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Old December 27 2009, 02:52 AM   #16
J. Allen
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Ice Queen wrote: View Post
I'll make a guess...

i expect what the software does is use a 2D vector definition of an image. Lots of these things will be drawn for different characters. Each from a different angle.

The software can use these as keyframes, and then interpolate them, and can handle them in no particular order, so any view in between those pre drawn keyframes can be shown on screen.

eg, imagine you have three similar points of view A, B, C. Now can rotate the camera between any points within that triangle, not just in a straight line, but with two degrees of freedom.

So with enough of these keyframes you can completely wrap around the object and have free rotation.

To move the camera in and out would not be supported though, because there is no concept of depth to the images. But you can create new keyframes for those nostril shots, and interpolate your way into them as before.
Ah, I see.

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Arrqh wrote: View Post

As I said, some styles of animation will do this. Some will not animate in that fashion because it isn't the look that they're after. The Simpsons, for example, does not animate their characters in this fashion.

An animation table, btw, looks like this. The pegs on top are for aligning the pages of animation paper in the manner that RobertVA described, but it's mostly done on paper and pencil first before being redrawn on transparencies. Behind the plastic circle (which can usually be rotated to aid in drawing) would these days be found a plastic light. I did some simple hand drawn animation when I was in school, though the most complicated thing I ever did traditionally was a basic walk cycle.
I thought those drawing tables were just an old cliche!

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Old December 27 2009, 02:57 AM   #17
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Santa Claus wrote: View Post
I thought those drawing tables were just an old cliche!
A few years back when Disney dumped 2D animation and before Disney's acquisition of Pixar, Pixar bought up all of their equipment. Now obviously Pixar doesn't create 2D animation but most of their animators are classically trained to some degree and they do a lot of preproduction work the old fashioned way. So no, not just a cliche

As already said in this thread, pretty much all animation is done digitally so now we're talking more like Wacom tablets and Cintiqs, but people will still do preproduction using those tables. Sometimes if you're just sketching out ideas, a blue animation pencil and an eraser are just faster!
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Old December 27 2009, 03:28 AM   #18
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Arrqh wrote: View Post
As I said, some styles of animation will do this. Some will not animate in that fashion because it isn't the look that they're after. The Simpsons, for example, does not animate their characters in this fashion.
Then how would you explain the Simpsons software's ability to perform free rotation of objects, which they have demonstrated.

The look is the same as interpolating keyframes by hand.
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Old December 27 2009, 03:45 AM   #19
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Ice Queen wrote: View Post
Arrqh wrote: View Post
As I said, some styles of animation will do this. Some will not animate in that fashion because it isn't the look that they're after. The Simpsons, for example, does not animate their characters in this fashion.
Then how would you explain the Simpsons software's ability to perform free rotation of objects, which they have demonstrated.

The look is the same as interpolating keyframes by hand.
If it looks like it was interpolated, or tweened by hand then it probably was. You cannot recreate that look entirely in software without a lot of hand tweaking anyway because the software doesn't know what details are important and it also doesn't know what looks best in terms of anticipation, squashing, etc. That said, pretty much any animation project these days is a hybrid of many different techniques ranging from completely hand drawn (digitally) to full on 3D animation. But I maintain that the characters in the Simpsons are not done in the manner that you describe but instead the "old fashioned" way. That's the only way to get the look that they have. From some quick googling, I see that the Simpsons actually was completely tradition in terms of animation as late as 2003, which was season 14.
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Old December 27 2009, 03:56 AM   #20
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Arrqh wrote: View Post
Santa Claus wrote: View Post
I thought those drawing tables were just an old cliche!
A few years back when Disney dumped 2D animation and before Disney's acquisition of Pixar, Pixar bought up all of their equipment. Now obviously Pixar doesn't create 2D animation but most of their animators are classically trained to some degree and they do a lot of preproduction work the old fashioned way. So no, not just a cliche

As already said in this thread, pretty much all animation is done digitally so now we're talking more like Wacom tablets and Cintiqs, but people will still do preproduction using those tables. Sometimes if you're just sketching out ideas, a blue animation pencil and an eraser are just faster!
Well, then, if I may ask, which do you prefer? Traditional, CG or a combination of both?

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Old December 27 2009, 04:23 AM   #21
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Santa Claus wrote: View Post
Traditional, CG or a combination of both?
Yes.

Seriously, all forms of animation are just ways of achieving different sorts of styles that can't be done in live action. My personal preference usually lies in things that are a combination of CG and traditional (the last few Miyazaki movies with the exception of Ponyo are good examples of these) but all of it has its place depending on what exactly the director is trying to achieve.

Howl's Moving Castle is a great example of both... the titular Castle is almost exclusively done in 3D and would have been borederline impossible to animate traditionally (at least on a reasonable budget). On the other hand, there's a bit in the movie where the characters are cooking eggs and bacon and the traditional animation there can only be described as "showing off" as it's utterly outstanding.
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Old December 27 2009, 04:26 AM   #22
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Re: How Do They Animate?

Yes, first few seasons all by hand, outsourcing the thousands & thousands of frames (per episode) to not only other animation studios, but studios in other countries. Same thing with cartoons from the '80's. In fact, you can see an increase or drop in quality in art in some shows based on where it was done, like "Batman: The Animated Series", where in one episode the Batmobiles litterally hugs a hills going over it, and the whole batmobiles warps to a curve (there are more examples).

You can watch Disney specials where they shows animators drawing each frame. And it should be noted each frame has more than one drawing, with layers.

While "The Simpsons" and "Futurama" are likely not using that even in rare instances, instead going the cheaper route, it's a safe bet animated Disney moives are still using traditional drawing (for the most part).
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