polish – I

After the thinking has been done, after the poses have been laid out, after the acting has been deemd as working – You start polishing. Initially, I saw this as a chore, as somethign that needs to be done AFTER the fun part of blocking is over.

But polishing is much more than that. It is the stage of animation, where the character actually comes to life. This is stage which will aid in suspension of disbelif. It might be a minor ease in, or a minor overshoot but every thing you do will make the character seem more real. The monitor turns into a window and you just happen to be looking at the character doing his thing through it.

So, learn to enjoy polishing. Cause it aint going away.

Bill Tytla Says-

There are only three things in animation –

1. Anticipation

2. Action

3. Reaction

And these imply the rest. Learn to do these things well – and you can animate well.

“Be Simple”

“Be Direct”

“Be Clear”

“Be Very Simple”

Make a statement and FINISH it – simply.

The Animation "Business"

ah Animation! so much fun, so cool and creative and insanely time consuming and therby expensive. So business are built to manage it. Studios, theme parks, TV station empires are built around this. These are managed by..um.. managers? Originally management was there just to smoothen the process, keep track of all the dots and dashes. As the industry grew so did the need for people to keep track of all the dots and dashes. Over time , due to the pressures of the market, they began to decide what sells the best and therefore what must be made., how and when and by whom. This started to be a problem. Dont get me wrong I think management is great! They have a very tough job and have lots of moolah on the line with every decision.

Sometimes these desisions are spelt L A Y O F F. As somebody who has many friends in the animation industry who were laid off and as somebody who came this >< close to being laid off, I know how hard this can be. The entire cycle of emotions - anger, sadness, bitterness etc. It is a major blow to the ego. The only way to deal with this is to accept this as a fact of the industry. The "business" is extremely big and big decisons are a part of its fabric. It is also extremely prone to change. I mean look at the last 10 years! There is no such thing as a stable job. Animation is change! At times like this I always go back to the first things that made me want to be an animator. Tom and Jerry cartoons, Bugs bunny, Jungle Book and I always go back to watching that dinky little moniter in SVA's animation test room. It was bright and hot and there was line of impatient students with stacks of drawings outside and I was seeing my drawings move for the first time. And while we are at this… management need to find a better way to do business.

Updated resources section

Managed a get a tip of the iceberg of notes I have in to the Resources section. Most of it came from Adrian D’Alimonte who used to run the awesome site animatic.cjb.net ( no longer active) Speal thanks to Animation meat for letiing me use some of ther resources.

Watch out the Don Graham Lecture on Forces and a Milt Kahl interview to be posted up this weekend.

animation tip

Always remember how much flesh each joint is moving. The root of the body moves a lot of flesh. The finger joints not as much. It is important to pay a lot of attention to curves of the major flesh moving joints. A small pop or click there will affect the whole body.