Character Designs in Animation
It is important to design not only how your figures look, but how they tell a story with their gestures and movements.
Tips and Tricks Use for Character Designs in Animation
Tips and Tricks use for Character Designs in Animation for Feeling of movement and liveliness.
1. Line of Action
Envisioning a single line overlaying your drawing can be a simple way of creating a feeling of movement. This line of action can either be curved or straight both can give a different feeling of movement. While a curved line can create a more graceful mood and a straight line is usually very fast and direct. However, it is best to avoid a perfectly straight vertical line of action, which may make a drawing feel static.
2. Show That Character is Thinking
As we imagine TV and movie characters to be real, we try to believe the characters we create have minds of own. If a character in a drawing is moving, they should have a reason for doing that action.
Whether it is a broad action such as subtle mannerism or a sprinting such as twirling a strand of hair, the character presented would most likely have a conscious or unconscious reason for doing that action. Keeping this in mind help you make the character feel interesting.
Click on below video: Character Design for Animation
3. Contract Curves and Straight
The contrast between curved lines and straight lines is an essential design element. A drawing using mostly curved lines would lack structure while a sketch made up of straight lines would feel too tense.
Curves are used to suggest the more fleshy part of the figure, whereas straights are commonly used to imitate stable and solid segments. Example: Compare the use of a straight line for a character’s back and the soft curve of the stomach.
4. Draw from Life
Drawing from life is a helpful observational tool, whether in a classroom or at any place. Sketching and watching people around you can be beneficial in learning how to draw the human figure and the emotions it can exhibit.
Alternatively, there is life drawing classes. These tend to consist of a mixture of the lengthy and short poses – poses set over a longer period enable you to capture details and study the human anatomy, while quick poses are better suited to gesture drawing technique.
5. Use Gestures
Gesture drawing is an easy way to capture the overall message of a figure. These observational drawings are often done in very short segments in a life-drawing class, and the model may only pose for the 30 seconds, forcing the artist to get their first impressions down on paper.
The process of making deliberate and quick lines, try not to worry about how art looks or capturing details. You want to focus on action or feeling of a pose.
6. Employ Shape Language
The use of different shapes is a major tool in character design. As well as help to convey personality, shapes can suggest movements or emotions.
A character made up of the square may it feel more slow and stable whereas one made up of triangles may give off a more excitable feeling. Curves and circle are often used for more likeable characters and can make them feel friendly.
7. Tilt & Twist
An easy way to create a more dynamic pose is to practice using tilts and twists. It helps to avoid a static pose try using different angles. For instance, the angle of character’s shoulders could contrast with an angle of their hips. Instead of drawing with angles that are parallel, different angles give the drawing a feeling of flow and rhythm.
8. Apply Squash & Stretch
In animation, a squash is used as anticipation for a broader action: the stretch (12 Principle of Animation).
The same can be used in static drawing. A stretched pose acts as a moment when the character is creating their broadest action, while a squash in a drawing suggests tension.
Click on below video: Keyframe Animation of Squash and Stretch
9. Draw Thumbnail Sketches
A small thumbnail sketch can be useful for planning out a character’s pose, and allow you to consider different options for conveying an action.
10. Give Weight to Character
Considering weight in a drawing can help create a more believable feeling of motion. It could be shown through anything from the clothing the character’s wearing, to their posture.
11. Push your Idea
When we imagine to ourselves what it is, we want to draw, and sometimes we have a clear picture as to what that action looks like.
For instance, If you want to draw the character sitting down. You could very well draw it resting on a chair, and that will get the point across. But how might you push it to tell a better story? Maybe they are bored, and so their posture is slouched, and they are resting their head in their hands. The addition of more exaggerated movements and subtle acting can make for a more appealing character.
12. Combine Expression and Body Language
A visual expression such as facial expression and body language can help to convey the emotions of the character instantly. A character feels confident stand with their shoulders back, and their head held high. On the other hand, a weak character may be crossing their arms, with their head hung low.
Click on below video: Body Language in Character Animation
13. Tell a Story
Character designs in animation are more than drawing just a pretty picture. A character drawing could be picture-perfect, with no anatomical flaws and spot-on proportions, but still, lack the charm of a character with the personality.
Warp Stabilizer VFX
Learn how to smooth handheld footage, choose which objects in a view get stabilized, and also reverse a stabilization to track an object in an unstable view using Warp Stabilizer VFX.
If you shoot footage using a handled camera, you will probably end up with shaky shots. Unless it looks is intentional, you want to stabilize your shots to erase unwanted motion.
Warp Stabilizer VFX in After Effects CC automatically removes extraneous jitters. When played back, the motion looks smooth because layer itself moved and scaled incrementally to offset the unwanted movement.
