Friday, April 2, 2010

Thesis Film Movement Analysis

These three composite images were put together to go in a display case in the college this week. Overall I'm happy with them. They're a bit interesting because, if you look carefully at them, you can see that I've cheated each of those three movements in different ways.
The top one was a challenge for me because I first approached it as though I was hitting key poses. I looked at many reference videos to discover that although it is a very simple, straight forward dance step I was needing to cover a lot of ground very quickly. The footwork was so fast that I found the best way to tackle that movement was to approximate the foot positions (which is the area that was giving me the most trouble) in the live action video references and to sell the rest of it with the center of balance of the characters in each frame.
The second composite image was a step I don't feel worked too well as an animation, and I can't quite decide what I would have changed to get it to work more efficiently in motion. Rather than using a lot of squash and stretch in my animation for this film I made a conscious decision to hit poses very crisply and to use lots of secondary action on the hair and clothing to follow through along the arcs. Kaj Pindal gave me the advice to hit the poses immediately as he said that "that's what dancers are really trying to do". That's all well and good when it's not a long, continuous movement like this one. The constant changes in the body posing doesn't give the eye much opportunity to rest. I did my best to compensate for that problem here by using the arms to follow the hips just slightly in their rotation.
The third image was the first piece of physical dance animation I had done for my thesis film. There is a huge perspective change for that character in the scene, and the angle he is moving in along the z-axis is a pretty piss poor one for showcasing the center of balance of the character that is allowing him to make such a broad movement in the first place. The character design helps out here. His jacket keeps moving while he himself is not, as always. The sudden whip of his arm does read as being a large transfer of weight and sudden torque in the body. The relative speed with which he takes off is not realistic but, I felt, necessary for such a hefty character to supposedly become airborne. The last pose in that set, where he opens his body, is probably my favourite in the whole film... a silly little aside for anyone who bothered to read this far! Haha. Not as a drawing in itself, but for the way it feels in motion.

It may be worth throwing in a mention here that the bottom row on each image was the rough animation for the sequence shown above. I've been working entirely digitally, in Digicel Flipbook, if anyone was curious about that.


Em Soden said...

These are amazing, Amber!! I can't wait to see the whole film put together!

Amber Gail said...

Thank you, Emily!