Monday, April 20, 2015

Why to not or to offset keys is the wrong question to ask.

Hi Everyone,
Now this is a little bit controversial, we have always been told to either offset them or not.

 Now really in the the major keys (golden poses) most of the movement hits the beat. This is where all your keys should be together or at least one or two frames forward or backward from the pose. This is where you really need to get into the habit of fleshing out your storytelling poses before getting into the animation program.

 Try to figure out not just arcs (since the body will always arc since that's the way the body is designed) but how movement affects secondary movement, it's not separate and secondary movement is not always the follow through of the primary movement.

 The body shifts and and limbs are always going to offset in the breakdowns because the movement looks wooden if you have everything move at the same time or you have not accounted for overshoot or extremes (this doesn't mean cartoon style action, just look at a slow motion video of someone punching a guy or throwing a ball).

 If you tend to keep exaggerating with just pushing the movement in the way it was flowing it is then going to look floaty and you also going to miss your beats, people! So try to keep that in mind. The reverse is always true if you try to always get the poses to pop then you can end up to overuse this affect and it will then turn into jerky and you will come in short with your beats (since the mind of the audience needs time to read the action, that is why moving holds were invented) the beat is just going to need to hit and then slightly stay on pose before the next pose.

 Since the mind is always like this: Action-Reaction-Anticipation-Action. We are designed to capture at 24 frames per second, we read action at 12 frames second, we react to about 6-8 frames per second and we might consider 4 frames important unconsciously . That doesn't mean that the brain is lazy it just has to deal with constant feedback and it tends to focus on fast movement, hands (gestures) and the face (emotions and eye movement).

 Maya or max are really, really lazy inbetweeners and sorry you will never get to fire them and hire a better inbetweener. That means that when offsetting try to leave at least some idea of what is what (not just key every single frame) so when you need to go into the graph editor it's not like someone has tried to make spaghetti in it. When looking at the program that your animating with tend to go with the perfectionist stream of thinking if it doesn't look right then it's not right, why it's not right you have to really work that out quickly before you go onto your next pass or next set of keys.

When looking at video capture, spend time not by drawing poses but by real analysis of why the movement is like that, what is it telling you. Figure out how gravity is either assisting a movement or not assisting the movement. The mass of the body and how it is affecting the movement.Thinking is what we need to do always as animators, animation is not blind luck it's about carefully controlled elements to produce amazing likeness of real flesh and blood movement.

Thanks for reading, happy animating!

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