Ian's Rambles - Hands Part 2

More on Hands.


Mitch said...

hahaha oh Kevin Spacey. I've got to say, its not just the hands with him, its pretty much everything. He has that calm cool collectiveness about him after he knew he made his point. Throw the plate of asparagus at the wall and then dead-pan. All very good studies of the human hand you've got here Ian.

frank said...

Ian live action reference is great.

I think those quotes around the studio are sinking in because I believe Hayao Myazaki (excuse my spelling) directs us from one noticeboard to not watch animations for inspiration but to experience and observe from real life and live action.

The one thing that intriques me is why are some characters designed with 3 fingers? Is it just less to animate? Is it because thet hand design is more appealing?

I know you're going to say that my knowledge of anatomy is hampering my animating, but I was just wondering if there was a reason other than design appeal for 3 fingers?

The other consideration this hands post brings up is the use of bird character's wings to form hand shapes. Do the same pribciples apply? You know I'm sitting here looking at some reference drawings knowing that feathers don't have joints in them.


animation_student said...

I like the lesson that hands are not things just tacked on as part of a character. But they are characters in themselves. Expressive little critters at that.

I think of 'Thing' in the Adams Family.

Ian said...

I don't think I have ever herd a single defining reason for the three fingers thing.

I would guess that its because its easier (less work to draw) and because you can get a simpler and cleaner silhouette. Back in the days when it became a convention so many decisions were made on the basis of what you can get away with. They were very inventive, who would have thought of dropping a finger. These things save us work every day.

I think the same rules apply for wings as hands.

Ian said...

A herd of stampeding single defining reasons can be quite scary. Or at least that’s what I’ve heard.

Lisa said...

i remember a lecturer telling me that having 4 fingers is like having a bunch of bananas on a hand...hence the 3.

frank said...

Hey their guys n roses

I emailed Jason Ryan about tips for animating hands.

He answered thus: "Hey there Franko, It really is the same as everything else, try to act it out, feel what is natural for the character's state of mind, is he anxious, scared, excited? .....all these emotions may have a different hand pose, the timing and spacing will vary as well.
Don't just hit a pose and hold it, make sure the fingers follow a natural motion...play the pose, keep the fingers alive without making them flop around.

Good Luck.....J"

Thought I'd share it with you.

Ian said...

Yikes! so now my posts are being crossed checked by a Disney Character lead. When I said make your teacher earn their money you really took it to heart didn't you Frank.

frank said...

hey Thanks Lisa for you're reply.

Ian, I won't tell you what Mr. Bird said when I mentioned your name in recent correspondence ;)

Mr. Saeton said...

I swear franko, you and your networking. It's like some kind of insidious vine of name dropping sadomasochistic insinuatuation... or something.

frank said...

I just re-read the previous post.

What shocking grammar!

Et tu Zac.

My apologies Lisa. Thanks for 'your' reply.

Those apostrophes can be as infectious as measle spots.

Lisa said...

heheheh, Frank , you should ask Ian about how I used to correct all his spelling when we used to work together ;-)

MattG said...

Don't get me started on Ian and his spelling. :) He has all his excuses, but really I think he just wants to go draw some more and so he can't be bothered getting all the letters in the right order.

On the real subject, hands are really important. Keeping them interesting (appealing shapes, uneven spacing) is one part of it, but making them part of a characters pose is also important. As JasonR said in his reply to Frank, a character and their attitude will determine how the hands are posed and how they animate. Hands need to work with the line of action (as pointed out in some of the reference above). Yet a lot of students seem to leave them alone until the last minute. Don't forget the hands!

...okay I'm done now. :)

frank said...

Hi Matt. Thanks for surfing by and giving Ian a spray, but most of all for helping to educate wee studenti. Any snippet from industry animators is eagerly gobbled up by the students who lurk around these pages.

Mr. Ian said today that I'm not allowed to animate a side on view walk. Actually he said that I should make my walks and runs, in the next assessment piece, with at least slight perspective.

I understand the 'why' but am stagering about the 'how'.

In response I demand, with a double helping of cheese and a sour pickle, a RAMBLE on animating walks, focussing on tips for animating them in perspective!

Ian said...

My main reason for staging the scene at an angle was not in reguard to how walks should be animated, but in reguard to how you shoot a film. I was advising on your storyboard, not animation.

As I have reviewed the boards for the second year projects, without a doubt the most common issue I have been encountering has been this tencancy to frame actions from directly infront or side on. I don't know why students are more willing to copy the layouts from something like a Snake or Garfield strip than they are a layout from an actual film where shots framed this way would be as rare as hens teeth. I'd bet that less than 1 out of every 100 shots in films (animated or otherwise)frame the character directly in fron or exactly from the side.

Your potentially letting your percieved limitations as an animator limit your ambition as a cinematographer. I've been watching a lot of online tutorials and the like of late, but I think it was Jason Ryan in one of the ramp up tutorials that said your goals should always reach beyond your ability (sorry if I'm miss quoting someone, or the wrong person). I wouldn't advise you to do it if I didn't think you were cabable of digesting the information I have to give you about doing it.

I've covered before that the rambles are more time consuming to make, I'll put perspective walks on the list, but its not a high priority. Some things will still need to be dealt with one on one in the classroom.

You should understand the mechanics of the walk and have some faith that you can apply them to any situation. This is why I don't like the, "copy the Preston Blair" aproach. Based one what we covered in my class last year you should be able to build a walk from the ground up so to speak. The context dosen't change the laws of physics and body mechanics.

All that said, I was adressing an issue of shot composition at the time, and your shot compositions should not be controlled by the things you already know 100% how to animate. After a year you have only animated a minute or so and thinking this way will sevearly limit what you might do and learn.

frank said...

Look forward to the next ramble.

Spline Doctors Blog said...

"Hand poses can be one of the most important tools that the animator has to communicate attitude. They also can be some of the most difficult to master. If that weren't enough, computer animation allows for ugly hand poses never before possible in hand drawn animation." Angus McLane, Spline Doctors (Oct 20, 2005)& Pixar