Thursday, 11 December 2014

Thumbnails by Ruben Aquino for The Little Mermaid

The secret of great animation is in the planning. Open up a copy of Maya, the leading 3D software, and you just get a blank screen. With CG animation (or indeed any animation) you get nothing for free. So how do you fill this blank space with creative, entertaining animation? The secret of good work is to thumbnail - that is to say, to plan out your work with sketches and scribbles which create a kind of road map of where you want to go.

Thumbnails by Ruben Aquino
The video above talks through some thumbnails done by the great animation master Ruben Aquino - these were prepared for one of his shots in The Little Mermaid. Look closely at the thumbnails, check out the final shot, and you will see how closely Ruben's planning matches his final animation result.

And this really is the secret of great animation. Plan it out well, think it through, and know in advance what it is you want to do. Do this right, and your shots will always work.

Not by Glen Keane
Note that when I recorded this video I was under the impression that these thumbnails were by Glen Keane. They are in fact by Ruben. The mistake was entirely mine.


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