Archive for the 'Animation Techique' Category

What we see when we watch

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

How often do you think about the audience when you’re animating? A lot, hopefully. But when you’re thinking about the audience, do you think about were, exactly, they’ll be looking, from moment to moment, when they watch your scene? On any given frame, can you draw a small circle somewhere on the screen, and confidently […]

Animation Flight School

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

I’ve been teaching the Animation Mentor Animals & Creatures Class 2 this term, and in particular we’re focused on animating flight (and flying dragons!).  Of course, if you’re going to animate a believable fantasy creature, you need to understand real flying animals, like birds and bats, and I’m going to summarize some ideas and then […]

Happy Birthday,

Friday, March 26th, 2010

The on-line character animation school,, celebrates its fifth birthday tomorrow.  How the years have flown by!  I’ve been a mentor for 70% of that time, and I’m certain I’ve learned and grown at least as much as my students have.  It’s been a privilege to be part of the school, and to see so […]

Secondary Action vs. Secondary Motion

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

I recently saw an animation student’s summary of the Principles of Animation from The Illusion of Life.   Here’s the one for secondary action: Secondary actions are almost like follow through and overlapping actions. This is a common misconception that a lot of people make.  But it’s incorrect. Take a look back at The Illusion […]

Anatomy of a Shot

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Amidst a long-overdue vacation to the east coast, some freelance work, and an exhausting trek down to Comicon, I’ve managed to do a little personal animation. My Animation Mentor students usually ask about my workflow and methods, which I have a hard time explaining, so I thought I’d show the result, and then a progressive […]

Animate from the Gut

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Today let’s step away from the technical aspects of character animation, and focus on the forest and not the trees. Try taking a completely non-technical approach in the early stages of your shots. I’m recommending you get yourself firmly into right-brain mode, block out your internal critic, and just animate from the gut. Animate unconsciously. […]

How much polish is too much?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

That’s the question I was asked by a recently graduated animation student I spoke to at last year’s SIGGRAPH FJORG! event. One of the things I spoke about then was the need to treat the body as a connected whole — when the head moves, for example, the chest and shoulders are going to move, […]

The 11 Second Club critique

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Anyone out there who’s curious about how the Animation Mentor ‘eCritiques‘ work, I just did one for the May winner over at the 11 Second Club. Brazilian Ivan Oviedo did a great, hilarious hand-drawn scene to win the closest 11 Second Club competition ever. I got a little carried away, and did about three sessions […]

A counterpoint on Blinking

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

I’ve suggested a couple of times that CG animators often don’t use enough blinks and interesting blink patterns to show what their characters are thinking and feeling, and in my last post I put up a live-action clip showing how much a good human actor can do with blinks and half blinks and eye flutters. […]

Eye Movements 5 – Flavored Blinks

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

This will be a shorter post than that on Vanilla Blinks, not because there’s less to say, but because there’s too much. As we saw, there’s a lot of quantifiable information about the generic, spontaneous blinks that we do all the time. Imagine how much could be written about variations on standard blinks! But instead […]

The animation and animation-related musings of Kevin Koch