|Keep your characters breathing|
Breathing is something that we do without thinking about it, rather like blinking. A good animator adds breath to his character, and keeps them alive.
The trick is to get into a pose, and stay there, but not let the character stop moving entirely. Some motion is necessary, just to keep a character alive and breathing.
Get into a pose - and stay there
Get your character into a good, strong pose, and then stay there, nut make sure you keep the character alive in the pose. Keeping the character alive is what the old 2D animators used to call a "moving hold". It's also the basis of TV animation, where animators tend to stay inside a pose for as long as possible because of the sheer volume of work (often over 30 seconds a week) they have to get through.
Moving holds are a tricky thing to get right. If your character moves too much, the performance will feel floaty, but if the character stops moving completely, the animation will die, and the character feels lifeless. Working with CG puppets we must create the illusion of life, and this means keeping our characters moving, at least just a little bit, and breathing.
Overshoot and settle
One classic way to get into a pose - and stay there - is with an overshoot and settle. To do this, create a pose that is more extreme than the one you want to end up in, and then settle into the final pose. See the example to the right from the Animator's Survival Kit.
|Overshoot and Settle (ASK)|
We are constantly adjusting our position, our weight, our balance, without even knowing it. And we have to keep breathing too.
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