Well it's been a while since I last uploaded, I don't know how many people still check my blog. I have been busy at work, with overtime and everything. It was hard to find time to sit down in front of the computer and start blogging again. Work has been good but I still have to do animation tests in my spare time so I can one day move up to become and animator rather than an inbetweener. So I have been working on this dialog test with Madam Mim for a while.
I've been getting a lot of great feedback from Mark Henn and he has been passing on a lot of great information taught to him through the ages of animators. The first thing I've learned from him is about thumb nailing, he said Eric Larson told him to do thumbnails like a circle, you should start with one idea, thumbnail it, and move onto the next and next and go full-circle back to the original idea, and then pick the best one from there to make sure you've tried everything possible so that you don't cheat the audience. Sometimes you may find the original idea is your favorite and you choose it, but at least you know you tried everything.
So after thumb nailing I started animating my ruff, and one thing I need to be aware of in the future is that Mark said you can be ruff, but you still need to be careful and make sure the proportions are still accurate. Mine were not and this caused me a lot of problems down the line when I was tying down.
So now I've started to tie down and putting in all of the dialog. I always have problems with my dialog, the mouth shapes tend to be mushy. One time I was working with Mike Surrey putting inbetweens for his dialog animation, and I put the mouths very evenly and it looked very mushy. He told me to favor one mouth shape over the other. Also Yoshi (A Japanese French animator) gave me feedback on mouth shapes telling me to watch the Arc of the edges of the mouth where the lips fold the most, and now it looks so much better once I went back and did that.
Here is the half tied down and half ruff scene, you can see all of the various stages. I still need to animate how she puts her hair up, the rest of the mouthshapes, and overlapping action to her hair.