Probably the most underrated skill an animator possesses is his powers of observation. Its all of the subtly of life that give us the character and personality that truly great animation possesses. We all basically walk the same, eat the same way and share language, but it’s in the small differing ways that we west about doing these things that make us individuals. Those are the parts of us that our loved ones know about us. It’s our flavah. And it’s the subtly of animation that the audience can connect to. ‘I know THAT guy’. The who, what, where, and why are important ingredients to the events in a story. But the ‘How’ of an issue is what makes it interesting.
When I am in public drawing, it’s not enough to draw what I see. I must capture the ‘how’ of the thing. And do it until it is a part of my way of seeing. Until I spend my more public times in a natural state of observation.
Today I noticed a mother flip her long hair back over her shoulder before the squatted, heels high, to lift her toddler from the play structure. I noticed how erect she held her head so that her hair would not flip back to the front of her shoulder. Had she leaned forward she would have to make her hair adjustment with arms full of baby. My impression was that this was a young mother who still found herself quite beautiful and was at the opposite of the mom who cuts her hair to accommodate her maternal lifestyle. She was natural and adept at her style of mothering and posturing amongst the other moms.
Animation Mentor’s Shawn Kelly says in his tips and tricks e-book, that when you’re out in public drawing, don’t forget to wear sunglasses so you don’t creep people out! Of course that e-book is so much more than a treasury of tips. It’s a look into the inner working of how an animator thinks, feels and views the world. His powers of observation are inhuman, and the information contained in his e-book is so casually presented that it’s easy to forget how difficult this stuff all is. He breaks it all down like Einstein explaining physics. It takes a true master to make the impossible sound easy.
I'm trying out a few poses for the 11 second club in June. Not sure that it's readable yet. I'm trying out this new rig named max too. He works great, but I'm not used to the chest controler. I need to act this out a few more times and refine the concept. I used the entire character training packet from AM, laying out this charater a a prisoner who is digging his way out of the prison, but he pops up in the wardens office by mistake.