Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A study in cartoon timing.. UPDATED

UPDATE: Well, whaddya know- I'm an idiot.

Commenter Lampshademan suggested the timing might be a frame rate glitch in the movie file due to the DVD capture. So after trying to find the right combination of software that lets me get accurate frame stepping through a clip from a DVD I was finally able to verify that the scene is basically animated on 2's. All of the drawings, except for the first one of the hold and the last 8 (for the run off screen) are held for two frames each.

Nothing to see here folks. Well, except for a red-faced idiot.

But enjoy the fun animation anyhow.

And I will talk about the change from one drawing to the next because there's some fun stuff going on.

11 comments:

LampshadeMan said...

I'm probably wrong, but are you sure that is not a compression rate adjustment? The frame rate is 24.19 slightly faster than 24 but faster none the less. Plus it seems to be a consistent pattern till he does a run on ones. Just seems weird that they would use 3s in the middle of fast action that doesn't seem tailored to the action instead of like on a slow head turn or something. If you're right though, maybe I should start using 3s in my animations cause that could save me alot of work.

LampshadeMan said...

oh, and not trying to be a jerk say there isn't a pattern, just that I can't perceive it.

bclark said...

I just like how much they get away with with out having shadows... like the translation of the cat from behind the drawer to the front. I think if it had shadows it would distract and feel strange.

Also I am amazed at how much foot slide and slip they get away with and it still feels connected on classic 2d toons.

Keith Lango said...

there may be some fps rate issues there. I'll double check it on 24 fps proper.

Randy said...

Well, Keith, I'm with you on the idea that the performance and the communication of the ideas is solid here, but the stickiness of the timing is actually disturbing me in this scene.

I'm definitely not a fan of overpolished CG, or of overpolishing my own stuff (just ask my supervisors, LOL), but here the movement of the scene is feeling sticky and hitchy. I think they could get away with the timing if their flow/arcs were better, but there's some stuff in this scene that just bugs me. Watch his navel/belly area, and track how his weight is shifting around. The sticky timing is accentuating how his center of gravity is hitting walls and bouncing around for no reason. He seems to slide or float while he's on his way down, too. All of this takes away from the believability of the weight in the scene, methinks.

That said, the timing isn't really the culprit, here, it's just accentuating some other problems. So my comments above, come to think of it, are irrelevant.

::ahem::

er...carry on...
:)

Lucas Martell said...

Very interesting to see something pushed that far. This brings up a thought I've been having lately... It definitely feels like we've lost some of the snappy timing and exaggeration by going to 1's in the CG world, but at the same time, we've also gained an incredible level of subtlety that you could never get in hand drawn animation. I'm referring to the tiny eye darts and subtle shifts in pose that when used appropriately, can be a nice contrast to the big broad stuff. To me it almost seems like music. There are certainly times when its good to play loud, but you don't have to play nearly as loud if you've got some softer passages to provide the contrast. I wonder if a lot of 2D/3D debate is just because of the different dynamic ranges of the instruments we're playing?

Keith Lango said...

Props to lampshademan for the call.

Now I feel stupid. Nothing like stubbing your toe in a very public way to keep you humble. *sigh*

Keith Lango said...

Lucas:
Those are solid points. I think animating on 1's is a valid approach, but the scales are tipped excessively far in that direction, in my opinion. It may take a few years but I think you're going to see a return of broad cartoon animation. Whether it's hand drawn or CG won't really matter. I think you'll see it in both.

Ajit Singh said...

Keith,

whats your approach, holding every pose(drawing) for 2 frames?

as it's flowing through one pose to other with hold of 2 frame in this shot.

same example in cg look more like a stop motion some time...

Keith Lango said...

Ajit-
When I'm doing strong cartoon animation I'll work in mixed 1's and 2's. I have developed a MEL script that allows me to work at 12 fps (2's) first. I'll work there, usually on 2's, occasionally on 4's for longer holds. Then I switch to 24 fps to give me the extra frames to work with where I can add extra drawings for when I need to work on 1's. The MEL script switches the timing from 12 to 24 fps, but it doesn't allow the computer to create any additional inbetween 'drawings'. So when the switch is made there are more frames, but each drawing is held for 2 frames. I then can use the second frame of the hold as a place to add an additional drawing to inbetween down to 1's in spots. (note: it's a LOT easier to show than describe in text. And what I call a 'drawing' people in CG call a 'key').

ajit singh said...

wow, that interesting love to know more about it.....
Plz show us your approach in Cg if possible.