Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Spline Doctors 

So I've been reading a blog written by Pixar animators who also, at least when they started the blog, were teaching animation at night at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. A lot of the stuff that they talk about for animation is really very applicable to drawing a comic or a storyboard.
Like this, from a post about how to improve your characters' "acting," from Dr. Stephen G:

"Here is an example of the things you might want to be thinking about when approaching a shot.

The Shot
Character at a bus stop and he just missed his bus.

All the stuff you need to know to animate this shot.
• What is the story point of this shot?
• Why does this shot exist in the film?
• What is it you are trying to tell?
• Who is this character?
• What was the character’s emotional state before he/she got to this shot? In the Sequence and film?
• How does the character feel about missing the bus?
• Where did he/she come from and where is he/she going?
• What time of day does the character arrive at the bus stop?
• What is the weather like; cold, hot, windy, rainy etc?

Answers to questions like these will help you start to understand the character and their appropriate reactions to situations like a character missing his bus. These answers start to help you build your performance, the character’s acting. You start having things you can act out that make sense rather than just hitting a bunch of standard poses that don’t relate to the character’s current emotional state and situation.

The first thing I do, which I think is super important, is I try to capture all of the above questions in one frame. I create my story frame or my KEY, Golden drawing, whatever you want to call it, and then determine what else needs to be in the shot to get the story point across. Less is more."


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