Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Nelvana Seminar Notes (circa 1981): Part Three

These are the third and final set of notes from my Nelvana seminar. Please remember that I was asked to explain my personal method of animating (and the Frank and Ollie tomb "Illusion of Life" had not yet been published). We were all youngsters, experimenting on our own and trying to learn from each other.

The third seminar session consisted of answering questions that were handed in by animators a week after the first two sessions. I believe that the material covered in this series is as relevant today as it was 30+ years ago.

The following is how I rough out my full-size poses after working out my thumbnails.

Above is my first rough pass at a Quadhole key pose.
Above is my second rough pass at a Quadhole key pose...I mold the character's form over the forces I laid out on the first pass, making subtle changes as I feel the body reacts to those forces. This pose would be cleaned up on a third sheet of paper.
The next three sheets show how I filled out the basic posing and interpreted the timing of the previous examples shown in sessions one and two. Please refer to the exposure sheets in session one to see how I described the action with particularity. I find that writing it out in this manner forces me to analyze the movement in terms of "anticipation, action, and reaction".

If you have a mind to, you can cut out the poses (registering them by their leg placement and shifting of weight), then film them in sequence as a rough pose test, using the exposure sheet for timing.


  1. Have you ever considered teaching classes on traditional animation? I think you'd be a good teacher, considering your knowledge and experience. I'd ask if you had also considered writing a book on animation, but I presume that's what this blog is for, right?

    Also, is there a way to print these notes out for personal reference?

  2. Hi, Landon.

    Thanks for the compliment... I consider my blog as my tuition-free classroom ;-) and I don't have to deal with school board members telling me what I can or can't teach.

    Regarding printing out the seminar notes: you should be able to select, grab and drag each page to your desktop and then print from there. At least it can easily be done on an Apple computer.

  3. If you can't do the above, then a good way of studying the notes is to retype them onto your own Word document and print them out. I find that copying them in this manner forces me to actually digest the material I'm learning.

    1. Both suggestions sound like a good idea. I might consider doing the latter. I try to keep a file on Word of animation notes from the books I study and advice I find online, but I haven't used it as much as I'd like to. Figure now is as good a time as any to start using it more.

    2. Oh, and thanks for responding back with the advice for copying/printing the notes.