Saturday, March 12, 2011

Critique: Animation in Dancing

 (This was an email to a friend critiquing and trying to solve the problems in their animation assignment, enjoy and I hope it gives insight for those of you who seek it)

       So first I'll tell you how bad it is.. Then I'll tell you how bad it is specifically. all the while showing solutions and the thinking behind my decisions. Bc no body wants to read about someone JUST talking shit... ppl want their intellect stimulated.. along with a side of shit talking. haha

      Your animation is 75% there. But 25% kills the whole piece because I can see and feel some parts where it does not move physically realistic. But 75 percent of it does move right and that's not a bad thing :) Some parts are actually very nice.. and I could definitely see that some parts you either haven't touched or you do not know what decision to make and your just moving stuff for the sake of moving it...  
      Biggest flaw in your animation is: You move in diagonals and not arcs most of the time...

      -So about animation. Ima tear apart your root (which is the bottom of the torso, around the hips).
-From frames X13-X18  (X means frame in our lil animation world) 
      Your body is lifted in a way where it is not realistically possible. No way your toes can lift a body up. You must try to get the body over the LEG so that the balls of the feet and the body are more lined up. YOU get to chose whether thats the right foot you want to favor or the left. Your Frame X10 works just fine. but it's when you raise your body up you get unbalanced.. such as frame X14. So these drawings show one solution: stay over the screen right leg.

      The other solution would be to go immediately over the screen Left leg and then raise up. You would have to dip the body and already start moving to the Left around X11 so that at least by X15 you are above your Screen Left leg and are just raising straight up bc your weight is centred and the other leg is there helping as well. This might all be sounding confusing but all I am doing is describing arcs. Simple :)

-Frames X83-X87 
      looks like he's doing some chris angel magician floating shit. haha Maybe it's like that in your reference but this doesn't cut it visually here on a 2D screen with CG characters. In the next drawing is a solution.

-Frames X106-X110  
      You are fine... but then your root (body) slows down magically in mid air by X114 and then the next two frames after X114 you speed up again to land. no no no..  like a bouncing ball your spacing must reflect the physics of the movement. A ball does not slow down as it is past it's apex. If your slow down was meant to be 'hang time' well it comes too late. :P

( For those who do not know what the 'Bouncing Ball" reference is: it's all the tiny baby poo fundamentals of animation in one assignment called the "bouncing ball". always to be referenced for animation 101)

    Your other jumps that come after kind of do the same as they land the spacing gets a lil muddy just like the first. Remember the spacing is greatest before it lands. Just like a bouncing ball and we are just talking about your root. If this root's spacing and arcs is off, forget about getting good spacing/arcs on shoulders, head, arms, knees, you might be able to fake it and force good spacing on the rest of these body parts, but like i said, you would be forcing... and not letting it happen on it's own. Think of it like sex :)

-Frame X160-X163 
      You go straight up... then from frame X163 to X170 you do some levitation wizard shit. DIAGONALLY. so you go straight up with a diagonal, you know what your are giving me a triangle... no bueno.. gimmie some sort of sexy arc here. Here is a aLL in one example. Look at my arc of the line I drew. see how my root and head roughly follow it? and I even saw that you tried to do some overshoot at the end. Very nice, but it doesn't work because the movement before does not flow into it. Movement especially dance is like water, every arc and graceful movement must flow into the next, just a bunch of smooth slow in and ease outs with some sexy arcs slapped on for structure.


    -Next I will only talk about your head. it just needs to either lead or overlap correctly. always having some sort of arc.. Once your arcs on your root are set then you will be fine bc your head will be riding off those arcs. I'm only going to give you one example and I hope it is clear enough were you can apply it to the rest of the piece. Lets use the last Frames X160 to X17Oish... I will just draw it...

     This will never work with the root you have now. but it will work once you fix it. you see how the head is dragging as it comes up and as it goes down? and them comes up at the end? 

frames X90 -X99 
     Also is a place where your head kills me :(  I bet you graph editor has two knots. One around 90 and one around X99 and it is pretty linear diagonal. that will explain the evenness in it's movement (mechanical) pull out some handles to get me an ease in or an ease out. USE THOSE HANDLES WOMAN :) add some texture to that head move. Maybe starts fast and ends slow or vice versa! or something! Throw a dog a bone here. haha

     I hope this helps a little. Remember these are not the only way to do things and this is HOW I would try to fix them. There are other ways. My way is by no means the best way or the only way. 
     When you first come out of your blocking the root and the head should be your first priority. And it might not be enough to just get it smooth. SMOOTH from now on does not exist in your vocabulary. Smooth is replaced with arcs and ease ins and ease outs. :) all this info should be nothing new and be stuff you already know but are learning how to apply

     Best of luck and do share this with ------ and the others. they might really benefit from it. bc you guys should be really trying to help each other. It's WAAY easier to solve other peoples work than your own. 

-Daniel Gonzales

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