Set up the Project
As you start After Effects, replace the default application settings for After Effects:
1. Start Adobe After Effects then immediately hold down Ctrl+Alt+Shift (Windows) to reset default preferences settings. When prompted, click OK to delete your preferences.
2. Click on close to close the Welcome screen.
3. Open after effects to display a project.
4. Choose the File > Save As.
5. Name the project Stabilizer.aep, and then save it.
Importing the Footage
You need to import footage to start this project.
1. Double-click on an empty space of the Project panel to open the Import File dialog box.
2. Select the flowers.mov file in the sample files and then click on open to import the footage into your project.
Creating the Composition
You will start by creating the composition.
1. Drag the flowers.mov clip in the project panel onto the create a new composition button at the bottom of the panel.
2. After Effects creates a new composition named Flowers with the same pixel size, aspect ratio, frame rate and duration of the source clip. To preview the footage, click the RAM preview button in the Preview panel. This clip is shot with a handheld camera in the afternoon. A slight breeze rustles the vegetation, and the camera moves unsteadily.
Applying Warp Stabilizer VFX
When you apply it, Warp Stabilizer VFX starts analyzing footage.
Stabilization is a background process, so you can work on other compositions while it finishes. After Effects displays a blue banner while it analyzes the footage and orange banner while it applies stabilization.
1. Select the flowers.mov layer in the Timeline panel, and choose animation > Warp Stabilizer VFX then, an immediately blue banner will appear.
2. When Warp Stabilizer VFX has completed stabilizing, and the orange banner has disappeared, create other RAM previews to view the changes.
3. Press the spacebar to stop the preview.
The clip is still shaky, but it is smoother than it was initially. Warp Stabilizer VFX moved and repositioned the footage. To observe how it applied changes, view the effects in the Effect Controls panel. Example: The clip’s borders were scaled up to hide black gaps that occur when the image is repositioned in the stabilization process. You will adjust the settings that Warp Stabilizer VFX uses.
Adjusting the Warp Stabilizer VFX Settings
Change settings in the effect controls panel to make the shot look smoother.
1. Increase the Smoothness amount to 80% in the Effect Controls panel. Warp Stabilizer VFX immediately begins stabilizing again. The footage doesn’t need to analyze, because the original analysis data is already stored in memory.
2. When Warp Stabilizer VFX has completed, create another RAM preview to view the changes.
3. Press the spacebar to stop playback.
The Auto-scale setting in the Effect Controls panel now displays 103.8%; the effect moved the frames dramatically, requiring more scaling to eliminate the black gaps around the edges.
Instead of changing the amount Warp Stabilizer VFX smooth’s the footage, now you will change its goal.
4. Choose No Motion from the Result menu in the Effect Controls panel. With this setting, Warp Stabilizer VFX tries to lock the camera in position. It requires more scaling. When No Motion is selected, the Smoothness option is dimmed.
5. When the orange banner disappears, create other RAM previews. Press the spacebar to stop the playback.
Now the camera stays in position so that the action you notice is the rustling of the flowers in the wind, not the shakiness of camera. To achieve this effect, Warp Stabilizer VFX had to scale the clip to 112.5% of its original size.
Fine-Tuning the Results
Most of the time default analysis works well, but sometimes you may need to massage the results. In this project, the clip skews subtly in a few places, most noticeably at about the 5-second mark. Casual viewers may not notice the problem, but a keen producer will. You will change the method of Warp Stabilizer VFX that use to remove the skew.
1. In the Effect Controls panel, choose Position, Scale, and Rotation from the Method menu.
2. Choose Stabilize from the Framing menu.
3. Increase the Additional Scale to 114%
4. Create another RAM preview.
5. Now the shot looks steady. The only movement is that caused by the wind rustling the flowers.
6. Press the spacebar to stop the playback.
7. Choose File > Save to save your work.
8. Choose File > Close Project.
Open Stabilizer.mov included in the sample files to see how the final, stabilized footage should look.
As you have noticed, stabilizing a shot is not without its drawbacks. To compensate for the movement data applied to the layer, the frames must be balanced, which could ultimately degrade the footage. If you need to use the shot in your production, this may be the best compromise.
Kshitij Vivaan (Training Partner of MAAC Ahmadabad C.G Road) offers career courses in Animation, VFX, graphics, web designing & gaming for students from different cities of Rajasthan such as Dungarpur and Jalore. MAAC helps these students get the best job placements according to their skills and talents to get the best start to their Professional Careers.
Learn how to smooth handheld footage, choose which objects in a scene get stabilized, and reverse a stabilization to track an object in an unstable view using the Warp Stabilizer VFX.