Staging - an Animation Priniciple

The principles of physical animation number up to 13, if an animator includes 'spacing' as different to "slow-in and slow-out".
One of the more challenging, but rewarding, animation principles to tame is "staging". Mark Kennedy has an excellent guide to help animation students understand this important principle.

4 comments:

Kristi said...

A good article, this one.

I remember a lecture given by a layout artist at my first place of work, trying to explain basic cinematography to animators. There was an undercurrent of despair in his presentation at the way animators routinely ignored his carefully considered setups, resulting in really crappy cuts between shots. What, your character isn't centered properly in the boards? There's a GOOD REASON for that.

What I'm trying to say is, if you are working with boards from good story artists, TRUST THEM. They know this stuff better than you do. Especially if you have only one shot among many and you have no idea how your shot meshes with the surrounds, make sure you at least match the start and end points!

michelle said...

Great, thoughtful, useful post. I love your directness, Kristi. So that is a punchy and useful comment of yours that will ring in my head WHEN I graduate and start as a dreaded gormless newbie in a company. (Hopefully I will have done my homework by then and not make too much of an exasperating ass of myself!)I really appreciate that comment! We students should really try to understand peoples roles in a company AND different company structures before we even apply for jobs.
Like the Golden Camel Post elucidates re: staging, I think we (newbies) need to learn to think about what we are doing, not just force a one size fits all "stock-standard" response to tasks and situations. This staging post really shows you a fruitful way of thinking, examining a task from all sides, asking why am I doing this/is it going to work in this context? I have a vague instinctive feeling about why all the cinema I love works the way it does but it seems really fruitful/intelligent to consciously start to learn why specific staging works in specific films/animations. This is a timely post for us students considering making a short in our second year.I've devoured and will bookmark these two posts plus his post on character design below it too.

Frank said...

Hi Kristi. Thanks for your comment.

"Trust the good storyboarder", I like it.

Along that line of thinking, and because I like to harp on about my experience at Goeblins, the teachers there said that the whole story should work at the storyboard/animatic stage. The animators then add the motion to the emotion.

Frank said...

Hey Michelle. Yes, I do have the second years' narratives in mind with these posts on animation principles.