Sunday, September 16, 2007

duck animation

It has been more than a month since I updated?! Even though I haven't updated, I am still learning a lot about animation everyday with a struggle:D

I was animating scene of ducks, and it was a whole other world of learning how birds move. I had never really drawn birds before, and the way they walk was a lot different from how we walk. First, I tried to study their anatomy as much as I can, like how their wings tuck in to their body ( this was most mysterious for me, because it is hard to see what their wings are doing since they have a white body) After that, I also watched the movie, "Babe" to watch how they walk, run, turn. I watched it frame by frame, and here are some studies I did at first, ( I had no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to draw how they move..)

Then, I animated it. Then, the duck looked like a toy duck. It didn't move like an actual duck! I showed it to Mike, and he taught me some important things that changed my drawings a whole a lot. He told me to find "where is the movable part in their body?" Also "how do their feet tuck into their body?" They were the very important questions to ask myself when I was studying from movement. So I did some more until I felt like I got it,

And I just animated one duck, and it looked a lot different! But then, they looked too realistic, I had to make it look believable, at the same time, it's still animated. Here is the final animation I did....

Another challenging part was the direction of the whole group. After animating 5 ducks, I had to pay more attention to the direction of the whole group. Even though they are doing different movements, the group has to feel like it's one unit. Also Mike wanted to show that there are many ducks everywhere, not only 6 ducks.

So here is a list of what I learned in how to animate animals from this scene....

1. Research Research Research!

2.Where is the movable part(the part that doesn't change, like the cranium, chest and pelvis)? And how those parts connects and move?

3.What is the skeleton? What is the structure underneath?

4. What is the skin like? How does it feel? Loose? Rigid? Rough? Feathered?

Lastly, one important thing was instead of analyzing movement too much, I had to take the role of a duck, be a duck, and animate that experience, not what a duck looks like. That's the wonderful thing about animation, you get to become anything, and share your experiences with others, and that's why I like to animate.