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HOW TO MAKE ANIMATED FILMS
u COMPLETE b WHITE'S N Y MASTERCLASS ON THE
RADITIONAL PRINCIPLES ANIMATION OF
An animation apprenticeship - the way f h e p s wed to l i d
HOW TO MAKE ANIMATED FILMS
T R A n l T l O h i h l P l l I N i 11'1 t 5 t ) t 4 N l h l A 1 I O N
Tony White's Complete Masterclass on the Traditional Principles of Animation
An animation apprenticeshipthe way the pros used to do it!
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AMSTERDAM BOSTON HFIDFLBbRG ' LONDON. NFW YORK. OXFORI PARIS SAN DIEGO. SAN FRANCISCO. SINGAPORE SYDNEY. TOKYO Focal Press 1s an ~mprtnt Elsev~er of
Focal Press is an imprint of Elsevier 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400. Burlington, MA 01803, USA Linacre House,Jordan Hill,Oxford OX2 8DP. UK
0 2009Tony White. Published by Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
No part ofthis publ~cat~on be reproduced, stored In a retrieval system, or may rransm~tted any form or by any means,electron~c,mechan~cal, In photocopying, record~ng, otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher or Permissions may be sought directlyfrom Elsevier's Science&Technology Rights Department in Oxford, UK: phone: (+44) 1865 843830,fax: [+a41 1865 853333, E-mail: permissions@elsev~ercom.You may also complete your request online via the Eisevier homepage ihttp://elsevier.com). by selecting "Support & Contact" then"Copyright and PermissionUand then "Obtaining Permlssions."
Recognizing the importance of preserving what has tIeen written, Elst ~ts books on acid-free paper whenever possible. Libraryof Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data White. Tony, 1947How to make animated films : Tony White's complete masterclasson thetraditional principles of animation /Tony White. p. cm. "An animation apprenticeship-the waythe pros used to do it!" Includes bibliographical referencesand Index. ISBN 978-0-240-81033-1 (pbk.: alk, paper) 1. Animated filmsTechnique. 2. Animation (Cinematography) I. Title. II. Tltle: TonyWhite's complete masterclass on the traditional principles of animation. Ill. Title. Masterclass on the traditional principles of animation. NC1765.W49 2009 741.5'8-dc22 2009005710 British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data Acata 0g.e recora for I n s oook 1 8 ava ,a0 e from tne Br ? sn Llorary ISBN: 978-0-240-81033-1
For information on all Focal Press publications visit our website a t wwwbooks.eiseviercom
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First Your Own Personal Animation Course
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10-StepFoundationCourse Key, Breddown, and In-BetweenPositions Creating the Breakdown Position Top PegstBanomPegs Charting Explained In-Betweening
PART 1: Howto Be an Animator
CreatingKey Positions......-....-..u.-.......-..-.----..... 8 -........-.........--.u..-.......-.--
12 :.. . ..-.. "..........--..-.......................................... 17
.-.-. 19 Flippingas Opposed to Rolling................................... ".".".-....-.-..-..-.--.--.-.-. 22 Arcs a d hths of Action i....-.....-...-..-..-.-. 2 .
Timing and the Spdeing d Drawings SuggestedReading.................... Assignment 1.........................................................................................;...u -...: ...
hsterclass E The Bounclng Ball ........................-....uu ...........................,... "
Weight, Mass, and Flexibility Gravity and the Path of Action
Key Pasltions................................;............................... . ...............................
Squash ........................., . Timing
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Testing the Walk The Upper Body Assignment 3
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Yip and Shouldw Rotation
OverlappingAcUon on the Hands..,. ,,., , --
........................ "..-..-......w..-.".v.......---.-v.....--......-.77 .r. ,
Qverlapp~ng Action on the H e d, ~- ~ - ! , . + Rotation on the Head...-....-.....
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rt liming and Variati~a&?servaion and Reference Fogoae t
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PART 2: HOW to Make an Animated Film. &
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k m Productionn Character Design.-:
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Film Production 4:Thumbnails ...Assfgnment
FHm Production 5: ~ m y b. .a . . .r .. o . r d
Final . . . . . . Check
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Film Production 6: FWmmaklngTechniques..
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Film Production 8: Animatic and Bacher Boards Back
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6ilm Produaion 11: Audio Breakdown~ - . . , - - , , , . ? i 2 1
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mrn Production 17: ScanninIIIFc;....~~.~.-.....-.~w~ "-w.........-.,.-,.....-...-.......... 367 ," .-...--w------.-..-..v.-, 369 llfte FlddWde S a nw Area ......--A,------cn i -2-b 4 b n n e rS ~ Z ~ ~ ~ . A ~371
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erefore, humbly lay out before you what oxpuiencesand hope that this book will assist y w to discover finer and more assured ways of finding your voice.
