Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Here you are, folks, the final product!

Like before, I broke down how I did this on a forum, and I figured I'd post it here once again. I know the majority of people who come here are animators; the people I talked to were not, so for most of you, a lot of this is pretty obvious stuff.

ok, so this is exactly the order in how I approached the animation. First the keys, then the breakdown, then the inbetweens BUT, the inbetweens I don't do in a row, from beginning to end. Quick note - There are many, MANY ways to approach animation, and this is just one of them. This method, you'd see more in Disney type work, the real mainstream animation.

Here's the order:

drawing 1 - first key

drawing 11 - final key

drawing 6 - breakdown

drawing 5 - inbetween
Now when I started the inbetweens, I traced between the first key and the breakdown. There are four drawings between the two, so which one do you start on. The one nearest the key? Actually, it's smarter to start at the breakdown.

drawing 4 - inbetween
Now you make a new drawing, between the inbetween and the key. This time, though, the lines you draw should be closer to the key than the inbetween. Why? Because the closer the drawing is to the key, the more visible the key drawing will look to the human eye when these drawings are being played at 24 frames per second. You register the similar drawings faster. Additionally, this makes the action look smooth, as it starts off slow, then gets faster as you approach the breakdown drawing. Confused yet?

drawing 3 - inbetween
So now, keep repeating this method. Draw closer to the key. This inbetween still has an open mouth, but it's getting really close to what the first drawing looks like, and we still have 3 more drawings to get to, each of them getting closer as it goes.

drawing 2 - inbetween
Same thing. This is the final inbetween for the first part of the motion. The teeth are just about connected now. I actually thought of doing another inbetween to get even closer, but cheaped out and just made this an extra frame longer to make the starting action slower.

ok, so that's the first half of the motion done. We have an animation of Lucy opening his mouth really fast, then clipping into his final drawing. We're pretty much going to patch the second part up the same way, except this time we're slowing into the final key from the breakdown.

Drawing 7 - Inbetween
Drawn halfway.

Drawing 8 - Inbetween
Now favoring the final key.

Drawing 9 - Inbetween

Drawing 10 - Inbetween
Closest. To the human eye this one is pretty near identical to the last key (or it should be, but I need to work on my line variation.)

So there you have it. Altogether I did do this in a day, but it took me several hours (on and off between and after work). And the end result is 12 drawings. Which amounts to about half a second if you lined them up with no holds.

Now, I don't have to tell any of you, whether you know animation or not, that animation very much is that long and tedious. You've known for a long time that for even one second to go by, a lot of work has to take place. So how do studios cope? That's simple. What I've just done is rough animation, breakdowns, inbetweens, cleanup, and not discussed was also color and shadow. In most studios and especially for fully animated projects, that is at least three-four different jobs, done by three-four different people (Rough Animator, Assistant Animators/Inbetweeners, Cleanup artists, and the Color/Shadow department)*. So ah, when you're watching a cartoon animated in flash, or a movie done in CG, and you wonder to yourself, quite understandably, "What the hell ever happened to classical animation" - That's what happened. Time, money, extra people, and companies that wanted to do away with as much of that as possible, because for movies they want to give the money to expensive celebrity voiceovers, and for TV, well Jesus, I still can't believe TV networks have any money these days, what with the internet stealing the crowds.

*Oh, and on Three Delivery, if you're wondering which of these jobs I take on, the answer is all of them; Rough, clean, color and shadow. We had a rough team and cleanup team on the first three episodes, but it was too slow, we were losing money, and the show almost got pulled 6 episodes in. A lot of people got laid off, and we had to merge the teams. So that we're doing any of this at all is a miracle...and I still hate those head comps.

EDIT: This is my 111th post! Crap, I filled with a bunch of crappy writing! I completely missed my chance to do a binary joke! On the bright side, I totally missed the chance to do a binary joke! They suck!


Tim said...

Wow. Complex. This makes me want to animate some more! Its so crisp and clean. Really A grade stuff.

Danarchy said...

Very nice stuff. that action is really smooth. Are you going to ad in a antic or a settle on it?