Wednesday, June 24, 2009
New 'Toon, New Rules
I've started my next animation. I've picked the song, and made reference keyframes for the lyrics and beat. Above are some trial "looks" for the protagonist.
I learned a lot from animating I'm So Tired.
Here's some commandments I'll apply to this cartoon:
I. Thou shalt block in major shapes and movements before futzing around with details.
For example, than once I did the lip sync first and then discovered the timing or position of the character needed to change. I'd apply the changes and find the lip sync was off. Or I'd fall in love with a single drawing, only to find it didn't really fit into the animation plans.
II. Thou shalt design an animation friendly character.
Shorpy, as I came to call the purple guy, wasn't designed well.*
Flat, no eyebrows (big mistake!) and a basic "I'm sitting on fire ants" expression. (Okay, he was so tired, but still...). His face expressions and movement were limited. He was at his best when he was morphing into other characters.
III. Thou shalt remember looping animation and use it.
Some time-consuming animation from I'm So Tired zips by like a train, never to be seen again. If I had any sense I would have made more of the animated symbols play in continuous loops.
IV. Thou shalt make the first thirty seconds more interesting
I'm So Tired starts out calm and later goes berserk. I fear some viewers never saw the crazier parts because they thought He's just rocking back and fourth and complaining! and hit the back button. Any good story teller knows you should hook 'em up front.
Of course, I'm open to any additional advice anyone can throw me.
*I'm not saying he's a piece of garbage, just that in retrospect he could have been constructed better.