Rules is Rules

An in depth post about the rules of animation.


frank said...

Rules and laws. Even Newtonian physics was challenged by Einstein. Principles is a better word but sounds a bit high falootin' and it's cool to some folk to lack principles because they think it's being a rebel, when it's really just being an under educated bogan.

I like 'fundamentals', animation fundamentals, is the best descriptor around at the moment, as it contains a bit of fun anda sounds a bit mental.

What ever the name the important thing is to grasp the fundamentals of animation. They are the foundation on which to build an animation career. And it's fun learning and applying them.

Ian said...

Think about the role "Principles" play in your life, sometimes they bend and change depending on your situation or perspective on a particular issue. I think if you are a master of animation you can call them principles, if you are a student (and after many years of experience I still consider myself a student) then they are rules.

I challenge you to explain to me what gain is there is softening the language? When a complete understanding of the rules is established then I would imagine it become obvious when and how you can bend them, until then rigorous and relentless practice and application is what is required. Sounds like the perfect situation for a rule to me.

I agree that learning and applying the rules is fun and rewarding, but if that is the case why do we have to hide their importance wishy washy language? Are you still afraid of being Da Man Frank ;)

frank said...
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frank said...
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frank said...

Ow! Ian you have driven a stake through my evil student heart.

But avast ye!

There was thinking behind my 'soft words'.

I was listening to a lecture on learning and culture.

The speaker was talking about traditional women's roles in the family and society. And then comparing traditionalist cultures (usually ruled by law based in an ancient belief system or antiquated religious text) to progressive cultures. But it boiled down to how we pass on knowledge.

There were two methods identified: participatory learning and dictatorial teaching.

The results are that better societies with more education and advantages of a better life have grown from the participatory model.

In groups what were recently rules are challenged and debated and adapted. The tried and tested ones are kept as fundamentals, the outdated ones are dicarded. The culture survives through its collective thinking and adaptability.

So, what I'm saying is, 'da man' is dead, long live the soft linguists.

Dictating the rules don't get them learned, repackaging and labelling them in a more participatory way just might.

I do agree with you on a point though, a student has to apply them first to actually test them. Saying that a rule is tested by not applying it is illogical and pure lazy sciving.

Ian said...

I don't think in this day and age a tertiary teacher is in a position to dictate anything. They are paying clients and we provide a service is how it goes these days. I'm talking more about tweeking the language so as to give the right impression of how important the "principles" are, its not like we would or could throw people in jail (or in the case of most tertiary study even fail the student) for not apply them.

I think your cultural example takes the whole society into account, across the whole animating population the fundumetals will and do stand the test of time and emerge as valuable.

But this is happening across the whole industry, students on the other hand need to just bloody do them for a few years. Get into the industry at least and then see whats up for grabs in a practical functioning studio context.

What I'm warning against in the original piece is that your attitue towards rules at this early stage may hinder your efforts to play a part in the future evolution of animation principles. No-one is even going to notice you breaking the rules as a student because the asumption will be that you're just another student who dosn't know the rules.Once people know you can apply the rules if you want but are choosing not too, then that is real grunt.

frank said...

I was going to say that "foundations" sound even better because they are what an animator builds a career on.

That's when I realised... 'ffundamentals', 'ffoundations'... 'fffffrank'

Preconditioned from primary school. I just like f words. :)

Learn the rules you flea-brained animation students!

Is anyone taking notes? Coz I'm dictating.

Ahhhhh... that ffffeels better ;)

frank said...

"Start with the things that you know and the things that are unknown will be revealed to you"

Rembrandt, 1606-1669 (in the back of, The Animator's Survival Kit.)