Video Referencing - add it to your toolkit

reference image based on stroboscopic photography by Harold Edgerton"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," says the quote from the AnimationMentor Tips & Tricks blog.

Video referencing links nicely with the Jason Ryan techniques being learnt by the current 2nd years to create and ENJOY better 3D animation.

Ian even went down to the physical movement faculty gym with some second years (Steve and Cassie) to film walks on a treadmill for video reference material. Combining video reference with traditional 2D planning is an empowering (for the student animator) and powerful method (for the animation teacher) to create appealing 3D animation. What do you think of using live action reference?

HeroBear and the Kid
And just to bounce your brain another way: " can learn more about line-of-action and dynamic posing by spending ten minutes in a good comic book than you can by watching hours of movie reference." Who said this? No, it wasn't Terry Oberg.

HeroBear and the Kid
So what do you use for your animation reference material?
ARC InDepth post: Ian uses video references in a jumping ramble.
p.s. Read the chapter on "Reference Material" in the Tips & Tricks eBook.
p.p.s Remember Eaduard Muybridge? Some great movement reference here. Ref: "The Human Figure in Motion"
p.p.p.s Dr. Harold Edgerton. Ref: "Stopping Time".


Cassie said...

Some Wisdom From Shawn Kelly :
"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."
To see the whole article

frank said...

Hey Cassie. Thanks for commenting.
There is a link to that Shawn Kelly blog post in the text and from the picture of th original post, if it's too much work to cut and paste the url from Cassie's reply.
Hope everyone are doing a bit of animation.

Jason Ryan said...

I think if I was doing super hyper-realistic animation I would probably shoot myself acting out my shots. For things that I can't physically do myself, I would research those actions to see how they're done and analyze the motion taking notes about the Timing and Spacing. I'll draw what I see are the most important keys and breakdowns and then run back to my desk while the motion is still fresh in my brain. Then I'd try to push those poses to suit my particular character.

For more caricatured characters, I like to just act it out and sense what's going on. I'll then exaggerate the feeling of the movement so it doesn't just mimic my body's performance. I like to think that my character is a better actor than I am, and for the most part they're in better shape too.

I do think studying frame by frame, any sort of live action, is a fantastic way to learn about locomotion. Animal locomotion has to be studied if you are to do believable actions. If I'm given a task of animating another four legged character I would certainly surround myself with books on animal locomotion and any sort of wild life nature show.