PLEASE READ ON – CHANGE OF DIRECTION–
Thanks again for the feedback, much appreciated. – I guess what I really should do is bring up a discussion. Get peoples ideas and comments on some of the material I have found on the internet. There are two parts to my current year of study, thesis writing and implementation << the fun stuff. I do agree with what you have said about being more ‘verbose’ etc- .So if I could start a discussion on my area of interest I might be able to reach a few conclusions.
To add life to their animations, the artists at Disney had to work together, analyse and devise what made a character and its action so extraordinary. During the 1930’s people coined certain terms which described a way a motion worked on the film, the ‘Stretch and Squash’ of a character or the ‘Overlapping’ motion. These words were what have become known as the ‘Principles of Animation’. An invaluable source on the topic is “Illusion of Life” co-authored by two veteran Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston.
Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston – Here is a brief extract of the 12 principles of animation.
Illusion of Life at amazon-
Mark D – found this one.—
Searching on the internet you will find hundreds of sites regarding these principles, some obviously will be better than others but generally they will be the same thing.
John Lasseter of Pixar -
What I am really interested in is how animation is done—what more is there beyond the principles, techniques, ‘rules’, ‘formulas’, guides, templates – what really has to be thought of when creating animation? –
So before I go on I’d like you to read this little piece my Keith Lango—
Principles vs. Rules
It’s a deep part of human nature to try and reduce things to rules, principles or items on a checklist. To reduce something down to its List is to hold out hope that yes, you too can achieve the results you desire with less thought. Just do these magical steps and voila! Instant success! Formulas hold out the allure of surety, consistency, homogeny of result. Which is, as any thinking person understands, rubbish. Doesn’t matter if the topic is religion, politics, baking, writing or animation. People everywhere want the easy way. They like the List of Rules. They like the Formulas.
The greatest injustice ever done to the 12 Animation Principles as noted in “The Illusion of Life” has been a sort of calcification of the principles into these unbending rules over the years. Now this isn’t universal, but the notion does exist in the mind of many. I hear it in comments often. These 12 items have been taught, memorized, ingrained. Students across the world for decades have made them a mantra for their work. The allure is there. Just get these 12 things right and your animation will be perfect. As if you somehow shoe horn these 12 ingredients into your work you’ll have award winning animation.
Of course nothing could be further from the truth. You can’t apply these things without thought. And there’s a reason why the writers chose the word principles and not rules. Principles are a guiding thing. Rules dictate. Principles leave room for thought, exploration, advancement. Rules demand obedience. This is true for the Big-12, and it’s true for any process or method noted or recorded. Don’t fall back into formula thinking. Formulas are seductive. Homogeny of result isn’t really what you want. If you always “do walks” like A, or if you always “do a take” like B, or if you always “do blinks” like C, well, you’ll end up with stuff that looks like color by numbers animation. (Formulamation was the joking name we came up for it at work the other day.) Great animation, like all great art, isn’t color by numbers. There is no formula. Just principles.
Anything I write about on this site or in a tutorial will, by necessity, be broken down into sub-sets of information for easy processing. The nature of describing thing requires this kind of analytical approach. I’m sure it’s what begat the 12 Principles in the first place. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that anything said is a Rule or a Formula for success. It’s not. It’s just meant to help. The real progress comes from you, your thought, your observation, your effort. So read what you like, disagree as much as you like. Use what’s helpful, toss the rest. I’m certainly no master by any stretch of the imagination.
Animation principles are tools to give you guidance, not masters that demand utter unthinking obedience in their application.
From here I’ll jump across to an article on Animation World Network—Titled ‘Make It Real’ by Ellen Besen. In this article she interviews Chris Landreth (director of Ryan). This guy knows a thing or two and it wouldn’t hurt to skim over the article.
The article is in three parts-
For me this is a huge learning curve, I suffer the issue of not only ‘what to learn?’ But ‘how to learn?’ Effective animation IS more than just these principles – there is the technique and the software which you have to work through and understand also + the hidden mystery part of animation! I intend to find an effective process in both practice and theory to develop animation skills- It is not going to be a short project at all. I want to really see how an efficient pipeline can work on a small scale production. So if you are able to help out and add to this discussion that would be much appreciated. I invite anyone into this thread and hope you will be able to learn from this also.
Please feel free to post relevant links regarding animation in theory and practice as well as your thoughts on the issue.
Come back soon and I’ll post some more comments to start the discussion off. –