Monday, June 16, 2008

Animation Ramble - The Power of Subtle Changes In Timing

Today I introduced the 1st year animation students to the idea of doing animation workouts in order to heighten their feel and eye for timing. So I have a little example to consider.

I've been experimenting with live action reference lately, I was using a sword fight downloaded from Youtube. I started by trying to pick out what I thought would be the keys, but the movement was so frantic I kind of fell into a routine of doing every second frame. Then I watched it a few times and felt the timing could be pushed a bit. I had to keep the frames where the sword made contact in the same place (for now) so they would sinc up with the other character when I draw him in, but I figured that between those points I could push things around a bit. I pushed my evenly spaced keys closer together where I wanted him to move fast and that left other parts where I could slow it down by having the keys more spread out.

Here is what my timeline looked like at first.

Here is what it looked like afterwards.I still have a lot to do to the poses themselves, but I think the difference in the timing is quite powerful, especially in the last two swings where you can see a lot more weight in the sword. There is more contrast in the timing, more change. I've exaggerated reality to help convince the audience the the unreal the see is real. I hope.

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