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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Simple is key

Check this out from the new TV version of This American Life

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The 28 Principles of Animation

Since I'll be teaching 2 animation classes for the next 12 weeks, this blog will take a look at the methods and tools for making animation, instead of the usual gut reaction posting.

So to start, here's a link to the 28 Principles of Animation. I found this via the Wikipedia entry on Animation.

Normally I distill the principles down to 11. In fact, I use John Lasseter's 1987 presentation to SIGGRAPH that distilled the principles to a tight 11, perfectly applicable to computer animation. You see, computer animation is normally stiff. Mathematically precise, yes. But the precision breeds the stiffness. Look at the original "Mind's Eye" video-- most of the animations are rudimentary, like exercises on a computer. Fluid, natural animation is much easier by hand. To combat the stiffness inherent in computer-generated animation, John presented these principles, which traditional animators knew for years, to the computer nerds... The result? Well, you've probably seen "Toy Story."

Of course, we trace the lineage of modern animation techniques to the masterful artists hired by Walt Disney way back in the day. The techniques Lasseter presented were based on the techniques from Disney's 1930's studio, and the 28 linked above are also from Disney's folks (see Tigger?).

But no matter what method you use to create animation, if you want better results, study these principles.

Thursday, March 08, 2007 lets you be the star

If you're looking to store your masterpiece of animation, check out There are a ton of animated works to browse for inspiration as well. I've got a couple of Brick Films (made using LEGO bricks) on my cell phone, in fact.

You'll need to log in or joing, but honestly, these guys aren't going to sell your info. Their archive of the web is astounding. I'm not sure how they managed to squeeze copies of iVillage and Yahoo from 10 years ago into their capacious drives, but I'm happy they do it.

Anyway, the animation... There are some rare gems in there, lots of students films, and a lot of fun stuff. Be sure to check out the "game videos" which include time trials and ads for games gone by. My kids love watching the "Boogerman" TV ad from the 90's.