Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bill Tytla nugget of gold

I was studying through my old Richard Wiliams Master Class notes (this was back when Richard was travelling the world offering a 3 day master course on animation. Pre- Animator's Survival Kit days. $900 for 3 days of animation training. Ahh, the good old days.)
Anyhow I came across a quote that Richard relayed from Bill Tytla, one of the early masters of animation. Bill said...
There's only 3 things to animation.
  1. Anticipation
  2. Action
  3. Reaction
Learn to do these well and you can animate anything well.
And another Bill Tytla nugget:
Be Simple
Be Direct
Be Clear
Be Very Simple
Make a statement and finish it clearly
Good stuff to be reminded of in an age where we can get all distracted by the possibilities of subtle micro movement in CG animation. It's true that Cg opens doors for adding those micro expressions and little flashes, but they alone cannot sustain a scene. This micro subtelty stuff is like a good spice. Just the right kind in just the right amount can elevate a meal from good to amazing. But put the wrong spice in a dish, or too much of the right spice and you can ruin a perfectly good meal. Same with animation. You can so overpack your animation with bits of micro movement in the name of subtlety that you lose the primary storytelling drive of the shot to start with. It's a pretty easy thing to make the face all muddy if we're not careful. The foundation must be clear, simple, strong and entertaining- then add a little spice. Let your posing, drawing, timing and acting choices be the power behind the scene, not the little flashes of motion or noise.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice tips, Keith!


As an aside:
Yeah, I got the Animator's Survival Kit book but had to return it due to unexpected foul language contained within. You can't even watch a PG-13 movie nowadays without someone taking God's name in vain but now it's in animation books. Sigh.

Josh Bowman said...

Thanks for posting this Keith. I've been adding small subtle actions to my animation and in very small number to try and make it look like the character is invested in the moment. Things like small eye darts seem to help a lot.

In regards to Anon. above, it's interesting how some people get mortally offended and others just don't care. I think it's the same with any situation, if you look hard enough you'll find satan behind everything. Richard was retelling his experiences, if that's what happened, that's what happened, and he certainly got the point across.

Drew said...

clarity to me has become one of the most important things to consider. i find the need to concentrate on this because i get too distracted otherwise. i agree in a sense with milt kahl in that "i'm not smart enough to think of more than one thing at a time."

-d

tygriffin said...

AAR.... Hmm, that's practically pirate speak. Sounds good to me! Thanks for posting. :)

t

Ethan said...

Yha, I'd feel bad about spending $900 on a 3 day training course, but I got the studio to pay for it. So I don't feel bad at all:)

'Gabriel Syme' said...

anonymous: Also, they take His name in vain simply by using it in expression. Example: "Oh my...!"

josh: Good point, I reckon.

However, it's also interesting to note that scripture says "peter cursed", and left it at that but in the movie The Passion, they had the character of Peter literally use a curse word.

Fact is people get a kick out of using such words, when the story can be told without literally using them.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe an animation blog isn't necessarily the best place to air your religious viewpoints. Get a grip guys.

Keith Lango said...

Well, this has take an interesting turn. Heh. I understand that some folks are turned off by blue language. Sometimes in order to learn things we have to filter the information. Each of us has a different level of tolerance for such things. Me, I can see past blue language. It bugs me, but not enough to not try and filter it out to get at the useful info. Others may not be so willing to do so. I can certainly understand and appreciate that standard and I would support anyone in following their conscience as they feel led by God. We all have things that bother us more than others. I know that I have things that I won't be a part of because they affect me too much whole other people of faith have no issue with those things at all. I think it's wise to understand that one person's nettlesome issues don't affect all of us the same. I certainly am not interested in choking off conversation, specifically faith based conversation. I am a christian, my faith and beliefs are central and core to everything I try to do. I'm not exactly shy about that (much to the chagrin of some. heh). So this animation blog (of any out there) is a fair place to have such discussions.
So, having said all that, I welcome people sharing their views. Those of us who may not agree with those views will just need to practice grace and understanding along the way. Let's just try to see things from the other guy's POV and see what we can all learn about animation along the way. :)

-k

Cassidy said...

Returning a book because of some blue language sounds more like a political act than an act of faith. It's like vegans boycotting leather.

I personally don't share the view that blue language hurts anybody in any way, nor do I find it inconsistent with faith. But it's good to stand up for your beliefs. Sadly for Anon., this token gesture deprives him of a chance to learn more about animation, without really influencing the market for blue-language books in an effective way. You have to pick your battles.