Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Why Animators Must Check Their Hookups

Jerich0 - excellent shot continuity
Why must animators check their hookups? Animators are commonly assigned to work on single shots on a project, which means there will be another shot, animated by another animator, on either side of theirs.

These shots must play together in continuity, meaning that there must be a smooth flow from one to another. The pose of a character at the end of one shot should be the same pose in the next shot, or else the shots won't "hook up".

In animation terms, hookups are nothing to do with Tinder, or online dating. Hookups are about continuity, and on a film project it is the animator's responsibility to make sure that their shot hooks up with the shots on either side of theirs.

Animators - can't see the wood for the trees?
Storyboarding and 3D Layout
Obviously, the main responsibility for shot continuity lies with the storyboard dept, and later the 3D layout dept, whose shot planning gets handed over the animation dept for animation. However, this does not absolve the animators from taking responsibility for making sure that their shots connect up.

Animators have to concentrate hard for long periods on a single shot, and often we get lost in the detail of what we are doing, losing sight of the big picture. In this case the big picture is the film itself - which is much more important than any individual shot. Sometimes, as animators, we can't see the wood for the trees.

Shot continuity in Jerich0
Take a look at the two shots from the short film Jerich0 above. Shot 1 is a wide shot, and it cuts directly to shot 2, a medium shot of the same lizard. Note that the lizard is in the exact same pose in both shots. The animators have collaborated to make sure that the pose is the same in both shots. They have checked their hook-ups, to maintain visual consistency.

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