Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ed Love: Connecting Held Poses

From :"Drooler's Delight":
Ed Love is great at varying how he connects his bold and clear poses. Here's a real simple general way:

Here are the 2 poses we see and feel in the animation. They are holds. They are drawn with perfectly clear negative spaces, contrasts and lines of action. The action happening between them is visually obvious. Buzz stretches Woody up. The action is clear in just the still poses.

But to feel the the distance (or contrast) between them even stronger, Ed Love has created 2 more poses between them that caricature the held poses. He has made an anticipation pose and an overshoot pose. These 2 poses created more space between the extremes. That extra space gives the action more punch than if he had just inbetweened the 2 holds. (The farther you travel in the same amount of frames, the more punch the action has.)

Not every part of the second pose overshoots. The overshoot is focused on the main part of the action: Buzz' arm stretching Woody.
Focus of action gets to the final pose first. The rest catches up.
Here's a longer clip with more poses and more ways to connect them.

A good animator like Ed Love varies the way he connects consecutive poses. He doesn't always do an antic and an overshoot, and he doesn't time the connections the same way for each pose. What he does do is control the whole sequence with a hierarchical structure of poses. Some poses and actions are more important than others, and he uses all the drawing and animation tools to keep your eye following the important parts of the action. He does it all with flair and fun too.

The more variations you use in your poses and actions, the more natural the characters and animation feel. Lesser animation uses the same handful of formulaic ways to connect the same stock poses over and over again and the action gets monotonous and robotic. At least for me.

Remind me to tell you about the stock Canadian anticipation pose sometime.