(E.1 – Shown above, an earlier version of the animation which features in the final animation video, linked here)
Unfortunately, animating was one of the areas within the production that had been extremely pushed for time, especially when I suddenly became the role of management for the extra hands that had been brought on to assist with the project. My time that had been dedicated to working on animating the clearing scene was drastically impacted, which was a hapless consequence of the events that have surrounded this project within recent weeks.
The small shot that is shown in example one is all that I was able to achieve – I would have enjoyed the experience of pushing it further, but could not because of time constraints. The version that is featured within this blog post varies slightly from the piece that was included within the final render, but I felt that the movement of the boy jumping had been negatively impacted during the importation stage and therefore wished to feature it as a separate post.
The significant challenge of this animation was that it was two characters with some form of interaction. In my previous animation attempts, there was only one singular character that often did not have to do a perfunctory motion with another person or object. The fact that the boy is sliding from the bear’s back, and that he is moving and gesturing his head towards something in the distance, made the experience of animating the sequence unique.
Undertaking the animation task was a bit daunting, as it has been roughly around two years since I have had to animate characters. To refresh myself of the process, I referred to a book that I had in my personal library, Animation: A Handy Guide, by Sheila Graber. Reviewing the book enabled me to refresh my memories very promptly, which due to the time constraints was beneficial for production. However, there were certain elements such as the autokey feature and the graph editor which I rediscovered in the midst of the animation process.
Evaluating my work, I would assess that my timing still requires a lot of practice – but the animation has promise, which after a two-year hiatus really surprised me. Personally, I found that once I was animating and the frustrations of forgetting small details had passed, that I was actually enjoying the task. It is a shame that the circumstances prevented us from achieving more, and if other technical problems had not arisen, it would have been satisfying to see all of the commitment and hard work that I had performed during the creation of the boy be explored further through movement and expression.
Whilst my technical abilities have not developed much from this process of production, I have regained them – that is something that I feel is vital to have for the second semester. By identifying my weakest area of the animating process – timing – this will enable me to specify what I should research further, and practice, in order to improve my technical skill.
Graber, S. (2009). Animation. 1st ed. London: A. & C. Black.