Characters In Motion

A quick post, as I just saw this and loved it. This is going to be very much an animation nerd post, so ye be warned.

Big Hero Six is the new film from Disney, and by all accounts it’s a great film – we in the UK won’t actually know until the end of January because apparently oceans are still a thing.

There’s a great bit of playlist that’s been released as part of the marketing, a character study for each of the main characters in the film. It’s a great exercise to do as for animators who are developing a character, to feel out how they should be animated for a film – you pick a simple action, such as walking into a room and sitting down in a chair.

characterStudyScreenshot

It’s a straightforward thing to do, and mechanically animating it to feel believable is one thing – but animating with character is something else. Every single one of the tests has different choices that speak to who that person is, what they feel about themselves, how they treat others. Now you’re not just moving things around on screen, you’re creating the illusion of life. Really brilliant stuff from the guys at Disney and I’m seriously looking forward to the film. As I said, animation nerd.

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Paperman

With the arrival to these shores of Wreck-It Ralph in recent days (why oh why are we getting it six months after the rest of the world, I do not know), I thought I’d throw up a quick post regarding Paperman, which I believe is being shown in front of Wreck-it. I think it’s awesome that Pixar has moved that concept of short-before-feature over to Disney; a good animated short is a joy to behold.

The combination of 2D and 3D is fascinating, and definitely gives Paperman a unique look that I think would be hard to achieve by any other means. It’s not really cel-shaded, but at the same time is far more detailed than I think traditional hand-drawn would want to go (given the amount of time and effort required to control the drawings through each shot).

Take a look. The in-betweening software is akin to witchcraft.

I’m not sure if this tech will go places in future, but anything that broadens out the range of styles that are being used in mainstream animation can only be a good thing.