Sunday, November 06, 2005

Making Characters Breath

On Monday i was starting work back at Warners and had a little time to blow till' they got me all set up for work so i decided to drop by my friend Frank Molieri's room. Frank is the best animator i've never heard of before. I met him on LooneyTunes and he's one of these guys that no one has ever heard of before but can draw the cartoony stuff like you wouldn't believe! he's also be an incredible friend to me... i owe him a lot. so anyway, as i like to do i showed Frank some animation i had done from Curious George and some of my own personal stuff. I like showing him cuz he's encouraging, but also very honest. sometimes to the point of bluntness, but i'd rather have it that way that have it sugar coated for sure! anyhow he watched my reel, said a lot of nice things and then made the infamous "but". and i looked at him and saud, "but what". He smiled and looked at me like he had me cornered and was gonna check mate me. He said "Matty, your characters don't breath." It was one of those comments that sorta hits you in a funny way cuz of the truth in it, and the humilation that you haven't thought of it yet because it's SO obvious! There are times in shots were i've thought about making a character take a breath for a pause or something, but it is NOT a usual part of my thinking. I haven't really ever built it into the performance. It's not a litteral rib cage expanding and closing kind of thing, just building into the performance kind of a thing.
The other thing i've really been anxious to study more is eye lids. I've studied eyes quite a bit, but i've really been wanting to get into eye lid stuff. There is so much intricasy to the social triangle (mouth, eyes, eye brows, nose).
Speaking of eye brows, here's something i tend to do when i am animating close ups. The muscles that make your eye brows move up and down and very short, so when they contract it makes a very short quick motion. The same is true of your eye balls-- notice how eyes tend to dart, not move smoothly. anyhow, when animating eye brows i will make the cushion drawing very close in spacing and not last long. in other words it you are moving from 1 to 7 i would make 3 and 5 3rds. as always, i have to warn that this is NOT to be used all the time but generally, for natural eye brows this works great.
i suppose that's enough for now everyone, stay tuned and i hope to write a lot more this week than i did last week. cheers!