The trick that is used to do this involves sneaking in those frames/scenes to a changing character's mood and personality along with changes in speed, camera zoom, and color/BG effects. The result is you think everything is hand drawn but much is reused. Again I list this as a trick because it not only fools you into thinking that, but it also is tricky to execute properly. A bad idea is to reuse a given animation too often. This is done to death on animated TV shows on tight budgets. If you ever see a character profile talking you can be guarenteed to see it again saying something different with only the mouth synced to the speech. Recycling can be a powerful tool for shaving off excessive work as long as it is not overused. Just remember to always keep the scenes lively and changing. No one should ever have to sit through a 10 minute conversation (regardless of how interesting the conversation is) where most of the time the characters talk and not much else.

Blanks and parts: For those of you who have ever seen Hanna Barbara cartoons the characters are pieced together. This is done all the time especially when time constraints are a problem. Now some will argue that you get a very fake look but if used carefully it can fool even an expert. The trick is not to simply have those parts stay there but to use them in tandem with hand drawing. The result is greater acuracy to drawings and a consistency that stays. Plus the fact that you can reline something means you can give the look as though its never seen before. The Blanks involve character projection and direction. Watch any good film and try to picture the face as if it were not even there. I remember seeing character blanks for The Proud Family and the scene as it played without the characters face added. The result were animated blanks that illustrated proper projection as if they were manequins moving on a stage. No major detail was added and I was sooooo impressed. This technique was used to see how the characters would use their body hands and head positions to emphasize emotion without ever needing to animate the face! As a matter of fact I believe I read that the face is animated last!! You can tell some parts were reused but it was hard to tell once it was cleaned and colored because the animation and squashed or stretched linings that were added fooled me well. I lost the page where the clip was. Usually those clips are never seen because they are proprietary and few companies show that off especially Disney. I doubt it is an easy clip to come by unless its on a DVD somewhere... I think there still exists one on Brace Face off of one of the artists site. I also lost that link a while ago...

How to implement Blanks, Parts and Recycling: The first thing to do is to create the character in its most basic yet most frequently used perspective. This means if all your scenes only involve the character at camera ground level, then you draw mainly that with only a few other non frequent odd perspective shots to help the animator better understand the characters' structure. Then you draw multiple images of that body part in different views until you have over roughly 100 or so high quality lined works on that part. Then you start working on another part matching the part perspective to its "part family" that all have the same perspective and camera view. Then when animation time comes up you already have alot of the reusable base parts that can be implemented easily. You can also resize them for changing the look a lot more. The mistake would be to only use them... It is recomended you combine them with blurring, relining, retiming, and drawing inbetween frames which too can be added to the "parts library" for easy referencing. You wouldnt draw frequenty changing parts with it such as drawing the mouth/eyes/brows/cheeks/ or the rest of the face except basic parts like ears, the whole head etc) This also applies to things like claws. Ever notice when the claws retract on simbas paws? You can almost imagine someone only needing to draw over the paw on a seperate layer to make the black claws show again. Well thats what was being done! If you watch the film and edit out the parts that require voice synchronization you have a blank that's projecting emotion. Use this method to best refine how the characters can have a very lively feel without having the unnatural or lack of emotion in a scene.

There is more to this but I dont have the book in front of me and it is not all acurate. Let me know what you all think. This is from my observations since I love animation :)


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:28 am 
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Omega
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Yep, there's a ton of animation resources out there. A few I personally know are and . Good stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 11:46 am 
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wow,where did you find this all out? :D :luv: :hyper: :happy: :drool: :pounce: :cheese: :artsy: :p :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:53 am 
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Omega
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Wasn't that hard for me; why, the very first website I ever went to was Disney.com! :D

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