Action Analysis for Animators by Chris Webster - Ebook download as PDF File . pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. In-depth illustrations, photographs and. Elsevier Focal Press, p. ISBN Action Analysis is one of the fundamental princples of animation that underpins. Get Instant Access to Action Analysis For Animators By Chris Webster #0b EBOOK EPUB site PDF. Read Download.

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Action Analysis is one of the fundamental princples of animation that underpins all types of animation: 2d, 3d, computer animation, stop motion, etc. This is a. This is a fundamental skill that all animators need to create polished, believable animation. An example of Action Analysis would be Shrek's swagger in the film. Walt Stanchfield “Action Analysis”: By Walt Stanchfield. PDF produced by 2. Action Analysis. FOR THE ACTION ANALYSIS.

An example of Action Analysis would be Shrek's swagger in the film, Shrek. The animators clearly understood through action analysis the type of walk achieved by a large and heavy individual the real and then applied their observations to the animated character of an ogre the fantastic. It is action analysis that enabled the animation team to visually translate a real life situation into an ogre's walk, achieving such fantastic results.

Key animation skills are demonstrated with in-depth illustrations, photographs and live action footage filmed with high speed cameras. Detailed Case Studies and practical assignments ground action analysis methodology with real life examples.

Action Analysis for Animators is a essential guide for students, amateurs and professionals. Table of Contents Introduction Why analyse action? The value of action analysis to animators. Sports science, anatomical study. Animation Principles Webster's Four? A's of Animation.

Automated systems for the capture and analysis of movement. Author s Bio Chris Webster is an animator who has worked for twenty years in the industry and has extensive experience as an educator teaching across a broad range of levels from schools, higher education and professional training programmes and within the studio environment.

Request an e-inspection copy. Share this Title. Born in in Beaune, Burgundy, Marey came from a purely scientifc background.

His early work was concerned with blood circulation and cardiovascular research. His frst eforts into motion study were to record movement through the mechanical and graphic representation of that movement. The sphygmograph pulse writer of was a highly sensitive device that could register and record the pulse in the wrist of the person wearing it. The mechanical clockwork action of the sphygmograph, coupled to a stylus, provided a graphic readout of the pulse.

From these early graphs Marey was able to analyze the heart condition of the patient on which it was used. His work in this feld gained wide acceptance in clinical circles, and his research soon found practical applications.

Mareys work then progressed from cardiovascular research into the investigation of the movement of muscles and the measurement of fatigue. Once again, he created a number of instruments for recording through graphic means of movement within both the human body and those of animals.

He also created a series of artifcial animals and organs, including an artifcial heart, lungs, and circulatory system; a mechanical insect; and a mechanical bird. As with his earlier devices, each registered the objects movements through graphic readouts.

As a result of seeing Muybridges work, Marey began to explore the use of photography in his research. Unlike Muybridge, who used multiple cameras, Marey worked with a single camera and began to develop a single high-speed camera capable of capturing the motion of birds. This device became the now-famous photographic gun. The intricate mechanics of the gun provided by highly skilled watchmakers enabled him to capture the frst high-speed photography of birds in fight.

Marey chose to use the process of chronophotography for the study of the dynamics of the human fgure in motion. This process entails capturing multiple images on a single frame of flm, creating the necessary sequence The Study of Motion of motion. Although Mareys photography has an aesthetic quality to it and could be described as beautiful, these artistic aspects were not the purpose of the work.

Performance And Acting For Animators

He returned again and again to the interpretation of movement. Placing high-visibility marks at strategic points on a fgure or an animal and using chronophotography rather than a number of individual images, he was better able to trace the arcs of movement of specifc parts of a fgure in motion.

This technique predates the use of such methods in motion-capture devices by almost a hundred years. Mareys research and his scientifc approach to recording, reproducing, and analyzing motion made a valuable contribution to both cardiology and aviation. His devices not only measured the movement in running fgureshe studied wave patterns and the velocity of currents, and he created aquaria for the study of fsh and fuids as well as wind tunnels for the study of air fow and turbulence over vanes and wings.

Indeed, it was through his study of wings that the theory of fight and its application to early powered fight were better understood. Though Marey did not live to see mans frst powered fight, the pioneering aviators the Wright brothers publicly acknowledged Mareys infuence on their work.

Generally the producers of the early forms of animation needed little by way of reference material, since the animation was so simplistic. Demand for animation was very high from audiences that were intrigued by animations novelty factor, which meant that audiences were satisfed with rather crude forms of cartoon animation.

Action Analysis for

As funny or as charming as they may have been, these early flms did not rely on the quality of the animation to sell them. This approach to animation production was perfectly suited to many studios that were happy to produce work quickly and cheaply with little regard to raising standards.

