Friday, August 22, 2008

At Disney I have learned...

that I know next to nothing about animation. My education from AM has been marvelous and I wouldn't be here without it, but yesterday I saw how little I know about real feature animation. Yesterday evening I was privileged enough to have Ruben Aquino (the supervising animator for Jake from Rescuers Down Under) look at my scene. He liked it and said the acting feels like Jake, which was great news for me since I was convinced that it was all wrong.

I asked him to take a look at my timing charts and thats when he pulled out his awesome knowledge. Ruben spoke about the extreme importance of breakdowns and spoke about how he treats them like keys. Originally, I thought breakdowns were the drawings that indicate how something will arc. Sure I knew about using them to create overlap and drag, but Ruben just took the breakdown to a whole new level. They really are just as important as your key drawings. He also pointed out how useful they are when determining the timing of an action. Ruben warned me not to get too set on the numbers I had given my drawings because they might change based on how much ease in/out each pose will need.

I figured that much, but I didn't know how important the breakdown was to determining this. I thought I had added a good amount of breakdowns but apparently not. Now I am able to go through the amazing Princess and the Frog pencil tests and pick out which drawings are keys and which are breakdowns, to try to get a feeling for just how many breakdown drawings an animator might use in a certain circumstance. Ruben also told me the faster the action, the more fluid the breakdown needs to be. He warned that a breakdown thats too fluid in a slower action will make the action feel "noodley".

Ruben also revolutionized the way I view timing charts. He likes to put his breakdowns in their own charts rather than having one chart from key A to key B. Instead he'll chart from key A to the breakdown and then from the breakdown to key B. This was great because I had been confused by the fact that some animators would chart from key A to key B and place the breakdown in the middle, even though the breakdown drawing isn't the middle drawing.

More on that later, class is starting up again.

1 comment:

Maulik said...

This is a great tip about breakdowns. Thanks so much for sharing. It must feel great to be going through a training under great people. Keep posting!