We received several questions on the What Kind of Workflow Do You Use? posting and will address some of those questions in the next few postings.
YT asked How Do You Do Video Planning?
This is a great question. The answer, however, depends on who you ask. Each animator finds his/her groove when it comes to tools such as video planning. Some shoot their own video reference, and some gather video reference from all sorts of different sources. Video planning is as unique as the animator using it. However, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to video planning and reference material.
The first thing to keep in mind is that you will want to use this material for what it is; reference. It doesn’t make sense to copy your reference material blindly.. that’s more like rotoscoping, and you will find that your animation runs into the same limitations as live action, you can only animate what you can act out. But if you really LOOK at the reference material, you can see all sorts of subtle movements and weight shifts that you can capture, and really accentuate and emphasize. Plus, it’s just great practice to get in there and study the way your body works. You will be surprised when you slow down reference material of dynamic things like bouncing or even running... the human body is incredibly flexible, and very very interesting.
So we would encourage you to shoot video material for reference. If you are doing a dialog shot, try lipsyncing for a few takes, but when you’ve got the dialog down, go ahead and really vocalize what the actors are saying, you may be surprised how much the acting actually changes. Don’t be afraid, shoot LOTS of reference; it’s your chance to try out a bunch of different acting ideas, and you may find that you like a gesture in one take, and another gesture in a different take. Through the magic of animation, you can combine your favorite acting choices into a stellar performance.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that there is no ‘right’ way to do video planning, but finding a method that is FUN is certainly one good way to do it. If you are having fun while you are acting out your video reference, you will be more likely to do it, and you will end up with material you are more interested in studying.
Best of Luck!
Animation Mentor Staff