2. Ease In and Out (or Slow In and Out – EIO
6. Squash and Stretch
7. Secondary Action
8. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
9. Straight Ahead Action and Pose-To-Pose
Timing plays a
very essential role in animation. On it depends how fast or how slow an object
will be seen moving. Depending on the speed, the very essence of an animation
can be changed. For example, if an eye blink is fast, the subject will be seen
as alert and fast; if it is slow then the same subject will appear to be moving
slow, or even seen as sleepy.
A very famous example given by J. Lesseter –
Head that turns left and right, their interpretation as per the speed of the
???If the character’s head seems to be
moving back and forth really slow: it may seem as if the character is
stretching his neck (more frames required).
??If the movement is a bit faster it can be
seen as saying “no” (a few in between frames)
2. Ease In and Out (or Slow In and Out – EIP
This is related to the easing into or out of
an action of a character. It determines how an object will accelerate, or come
to rest, from a movement or from a pose.
For example, a bouncing ball will show a lot
of such movements – as it goes up, gravity affects it and it slows down (Ease
In), then it starts its downward movement, and it goes faster and faster (Ease
Out), until it hits the ground.
In the real world almost all action is seen
as moving in an arc. IN animation, it is preferable to have motion follow
curved paths rather than linear ones. It is very seldom that a
character or part of a character moves in a
linear manner. Even the movements of a body as it moves while walking are not
perfectly straight. A hand/arm reaching out to touch or grab something, tends
to move in an arc.
For example – Movement of a ball through the
Action in animation usually occurs in three
stages. The first stage is the setup for the motion, then comes the actual
action and then the follow-through of the action. The first part is known as
anticipation. In some cases anticipation
is needed physically. For example, before you can throw a ball you must first
swing your arm backwards. The backwards motion is the anticipation; the throw
itself is the motion. Another example could be that when a person begins moving
or walking, there are preparations for that move beforehand – the lifting of
the leg, a slight movement of the body, etc. This period helps to prepare the
viewers for the action that is to come. For example, when a character moves out
of the screen, before the character actually moves, there is an anticipatory
pose where the character raises a leg and bends hiss body in preparation for
For any animation to be effective, the viewer
should know what is about to happen
(anticipation), what is happening (the
actual action itself) and what has already happened (related to follow through
or the after effects of the action).
This is generally used to accent or stress
an action. Care should be taken that it should be used in a careful and
balanced manner, not abundantly or arbitrarily. First it needs to be assessed
what is the desired goal of an action or sequence and what parts need to be
highlighted or exaggerated. The result will be that the animation will seem
more realistic and entertaining and it will seem to have continuity.
Exaggerating something will make it
livelier, but care needs to be taken that it retains its reality and
credibility. For example, enhancing the size of an object to make it appear
dominant, reducing the size of another to make it less dominant.
6. Squashing and Stretching
Squashing and stretching are ways of
deforming an object such that it shows how rigid or how flexible an object is.
For example, if a rubber ball bounces and hits the ground it will tend to
flatten when it eventually hits the ground. One thing to be kept in mind is
that no matter how an object deforms, it should ultimately still be seen as
retaining its volume. The most commonly seen usage of this in character
animation is seen in body movements – when a body is moving and the muscle
contracts, it will squash and when extended, it will stretch.
7. Secondary Action
Secondary action helps in creating interest
and realism in animation. It should be added in a way that it is noticeable but
does not overshadow the main action. For example, when a character delivers his
main lines that is the main action. The secondary actions are the supportive
actions that make his character believable, like the character thumbing their
fingers on the table.
8. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
Follow through is the same as anticipation,
only at the end of an action. For example, when something goes past its resting
point and then comes back to its resting point, like when throwing a ball, you
put your hand back, that’s anticipation; Follow Through is then the arm
continuing past the normal stopping point, overshooting it and then coming
Overlapping Action is an action that occurs
as a continuation of another action. For example when a running dog suddenly
comes to a stop and its ears still keep moving for a little while; this is an
example of overlapping action.
