-LESSON #13 – Straight Ahead and Pose to Pose-
Let’s see how to approche an animation shot and what’s the best method for you! 😉
In this lesson we will see the two possible approaches to an Animation!
As the name suggests STRAIGHT AHEAD means to start to animate from the FIRST KEY POSE adding all the other key poses in sequence order.
So you animate from the start to the end of the shot going ahead, adding key poses, breakdowns, and all the other poses in-between one after the other!
POSE TO POSE means start adding just the main KEY POSES (that are all the poses necessary to describe the action, the more significant poses)
WE DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW A SEQUENCE ORDER!
We can create the first and last key poses and the…add the other in the middle, or we can choose to add them following an order we prefer, it’s up to us and our inspiration!
When we finished to create the key poses we go back adding some breakdwons here and there, where this are necessary to better read the action and to have a more precise reference of the timing we will have in the final result!
When we work on Pose to Pose is recommended to keep all the CURVES IN STEPPED so that when we pass from a key to another we don’t have any interpolation but we just skip from a pose to the following one!
This two different techniques have a very different approach!
When we animate in STRAIGHT AHEAD the approch is MORE INSTINCTIVE, you’ll animate following YOUR IMPULSE!
With the POSE TO POSE animation you’ll PLAN your animation concentrating on the keyposes and the timing, in this way you’ll have an idea of the finale result even with few keys!
If you are BEGINNER I suggest you to go for a POSE TO POSE approach, in general is the best way to start and even I usualy choose this approach, especially for complex and long animation!
With the STRAIGHT AHEAD you risk to:
- OVER ANIMATE, adding too many movements, actions and gestures!
- LOSE REDABILITY OF THE MAIN POSES
- HAVE MORE DIFFICULTIES TO MAKE CHANGES, adjust the acting/action, the timing and the spacing!
In production, when a supervisor have to look at your animation, it will be more difficult to tell you what change and you’ll lose a lot of time doing this changes, due to the high number of keys we have in a STRAIGHT AHEAD approach!
With POSE TO POSE you avoid all this problems ’cause:
- YOUR ANIMATION WILL BE IMMEDIATELY READABLE, in term of timing, poses and intentions!
- YOU’LL BE ABLE TO ADD VARIATIONS AND CHANGES IN FEW MOVES
- YOU’LL SAVE TIME, focusing in the more important aspects: key poses, timing and the intention of the shot!
In this example I’ll show you the same animation but done with the two different approaches!
First, let’s see how we would create this animation following the STRAIGHT AHEAD approach!
As I said before with straight ahead we start from the first key pose…
…and we proceed with all the other poses (key poses and breakdowns) following the sequence order
So, when we do this, we add as many keys as we want, just following our instinct! So we don’t just focus on the main poses and the timing, but we already adjust the spacing and create the moving holds, the settle, the offset of some parts but…as I said before there’re no rules! So you could also choose to go for a blocking approach in straight ahead and add the offsets and other little adjustments in a second time!
I usually use STRAIGHT AHEAD when I work on less complex and hight quote production like:
- TV series with simple characters and a majority of close up acting shots
For this shot I go for straight ahead animation, animating directly in spline and skipping the blockin phase! BUT AS I SAID BEFORE, I DON’T SUGGEST YOU THIS METHOD IF YOU’RE BEGINNER!
Let’s see the example with the POSE TO POSE! So first we go to create all the key poses or the extremes!
We know that he starts sitting at the table so this is the first key to create
and we know that the shot will finish with him going out from the door!
So let’s add a pose around the end of the shot of him opening the door, in this way we also set a rough timing of the entire action!Now we know that in this range he will have to do the other action, so let’s add some other key poses
At one point he looks towards the door so we add the pose of the turning head:
We also add three key poses for the standing up, the hands contact on the table, one where he stands up and another of him turning with the body:
Last…we add three keyposes to show the steps towards the door:
That’s all for the FIRST PASS OF BLOCKING, and it’s enough to check the action and the timing
If we are fine with what we’ve done so far…we can add some breakdowns (the passing poses between the key poses). We decide how the character moves and reacts to reach the following poses. Based on where we put this breakdowns we also go to roughly decide the spacing (the speed variations during a movement)
This blocking would be READY TO BE SEEN BY THE SUPERVISOR and he could give you some simple tips to enhance it! And would be VERY EASY for you since you have FEW KEYS TO MANAGE!
Same thing if it’s a personal work, you can easly adjust poses, timing, spacing in few moves!
One of my personal method for for the POSE TO POSE avoiding to create too many poses is to start adding the KEY POSES in SPLINE (without breakdowns)
In this way we will have the SOFTWARE INTERPOLATION between the key poses
Scrolling back and forth in the timeline I choose some interpolation poses for my breakdowns, so I turn this frame in KEY FRAME and these keys will be my BREAKDOWNS
Now I take this BREAKDOWNS and I adjust the keys created by the interpolaion, making better poses, adjusting the spacing, the way he moves, the silhouette etc…
If we like the result….at the end WE SWITCH ALL THE KEYS IN STEPPED TANGENTS AND OUR POSE TO POSE IS DONE!
IN THIS WAY WE CAN KEEP A LOW NUMBER OF KEY POSES AND BREAKDOWNS TO MANAGE AND DECREASE THE CHANCE TO HAVE BAD SURPRISES DURING THE REFINE PASS!
WHEN YOU’LL SWITCH AGAIN YOUR TANGENTS FROM STEPPED TO SPLINE THE ANIMATION WILL BE ENOUGH “CLEAN” AND WILL WORKS PRETTY WELL!