Animation Help

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  01 January 2013
Animation Help

This topic may have been discussed before so I will apologize before hand if it has. I attended Full Sail University several years back and wanted to become a.character animator. The animation teachers were.freat but I still feel I'm missing the point. While they were great at helping us understand the principles of animationfor 2D...I felt they were missing the transition to apply it in 3D form. While you could exaggerate things or break rules of animation in 2D you could not always do that in 3D based on your rigs available.

I was wondering if their are any animators out there who can recommend me some books or online material i can learn from. I already have Richard Williams' Animator's Survival Kit. I would go back to an online school but I'm so far in debt that Sallie Mae or any other student loan company will not loan the money to go.back

I need all the help I can get. I really have a passion to become a character animator but I lack direction and resources. Thank you for your help.
  01 January 2013
"The Illusion of Life" by Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas is also good.

As a director who also did some of the modeling and keyframing in my own films, I think I can give you some insight into the difference of 2D and 3D.

The LITERAL motions of course cannot be the same. But the OBJECTIVES of your motions remain the same. Why? Remember that at the end of the day, you are still projecting your motion onto a 2D screen (some of the animators I work with disagree, but that's really my view). So Silhouette and Motion across a flat plane are still the highest determinants of the final result.

In short... You're dealing with the same goals, and the same "final method of delivery".

This is why we all still look at the same principles: Timing and Spacing when doing motion either on paper or in CG with rigs. It's all about getting the action to happen at the right time and at the right speed.

Now much of what you can do is dependent on what your armature rig can do. To wit, note that there is no rule that requires you do everything with the same rig. You might have rigs where everything is "rigid" or standard, but some where the shoulders may not be connected and can give you "slack". Many Reverse Foot Rigs have "stretchable" ankles.

Some people may do this differently, but in my case, I have no problems with duplicates of actors who may have "specialist rigs" or "rigs with variable switches" that allow us to do a specific thing if we want.

Whatever engineering you decide to go with your character is designed around the same goals. But part of the creativity (and fun) of it is that you know you can't simply "draw in" the amount of flexing that you want.

Instead you have to try and get it with actual motion, or actual geometric changes. But in my view, all roads lead to Rome. Your audience in all likelihood can't tell the difference between the methods. The goal is to try and give them the same sensation in either sub-medium.
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation

Last edited by CGIPadawan : 01 January 2013 at 02:57 AM.
  01 January 2013
You really need to walk right into their financial aid department and be firm about assistance and be persistent... If anyone in this country should know how to get money for (or from) students, its' places like this... even for part-time work.

When they see you walk into their office, and "sigh"... you are doing your part, make them do theirs... that's what the hell you've paid them for.

In all seriousness, if they are shrugging you off or detect the slight bit of "weakness" in your skin, they will eat you alive and ignore you.

Believe me, while working my way through school on a full load, holding down a job, and raising my first son, you gotta be strong willed.

Don't take no for an answer, don't take any BS... don't be an ass about it, just be firm and persistent.

They should at a minimum, provide you with information about Pell Grants.
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  01 January 2013
Your animation instructors should have directed you to read "Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation" written by John Lasseter. It may be old (written in 1987) but the ideas are not outdated.

Bear in mind tho, that techniques can become outdated. It used to be common practice to break the 3D rigs in order to get the desired animated results. Since the rendered image is projected onto a 2D screen, characters were animated to the camera view. Who cares if that knee was twisted in the wrong direction when viewed from the side; as long as it looked good on-camera, it was acceptable. But now, we're moving (kicking and screaming) into an era of 3D & 48 fps projection where we can't resort to the old 2D cheats, so new solutions need to be found.
  01 January 2013
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