d v ~ m f ~ ~ & & r o ~ r / r e l l all+ Beyondfilms likethese, made, tMfyub& saentsto reqwgitatethesame timd, old snlpt and visualf m i a s d%+Wmn, Md'rrlrsady &edamirmnt thlrodimtnsional(3D) anlmaion ~ ~ m b e g ~ & f l n d a m k e N t i n t k e m d m m m . T h e mly w%pWoWo @is wend is the mwcurialand ever-innovativePixar studio, the mntrerentfiim ofofhioh W, took a ddCnitetwn toward something wcn m o r a i n h ~ u t w n d t h ache?iiod3hrine br'good things: t %e k * \wod&thatis arwnd andthat offers anything there k wry Rnk & b e new rrdedcing tcx the pdesional animator wlth any degree Of consistency. Tkwdsrrgivwjuv%Bconsider new ground for exploration-that is, if the industry is to grow and thrive and the animators of tomorrow are to find a corswwmthy dthe name. One alpa that has most definitely grown and thrimd, nfcoupmkihsgarrm&sed animation kdusty. It now represents nd spprcsttubks~lrca income bran aspiring, of ywnprc;irt.tar,and a s e n j n r k r ~ ~ n outpaces thelanguishing world well d5kreol.mdRMcammbwad pMductionworld (h., movias,TV. . o fact,l a W thathe g a w industry 1 now t m s music inchmy fw the hrwerld's largest producer of
&me, b u t ~ m r ~ e n o u g h innavcvtivc movies of note have , ~ g gracedowscrms in w a t t yam, such as HayaoMlyazaWs5phitcdAway and Jl)vnrOI& f t $ l c l s ~ ~ . T h c f e f i I mseem cut from & d h n t s ~fromthec~Rhns,Lndit mgaltyBbws.llwknp mybeliefIn real '
So what constimesa'pmfsrsional'animator in this day and age?Certainly, modern animators needtqbt more chameleon and even somewhat schizophrenicwhen it comes to their chosen career path. Contemporary animatorstend to be more nomadic as well, often havlng to trawl far and wide to where the work IS for much of the time.They have to be significantly more versatile too-working in the games industry one moment, the Web animation Industrythe next and on feature film entertainmentwhen they are lucky. Occasionally an animated Cqrnmercial will became an opportunity, butproduction in that field IS a pale&adw ofwhaxit was in the 1970s and 1980svytren I was able to perfect my craft and both volume and creativity nd of goldenage in the United Ktngdom through the work of u#mtors such as RichardWlams, Oxar Griilo, Eric Goldberg, uwl,ofmurse, the remarkshle bib inmy gwn An~mus Productions studlo, a s it once was called. Mistic abillty In cartoon r t y b o l o n e W t cut it anymore. Modem enhators, whether they use two-dimmkmti ED), 30,clay, or cut-out styles, seem to be
~ h o who &r a
what t%qcan a & % ~ t ~ w l
ew a t h e
I have tried'kb rcMkethis ~'btfnmuctlon
f i l r n e d I ~ m l ~ ( 0 on the accqpmyhg&&'&Wll n s havt#yan a w w l degree-level a c a h t y d-?Jwt IS a ampmhemiw an$rraksbc mntroduct~on wbat w & M , n q & . to wondew artforrnttwwM has ever known. It w i ! 4 i l l r r + W ~ . h v q $ p
Of Cwmthslaa norulrrUanek a wlktrucruredand mpmhensive l p W ~ ~ C s uathewtAy innpited pFognm we pmvlde at c h hmItYtltiff.dTedntdoqy. ~ a s ~ ~trgtheouoitanding t e d s W d b n t ~ s h o m tMs book~ndorifheOVD lest there be those who in
hrvcdalba!)Howcvar,Iflyoudm'tha9.swhm omanding animation
~ b f & ~ w h c r r y w r ~ ~ o r p u q u l l c s k n afttaliordonein ply
thin utrirntcconwnkcbwe,tbb bodtwill be MI answer t ail your prayers! o A shdulel pmvtdeyou w l t . h ~ m o r t bookldislc-ba& course ~ m ~
aret,eav&Ing t h d c o r e ~ o l i c h % k a n i m movcmcnt, butwlth a ~d -*& I n t %hat rddnsrast modem reality k d f h . m worlet MdltEaRaWy,ar wll ssteu&hg you how to become anMimotaraa[so guirkesyou through the animation productionpmcess too.m@u haw the mpbihy of turningeach one of yourfilm- or gamesbuad&ymg &to a (NoWThe actualproductionprocess of creating wU~k??dy&hdc.hoth andgamer is pretty rimi~rowrall. fdrn Consequently, p an ~ n $ l n g l qne9ongly prep8r.w you for a sound appriution in the ohm
~ i ~ M e l r C ~ a r e d ~ h ~ I plannedkn reveal years and is the s b e e r d n i d p r i t o f ~ i ~ u ~ Iret out to EreaZemany w s ago. The Wlogy l r MI?#& L W d & d e k [ &this DRK&~as the daftnlt)ve-inner's ~ g u ~ t a ~ , " w l r % . t h ~ o ~tertbbtlm, h€ k'h sartsbll'wd Itselfas t&bf&s fbrt4adrin~ the m&ssional and academic in i w~ k ~ ~ ~ : ~lkh&s s i fbrbgltal~nlmaton s c a ~ more reM#lrraalltkishtndonal moterialtothe next lewl, by prwiding the
AddWmdly,shouldyou wlsh lo take your home-rChooRnga M i n s to the nsxt I , might want t vfsk my DesMopAcademy webdte(www. d you e deskpmdmycorn)where, lbr a lMe crrn invcmnoqyau ern nceive my pc~~nsl critiquesand feedbackfeftheworkyau submitfmn t h a w by-mgeaarlgmncnrs Io f k in &Is baok.ttw can wen bP-gradedfor thew, earning aBdWcowprd myewn'CefMcmof AnkMtd Excelbnce,"whkh is
the courtework provided cannot study the material LCR1IM~.Wtf~TtIWhaisConEainedhwpshoddghreyouall the WtkBmtion and instructkwpmwlll e w r needto b s c m a solid animator &#mmaker in your wclls~reachacompetllrathatcmbe aabraced by the film, ktuhMes as a whole.
50, i you dream of becMnlngan a f not take this bock home ilhdjump stfaI@ht yMsr s hto t W IaimOI,a f course, guaranteethat this coursewill absolutelygive you a job at F%ar or D~sney at Nmtendo, ArcnaNet ~~, (of W a Wt an the talents you bring to your& thetcnaertyyaaapplyR M W w R h it and the p~wrnality you,proj@ct whm you cvpnrwlly appfy for pwstths. However, what Ican assureyou is that if you follow the staBcbyatrge instrudlons contained here, you will haw a proksslonal-lavclk o nw In animation.To make thlngs a easy a I can,Iwilltalk you through all thc s s core techniques and approaches you w01 need In a way that Is simpleto understand and methodical in its p r o w . Iwill give you tangtblc o n m examples of cvmylhhg YOU Reed t6 &&We, as well a imNayou on the s process of putting this all together in the form of an animated produalon. How to lMakeAnimcmdFilms will make the entireplaten a b m l n g the f principlesof animation and filmmaking so mrwhWioeac~~~tible to you in your home-bawd envlmnment, and y d even b e a k to rnak good, old-fashioned "cartoon"films ifthat s1 1reFA*g.lryour ambitlon at* end t1 of it all!
