At the start of semester 1, we came in bouncing. We went for a walk & broke some joints. Things got emotional but we still managed to turn a few heads! No, I’m playing with you. We did do all of those things though it’s not quite how it sounds. I can assure you that the only joints broken were those that were drawn onto paper!
The first semester was an opportunity for us to learn & put into practice, the principles of animation as we learned them. There are twelve; Squash & Stretch, Staging, Anticipation, Straight Ahead & Pose To Pose, Follow Through & Overlapping, Slow In & Slow Out, Arcs, Secondary Action, Timing, Exaggeration, Solid Drawings, Appeal.
We started off with the bouncing ball exercise. The aim of which was to animate a ball dropping down & bouncing along the ground. We were expected to try out different weights & sizes for the bouncing ball, soft/light/hard/heavy.
Our next exercise was the Spooky Arm. *Cue ghostly wailing* It’s called the Spooky Arm because it’s essentially an animation of an disembodied arm floating around the screen. The shoulder leads the movement, the elbow follows the shoulder & the wrist & hand trail behind. This is called ‘the successive breaking of joints’. See I told you no limbs were harmed in the making of these animations!
Next was the head turn exercise. For this we had to, strangely enough, animate a head turning from side to side. We had to have the head/character react to something when it turns. I wanted to be a bit different & give myself a bit of a challenge with this exercise by having the head turn up on a diagonal. The nose was the trickiest part here as parts of the nose go out of view especially when the head is looking up & parts of the nose appear larger or smaller depending on the angle they are viewed from. I had to prevent the nose from changing shape too much as the head turns so as not to look distorted but change it enough so that it looked like it was turning around with the head. I’m going to go back & add details such as the ears & hair over the summer.
After the Head Turn, we moved onto the Emotional Sack exercise. Remember the magic carpet from Aladdin, it’s just like that. We had to animate a sack of flour walking into the scene & have it react to something in the shot while keeping the physicality of a sack. It couldn’t just sprout arms & legs. The Emotional Sack was one of my favourite exercises. I love how my flour sack shuffles in shyly then has all this sass at the end.
To finish off these exercises we had to animate a walk cycle. It could be any style of walk we liked & as reference we filmed ourselves doing a wide variety of walks. I decided to do a happy skip & had my characters head & pony-tails moving from side to side. At some point I would like to go back & fine tune this a little more. Like our other line tests, we made a master drawing which had all the movements of the walk cycle on one sheet of paper then each movement was drawn onto its own sheet of paper. An image was taken of each sheet individually using a copy stand with a camera attached & using the software Pencil Check Pro.
I hope you’ve enjoyed watching these!