Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jason Ryan Webinar

I've just finished attending an Animation Mentor webinar with Jason Ryan, and I have to say it has been wonderful to see him animate live! Questions that were thrown around were also great, everything went pretty smooth and the two hours never felt long.

I managed to take some small notes....some of these emphasize on points that already most professional animators know...others where just tiny but revealing at the same time. I might be wrong in some of these though but this is overall what I got:

- generally character designs and inspiration sketches are made "before" the story reels...which is why a lot of times directors/storyboarders can get to draw key poses in their boards that fit with the character.

- 3d Layouts are mainly used for staging, composition and camera work, whereas 2d Storyboards/Animatics deal mainly with direction and also aid to decide on acting choices and help animators to nail the golden poses if drawn exactly the way wanted by the director.

- Jason Ryan's workflow, which involves a 2d pass in Flipbook prior to working in 3d, helps to coordinate and deal with both posing and timing "interactively", meaning that Xsheets are not really trusted...there has been a discussion among animators nowadays to whereas we are becoming lazy to just keep playblasting stuff til "it looks right" instead of knowing what we are doing beforehand...I got the impression Jason just easily sorts this problem by coming with ideas constantly via quick yet powerfull drawings, and still manages to have room for "interactive" repositioning and redrawing of poses.

- The more time you spend on your golden poses (keys+breakdowns), the less you will spend on the inbetweens.

- Jason prefers to create overlaps within the poses of the character, rather than offsetting things. Reason for this is that is much easier to reposition and tweak elements as a whole, rather than individual parts with their own different range of keyframes. Keying all the body controls of the character is what mainly helps to develop a workflow closer to the "2d" approach.

- Naturalistic animation is like not really a full "cartoony" style...examples of this are the Incredibles humanoid characters, or the humans from the upcoming "Monsters vs Aliens", in which Jason is currently working.

- Cartoon and Naturalistic animations are generally snappier and faster than real life motion. That's why Jason said that we should be carefull not to rely 100% on any reference footage we might take for the purpose of helping us in doing our animation. Obviously if things are photoreal, more attention to reference from live action is required.

- Jason mentioned that 1 feet of animation is 16 frames, and there is a general requirement of creating 5 feet a week per animator (80 frames), although sometimes this can go up to 10 feet.

- Stereoscopic 3d makes approach to animation slightly different in certain aspects. There are times when shots need to be framed differently, because what we see is felt like a window to another world, with its own depth, instead of a flat monitor.
Eyelines in Stereoscopic 3d need to be spot on, otherwise they'll look wrong if slightly off. Also poses cannot break the frame...sometimes you're required to scale things (not literal scale but positioning with depth towards camera) intentionally in order to give certain effects, but you have to bear in mind they don't go out of the frame ever so slightly.

These notes were quite helpful. His animation session live was also great to watch. He also does the same in his tutorials, which you can purchase at . Also you can purchase his Boris rig (I already have and is quite fun to animate with!!). Really great stuff, very inspiring!!


anuraj said...

waw...... cool post friend

@b said...

hey rvg, thanks for posting an overview of the webinar.