Besides The Basics (construction of heads and skulls and muscles and skeletons and how they move), I’ll go over some things I’ve been trying to work on myself lately:
1. Treat expressions as a single gesture of the face/head, as opposed to a head and then individual features dumped on a plate and arranged into an expression.
First, just get down the big shapes of your expression, just like you would for a pose.
So say I wanna do a low angle angry pose. I know the features are gonna be all mashed down at the bottom because of perspective.
Scribble it down
start to put on features
put on more stuff
fix stuff again
erasing and flipping and stuff a whole bunch until you are happy with it or stop caring
Whole head is a gesture!
2. Just like a facial expression, jot down where the important parts of an entire pose goes first. You can force the rest of the body to fit the pose.
So here I knew I wanted the shoulders tilted a certain direction, and te hand to be in that particular position in front of her face.
That’s the simplest explanation I got. Don’t be afraid to push and pull faces and bodies around! Worry about being “on model” last!
Only way to learn figures is to look at them and draw them. I’ve taken figure drawing and anatomy for artist classes in addition to drawing a lot. Take them if you can! And I fuck up legs more than anything because I don’t draw them enough. Easy springboard though is searching for Andrew Loomis books.
Same with hands, though there are some fairly easy to describe formulas for hands so I drew up a couple rq
First of all, for probably 90% of the hand poses you’re gonna draw, think fingers like the petals on a pinwheel. They all curve the same degree, in relation to the previous.
Hi Joe. thanks for the thoughtful question. First off I want to say, if you’re looking for advice, my main tip is to ignore any rules you might have been taught and focus on what works for you. There is no right or wrong way to animate. So do whatever you want to get sweet results.
Yeah you guessed it. I mostly just animate off the top of my head. I’m not big into pre production. I never make animatics for my own stuff. I only do rough animation if its a complicated shot that i might fail at. Otherwise i just go straight into final clean animation. I’m not saying that’s the best way to do things, but its best for me. I do make storyboards for longer stuff. They’re super sketchy and loose. Mostly just make them to quickly reference what happens next and to keep the big picture in mind. This is the storyboard I used when making The Jump.
You’ll notice I cut some stuff out and didn’t bother planning out the ghost memory stuff. I think if story meant a lot to me I might be more into planning. But it doesn’t, so I’m not.