Monday, April 23, 2012

If Animators Worked Like Mechanics:

I don’t know about you but I hate taking my car to the mechanic.  It’s this feeling of being taken advantage of due to my lack of knowledge of car repair and the cost that comes along with it.  There is a lot going on under the hood and in the dash and behind your wheels and under the carriage. They could easily explain that to get this to work, you gotta buy that,, and on top of that you’ll need this too.  It always feels like one thing after the another.  Likewise, if I were to explain animation to someone who was not versed in the lingo and the details of what it takes to actually make an animation, then I would have the upper hand when they walked into my shop/desk and asked for one.    

I wonder, if this were the case with animators, how would it go?  Well every animation is different but they all need to have the principles of animation to work, right?  Nope! There are lots of examples where professional animation is shown but there are a lack of principles, potentially due to time, budget, or ‘style.’ Hanna Barbara’s style of animation was derived from a lack of time and budget. but nevertheless was a style of animation.  So, the idea is to charge per animation principle.
I imagine it would go something like this:

“Looks like you’re missing some S&S in that animation. I could get in there and clean it up but this particular animation will need quite a bit to work correctly,”  

“Uh, okay.”  

“And for that to work properly, I am going to need to fix your Timing and Spacing. You see, if I just threw in some S&S without addressing the Timing and Spacing, there’s no guarantee it will run right and you won’t (cant?)get a warranty on it.”

“How long will this take?”

“That depends. I could go in there Straight Ahead, but I won’t be able to give an accurate estimate. I could do Pose to Pose. It’s more predictable but a lot of times it ends up looking too pose-y and lacks a good Follow Through and Overlap, which is extra.  The best way to go, -- this might run you a little more, but it’s what I would suggest- is doing a mix of Pose to Pose and Straight Ahead Animation. It comes with the Follow Through and Overlap and will get the best end result.”

“It doesn’t need to look that great. It just needs to work.”

“Well you want strong Staging and I would suggest adding Appeal to the animation for it to really work.  Appeal is a tough one and takes some time so your rate will go up, but if you add the Arcs and Anticipation package, you could save %10 on Appeal.”

“I’m afraid to ask, anything else?”

“One thing that will really help with your weight is Slow Ins and Slow Outs. You see all body parts use Slow In and Out. This helps give the illusion of weight. If you don’t have it or if it’s done incorrectly, it can lead to floaty animation and I would expect you to be back here in another couple of weeks asking me to fix it.”

“I guess I need it then.”

“Good choice. Should be ready in the next couple months. I’ll give you a call when it’s finished.  Now do you want this done in 2D or 3D”



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