Monday, 3 June 2013

The Secret of Great Animation - it's all in the Planning

The secret of most successful enveavours lies in the planning - and animation is no exception. Open up a copy of Maya, the leading 3D software, and you just get a blank screen. With CG animation, you get nothing for free.

So how do you fill this blank space with creative, entertaining animation? The secret of good work is to thumbnail - that is to say, to plan out your work with sketches and scribbles which create a kind of road map of where you want to go.

The video above talks through some thumbnails done by the great animation master Glen Keane - these were prepared for one of his shots in The Little Mermaid. Look closely at the thumbnails, check out the final shot, and you will see how closely Glen's planning matches his final animation result.

And this really is the secret of great animation. Plan it out well, think it through, and know in advance what it is you want to do. Do this right, and your shots will always work. Fail to do this, and you are going to have endless problems.


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