May 13, 2008

Watch The Eyes

Just going to post this up quick. Something I've though about before when I'm animating something is how we animators have a kind of 'wide eye' for the shot were working on... like we can see the whole frame in our vision and judge the motion within it, rather than just concentrate on whats deemed as 'important'. Its like when we watch our motion back on the playblast - we tend to watch the whole character, by looking at their `average point`, because we're trying to see how everything works together as a whole, as well as concentrating on the specific part we just changed... its as if were trying to look at every little detail all at once.

When you learn about animation you find over and over being told how important the character's eyes are to the performance, and its equally true to remember how the audience will spend all of their time almost exclusively looking at the character's eyes. For me personally, its kind of odd how much I don't think of this when im animating... I tend to concentrate so closely on the eyes that I forget to watch how they fit with the rest of the body... either that or I'm looking at the shot 'wide eyed' and not seeing the details...


I think a good approach is for an animator to look right into the characters eyes when running playblasts. In fact, I think it would work too to look into the eyes of your character while posing - even if your posing the hand or foot, you can get the overall "shape" of it by looking in the eyes, then afterwards looking at that specific part and posing the details. Same too maybe if were animating the hand of our character, look in the eyes as you watch the playblast and see how the motion reads there, rather than just staring at the hand, or staring at the shot 'wide'.



12 comments:

Liron Topaz said...

Hello Cameron, First I wanted to say I love your blog. so much good info tips and tricks. Really fun to read. I just read your post about Watching the Eyes and that is so true. I found my self so many times watching something tiny like a hand motion, and polishing it till its exactly the way I want it, but later on, while not focusing on anything specific and simply watch the shot, it bothers me because it doesn't flow with the rest of the shot. The eyes can say so much about the character.
I never thought of posing while focusing on the eyes, will have to try that sometime :)

Daniel M.C. Alvite said...

Nice point you got here, of reading the conjunction of the parts and eyes.,,
thanks

gemini82 said...

I've just discovered your blog and I'm loving it. Learning so much

Cameron Fielding said...

Thanks guys.

Bobby Pontillas said...

So weird, I couldve sworn I bookmarked this blog, but on a whim I come visit and you've got 5 new entries I havent seen! What gives "Bloglines"!

Cameron Fielding said...

haha thanks Bobby.

There is a link to "FlipMail" in the side bar.. should mail you up when there's a new post...

Chad Fox said...

I read this post when it first came out and immediately saw how useful of a tip it was. I am not an animator, but teach modeling for animation students at VFS. I instructed my students to look into their characters eyes while playblasting their animation and self critiquing. The results were astounding, they noticed problems a lot faster and picked up on subtleties that would otherwise go unnoticed for some time.

Vince Gorman said...

Cameron, where are you??

Cameron Fielding said...

I am currently living in "all work and no play land" .. its like Disney Land, but without the happy music and hot dogs.

seriously tho, its a busy time at work and at home. I have a bunch of posts in "draft" on this blog - but just no time right now to flesh them out. Despite what you might think this blog is still going strong.

thanks for the comments all.

zenner said...

Time to bring the blog out of hibernation :)

`a

Dann said...

most helpful blog on animation i've ever seen...?

TRUE.

thanks for putting this thing up, its great... and very helpful!
-dann

Hrishikesh said...

loved ur blog & thans for the infow :)