Introduction to Animation

Posted by Sam Hayes On Saturday, February 06, 2010
Yesterday, Alan explained in a lot of detail the different types of Animation that are used as well as their history throughout film and cartoons. As part of our Introduction to Animation unit, he showed us the differences between these methods along with some examples of them in use. Our task this week, to keep us progressing with Maya, is to create a short Playblast of a animated ball being dropped from a height and bouncing to a stop.

Alan also showed us different methods of animating, explaining Pose to Pose animation, whereby the animators have a starting pose and a finishing pose, whilst improvising in the middle to make the transition. This is used in a lot of the original Disney films, such as the Lion King and can be seen as the characters are constantly in very powerful poses and positions.

There is also the 'Straight Ahead' method, where improvisation is relied on a lot more, simply animating the character without a clear finishing point, this can have it's advantages, such as there being more entertaining and detailed movement, but ultimately it can be unreliable in terms of timing and not precise. The example Alan showed us for this was a scene from the original Clash of the Titans.

There was also Rotoscoping / Motion Capture, which has been used more recently to create a realistic animation style, used in films such as 'The Polar Express and 'Beowulf.'


Though I think the main reason animation was used in this film was to prevent us having to look at the actual Ray Winstone in underwear, which would have been much more offensive.

The amount of information Alan gave us on Friday was huge that I will be re-reading over it over the next couple of weeks, I'm also going to have a crack and getting some of the books he showed us, though they do seem quite pricey. I think all of these fundamentals are going to be incredible important in the future.

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I'm a student studying CG Arts and Animation at the University for the Creative Arts, I'm living in Kent.

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