I think that my 5th class at Animation Mentor was the hardest of the programme.
I kept learning from the first day of the class and I realised even more how being an animator can be difficult.
To keep it a bit short, here is a small list of the things that I think I really learned during that term:
* The hands : they're super important and can give a lot of character to a piece of work. I think that I made a good choice trying to animate a woman character because it helped me see more details in they're hands. For those of you who may be reading these notes, next time you watch people, pay close attention to their hands, you may be surprised at how much detail they can give.
One of the best advices about animating woman's hands was to avoid to keep them wide open. As soon as you do they tend to lose their feminity. They work a lot better with closed shapes.
* The face : during my time at AM I started to become comfortable with body mechanics, but something that was still a big challenge for me was the face. Altough I think that I've learned a lot from my 1 character shot , when I looked back at it I couldn't help noticing this character that really feels lifeless whatever it was trying to do. Then I realised what was actually missing. The face is really complex and requires a lot of craft to have it look like one single piece instead of different parts moving at different times. A lip sync that's slightly off, eyes that are not expressing the mood of the character, eyebrows that are moving independently of everything else and the illusion is gone.
A few things that I've learned here :
- Try to get some clean arcs in the corner of the lips when the character is talking
- You can get a lot of fluidity into the lip sync by moving the entire mouth up and down when necessary
- When the mouth goes up, thing about moving the cheeks and maybe squashing the eyes a little bit too
- Don't forget to shape your eyes to your eyebrows. This one really adds a lot to the character
- Think about offsetting the eyebrows and eyelids movements. For most of the time the eyebrows start the movement then are followed by the eyelids one of two frames later.
That's it I think , there is a lot more but these points were really important to me as I wasn't considering them before. Thanks for reading :)