...A ~ e a l i t y Check
There is a popular misconception that animation is easy. It is not. In reality, the process of animation is far from easy! Becoming an animator demands a great deal of focus, tenacity, commitment, and determination,as well as the ability to simply sit still, in one place, for a long period of time, until you achieve what you are determined to achieve. It also requires initial capable artistic ability.That said, if you can commit all these qualities to your studies, and you can confidently wield a pencil (or a mouse or Wacom pen) to achieve what is required here, and you can be patient in everything you do and seek to do,
there b a b d u t d y na mason whatsoever why you cannot become an expert anhator andior filmrnahr m the fullness of timal Easy, it ain't. (But what in thtswori$l I m h haulng if It isn't hard to gchiew?)At the same time, who s ~ W t & I t ~ ~ m be fun! What lies ahead is most + ~ n " t d c t F n h : & f u ~ i s , 1CpuSlamthe he&& the will, and rhe passton to see the hsrd parts through to the very cndl
Your Own Personal Animation Course
Welcome to your very own anlmatioil textbook and DVD classroom! Within the covers of this book you should find just about everyth~ng you'll ever need to study to master the art of animated movement forthe modern world.You witlalso discowr ?hatonce you have masteredthe core principlesof anlmated mCwenK.M you will euen learn how to make a film. contribute to a game, or creaP#ap+o@edyovrcwn ~fyou Itke. Uniikegwmgto a recognrzed school, you will be l?aMng on your own, at your own pace, and at the times that M t suit you. An added bunus Is that it wgli be far cheaper for you to learn anirnatlon this way, although Istress that the path Is somewhat harder if you M t have a knowledgeable, expeiiencd profeswonalteacher to gulde you
(Andyes, metlmes to bullyyou along whenew thatb necessary!)That said, with all thecourrewbNclakd outln thb boakyau s k o u l d j m t i t u t be able to find an ant preny much every questionyou're eva~ o tlkly to ask about the techniques and producth process af a . m Kyw should want further pmksional~teuel feedback, however, you will bl M e to obtain online critiques of your assignment work and even receive published recognlrion at the suceesskrl c&pWtion of your degree-level assignmentwork, ifyau rechoose. [Deaakdtlriscan beobta+d in Appendix 2.)
2D Or Not 2D?-That Is the Question
The first thing p u nnDteasyowtbok through your own^^ in animation is that mast dW primary lessons and asQmBno5 we eppmachcd from a tradlttond two-dimensional (2D) mifmtion vtwpoht
That isokay, don't pmld Although drawlng 20 anlmattm msynamHksm unnecessacy challenge, andmany people these days a n o n c o u r l y ~ thattraditbnad 20 animstionh a h a r t form, IwouidPrh?lse~thf&Fhc v y bast xhoots of animafion still teach traditional anenwionas 1 <or@ e foundatton that everythingelse Is built on.Th~s for a jwtihabk mason. Is
w lullthe boa way of studyingthe core princlplesrnf marwrwnt.1~0-dimenslonalanimation'sinherentd~scipl~nes reallyundwlinedw pfoces of fame-by-frame movement, and once a student leunscheprrjce~n animation through hmrtngto draw every exercisr of assignm#hhe *she wlltwndoubtedy never forget them!
It is not acoiwdeme that thehrnativeworkof shegnat F%u studio was founded by traditiwd 2D animetarswho where taught what software bunons ta push so t h y could weave their tradit~onal magic through the digital art form. Indeed, many companies-both film-based and gamesbased-prefer to hire 3D computer animators with tradiional2D animation skill ses before they hire computer-skilled-only animators, simply because they know that they have a more comprehensive understanding of the medium, and wirh w a M i f o o r r d e t e to their work, they become more t~ versatile members &the company% animat~on team. Remember, purely "button-pushing"animatcrsare swe.tely limited In terms of thelr artlstlc range and versatility when f&& the mare aesthetic and broadly ranged production challengesthgtare ~ n d b l competitiveworld of snimstrontoday.
2D-based mater~al, euery &rth ade to respect the essent~ai 3D processesthat conrwnpMaryenimamnmd to know when cons~der~ng a world. Consequently, In many cases, career in the modernanlmat~on students can subsmute 3D animam for the 2D animation assignments glven.The Intentionis not to penal~ze potentially wonderful anlmators If they do not have any facilii for drawing in the first placel In truth, the abil~ty demonstrate a ~ ~ & n s w e k n o w l e d g e d a l lthe princ~ples to and techniques of animated m m e n c whether thqare created In a 2D or 3D environment, should ba enough to convTnce a potentla1employer that the animator before them does hdeed"know their stuWThat said, an animaw who can demonstrate an abil~ty both 20 and 3D anirnat~on of in 1 s . .. a higher premium these days than an animat ' '
Prerequisites for Study
*= , ,.
e that is dedl ?&based ex
sanredesrcPfnthe~~ry~lpoloofsrwithwhatfolI0~~ because ~heMtlLtiCdsincr&assihe~praxurkfunhoruplondaiulwecuted.
