ABSTRACT

In traditional cell animation, there are two basic modes-straight ahead and pose to pose. One of the main concepts that I try to get across to my students when were working with a system like a biped, and this goes for any type of system including your own custom animated rig, is that there are certain limitations to how far you can animate your system without running

curves that control the movement and rotation of parts of your structure that will start working against you when you try to do too much with it. Here’s a good example of where someone might get into trouble with straight ahead animating a camera at the beginning of the process of creating their animation. I’ll see someone spend weeks creating a scene and animating it without any consideration of how it will be viewed through the camera. The person will finally place a camera in the scene and then, typical to straight ahead animation, will go and start moving it through the scene to catch all of the vital parts from start to finish. This is why in Chapter 1 I introduced you to the concept of the trajectory, so that you do start to think about how your objects are moving. In most animations, when you try to animate the camera all the way through the scene, flying around will create a number of positions where the camera moves too fast or too slow and you don’t really have good control over trying to display the action that is happening within your scene. If you’ve never had the opportunity to work on a production set, in your mind you may think a production is produced seamlessly. You may not be noticing that there are multiple shots and multiple cameras being edited together. Take a look at special features on your favorite DVD at home or go to one of the places that will now rent them or let you download them online, and you can really start to enjoy seeing the process of how a production is put together. The director will have the actors work through setting up the scene and run through the scene several times to figure out how to get the best position for the camera and the actors in the right place. They also have to consider the special effects, whether they’re done on site when the production is made or as is typical these days in postproduction with a software like 3ds MAX. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with straight ahead animation, it’s just that you have to be very proficient in anticipating how everything’s going to be moving in concert together to

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In the pose-to-pose animation process, the animator has a starting position that can be drawn from and an ending position to be drawn to. Effectively, the whole sequence of action has already been broken down into small pieces and in the pose to pose they’re basically now carving those small pieces that will then be edited together. Effectively what you want to be doing is breaking down your animation into those small pieces, animating those small segments, and saving amounts, so that then you can edit them back together.