Archive for the 'Animation Techique' Category

What we see when we watch

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Check out this video — I’ll explain below, but for now just enjoy: 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 […]

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