Other studios and individual animators sought to make improvements to further the art form and, perhaps more important, to secure audience loyalty to particular characters and to ensure fnancial security. The greatest of all these early animators was Winsor McCay. Although he wasnt engaged in formal study of action analysis, McCay clearly had a good understanding of dynamics and animation timing whereas others were struggling to simply make things move.

He achieved believable action in his characters, including actions of which the audience had little or no frst-hand experience. How a Mosquito Operates and Gertie the Dinosaur remain masterpieces of animation timing.

They arrived at a time when many studios were struggling with the problem of creating enough animated product to satisfy the market.

McCays high-quality animation was not to be equaled until Walt Disney began work on Snow White almost 25 years later. One pioneering studio that did much to employ action analysis as a way to improve the standard of the animation they produced was the Fleischer Brothers Studios.

The studio became famous for producing many of the early stars of animation, including Action Analysis for Animators Popeye the Sailor, Betty Boop, and, later, Superman. However, it was while they were producing an earlier series of flms, Out of the Inkwell, featuring Koko the Clown, that they developed the rotoscope. Invented by Max Fleischer and patented in , the rotoscope was a mechanical device and process for capturing realistic movement through the recording of live action and then utilizing the live-action footage as a template for making animated motion.

The results were spectacular, with Koko moving across the screen in a completely naturalistic and realistic manner, something that no other animated character had done before.

But although the work of Fleischer Studios was remarkable, they were simply not in the same league as the Disney Studios. No text on the study of motion for animation would be complete without mentioning the work of Disney. From its earliest days, this studio did more than any other to develop and promote animation as an art form.

Disneys approach to action analysis might not have been as in-depth as the scientifc research of Marey or as extensive in its recording of movement as Muybridge, but Disney Studios were without doubt the most important contributors in terms of the development of action analysis and the study of motion specifcally for animation.

In this regard it could be argued that Disney made a more valuable contribution to the study of dynamics for animation. During preparations for the studios frst feature, Snow White, audience demands for more naturalistic movement really began to grow. It was clear from the results of an earlier production, The Goddess of Spring , that the animators still had some way to go before more naturalistic animation would become achievable more consistently.

Although the Goddess flm acted as a vehicle to develop more believable motion of human fgures, it was necessary to go further. In the early s the studios animators, led by Disney himself, started to regularly analyze the results of their pencil tests in meetings that became known as sweatbox sessions. The entire studio went to great lengths to improve the action and standards of animation, which would soon include direct observation of action.

Action Analysis for Animators by Chris Webster

By Disney decided to employ the services of the art teacher Don Graham to improve his animators drawing standards. They instigated regular life drawing classes and later would include the frst- hand study of animals. Disney was also determined that the studio address issues of more believable animation applied to all elements, not just the character-based work.

You can grab a hand gesture from take two, use the eyes from take four, and be inspired by something the actor does with his head in take seven when the director picked take two as the final select for the film. How much movement an actor gives to the camera when recording varies from actor to actor. However, even an actor who isn't gesturing with his hands can be helpful for facial expressions. Very often the rhythm of the dialogue will greatly influence the rhythm of the shot and provide a framework.

However, it is up to the animator to "compose" the character's movement.

Punctuating every verbal note with a body movement is messy and confusing -- too many notes. I generally find things that have a very regular rhythm are not that interesting. It's important to create a push and pull and manipulate the rhythm to keep the shot interesting. A good script, a good actor, and a really fun dynamic read? Give me that and I am as happy as a clam. It helps me to focus on the fact that no matter what these characters are, I should be getting inside their heads, and I should be treating them like a character that I would be acting.

You have to be acting, or the characters are just going to be designs. You want to be looking at a character from many different angles, just as an actor would. A good actor would be thinking about not only the external character, but the internal one as well. Let's say the character is a teenage cow. I am going to think about what makes this character not only a cow but inherently teenager.

Maybe he's very gawky and awkward. Visually, I might want to give him these long appendages, a high center of gravity and oversized hooves -- like a pubescent teen whose hormones are out of wack.

I think it is important to continue to study acting, because acting is in design as well as in animation. Once a design is done, a good animator, if he's a good actor, is going to make that design come to life. If the character designer is a good actor to begin with, he's going to make the animator's job that much easier. It is pretty obvious what the character needs to do if it has to perform for a commercial. On that level we are just concerned with how it should move.

For a bar of soap, I would just do thumbnail drawings, and for a more complicated character I would act it out myself.

