Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Animation 102: General Polishing Notes..

     So here is an email of a critique I wrote out. I thought it had some useful elements  to it and decided to share! Context: They is about to wrap up on this and has a little less than a week to finish. So I pointed out the major things that catch my eye and overlook the little things so they can make the best use of their time... enjoy

Hi _______,

     Lets get down to business shall we? I'll try not to be that harsh :)

     So, contrast... everything needs some sort of contrast, it just makes things look texturally more interesting, agree? So your animation is great, but as bad ass as it is, in the beginning it's still sort of, smushy, water smooth... (and I understand he's sneaking) but none the less the characters movement is a bit swimmy.

     The Culprit: The FLASH LIGHT. The flash light moves way too much and at the same pace and style as the body, if you would just view the flash light and hide the body, it will look like the hand of someone high, or drunk, or just someone waaay too relaxed. It has tooo much over-lap (up and down), the head and the body go up and down already, no need to go overkill and do the flash light as well, it's like you want me to watch your assignment while nodding my head up and down the whole time. if you're more a percentage kind of girl, I would tell you to take it 80% down...

     Solution: Hold it reletively still in the direction it is in now, towards the opposite wall where he is heading towards. and if you are feeling daring even put a lil frequency vibration in it to show shaking, but DONT MAKE IT look like he has tremors! This will contrast the slow cat like movement of the body. make it look like he's holding the Flash light with a purpose and not hold it as if it was a prop.

     POSES: On frame X78 is very natural and realistic. Not bad, but tell me one thing...  which one is better.... im just asking.. you know... just take a look and let me know...

        You see? Just always push things a little more and make sure you are selling the pose. Never forget to check if your silhouette value is the best and clearest it can be. Is it telling the whole story? is it appealing? What might it be mistaken as? how do i make it fool proof? And don't start saying that it's not physically possible with the model. "but Dannny, it wont let me, It doesn't want to bend that way, it's too hard..."  FORCE IT. Do not compromise with the computer, do not meet it half way, don't let it decide how far you can push your art. It does what you tell it to do, don't pitty it. The moment you start to let it tell you who's boss, that's when we all lose and then movies like Terminator 2 and the Matrix become reality. Always keep the computer in check. :) It's just waiting for you to let down your guard..... haha

Frame X78- X104
       After you hit that pose you start to turn, BUT EVERYTHING TURNS WITH EACH OTHER FAIRLY AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!! You do have a teeny weenie bit of an off set, but that's only because I had to look for it. How about you hold the head staring towards Screen Left for a while longer and hold the flash light there too. Make the body turn first then around X92 start the head turn, try that out see if it feels right and adjust accordingly. Break it up, make it feel natural.

       Ok this next one is a big one, you might hate me but i can afford you to hate me, what you CANNOT afford is sub par problem solving skills!
-Flip through Frames X105 to X110.. then continue flipping to X115. Doesn't it look like he's bouncing off those boxes? Like in a bad action film sort of way? X110, that character definitely broke it's back on those boxes.. I drew something that might help you out:

      So you see what I did, I also moved your last pose a little screen left. This way not only is it a reaction, but VISUALLY he is moving away from the ghost as well. It makes the head ARC less spontaneous and it's easier to follow along with the eyes. But that means reworking the animation before and after it and making it work, re-look at the physics my pose change demands and make it work. it's going to be tough but try it out. It will definitely be challenging.

     Your ending
, I'm going to acknowledge it's subjective. Because I too watched cartoons when I was younger I could recognize what you were doing (scared stiff and the fainting) but if I was living in a cave my whole life or from Antarctica, I would have no freaking idea what the hell was going on, "he stopped, then moves again and stops again... then he MOVES again to fall down... and then the ghost looks at me??" WTF is going ON!!!!!!????? lol. your animation is nice. I'm just letting you know you are relying on the audiences background knowledge of cartoons to sell your idea.

      So I hoped this helped you out, Let me know how it goes, your animation is very nice and it doesn't look messy at all. Good job staying organized. Notice how most of my notes were on choices and not fundamentals. That's perfect since you are in the polish stage. If you would like me to check it out again let me know and I'll gladly do it. Touch on these notes then I can look deeper into your timing and spacing after there is nothing to distract my eye. Keep on going!

-Daniel Gonzales


  1. first time I saw it, I only noticed he was kinda floaty, didn't notice the flashlight, but now that you mention it, yea, you're totally right.

    btw, you ____ his name on the text but the video's title has the animator's name

  2. well, most people wouldn't of caught that but thanks for putting it on BLAST... lol