I'm working on the last character for "Shot 24" in my student film, Swing. This thing has taken quite a long time as I've been trying to work on it while also working fulltime at EALA. I'm lucky if I get to work on it for a few hours each day. But slowly it's getting finished! After this shot, I'll have about 5 more to go. Two of them are quite long, though, and involve all 3 characters, so I'm expecting to spend a lot of time on those two. On the positive side, the remaining shots are super easy!
So, Shot 24 happens right after Mack (the guy on the left) has shown off his "mad skillz" by throwing a rubber ball through two hoops (swish!). Now it's Hayley's turn. However Hayley has a broken arm, so she has to resort to... inventive methods.
This shot is pretty far along, I have most of the breakdowns in place already for the center character. You'll notice I work with stepped tangents, I find it closest to traditional animation and helps me maintain strong poses throughout the animation. But after I get the keys and basic timing down, I start doing breakdowns one limb at a time, to focus on arcs. That's when the dope sheet starts getting messy, because I add breakdowns based on what I feel the appropriate timing is for each arc. Don't want all the parts to move at exactly the same time, that would look rather silly! However it is still easy to see my main key poses, since when I hit "Select All" I can see which frame has a key for every body part.
It's interesting hearing how other people work. There seems to be no single definitive method of animating. How do you begin an animation?
I did video reference footage for one of the characters in this shot, complete with props... can you guess which? :)