Sunday, November 4, 2012

Week 6: Overlapping Action

Whoa! We’re already halfway through the first class. Where has the time gone? This week, we were introduced to a new principle of animation: overlap. An essential principle, overlap is instituted so that the animation feels more organic and flexible. The technical definition of overlapping action is breaking up the movement so things don’t happen at the same time. In essence, an object is broken into parts, and each of these parts moves individually, rather than moving as one entity.

Perhaps the most applicable reference is seen in arm swings. When a person walks, their arms don’t move all at once. Instead, the base, or shoulder, moves first, then the elbow “overlaps” the shoulder (once it has nearly stopped), and then the wrist overlaps the elbow.

Overlapping action is a broad term used to describe several more specific terms. These include: follow through, successive breaking of joints, drag (wave principle) and lead and follow. Outlined below are brief definitions of these terms.

Follow Through
An object in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by the driving force.

Successive Breaking of Joints
A part of an object leads and each successive part breaks and then catches up to the movement. Breaking means bending the joint whether or not it would actually bend in reality. Then we keep breaking the joints continuously-or successively-to make the animation feel more organic and flexible.

Also known as the wave principle. Essentially, the main driving force moves and the smaller objects (such as ears, jowls, hair, etc) drag behind the main action until they eventually catch up.

Lead and Follow
Another term to describe successive breaking of joints.

Now onto the assignment for the week! This week was a little different than other weeks. By that, I mean we were given a pick list, which is simply a choice between two different ideas. I decided to go with the simpler option to really understand and nail down the principle of overlapping action. The requirements were: front view, movement from a stopped position to a moving position and back to a stop on screen, all within 100-150 frames.

Planning: Basic Pendulum

Animation: Basic Pendulum

Well, that’s it for this week! Have a great week and keep animating!

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