Thursday, October 21, 2010


I just logged into my blogger account today for the first time in quite a while (certainly the first time in a long time I've looked at the last time I posted) and noticed my last post was one year ago today. I'm increasingly using my deviantArt journal and Newgrounds news to post bloggish things, especially things about Enthalpy, so this blog isn't nearly as necessary as time forgot. This certainly hasn't been a production blog... until now. This place is a good place for posting records for myself that I'm not necessarily showing other people for critique.

Frame-by-frame animation of Nicholas and his similarly drawn comrades is getting easier and I'm keeping the proportions consistent more intuitively. Frequency of Ctrl + Z usage is slightly above acceptable limits. My current strategy is to animate everything on twos and then go back and continue adding tweeny keyframes to the spots in which 12 FPS looks too jerky, but unfortunately so far that seems to be just about everywhere.

Here's an example of a bit of in-progress animation that I assumed I could do on twos but I couldn't. In its current state, there are a couple of problems I'll have to go back and fix, most notably that the paper changes size as Nicholas lifts it up, but when I started it didn't look right at all and I wasn't sure why. At first I thought I didn't ease the movement enough, but that wasn't the problem. I decided to watch myself do the motions in the mirror and made these important notes:

-The most obvious difference between what I did and what my animated doppelganger did was that the side of my shirt was lifted up as my arm tugged it. TV cartoon clothes are usually drawn as though they're skintight even when they're not, and I'd fallen into that trap. I went back and redrew the side of Nicholas' shirt so that it's very subtly pulled up near the sleeve as he raises his arm. Not nearly as noticeable as my real-life shirtpull, but it works better.

-When I lifted my arm, it stopped moving slightly after the rest of my body. Ah, right, of course, I thought. Overlapping actions. Of course I knew of the principle of overlapping action in animation, but I didn't even think to apply it yet. Silly me.

-When I lowered my arm, it bounced as it hit my leg. In fact, it bounced twice. When I tried animating this it didn't really look right and I eventually ended up making a rubbery, cartoony smack. I'll probably try the bounce again.

I'm still doing a lot of learning right now. Hopefully future cartoons will take way less time because these sorts of things I'm still teaching myself will immediately come to mind as I'm drawing.