Posted in Writing

Chapter 9 Summary

Chapter 9: Animate

Start Easy, Gain Confidence

  • The best way to start out an animation project is to use the most fun, the shortest, and the scene that’s easiest to animate

Break Up the Tough Ones

  • Don’t try to do every difficult or challenging scene at once
    • You’ll get frustrated and once you’re frustrated you won’t get anything done
  • If each difficult scene is broken up it will make them look less intimidating.

No Shot Left Behind

  • Before you start shooting you must be a brutal editor.
  • Go through each shot and ask yourself if it is worth it.
    • Does it help the story at all
    • If not, get rid of it
  • Animating takes a long time and if you don’t edit shots beforehand a 12-hour day could give birth to only a 3-second shot.

Protect Ya’ Tech

  • Save early, and save often.
  • Organize all your files
    • Use folders
    • Use specific names for everything in each folder

Be a Poser

  • Key poses – “These more elaborate sketches provide a guide to ensure that all of your planned movement is possible, that you hit your intended marks of choreography, and that all of your assets conform to the world you’ve created” (133, Blazer).

Anticipate and Follow Through

  • These are before and after movements
    • They help to “illustrate the physics of gravity on weight and movement” (133, Blazer).

Compose Directional Movement

  • Use different directions for all your characters
  • Objects on a screen are in a 2D space
    • If you use multiple directions of movement it adds to the scene
      • Use it with purpose, not just to use it
        • “In a scene meant to be intense and jarring, using multiple directions from shot to shot will intensify the visual drama and unsettle the audience, alerting them to menace” (134, Blazer).

Decentralize and Mix it up

Fundamental 1: Get out of the center

  • Don’t shoot your subject in the center of the frame.
  • Take your time to make sure that not all of your shots have your subject in the center

Fundamental 2: Mix-up shot length

  • Don’t just use one type of shot
    • Use close-ups, medium shots, and long shots
  • Using one type of shot creates a very boring piece

Fundamental 3: Mix-up shot timing

  • “Varying your timing will offer a less predictable visual experience for your audience” (136, Blazer).

Consider the Blur

  • When you’re animating using computer software everything has a super-clean look to it.
  • Add variation throughout your film
    • Look at live-action films: the foreground could be blurred or the background could be blurred.

Be Flexible with Soundtrack

  • The original soundtrack you chose at the beginning of the process may no longer work with your finished product.
  • Be open to changing it

Hit Your Sound Marks

  • “Allow your soundtrack to influence your sequences and augment storytelling opportunities” (138, Blazer).

Mute Your Soundtrack

  • Don’t rely on your soundtrack though
  • You don’t want the soundtrack to do all the work for your story
    • Mute the sound and see if the shots play well when there’s no sound at all.
    • “If your visuals lack the expressiveness to be compelling on their own, you may be depending too much on your soundtrack” (138, Blazer).

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