Saturday, October 8, 2011

Thumbnail Timing #1

Here is an example of how I will do a basic run though of a scene between two characters.

This is from "The Devil and Daniel Mouse" (1977-78). Jan (the female mouse) is dejected and saying, "Maybe we just better quit," as Dan walks alongside her, switching his guitar case from one hand to the other.

Thumbnailing a scene like this is more than thinking about the posing, it involves how to think through the characters' particular timing so that they have a different energy, even if only slightly so. Being able to see the timing charts alongside each other is like seeing the music bars for two different instruments that are playing the same piece of music, but are accompanying each other, not playing the same notes with the same emphasis.


  1. Thanks for this post. I'm trying to improve my timing charts and planning phase in general, so this is helpful.

  2. No all animators do thumbnails for every scene, some like the interaction with the improvised movement. (These are usually the straight-ahead animators.) However, at some point, all animators have to do it because they have a mathematical problem to be solved in getting things to fall in place.
    I posted a similar thumbnail chart from animator Phil Duncan on my blog. It might be worth my recapping it.

  3. Sometimes I will chart paths of action based purely on my analysis of the scene's dialog: charting accents, cushions, and moving holds. It's basically treating the dialog like music and planning an initial run through to see how the words flow from one sound into another. (But that's just my way of prepping for a scene.)

  4. I like your comparison to multiple staves of music!