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All animators must learn to walk before they can run. In 2D Character Animation, industry expert George Maestri teaches the basic principles every animator must know to build a foundation for more complex work. These principles are relevant regardless of software used or animation style. George explains how good animation depends on a firm knowledge of the laws of motion, which inform the principles of animation. He teaches the basics of creating characters, squash and stretch, pose-to-pose animation, walking and running, track reading, and dialogue animation. He also shows how to use After Effects and Flash to apply the tools learned in the course. Exercise files accompany this course.
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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