when all is wid and dona. aNtnatW Is a ab0Stdrrrwlng--you cannot escape A that fact, m r you w nt M w M q fa a and Mmey's aimators$u@ u@se Inother ioyP~fdm game studlor, or ~ l l acknowledge ~ ~ n d i ( & c & p c d t h t 6nkrnongthem come b a b a & m & w arrived! (Actually, homa n . d W a& & many of tluqe top st proJadp,drpumga & ~ e r . ~ - b z n e lnstructlon d
even In a thumbnail 9 b q r h f - a t& h ourput ir thrwgh r 30 ~ . S ~ , # o ottgntAcl.ntb ~ b h~ndered f ~ d 8 n a t ~ ~ ~ n g ~ , jbetteryourdraw~ng I n d t h e abiiity isths betteritwWvm%for you as an enlrmtor. Consequently,it is my most earnest su~gestion as a supplementto rha! tr\a aOAUMkthkbhyou3ladC1alrrrt @ a sqwafa
A BaLstc Iflewkdg~~ Clrssk PrkKlplesof Art of tht
y a o W r t ~ a ~ r a d ~ M . t f ~ s I R h a s p~~pect WhumMMd a r i m a k m m (19ht. tone, dnd color; kput and composition:end perhapswith a more conttrnpary slant, Yllmmaking
presmt, then you do b e @ accept the sacrifice o t long,hwd r d t h a t f k ller ahead dyou
As Isuggested earlier, nothing worth having in this world is easy, and anmation is no exception. Professionally, the world Is extremely competitive. Gwmuhools the D i g i h lnsttlutedTe&ndogy and even popular online counes rrxh as AnimatEen Mentar= tumh-cgour pmkssicnal-level , ~ P B B ~ M S of the hvghest c@p&itity, and theemployment market is mrt infinite rndaiCabrb1ng. Comeqm*, if pu're amhaiDw for asermus career In @nation and think this b k i s a shortcut to your Brofessionalambitions, $ n pu're wrong. The eempDtit4misso~tiff e thesedays that you wiil almost.
tg wmpete with each ~ e v w a t m n of highlytninodwannab? animator& v Thatseaid, what is p r p s e n t d b r a l s e w ~ & i&nut thsmtv principles of @owwnt ttrat youll ever &to know to be a geqd animator, asbng +s p u dwelop the focus, tetqmmmt, and commitment tosee it through to ' s ultimate condusion. At thc othwend afthe rpearum ~f pu're ju* loolring >rfun ways to make your cartoon drawk%lr r n m or want to know how to i a k a short film on your own for friick and farnily,Mnp&UAaclian you need with what qlwva rtac. r, r - r'
may, so y ~ want to be ananimator and are itching to start your first day of u $chool.fo what krnd of equipment will your home-basedcampus need?
The fint re~uir-? require&#*
is&aiy w ' U qeed to k able to axecute everything that Wwd'lku rplJLe taking
Asme peg setu ones on e~ther
I.lk*(k ~ & m e n t n ~ v a r , c O e K o n s c i o u s studentscanalternatively buy a simple three-circular-peg plastic peg bar, which IS quite lnexpensivebut will enable them to use paper that is punched using a standard three-hole office punch. lnexpensivethree-holepeg bars can k obtainedonline fro@ Lightfoot Llmited (www./~ghtfootlt~~qt@.
online animationstore& such as Lightfoot Limited, ~ l t t o e n d ! , ~paay~www.wrtooncolaur.com), Chrmawbur and (m ),will have all Bnds ofanimatbn supplles on order, hduclhg prepunch4 or unpunched animation paper.There are t h r e major papersksthatya,can consider: student-sii paper and 12-field- and 16field.sle paper.
Student-sue paper 1 the wmplest and cheapest pal s ultntranskcerrt(to avold the need fora really bright llghtbox,and, in some case$, nu 13ghtboxat alD o else standard opaque white bond paper that r is usel in most desktop printers or photocopws.The standard student sue In the Un~ted Stater K 8.5 X 1 1 ~ d e and elsovtlere It will probably s be A 4 A4! houghthb Is a very cheap and easy-twbtain paper sire. it does s t g n i n d y limit the dirnenslonsof the drawing surface area, especially if a largescreenfilm production is being attempted. Its huge advantage, however, Is tha9 when a comes to the final Kannlng stages of a film prodoctian, this paper size perfedy fs mnstandard, and fhereforefasmore i imw, s~mners W u t aqnmJffaraund Ekecdgtk r - ~ m t + w t
This is the smallestofthe aMlafpapcrrgmAng approximdy VJS X 12.5b c h , F k H J t e e k t&%rn& commcrclal. h based studios wlll uslwhM cwttng&matian forghares, \iWWTV, o directr to-WD/video dmWrOn.I is alsatheaRlft r~comnsgded for the more t size soriody m~nded studen tbat it is more expensive thin thc standard d c e r q u k a larger, and tmem-nW-tc erywmtkstwhdedr#rringerea&covered.
n§-f9ddinrtreWmm) W w m b Rpsperrizesused. It kthe s z that i+pdo#W~* Ylsd in t g ie as thswkdmovies,atthough
c x c e U e r n kad n ~ I-
can a b a i a % ~ p r W c ~ k ~ n o t, .,er.u. ldaal
m)r"rka(3j+farc~~ ) o r e k a t n rarely in a r o~ cam?#+widmrabfezaa(t.75:? meen miof. CNaiIstrlefmmmost online animation n o ~ t h r f l e k l ~ f l c n o w n gmtRulein some places) h anessential asa p k e of 2D animationequipment when filmmaking is the ultlmgtoobj4ve. Many Dftk eraKise d W s in this bak, however, do not requlre a field guide.
M o s r ~ ~ ~ e a u i m ? e n t m o n ~ u ~ t ~ i s to notiustrtandrrd a n f m d l t a n m L n ; t a n be;pu~hdsadfromart pmty much Iutw, R Its tlwags advisable to have a rule a& r ~nrd~rape disp~mei d~ et hand. Iaalr strongly advise getting a gOc"d.rBe, ~ t a b l e d r r k o p l b m p as qurte often the nghtlng in a room is , not aimcientiy bright enough to illuminatetlrrdnw(ng surhcs and therefwe s m e W of locd light is m d r d . A stopwatch is also an invaluable Itemfor animForr whowad ?awafkout actm and t~mings their head. lnexpenslve in dlgkqlom?~ )se obfaiwdfrom chain stores such as Radio Shack. cM
It's strangeto thinkof an animator requiring paperwork other than just the paperfor drawing on, but It is true that paperwork isneeded.The key adrninlstrative paperwork that 2D animaron specificallywill need is a pad or tvvo cd exposure sheets. Exposure sheets (also calledX-sheets or dope sheets in some places)are crucial to animatorswho are organizing their thoughts and pkming their movementsand layers.
