Thursday, June 07, 2007

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Friday, June 01, 2007

Flipping again

Yesterday we had a group of kids visit the studio. As part of the tour, we gave a talk on how animation is made and helped them to make flipbooks. My role was to explain the principles. I found a new website that lets you draw and record animation (the old one I used to play with stopped providing their on-line tool) and I demonstrated on it with my tablet computer, connected to a projector. There is something very soothing about drawing animation, when you're used to animating 3D models for your day job. Most 3D animation projects out there spend most of the money on modeling and shading beautiful models, but don't leave a complex enough articulation or time for the animator to go beyond simple puppeteer-ing. In drawn animation, you easily get to animate the volume of the character at the same time as you're plotting its path of motion. Everything you know just flows out of your hand in thirty second sketches. I can choose to neglect the design and animate without staying on model. It's so satisfying, it's like scratching a spot on your back that you usually can't reach.
I recommend that all 3D animators play around with this concept once a week, so we don't forget those hard-to-reach spots.