9. Straight-Ahead Action and Pose-To-Pose
There are 2 basic methods to creating
animation. Straight-ahead animation is one where the objects are drawn or set
up one frame at a time, processing in order. For example, the animator works in
a linear way, drawing the first frame of the animation, then the second, and so
on until the sequence is complete. In this, there is usually one drawing or
image per frame. This approach has more scope for creativity but it can be
difficult to time and tweak or make changes.
The other approach is Pose-to-Pose
animation. Pose-to-Pose is created by drawing or setting up the key poses and
then drawing or creating the in between or connecting images. It is excellent
for changing timing and planning out the animation ahead of time. The key poses
are figured out, and then the motion in between is generated from that. This is
very useful when specific timing or action has to be set up at specific points.
Staging is presenting an action or item so
that it is easily understood. An action is staged so that it is understood; a
personality is staged so that it is recognizable; an expression so that it can
be seen; a mood so that it will affect the audience. In general, it is
important that actions are presented one item at a time. If too much is going
on the audience will be unsure what to look at and the action will be
“upstaged” or overshadowed. For example if you’re staging a sad
pose you may have the character hunched over
with his arms hanging at his sides. However, if you give him this big grin on
his face it won’t fit with the rest of the pose.
Staging multiple characters is also an
important issue. Generally you want to always make
sure where the audience is focused at within
a shot. Background characters must
be animated such that they are still
“alive”, but not so much that they steal the viewer’s
attention from the main action.
Appeal means anything that a person would
like to see in a character. This can be charm, design,
simplicity, visual appeal, communication or
magnetism. It can be created by correctly utilizing other principles such as
exaggeration in design, avoiding symmetry, using overlapping action,
etc. Weak or awkward design, shapes and
motion should be avoided. For example, an evil character might still have
Personality determines the success of an
animation. This means that the animated creature gains an aliveness and becomes
fit for the role. The character should be distinct, but at the same time be
familiar to the audience. Personality has a lot to do with what is going on in
the mind of the character, as well as the traits and mannerisms of the
character. All of these together will help to really bring the character alive.
The above principles are the foundation upon
which good character animation lies. With practise, patience and perseverance
ones animation skills will improve.
In Animation, as also in Films and Video
productions, 24 individual frames make for one second of a shot; in other
words, one second of a shot is composed of 24 individual frames. These
individual or separate frames when projected at a speed of 24 frames/second
give us the illusion of movement. At the speed of 24 frames/second, the
movement perceived by our brains appears natural, reduce the speed to, say, 12
frames/second and the movement will begin to look Jerky. Let’s look a little
more closely at Frame rate.
What is Frame Rate?
A frame rate in video is the
number of separate frames that are introduced to the viewer in a particular
time frame. Frame rates are often measured in frames per second.
Understanding the frame rate for a
project involves understanding how the human eye and brain perceive moving
images. More frames will gives you the smoother animation and less frames will
gives you the jerky animation. (see the above example).
Different industries have
different standards for frames per second or frame rates. In cinema, 24 frames
per second has been a prevailing standard, whereas in Video production it is 25
Frames/second (as in India) or 30 frames/second (as in U.S.A.).
THE BASIC OF FRAME RESOLUTION AND RATIOS
Storyboards present the visual image
of what the viewer will be looking at on screen, whether it’s a television set,
a movie theatre screen or a computer monitor. These are shown in a format
called a “storyboard panel”.
A storyboard panel is a rectangular shaped box on a
piece of paper. The dimensions of this box are usually around 4″ wide x
3″ high for television. There are usually 3 panels to an 8 1/2″
x 11″ page. The size and shape of the panel can vary depending on
what is called the “aspect ratio”. This is the size of the width to
the height. The television aspect ratio is 1:1.33 – 1 units high by 1.33
units wide (also known as 3:4). Standard Widescreen is 1:1.85, 70mm film
is 1:2.2, and Anamorphic Wide screen in 35mm Panavision is 1:2.35.