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Creating strong silhouettes

From: 2D Character Animation

Video: Creating strong silhouettes

Another important thing to consider when creating a strong pose is the character's silhouette. Now, what this silhouette is, is basically the outline of the character. So, here we have this particular character in silhouette. Now, the reason you want to have a character read well in silhouette is because the audience sees the outlines first and then it fills in the details. So, what happens is the audience kind of sees the outer shape of the character and then only after that do we fill in the detail, such as what's inside this general outline.

Creating strong silhouettes

Another important thing to consider when creating a strong pose is the character's silhouette. Now, what this silhouette is, is basically the outline of the character. So, here we have this particular character in silhouette. Now, the reason you want to have a character read well in silhouette is because the audience sees the outlines first and then it fills in the details. So, what happens is the audience kind of sees the outer shape of the character and then only after that do we fill in the detail, such as what's inside this general outline.

Another reason silhouettes are important is because it makes poses much easier to read. So, if your character has a strong silhouette, your poses will read that much faster. So, you can move your characters faster without the audience getting lost. So, let's take a look at a couple of poses here and some silhouettes. So, here I have one pose and the silhouette, you can clearly see what the character's is doing. Here's another pose and again, in silhouette, you can totally see what the character is doing and again, strong silhouettes.

So, let's go ahead and see how silhouettes work in motion. Here I have a simple silhouette of a character and let's go ahead and animate him. What is he doing? Well, we really don't know because the silhouette doesn't read. If we actually un-silhouette the character, you can see he is drinking the bottle of soda. But the way that I've staged this is really very awkward and difficult. The audience doesn't really know what the character is doing from the silhouette. So it's going to take that much longer to read.

So, here's a much stronger silhouette and you can easily see what's happening. When the character drinks, you can very clearly see what's happening. So, let's go ahead and play that at speed. There we go! So, you don't even need to see the details in order to get what's happening with the character but you can still see exactly what the character is doing and it's a much stronger set of posses for the audience to read. So, when you animate, be sure to create strong silhouettes for every one of your poses and your audience will read your animation that much more clearly.

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2D Character Animation

73 video lessons · 21957 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
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  1. 2m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 16s
  2. 48m 21s
    1. Designing characters
      3m 22s
    2. Tracing characters
      4m 32s
    3. Creating joints that work
      3m 53s
    4. Working with outlines
      4m 0s
    5. Accessorizing your characters
      2m 21s
    6. Creating parts for replacement animation
      1m 41s
    7. Rigging hierarchies in After Effects
      5m 33s
    8. Rigging replacement animation in After Effects
      5m 52s
    9. Rigging with the Puppet tool in After Effects
      3m 16s
    10. Rigging Flash characters
      5m 50s
    11. Rigging replacement animation in Flash
      4m 25s
    12. Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash
      3m 36s
  3. 55m 29s
    1. The first law of motion
      3m 3s
    2. The second law of motion
      3m 45s
    3. The third law of motion
      3m 19s
    4. Using slow in and slow out
      5m 34s
    5. Arcs and smooth motion
      5m 4s
    6. Understanding overlap and follow-through
      5m 16s
    7. Animating overlap and follow-through
      5m 46s
    8. Understanding squash and stretch
      3m 10s
    9. Animating squash and stretch
      4m 40s
    10. Squashing and stretching characters
      5m 16s
    11. Understanding weight
      3m 27s
    12. Understanding anticipation
      4m 54s
    13. Animating anticipation and weight
      2m 15s
  4. 45m 50s
    1. Internal vs. external forces
      4m 45s
    2. Bringing characters to life
      4m 57s
    3. Animating blinks
      4m 37s
    4. Animating changes in eye direction
      2m 43s
    5. Animating head turns
      8m 1s
    6. Creating a strong line of action
      4m 16s
    7. Creating strong silhouettes
      2m 19s
    8. Pose-to-pose animation: Blocking
      4m 32s
    9. Pose-to-pose animation: Animating
      4m 21s
    10. Pose-to-pose animation: Finalizing
      5m 19s
  5. 46m 53s
    1. A walk in four poses
      2m 27s
    2. Motion of the head and body
      1m 32s
    3. Walk cycles and backgrounds
      1m 40s
    4. Skeleton motion and walking
      4m 2s
    5. Animating a walk: Contact position
      3m 0s
    6. Animating a walk: The feet
      9m 10s
    7. Animating a walk: The body
      5m 19s
    8. Animating a walk: The legs
      8m 21s
    9. Animating a walk: The upper body and arms
      3m 46s
    10. Animating a walk: The head
      2m 50s
    11. Animating a walk: Squash and stretch
      4m 46s
  6. 26m 52s
    1. A run in four poses
      4m 10s
    2. Animating a run: First pose
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a run: Second pose
      3m 45s
    4. Animating a run: Third pose
      3m 27s
    5. Animating a run: Fourth pose
      5m 1s
    6. Animating a run: Upper body
      5m 50s
  7. 37m 6s
    1. The basics of dialogue animation
      4m 35s
    2. Reading tracks and assigning mouth shapes
      5m 33s
    3. Phonemes and lip-syncing
      8m 36s
    4. Animating dialogue: Animating the body
      6m 27s
    5. Animating dialogue: Assigning mouth shapes
      4m 10s
    6. Animating dialogue: Finalizing
      7m 45s
  8. 1h 27m
    1. Animating a scene
      2m 0s
    2. Setting up the scene in After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Animating the feet in After Effects
      10m 40s
    4. Animating the legs in After Effects
      4m 21s
    5. Animating the upper body in After Effects
      9m 44s
    6. Animating the mouth and blinks in After Effects
      7m 5s
    7. Setting up the scene in Flash
      4m 6s
    8. Animating the feet in Flash
      9m 0s
    9. Animating the body in Flash
      5m 23s
    10. Animating the legs in Flash
      7m 24s
    11. Animating the hands in Flash
      11m 54s
    12. Animating the mouth in Flash
      12m 26s
  9. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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