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How to learn Snappy FAST Animation

I have been animating now for over 20 years -mostly semi realistic and kinda cartoony animation.. ( Kung Fu Panda, Over the Hedge, Rio 2 etc ) When I look at a Hotel Transylvania movie or a Chances of Meatball movie, I get overwhelmed with awe at how ANYONE can make animation choices like that! I mean, the pose to pose stuff with ONE inbetween! w.t. fork? with absolutely dead pixels, frozen bodies with only one limb or a head moving.. WHO are these people ? ( Jerry Seinfeld voice)

So I set myself on a mission to discover the secret timing.. It wasn't enough to go frame by frame..

When I was teaching myself to draw, I often copied drawings of the artists I admire and I learned a lot from that For instance when learning to caricature, I copied David Levine, Bill Plympton, Jan OpdeBeek and David Cowles to name a few.. and what I learned is how to SEE with their eyes and sometimes to exaggerate in their way, took some juggling of perspective.


I imagined it would be the same if I could do it with animation timing..

My mission:

1.Take a small animation that displayed the kind of timing I discuss above from HT ( I dont know who the animator is on this clip)

2.Use a rig that I have - in the case Josh Sobel's rig -(Website)

3.Set the HT clip as an image plane in Maya

and copy the animation as best I could

a. Find the key poses ( there were 3)

b. Find the breakdowns

c. Find the slow ins and slow outs and anticipations

d. The rest were adjusting what the computer gave me to find the other mini breakdownsZ


Now the Kayla rig cant quite distort like the rigs they have at SONY.. but I could fudge it a bit by translating and scaling parts of the body.. I know that Sony has a plugin that allows you to make a final pass to do whatever the hell you want to the rig to push the poses, but I didn't have that and actually I didn't really care because I could get a close enough result with just some simple scaling and translations..

and this is the result..

Or watch below

Since I didn't have a guitar, I borrowed one from the assets of Racetime! ( the movie I supervised on out here in lonely Quebec, Canada) I mean, who didn't play air guitar with a hockey stick, right?

So what did I learn? That even after 20 + years animating there is still I can learn. Animation is a fluid medium with so many different ways of expressing your self.. . But for this assignment I learned that with strong posing, all you need is a good breakdown to help guide the eye to the next pose.

Muchos gracias Sony !

I am available for private lessons if you want to improve your show reel for potential studios..

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