Blocking – 2nd Pass

[vimeo 103082929  h=350]
My mentor liked the way I had Shot 3 so I didn’t make any major changes, just continued refining and fleshing out the whole sequence.

I spent a day at the start of the week framing through some progression reels trying to figure out where and how they’re pushing stuff. How far things are pushed can greatly affect the style of the animation. A lot of Jeff Gabor‘s stuff on Epic is almost frame-for-frame reference to animation, lending to a very naturalistic style. Whereas his work on the much more cartoony Horton Hears a Who is pushed to the max.  I’m going for something in the middle but probably closer to the naturalistic.

Pushing things means exaggeration. Exaggeration in timing (longer holds, faster moves), spacing, poses, appeal, simplicity. But after watching a few progression reels, the things I saw pushed the most were the anticipations and the holds. So I’m trying to get a bit of that into my piece.

I think it’s easy to get into mocap territory if you follow reference to closely, which is fine for VFX work but for feature animation I find it off-putting and kind of beside the point of animation itself. The beauty of animation is in its design principles. It’s an abstraction, not reality. I think Gabor gets away with staying so close to his reference in Epic because he has such an appealing way of acting on camera. He knows how to use his body and his face and how to move in a way that translates well into animation. I can’t say the same for myself, so I’m going to have to push things even to get a naturalistic performance that still has an animated feel.

Anyway, from here my plan is to attack each shot individually, taking them into spline. I’m gonna set Shot 1 aside for now and start with Shot 2, just because I probably wont get through the whole sequence before the semester is over and I’d rather get my mentor’s help on Shots 2 onwards.

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