Saturday, 22 December 2007

The Full Body Treatment

I'd like to show a couple shots from the scene I've been working on that I think show some notable progression in how I deal with full animation. As with the previous test in which I worked out how to give the 2D head drawing some depth through movement, I've applied the same principle to the Duck's body.

In this first shot the Duck crouches down so that he can take-off and fly away. The line test shows the way his body is broken down, chiefly using spheres and spheroids for the body and head (at this stage he's a bit like a snowman) and with subdivided panels for the wings.

With the additional detail we can see some facial expression and get a clearer idea of the motion. For a shot like this the timing has to be based on reality (the crouch down is thus slower than when he springs up) so that the viewer gets what is being depicted, with some exaggeration to maintain the cartooney atmosphere.

With ink and paint it comes together quite nicely, in fact by adding colours and designating them to specific parts of his body (green head, red eye, pink torso etc) the animation becomes far more fluid to the naked eye.

This next shot was a lot of fun to do. In it, a gun (the blunderbuss!) falls off the wall, into the Duck's wing. In my mind's eye during the storyboard phase I figured that the Duck would be more or less motionless and that the wing would simply catch the gun as a reflex action. The more animation I do, however, the more I get the itch to experiment. In the line test you can see I opted to go for a somewhat OTT movement as the gun causes the Duck to almost lose his balance and fall, but he then rights himself at the last second.

This shot was a great way to experiment with weight and its effect on movement. He is anchored by his leg (mostly off-screen) and to a lesser degree his stomach section, which rotates but stays more or less rooted in the same position. The rotation has a quite dramatic effect on the secondary elements such as his chest and wings, and the tertiary movement of the head which is whipped across from one position to another. As with the other test, it's a motion that's predicated on real physics but amped up a few notches to really cement it as a cartoon visual. In colour it looks pretty neat:

Well, back to work for me. To quote Adam Carolla (whose absence from the airwaves over xmas will hopefully end soon as I get a ton of work done when his show's on in the background), 'Mahalo'!

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