2D Animation: Tips and Tricks

– [Instructor] One of the important things to remember when we animate, is that we’re not just pushing arbitrary shapes around a screen. We’re supposed to be in the business of acting and communicating personality. So I’ve always liked the idea of the Igor character, who’s, we see the most extreme version in Young Frankenstein, the Marty Feldman performance, which is kind of what I had in mind here. So it’s these, being told flip the third switch, yes, master, and then he turns to flip the third switch. So how do we go about getting that? What are the technical issues involved? Some of them that will help us get to this kind of personality? So these are my very cleaned up thumbnails.

I had an original thumbnail that was very similar to this, but a bit rougher, but this is about the level of my thumbnail, those details. So I’m a thumbnail fanatic. I really believe in like strong thumbnails. Of course, these are cleaned up versions with the digital lines in the background, but the essence of it was fairly close to this. And I also planned a lot of my timing as best I can. This, of course, is the final timing, but you get the idea. It’s a really nice way to work because then you can see the entire scene in one look. It’s like a Supermac to the entire action that you need.

So the thing I’m drawing your eye to here, as you can probably guess, is the area in red. So I have the poses already read as an Igor kind of character. He’s hunched over. He’s a little servile. But how do we translate some of that into like a creepy or a sneaky action? And so I wanted to lead the action with an unusual body part, like the shoulder, like the back. He’s very stiff, but it’s also, it reads kind of like, little insect-like. You know, when you see this kind of thing here.

And then we also then lead with the elbow. And then we, at this point, we can then finish the animation here, ending in the basic generic pose here. This pose could probably be pushed to be even creepier, but at this point I was happy enough with most of what’s here in the scene, a nice simple end pose also works pretty well. Now, bear in mind, my timing is on 24 frames per second. So if you’re animating on 30 frames per second, you can pad these numbers a little bit, but you get the idea. So my 23 will be your 29, roughly something like that.

So here was the final scene. And as you can see, now that your attention has been drawn to the leading action on the shoulder, hopefully you can see it. So as you can see here, the nice creepy pose, which is carried through and amplified. So the leading action actually amplifies that pose characteristic that I wanted the audience to see. So it just really takes him out of the realm of being a pedestrian everyday figure, turning from left to right.

Now we have a bit of personality to him. I would carry this through. If I we’re going to animate this character more, I would build on this, I would do more like that, leading more with the upper body, the shoulder blades and that area because it seems to really telegraph that kind of characteristic. So anyway, that’s a leading action and how you can use a leading action to show the audience personality.