AM Class 2- Psychology of Body Mechanics: Week 1

It’s finally time to get back to work with AM! I am so excited to be starting Class 2 with my awesome new mentor Steve Cady! Steve is a veteran animator who has been in the industry for 14 years. He has worked all over the world and all different parts of the industry from smaller projects, to TV commercials, video games, and feature films. Some of his most impressive animation projects include most recently: The Amazing Spider-Man, Avatar, Chronicles of Narnia: Lion The Which and The Wardrobe. He has a very long list of amazing projects he has worked on and I am honored to get to learn from such a great animator. I have heard nothing but good things about Steve.

Class 2 is structured very differently from Class 1. In this class we only have 3 actual animated shots to turn it, but we have 4 weeks to work on each assignment. Each week is a different stage of the animation process that we submit and get critiques and help on. The main focus of Class 2 is to get a solid understanding of Body Mechanics (how the body moves, and why). The first week of the class we had to choose from a pretty vast list of actions to animate with the Ballie character. I decided to do an animation of Ballie as a soccer goalie and headering the ball away to save the goal!

For the assignment we had to sketch two different pages of thumbnail ideas for poses, and record video reference of ourselves to study the motion and really understand the action we are going to be animating. The entire first week was devoted to PLANNING the animation. This is one of the most important stages of animation, because if you do very detailed and accurate planning, laying down the keys and animating in Maya goes a lot smoother and makes for an overall better experience animating and a more clean/polished shot as well.

Below are my two pages of sketches and the video reference I shot. You get to see me jumping around like an un-coordinated animator in my living room pretending to be a soccer player heading an invisible ball (I didn’t have anything to be thrown at my head.. well anything safe).

sketches1

sketches2

I also went a head and for some extra work to get an understanding of my character I did a character study for his personality and mood of the scene.

character-study

That’s all for now. Until next week- when you get to see my first Blocking Pass of the assignment!

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