The commercial jobs are generally not story driven and there isn't time for character transformation. We just go for what is entertaining. About three years ago we did a spot for cranberry nut cereal. We had to do a tango between a cranberry and an oat flake. We tried to do it ourselves but none of us could actually tango.

So we brought in a couple of tango dancers and video taped them which was helpful. However, in most cases we don't have to bring in live models. We can find reference on tape. One of things that I think makes a good animator or helps people animate better is to have a kinesthetic sense.

A sense of your body allows you to pose characters and perform while you are sitting there in front of the computer motionless except for your hand. Like music, timing and a sense of structure in the timing of the animation is also very important. The best way to improve your animation is to develop your sense of pacing and timing. There might be something about a particular walk cycle that really feels good because it has that underlying musical structure.

You might not be able to explain it when you see one piece of animation versus another but that's why something looks better. I haven't taken acting classes.

At Blue Sky we have brought in on several occasions acting teachers. Hopefully we can do some more work with them in the future. I found it helpful. We tend to get bogged down on the technical side of animation but I think we definitely need to get more abstract and understand more about what the actor's thought process is.

Up until recently you had to drop out the subtle stuff and just go for broad gestures but with computer animation advancements there is some amazingly subtle stuff going on with the characters. It will be interesting to see who becomes a really good animator and what skills are really valued. The people who are good at acting and can convey the subtleties that you get from good live-action actors will have opportunities to shine.

The people who are good animators have a mixture of having the visual eye and sensitivity toward the process of acting itself. Daniel Robichaud Vice President of Creative Development, Vivid Animation It is a well-known fact, at least within the animation community, that character animation is a form of acting, and you act through your character. This is why for instance in my film Tightrope, when it was time to assign a lead animator for each of the two characters, I wanted to make sure that the personalities of the lead animators would be similar to the characters that they would have to animate.

It is a general rule that for any type of a performance you need to put yourself into the skin of your virtual character and be it.

You need to be a good behavior analyst. I think if there is a common denominator to the different personalities that I have encountered among character animators, it would be that they all have an integral sense of observation. I believe that keen observation is the most important skill to have because after that it is only a question of assimilating, analyzing and understanding what you have remembered from observing and then applying it to your craft.

When I am setting up a character, I am aware of what the character is supposed to do mechanically, but it is always surprising to me, seeing it actually moving and coming to life.

I am mostly involved in the technical issues. The people that actually design the characters come to me and ask if this is a character that is feasible to do in 3D and then we discuss which areas of the character are more complicated than others in those terms. I had a company that produced video games, visual fx, commercials and motion-capture. It's very easy to overestimate what can be done with motion-capture.

Take Disney's 12 rules of animation, squash and stretch for example. How can that rule be followed by a human performer? A lot of clients came to us asking us to produce cartoon characters using motion-capture.

They don't seem to notice we can't do that unless you have a magical performer. When humanoid characters are required, motion-capture can be useful. For example in Michael Jackson's Ghost, obviously it was better to capture the actual motions of Michael Jackson than have an animator try to replicate that. In many video games you usually have one person performing for each one of the characters in the game.

Games playback resolution is still low compared to video. This is due to hardware limitations, so basically the real-time characters usually end up with no personality.

1st Edition

When I had my studio, I found that most clients really underestimated the value of having a good director and a good performer. They would have one of their programmers do the motion. Nobody on the client's side would be directing. For video games you can maybe still get away with that but for commercials or visual fx that is really not acceptable.

Motion-capture turns animation into a director's medium whereby it's more like a live-action shoot. Motion-capture is more like pantomime than it is like acting. You have to overemphasize. Like acting in other medias, the performer has to interpret the character, mood, emotion, and purpose of the character for that script line.

Sometimes our clients bring in a director or we direct. The directors have to somehow be conditioned to understand the limitations of motion-capture.The animator is responsible for a particular scene in which he or she animates all of the action in that scene, all of the various characters, and when they finish that scene they get another scene.

Notice also how many drawings there are in each bounce. That's why the animator has to get to know the character, so that not only can they perform when they hear the voice of the actor, but they can also perform when there aren't any voice or timing cues. For me, as an animator, some of the most important things that you have to know in order to come up with a believable performance is knowing the story inside and out, where the character is coming from, and where the character is going.

The secondary elements hair, clothing, fat are following-through on the primary element, and overlapping its action. Disneys approach to action analysis might not have been as in-depth as the scientifc research of Marey or as extensive in its recording of movement as Muybridge, but Disney Studios were without doubt the most important contributors in terms of the development of action analysis and the study of motion specifcally for animation. This may free up the animators to deal exclusively with movement, dynamics, and, most important of all, performance.