Monday, 25 March 2019

How to Animate a Reaction Shot

Timing for a classic "take" with Monty
How do student animators approach the business of animating a Reaction Shot? Reaction shots are the bread-and-butter of junior animators.

On a feature film, once you have graduated from walk cycles and crowd shots, you get given reaction shots to test your mettle.

A reaction shot is where animators first start to get to grips with acting and performance. Just like live-action actors, animated characters on a screen must listen - and react.

Animating a "Take"
An exaggerated reaction shot is also sometimes called a "take".
There is a large section in the Animator's Survival Kit on takes, for good reason. The starting point for a take is always a series of rough sketches or thumbnail drawings to help plan out the key poses and the timing of the action.

Planning your animation
One of the biggest challenges encountered by student animators is how to block out a shot from scratch, starting off with nothing but a blank screen and a character rig. In animation you get nothing for free. You start off with a digital puppet, usually in a stiff "T-pose", and you have to figure out the rest yourself.

Tutorial videos
In a new series of videos, we show how to take a reaction shot - a cartoony "take" - from zero to hero.

How to Plan Animation
Mr Buttons
In the series of videos, we show how to go about blocking out an animated scene, this case a reaction shot, or "take", with a cartoony cat rig.

The series of short videos shows an approach to building and blocking the shot, how to imagine the scene, so that you start by making positive choices about the character's state of mind, carefully planning what is going to happen.

Animators are actors, and we need to create a memorable performance, but we also need a workflow that we can depend upon.

Mr Buttons Rig
The tutorial uses the excellent free character rig Mr Buttons. created by Keith Osborn, and available for free download. There are six short videos to watch:
  1. Setting Your Scene Up
  2. Setting Your Character Up
  3. Blocking Keys
  4. Blocking Breakdowns
  5. Blocking Anticipation, Ease-In, Overshoot 
  6. Splining and Offsetting Keys
  7. Extra Finessing
  8. Adding a Prop Asset
Vimeo Channel
To find the videos follow the links below:


Like all our videos, these are password-protected, meaning it is only available for our current students and graduates.

To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our November 5th classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.





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