WewEl discuss thk in Betmil later, but suffice it to say, it Is importantthat antma(afsare equipped with exposure sheets at the onset of their more advanad work I is pmlble to either print them from a standard template t (mitaMcfrom Desktop Academy, at ~desktopac~demy.corn) else or pWchasethem from one d t h e excellent onllne animation stores on the Web. 7 y w are an intendedfilmmaker too, you wiU need to consider scene production folders, which will contain both exposure sheets and animation drawings when the work is completed.These too can be prlntedfrom templates availableat the Desktop Academy site, or created individually according to design and taste. Another downbadablepaperwork item is an animator's progress chart, which we'll deal with later in more detail.
Ifyou are to tdtrthepraem of animation seriously, you will want to make sure you have tht msaosdnot onty drawing your animation, but also filming and playing it b a c k f a f ~ t i o and cAlqble.This is univefsally known as a n penciltest. Consequerrrly, y n wit1 need some kind of image-capturedevice o
~ @ W W
and Be* es into a suit&&
Once an animation is pend testea and approved, t d ncod to bc uo and takcn t the hextlek! If k is to be oart of a k ~ - k k & & k . u Here, each i n d h r d i ~ wlll be scanned as - * g ' & colored. and ti& corridbJMtmether w ~ t h suit&^^^ a atwork, a d t % h g W - e f f e c t s may be req&&? scene ~ T o ~ t W ~ ~ swlll o v o bu , ~ i ~ -c e ff ptfrawtkh&3basrc&udent level& M (te. 8.5 X 5 I ( d uh&Mc standard, ~ n e x ~ e n s i v a I % & k % ~ ~ t h a t n r ) , technology rofessionalty fidd paper $need to get a larger, m & * i b i a ' w that can scan areas Up to 11 X 17 inches. If you alteai)rf& a htgh-reso!utlon vltleo & m h for pencil testing, to captlmpaorfinailirteAh&es.(But this does havew w ' s w w profwslonal camera w~lhan<xceptionlens to make*
As previouslymentioned, anlmatlon software wll
scanned Imagesvery easy.% software should a and final render your scanned f i b o n t o any film excitlng devebplng software in recent years is th cenrrtc appbnkm thrt-Technology " T m B o o m M ~ # " ~ ~ . the desko f o r
~ound canka.huge'&inanUlknaWd prodyctbn,& the Cpulpment vowresdbm~wkwl50-~1bchoA~k~
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a significant amount ef RAM m g e anda large h r d drive to cmts+n&e imvitably large files gUt ~ t b n ~ f i b s packages will reveal the minimum rrquiremmts, indanlinga fastqmatlng motherboard for faster speed rendering. Manyvery ambnlousaniRtmmakea mlgM wanttohook u p w d computeRto mstes3nrdw farm:whlch d enablethen to access a pra~tdcal l ofmvkihgpaucr#ilmc becomes an issue.
Much to the annoyanceof large c m p n i o r such as SoftlmagqcthCshrrlythe "big two'software trtks of 30 animszton are and 3DMax f t epan. n h it was said that 3DMax dominatedt games indtmy ard , d&mba%d h n the film kxkmry. Now b& !mitt& are actuatly awned by Awldesk (www. usa.autodcsk.com), and the gaps between them are b g~n @ i l g m narrow. I am advised by many working professional3D animatorsand educatorsthSt Maya tends to be the preferred software of animators, whuMs 3Is the preferred modeling platform. However, a I say, the gep ir dosing, both s in capablliand applfcatlon,and in time, we will probdtfEymuthWWmm change further. Raw beginnerswith a llmited purchaw paw,should seriously I w k a tAnimation Master (www.ha&.ccm) as a d l w w to begin with It is a highly Impressive starter programthat cuss only r few hundreddollars (as opposedto professional-leveldhmtatfwt cusEsfWny times that). Ihave seen some amazing work created on ARimaton MPstCr and t h e m , Martln Hwh, of Hash Inc, speaks with the&dm rntmrtw. Consequently,Ian morethun happy to supporttheirmm~ment.md~eir superb programwiththkfree endorsement.
Let the Fun Begin!
Now that we've establishedwhat you need to start to learn animation, let's now start the adventure&what needs to be
Icannot express enough the indebtedness Ihave toward all who have supported me in my obsessive mission to bring sound animation knowledge to all who seek it. In more recent times, i thankClaude Comair for having the vision and selfless commitment of creating something as unique and wonderful as the DigiPen Institute ofTechnology, as well as being able to use the DigiPen student a n in this book. Also, to RaymondYan for making myjourney at DigiPenso pleasantly inspirational.I thank, too, the faculty of DigiPenfor their support, ideas, and inspiration-each one of them is an amazing artist in his or her own right and teachers par excellence, who somehow teach me something new and important each and everyday. Ithank friends and family, near and far, who have tolerated my passiveobsessiveness, and especially Ken Rowe for being a stalwartfriend and colleague, who has helped me keep the flames of my Animaticus Foundation and 2D Or Not 2D Animation Festivaldreams alive. Isincerely thank, too, all those kind and generous folks at Focal Press, who for some reason or other seem keen to publish my ramblings and who have helpedfocus the diffuse and vague into the tangible.
And finally, with all my heart, I thank you dear Saille, for you have somehow managed to endure all of this without a single complaint! Even though I have driven myself to exhaustion and isolation in pursuit of everything at times, you still manage to give reason for my smiles and keep my sagging spirits alive.Thank you, dear Saille. Even when Ihave been mentally and physically lost through the distractions and challenges of creating this book, you have kept megoing through your unconditional love and understanding.Truly, without you, none of this could have ever happened!
