Here the written recap of the Lesson #11 based on the animation principle “Exaggeration”
here the Video Lesson
When we talk about this principle we actually also talk about the other principles we’ve seen so far, because …
It means to go out from the limit of the realism and exaggerate the actions and the poses to make the final result more instantly readable for the users!
It can be applied on:
- KEY POSES (pushing the lines of action, exaggerating the way you represent a feeling or an action)
- BREAKDOWNS (exaggerating the arcs, the amount of squash and stretch and breaking some joints)
- CHARACTER DESIGN (exaggerating shapes, proportions and caricature elements)
- STORY (exaggerating a concept, an action to make it stronger)
- POSES (exaggerating the representation of a mood or an action)
- TIMING/SPACING (make it more cartoony exaggerating the contrast between acceleration and deceleration of a movement)
But as animator we have to focus just on some of this:
- KEY POSES
But it’s not as simple as the word would suggest!
When we exaggerate we must be sure that it helps to:
Exaggerate doesn’t means to do something completely out of any physic principle and realism, BUT it means do something starting from realism and exaggerate it to make it more interesting, enhancing and push an idea!
And it gradually increases depending on the level of cartoon style of the animation!
I’ll show you some of this example but this principle would really requires long talks and practice to really understand it and know how to push it!
Do it in KEY POSES pushing your poses to cleary show the mood, always based on the style you need. You have different solutions depending on how much of realism you want!
In this simple example we can see a normal jump:
…and this other one more cartoony and exaggerated!
If we compare the two jumps, we can see that the first one is more close to reality: there’s a small anticipation, the jump distance is not so long, so this is very close to how a real jump looks like
In the second version: I made a bigger anticipation (the hip goes much more down, the arms raise more) and the spacing is different, there’s more preparation to the jump so during the anticipation there’s a longer pause, then I over stretched the body during the push (especially the legs and the chest), the jump is higher and there’s a slower spacing when he stays in the air so he jumps very fast and then decelerates in the air. Then he accelerates when he falls, I stretched the body again and when he lands I made the feelings that he’s heavier making a stronger lands, with the hips that goes very low and a big pause before he stands up again! Also the jump distance is exaggerated!
You also can use it in BREAKDOWNS: for example when you broke a joint during an action, this is not reality but it’s an exaggeration of the arc that you will create with this movement!
You can use deformers (if there’re in the rig) to accentuate the curve of the arms and give (for just 1 max 2 frames) an innatural flexibility to the “bones” to give more energy and create a nice arc and it also help to create a smoother transition in a very fast spacing whenre the arms moves from point A to point B in few frames!
Use it in EXPRESSION you can exaggerate the organic feel of the face, make it super flexible. Exaggerate the asymmetry, exaggerate the lines of action, just as for the body poses, to make the acting and the feelings more convincing!
When you stretch a face, push it to give the idea that the head and the muscles could really stretch as a balloon of water! Stretch the eyes, the mouth and the neck and use the shoulders to emphasize the push upward that we have during a take!
Do the same when you squash an head, press it in the chest and raise the shoulders! Also squash and press the eyes between the eyebrows that push down and the cheeks that push up!
Starting from a realistic bouncing ball, you can create a version more cartoony and exaggerated: increasing the contrast with fast and slow spacing, when the ball is in the air we have a slower spacing, and when it falls we have a big acceleration!
We can also exaggerate the amount of squash and stretch, keeping the stretch longer during the fall and make a bigger squash in the contact!
In this simple animation of a ball you can exaggerate the timing and the spacing to add energy to the scene and If this would be a character ….. we would have two different jumps and the exaggerated one, with more contrast in the spacing and an exaggerated use of the squash and stretch, results more cartoon and appealing!