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.


31 comments:

Erik Robinson said...

Great post!!! Very informative! It wouldn't be a John K post without some hate for us Canadian animators!

Steven M. said...

Nothing short of skillful.

Please tell us about the Stock Canadian Antic.

zmerrill said...

Can you tell us about the Stock Canadian Antics?

And these poses are lively, and is clearer to me when you dissected them for us.

Scrawnycartoons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doomer said...

Good blog!!!

Joshua Kahan said...

Thanks John!

It's really good to see this stuff broken down like this.

How could you make it seem even more exaggerated? Would you make the overshot even further away?

Isaak said...

Just want to say I am watching "Fake Dad" and appreciate that you and your fellow workers put in a lot of work that emulated the Golden Age of Animation. Are you planning any "big" works in the near future? Would love to know.

Thank you

Roberto Severino said...

Ed Love was a genius for sure. I like how these drawings actually feel like real, organic characters. In other words, there's a good reason for this to be animated.

What is the best way to break out of using overused animation tricks/poses, especially when you're trying to come up with custom poses from your head?

SparkyMK3 said...

John, i really wish i could compile all of this animation knowledge you give us into one big binder, so that i could practically carry an animation school in my pocket, be able to help any needful animator on the spot. How much more tools and tips do you have to give us about animation?

By the way, are Famous Studios cartoons worth studying for construction, or are they too sloppy/formless/bland? Also, I know you've said that "Me Musical Nephews" and "Cartoons Ain't Human" have great timing, so i assume i should at least study those cartoons for timing, right?

Damiano D said...

Wow, I never really notice/understand just how much effort goes into just a single sequence until you break it down like that. So skillful on so many levels! I love Ed Love's work.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

Nice!!!!!!

martinus said...

I'd love to hear about the stock animation takes.
Every time I think I've learnt a cute animating technique you totally destroy it with a blog post.
I was almost on my way animating dabbing until you did that post and I realised how ridiculous and unrealistic that is!
I think it has a lot do do with seeing those actions in animation all the time, and then subconsciously thinking that's how animation SHOULD be.

Michael Sporn said...

Excellent piece. Many thanks. I also love the use of the breaking of joints in these four drawings.

John Rouse said...

Heh, heh...he's stroking a pecker.

Martin Juneau said...

Shame that because of their financial failures, the studio was forced to close his studio temporary and when it's re-opened 1 year later, the 40's cartoons quality wasn't back despite the coming of Don Patterson, Tex Avery (Who give the brillant Chilly Willy we know today), ex-Disney director Jack Hannah and especially Sid Marcus who directed the last wildest and great batch shorts of this studio in the mid-60's.

This Ed Love animation (And many of the end-40's shorts) is a great example of real good animation if the studio wasn't at bankrupt and declined in quality in the 50's and onward. As was the characters designs itself being changed by producer' taste.

Trevor Thompson said...

Hey John. Tell us about the stock Canadian anticipation pose.

Just reminding you.

Pete Emslie said...

So what's up with the two boids? As everyone knows, Buzz is a toy spaceman and Woody is a toy cowboy. And this John K. fellow claims to know about cartoons...HAH! John really needs to watch more contemporary animation so he can study the latest flicking and dabbing techniques.

Herman G said...

Thanks for the breakdown.. more please

Gordeaux said...

This is GOLD! And you are giving this away! You deserve a knighthood! And being a Canadian you might be eligible!!!

HemlockMan said...

This is good stuff. The way Buzz has been handled in animation is probably the main reason I have always found that character extremely disturbing. I never found him scary/funny when I was a kid. Just plain unsettling. He was a disturbing presence in those Walter Lantz cartoons.

becurt said...

That's awesome. I'm fairly certain my teacher has never went over anything about an overshoot. It might have been implied, but never explained. It all seems so obvious now! Thanks for this post.

zmerrill said...

"So what's up with the two boids? As everyone knows, Buzz is a toy spaceman and Woody is a toy cowboy."

That's funny! And what a strange coincidence between different cartoons.

david gemmill said...

what is weird about the sequence is that he has a hold where you might not normally place one. instead of going straight from buzz's foot on woody's to the neck stretch up, he holds on the foot, then stretches. Other animators or directors might have combined that action (foot placement plus stretch up, using the opposing actions) to make it faster. interesting

Isaak said...

As nice as these posts are, are you going to make more posts showcasing poor animation by modern studios.

Thank you

J C Roberts said...

I guess it's fitting that yanking and stretching your woody would result in an overshoot, but sophisticated humor aside, these are important principles in making animation more "alive".

It's a good example of it here, where you want the elasticity to register. Mixing it up and using the appropriate level for the size and weight of characters is also important. Using the same technique every time will start to look like jello world.

BlakeJ said...

Hey, John, great post!

I don't mean to be a bother, but I started a blog not too long ago, and I was wondering if you could take a look. I just posted some Sody Pop studies, and some caricatures of people.

It would be great encouragement to me if you'd give me some constructive criticism!

BlakeJCartoons Blog Link

Your Pal,
Blake J

Sean Lally said...

which woody woodpecker short is this from? please?

Paul B said...

Hi John! hey, I found this cartoon and its funny! the history is boring but I think the animation is great and funny! it's animated to the music too!! It's from a british animation studio from the sixties, Halas & Batchelor.
What do you think? did you knew it?

cartoon

Mattieshoe said...

Posts like this are exactly what a budding cartoonist needs, John. I'd be willing to pay for more like this.

Martin Juneau said...

Just say something, when you talking about stock Canadian animation, they have some opportunities that most of them was already based of a existing product mostly kids books or created for forcely educated childrens with generic moral messages which remove creativity and solidity in Canadian animation outside of the NFB studios. (They never let artists draw the same way than their neighbor. Even one of them have a real Clampett/Avery's cartoon feeling name "Get a Job". And it works!)

The current example of what i taugh is Scaredy Squirrel from Melanie Watt. The illustrated version looks fine but the cartoon version is just plain garbage. And it don't help that most of them in Nelvana have never read or heard about the original Watt's works and looks and i scare that most of pre-teenagers will just heard that character for this show.

Top40RetroGeek said...

I'm wondering how the Ren & Stimpy Show would look on High-def bluray disc, I wondering if its possible for The Ren & Stimpy (seasons 1 & 2), can be released in High Definition on blu-ray disc, can such a thing can be considered?