How to Be an Animator
How to Be an Animator
otherwise. As with a regular school curriculum I have broken down the key pr~nciples into 10 clearly definable master-class lessons,MC 1-MC 10. It IS very important, however, that you don't jump the sequence in any way. Start with MC 1 and don't begln any other exercises u r ~ tyou have mastered that ~l one first.
~fyou want further one-on-one feedback on anything you are doing by the author, please read Appendix 2 .
Either way, if you follow the lectures, guidel~nes, and assignments as ~nd~cated, should find the process of learning to be an animator easler you and more comprehensive.
aimanon Basics -
p ,Breakdown, artd In-IkWttm v
between n where
that ~ H a ceasesor changesdirecflonln somcw*y. T k n walking, for example, will be thefulktri& positions--anewtththe right leg Forward and theother with the left leg forward.
smng to the nght
In the case of the pendulum, we will have two key positions, one in-between posltlons on either side, giving us nine position, and three ~n-between drawings (or positions) in total for one swing.
-hefuilbet cfdrawngi for rn:pe~iluiums'.vlnq rclul~g r key and brezkcc'!un poiltcni, htiii.arr i h ~ d fl
Creating Key Positions
Wlth the understanding that we need key, breakdown, and ~n-between positions t o create a sequence of animation, we should now look at the process of in-betweening, which applies as much t o the breakdown drawing as it does t o the in-betweens. Let us return to our swinging pendulum and using a fresh sheet of animat~on paper, consider the way to approach it. F~rst, select a fulcrum (or polnt) from which the pendulum will swlng.The best location to place thls will be along thecentrallvertical line of the field guide. which can be placed beneath the paper with the llyhtbox on. Put a s~ngle dot somewhere along this line, which will represent the polnt from which the pendulum will swing.
h pendulum's plmpolnt lofated ma gndded gnaade e
Rernernber,thispoint needsto be in apfbMonthrrlrgoWs tbepandulurn to iwing fully I& aRd rl&t and alf% $M2hsfte@~wkPhHIk the vert~cal l in 'pass~ng~positian.
enare swinp, s h n g that the pendulumsfel) fiu mtsme mw w m SrrFen wea u l
Now take a plece of paper, lay ~tover the top, and uslng the plvotal point on the lower sheet, draw In the pendulum w ~ t h maximum swlng to the left its (west).
When dealing wlth directions on the screen or on a field gulde, left is described as west, up as north, right as east, and down as south.The middle of the field guide is known as center. If you are using a 10 field guide, it is termed a 10 field center, a 12 field guide is a 12 field center, and a 16 field guide is a 16 field center.
shows the rrght pendulum JEeY dravlnq.
ut both keyrtogctheronthe pegsW)rouwpfseb~ytruhave
rfu& canpM& the ' i w ~ keys & w m - D h e f W m s t key
How to Make Animated films
take aiichesfleffsofpaperdfthe~pegrih%$up?hmvmkey drawings the lqhtbox with it switched on. P(owbyttb?tl*rt(hm&dwn) drawlng wet over them, lining it up with the pivogalpolntr and tA*ofthe arm making e of the ball s later.
prirnposlng ISt e mast vaiuableskillyou can learn for creating accumin-betweens! h
u t n Make
Put the drawings backon the pegs in the order ofthe first key position,the breakdown position, then the second key position, and roll them backward and forward.
By fl~pptng rolling)thedraw~ngs,aneaiterthe&er, you will g t a v r d a Ideaofhowwellyouranlmatlon (or e ey e r
Rollingis a process of placing your fingers betweenthe drawings and rolling them in order forward and backwardso that you see each drawing one after the other in sequence.This should give you a very rough sense of the pendulum swingingfrom one side to the other, although this will be very crude and broad at this stage. However, to make it smoother we will need to add in more in-betweendrawings.Toprepare for this, let us number the drawings 1 (first key drawing), 9 (breakdowndrawing), and 17 (second key drawing.)
Te technique for h n placement a d flipping for batrom pegs anlmatlon. h ad n
Important! Please get into the habit of putting a circle around every key drawing number and a parenthesis around every breakdown drawing number. In-between drawing numbers are written with nothing around them.
I'll explain the numbering choices soon, but suffice it to say you can number the drawings anything you like in practice, as long as you leave enough spare numbers between the first key drawing and the breakdown drawing, and then the breakdown draw~ng and the second key draw~ng, that three inso betweens can go between each key drawing. Now, with our drawings numbered correctly we need to create an action chart from drawing 1 t o drawing 17. On the basis that the in-between movement from key to key is even in its movement, we can draw a chart on the first key figure. that looks like thefollow~ng
pegs are preferable. However, I yw c h a ~ c t cuse bt@abl f r pep for your imatlon, you should place the drawing numbmm the right ofthe bottom
Now that you have the first chart drawn, let's talkabout what ~t represents. Taking the numbers from the first key drawing (1) and the breakdown drawing (91, you will see the numbers 3 , 5 , and 7 evenly spaced between them.This shows the way that you need t o draw the in-betweens. Similarly, the numbersfrom the breakdown drawing (91to the second key drawing (17) are also equally spaced.
draw~ngs that are lnd~cated on Now let's get down t o creatlng the ~n-between the chart.
Looktrigab hestha#of.theAwt BR, la), t e wesee that drwlng 5 IS exactly In the middle.This mMns that we have to create thisin-between first. So, place Mltyrtrashg8 1 rnrd 9on the pagr v&h the lightbox on,then place anews~&psprrron'fhapsgzandw-ce~thepIvo~lpodtionand I~ghtly$rauuIna@~@Mlins~tdf~ rhsMacrn lines of the prevlous drawings.
The first tn-between drawing to tackle care 5. in t h ~ s isdraw~ng
Now, as before, superimpose all three sheets of paper over one another, making sure the pivotal points and the arm lhnes are In perfect alignment before traclng the full pendulum onto the new in-between drawing sheet (5)
Next, put all these three sheets back onto the pegs in their numerical order, with the lowest number on the bottom,and flip them backward and forward as before.
