aarnimation asked: Your gif's are uh-may-zing. Can you give us a rundown of your process? I'd love to know how long they take you.
Hey thanks a lot!!
My process typically contains these steps: brainstorm, design (if there is any), layout drawing, key animation, rough animation, cleanup. The first steps can get jumbled around and sometimes mixed together. It depends on the idea, really. Some gifs I’ve jumped straight into rough animation, some I dabbled with the character design a bit before animation. But all in all each of those steps are incorporated somehow. I’ll use the Yoshi gif as an example because it’s still on my desktop:
I knew I wanted to do a Yoshi gif after my Mario one, because who doesn’t love Yoshi. I had the idea of him eating some bad guy already and decided to use “Yoshi’s Island” as the style. So in this gif, I didn’t have to redesign anything, just do some doodles:
I work primarily in Flash for all my animations. When I animate, I usually create groups or symbols for each body part so that I can easily separate them or tweak them. This helps for things like settles and easing, when your drawings should look close enough anyways. My inbetweens are typically pretty messy, but as long as those key poses and easings look consistent and on model, your inbetweens can be as abstract as you want them.
Next I key the animation. This goes hand in hand with layout for me. Since this is such a flat camera shot, I knew that there wouldn’t be too much trouble with layout, as long as the characters’ actions all happened within the frame. Unfortunately I deleted my key animation for this gif, but here’s one I did of Finn that I never completed:
There’s a lot of keys and even some animation getting plotted out already. When I started this, I started with only a couple of drawings for the whole animation, then started filling in the blanks. Which brings me to the next part, rough animation. Here’s the rough Yoshi pass:
I did Yoshi and the shy guy’s animation first and Mario’s last because I knew that Mario’s animation would kind of rely on Yoshi’s animation. He’s more like an accessory to Yoshi, so he would kind of drag behind and be secondary.
From this point on is all cleanup. I try to create a Flash “modelsheet” before I start animating. This is what I was describing before where each body part is separated into different groups/symbols. I save this modelsheet as my “default” so that if I ever need Yoshi to come out of his squash-and-stretchy-ness, I can just copy the appropriate parts that need to get back on model. Then after toiling over making sure the lines look good or the motion is all there, it is finally done!
I hope this all makes sense. Again, I’m kind of flakey and may skip some steps or spend more time in certain areas. I started this gif around the first week of November and have been on and off with it. If I had to compile all the nights I did work on it (because of my day job), it would probably equal about a week.
TL;DR: ANIMATORS GON ANIMATE
Thanks for the question! :)
Great info on animation process! It’s always fascinating to see how other people work.