7 . 3 .
' . A
br smooth and a ~ m .
Always checkthede a g o the rwns n ah p g w e you'w completede c es h n s t of ~n-betweens, In case there e lust ISsomakng out of pl ceor poorl a y drawn
Flipping as Opposed to Rolling
Now you should have more drawangs In the sequence than you have fingers to roll them 50, next you need to learn how to"fl1p"the drawlngs In order so that you can see them move As before, place the drawlngs together In reverse order, the lowest number on the bottom and the h~ghest number on the top Now, fan them a lmle so that the lower drawings are more Inward at the bottom and the uppermost drawlngs are more forward Gr~p top the of the paper plle firmly w ~ t h hand and then "fl1p"them from the bottom one through the pages of a book You should see the up, as 9 you are fl~pplng pendulum swlng from one s~de another more clearly and smoothly to Repeat the process several tames and get used to seeing movement In thls way Fl~pp~ng major tool In testlng and correcting your anlrnatlon, so a sk~ll aa s a thls department goes hand in hand w ~ t h n belng a good anlrnator
Arcs and Paths of Action
Now that you have seen the pendulum successfully swing from side to side, let us cover a very important thing that you must rememberwhen animating any action. k h i n g in life moves it is a machine that is made up of c rves or arcs, whether it is a leaf Y ----. alr, or the torso and limbs of a walking characfer.
The ongatd ankwim hwmpsfor
Un~nr Make Anirnaterl Filrnc tn
Te arcthat ii dertr~bed t e tenter ofthe pendulum's h a asit swings backwardad forward. h by h ed n
The path of action or the arc of any movement is something that should never be forgotten by any animator, whether they are creating key poses or simply putting in in-betweens for any extended movement.We will refer to arcs and paths of action as we move through the class curriculum detailed in this book.
Timing and the Spacing of Drawings
It will take students and animation beginnerssometime to appreclatejust how many and how far each charted in-between needs to be.That is where the hard-won experienceof a master animator comes in. However, there are a couple of pointers that the learner should know.
[ More Means Slower -------- thing to reme The main
about all animated actlon IS that t h c l w ~ n g there are, the slower the action will appear on the screen when the s finalact~on seen. is
It will still be a process of trial and error for beginners to appreclate it, but, by rule ofthumb, it should be remembered that if an action needs to be slow, the animatorwill have to put many more drawings betweenthe key drawings of the action than if the action needs to appear fast. Fewer in-betweens mean a faster action between the key drawings.
Here are silhouettes o all t e drawings requiced f r a tharatterwalklngwirha limp. B t u e t e tlmerpento f h o ea s h n t e strong leg (upperanimation)IS m c slower and ionger in s r e time than that oftheweaker leg (lower h uh ce n animation),there aredearly moredrawingsrequired.
Speed Varies in Any Action
The next thing to remember with a n G i h a ? l t s speed is not constant. An arrow fired from a bow will be fast at first but it will slow down as wind resistance works on it.It will also arc upward then downward as the loss of velocity, as well as gravity, exert an effect on it.
J s likeaoarrowfly~nqthrouqhthe ut air, a bouncingball w~iislow down at t e t p af e c b u c apex, h o ah a n e meaningthat there will h v t be ae o moredrawings positionedthere t a hn elsewhere. Alternatively, a big heavytrain starts slowly at first, increasesspeed as ~tbuilds up momentum, and then slowly decelerates before it comes to its next stop. Consequently, the animator has to take this into considerationwhen charting out the in-betweenaction from key drawing to key drawing.This brings us to the most valuable technique of all for the positioning of drawinnc-rlnwingin and slowing-out.
MIhis animation, i hadm add mwe drawings at the top d the paper dmp than at the bottom, meaningthat following the hndng ball prhciple, the paperwill accdmte a it drops
Slowing In and Slowing Out
If you really look at a real pendulum actlon in Ilfe, you w ~ lnote that the speed l ofthe action IS never constant. Watch a child on a playground swing and you will notice that as he or she reaches the high spot of the arc-front swing or back swlng-there 18a definite slowlng of movement Then, as the swing returns from one high polnt to the next, it w ~ laccelerate downward before l
Consequently, the speed ofthe swinglng action IS never constant-it 1s either In a process of speeding u p o r slow~ng down. How might we better show this In our previously drawn pendulum sequente?Thefirst thing is t o go backand look at our chart oositioning.
On the bans that ~fwe put more drawlngs m the actlon it wlll slow down, and dwe take moredrawingsout theaction w ~ lspeed up, we can rethlnkthe l way we chart our ~n-betweensAs we know. the nearer tothe h ~ g h spots of the pendulum wing (the key posinons In our case), the more the swing w ~ l l decelerate, and then the farther we moveawayfrom the high-spot posltlons, the more it will accelerate Therefore, ~fwe place more drawlngs nearer to the key posltlons and less around the breakdown posltlon, the more we will repl~cate slwng-down and speeding-up actlon this
N t the drawing placemwitdrffereiues betweenthls and o r w n pornionschart horn earlier I h v as oe u e ae l o &led an mdlcatlmoftheaddMonalm betweensm redwkhw e shot o b e will give the entlre actiona hn n ns m c smoather actlan uk
eans slower and less means faster, we will ach~eve acceleration the eleratmn that we are looktng for Th~s processof charting IS known as
In-Betweening Slow-Ins and Slow-Outs
in-betweening slow-ins and slow-outs needs a little more focus when placing and approaching the sequence of in-betweens t o be attempted. With our new slow-inlslow-out chart in the following figure, notice that the first in-between drawing between 1 and 9 18 now drawing 7.
Ilc.:l), l i d r / n ~ r tiijiuling ci: ; odrt oftilr :hdrt I! niidr!:ji bctw:a; o:j:%ir$ 6.13 d ' d ~ i 9 ~ r
Consequently, this is the first in~between drawing you will need t o do when attempting this slowing-out section of the chart.
i e c h w the po!!lon, 3 i ' p~nj~ilun. o !v<ng th a ilcw~ng-s~t 21; wi actcn ~Icie'tugrtne ;lie bi~iri-r,;, :r tben ,I>,II:E .hf, ~ ' ~ L I I J I ~ ,ic ,]rat, t!, r~mr, taa:(eI?l:te
Once drawing 7 is successfully complete, you will see that drawing 5 is the next in-between position, so it should be completed next, positioned between drawings 1 and 7. Finally, with drawing 5 done, drawing 3 has t o be completed between 1 and 5.
When approaching the stowing-in part d the ch& fmrsdrawing 9 to key drawing 17, you wlfl mthat the fir%dming to be d e t e d t h ~trme 15 r in-batween drawlog 11.-Uy, drawing 11 is placedaccurately between drawings9 and 17.
After drawPng 11mines b ~ n r l r a w l n P3, which Is created by g positioning it p n c i m b w n dr&ng111 md 17. Finally, drawlng 15 need$ to earnpk~ettMIadmn tqrdwhg hprecidy between drawlngs 13 and 17.Thbshou#dgiuoyouaOmpfcce acc&mring/decelerat~ng swlng to the pendulum,whIchyou%haUtd be sbktclseeby ff~pplng the drawlngs all as previously dascribed.
W~th good n m e o finished a u br f
draw~ngs towork wrh, it a m c uh easkerto flip a l n s q e c of o g e une anlmatlon drawings uslng a handheld
How to Make Animated Films
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all the major principles of an~mat~on-namely, Importanceof the eakdown, and ~n-between positions; as well as arcs, paths of act~on, g-in and slow~ng-out, we~ght, gravlty, and tlmlng But, first thlngs first
in the weight and denslty of the ball to be bounced For example, a
b > s a l, l and flexib~l~ty, thlsalways has to be and d object orcharattc qulte as~defrom the borne In m ~ n wlth any an~mated rubber ball challenge You will find In my other books adequate descr~ptlons of thevarylng types of bounclng ball ettects, so I won t go over them agaln here Suffice it to say, let us assume that we are qolnq to work wlth a standard
ill alwa~s exert an effect with d things. With the bounc~ng gravlty will merely t ball, ensure that each bouncewjll get less and less, as the kinet~c energy wlthln the ball 15 unable tofight a@wf the wnstant pull of gravity.Therefore,as the ball moves forward wtth a certain a w u n t of velocity, the bounces of that ball will lncreaslngly dlmlnlsh and be less and less apart Thls w ~ lglve us a path of l actlon for ou
The Bouncing Ball
IalwayrI~kemsWnq~~ fiml m a y m a d @ h a l W W
anlmate,butdn$dallbrr$Wka rel~able gmundwtruk&-Hael
Hnw t n Make Animated Filrnr
rubber ball hits thesolid ground it will distort in shap,e. In otherwords, it will "squash."The harder the ground and the faster the velocity the ball contains before it hits the ground will define the amount of squash exerted on it. Therefore, the higherthe bounce and the furtherthe ball travelsfrom bouncl to bounce, the more the squash distortion will appear. In considering the path of action we have already defined for ourselves, I would suggest the key squash position In thefollowlng figure would be reasonable.
Note, however, that the apex positions of the ball in the figure do not squash, as they are not subject to any contact with a hard surface like the ground, or are even being distorted by velocity.
What is meant by this is that at the apex of a bouncing arc the ball is momentarily at a zero point of movement and impact. Here, the ball has slowly ground to a halt, as the kinetic energy from the previous bounce
shutter i s m 4 fast enough facspbtaea Jhar@ image dthe m object,thus o w the m M U r It presentrln ,S p e d d y drawn ZDanlmation,It Is
The amount of met& hdcptndent on the degmcf.ffexibitity within the object b e i n g a n l m d and tr# s p e d or vrlodty I h Rovhg n.For example, t our rubber ball wlH d l s t m s i g n M d y sr Et mwes atspeed, whereas a metal cannon ball will not stretchvery much. A150,the degree of stretch will vary In accordanceto the amount of distancecovered and the speed the ball is moving. In our reduclng-bounce path of salon, the distortion of the bounce will therefore look like the followingfigure as we black-in the breakdown
Note how the amount of distortion is increasedwith the higher bounces and diminished with the lower ones.
Another factor that gtves our bouncing ball amon cred~b~l~ty tlmlng is ~ts Remember that as a ball reaches ~ t s uppermost apex position In an arced path to of actlon ~twill slow down to an almost stopped poswon, then it will beg~n accelerateas gravity begins to pull tt earthward aga~n.Th~s requlre that we will apply slow~ng-~n slow~ng-out and princ~ples the ~n-betweens we chart to and them out.That means that more drawlngs need to be added to and from the a that uppermost key posit~on,s we have already establ~shed more drawlngs mean less speed.
the m h o $ k h W & bwllE.bckqmMagain is& too; depenr)inganftramt e%frpesddthPBouneebefore itfherefore, the
Based o our slavnng-outislow~ng-in n chart~ng, thetwo fa e 10a d o r rms n u ofthe hr porltion i l l ) are effectively breakdowndrawlngs
N t that thesedrawingsareseparated oe h o t t t e rightto make t e action uoh e. n clearer to s e I realry,they would be closer together and overlapping,w~th thesecand ball posrtianon the eft effmivelylocated d~rettlyn top of o t e first quash pasiton h
The key th~ng remember IS that a flexible ball wrll slow down and resha to ttself back to ~ t s perfectly round form at the top of a bounce, whereas ~t w stretch more drarnat~cally the bottom of a bounce.This IS why the bout at ball IS such a good exercise fordemmstrw the prmctples of tlmlng, slow~ng-~n slow~ng-out qua* a d stretch and md
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Of course, f our ball was not rubber and bounc~ng, was heavy and but
~nflex~blel~ght much moreflextble,the actlons would look far dtffe or and Follow~ng three d~fferent are examples of balls w ~ t h varylng we~ghts and
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