Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating thumbnails

From: 2D Animation Principles

Video: Creating thumbnails

It can be quite intimidating when you're handed a really complicated scene, or So we start off with frame 1 and this is an Igor.

Creating thumbnails

It can be quite intimidating when you're handed a really complicated scene, or a scene that pushes the capabilities of what you think the software can handle. So when this happens to you, and it's happened to me on one Flash project where I was given a fairly complex action scene, just walk away from the computer. Just get a notebook, a horizontally lined notebook, and take whatever notes you can and then just thumbnail it. Get a piece of paper and a pencil and an eraser and just draw. And, you don't have to be a great draftsman.

About this level of draftsmanship is more than enough. Actually even these hands might be considered overkill. So even if you can only draw stick figures, I strongly recommend you begin the process of becoming comfortable with sketching thumbnails. The beauty of using a lined notepaper like this is that even though it looks a bit like a high school student's doodle, you have horizontal lines that act as a ground plane. I was able to pick this line here as a ground plane and then put the feet relative to that.

And I was able to use the lines to scale my character's head, and keep them roughly in proportion. So, you can see the character's head is almost. If's just slightly less than 2 of these lines in width. And It tried to maintain that volume throughout the entire sequence it So we start off with frame 1 and this is an Igor. I imagine this guy is a little, yes, Master kind of personality and he's doing this kind of creepy turn. So we have him in his standard hold pose at the beginning. And if you're in Flash, this could even be a classic Flash tween or motion tween and all symbolized.

And you can do a lot dialog and regular Flash tweening and stuff and that. And then at some point after frame 9, you would then transition out of the rig and into your more custom poses. And these could be partially symbolized or partially hand drawn as the frames would need. And by the time you get to frame 29, you're back into what would be a classic flash rig. And you could then break these arms and hands apart and do your usually motion tweens. Of course if you were in CGI, not a problem, but this is still a fantastic visual reference for your poses.

So rather than taking your CGI rig, you would then be able to have, and just trying to create these poses out of a vacuum, you would have your hand drawn poses as a fantastic reference. It's a send off from your thumbnails into your actual animation process, so you do as much of your thinking on paper, and as little of your thinking on the screen as possible. I think you'll find that a much more natural way to work. And of course the more thumbnails you do, the better your thumbnails will get. It's a fantastic tool to have. And in this thumbnail sequence, I did it in a coffee shop.

Took me about an hour and a half, 2 hours. The end result is pretty solid. So let me show you what this looks like when you take it into Flash. Okay, so I took that image into Photoshop and I cut all the frames apart, cleaned out some of those lines that might be distracting at this point and I placed each key frame on the timeline corresponding to my estimates. And, they're just estimates in the thumbnails. And if I feel that, you know, this pose really could hold longer, no one can stop me. I can hold that longer and I can change the timing charts. I can make sure that this is held for exactly six frames.

If I want to make a note in here, okay, we'll hold you for 6. Now and so forth, the whole point about this is to loosen you up to break you out of the idea that you're dealing with a static rig, be it in flash or CGI. And there's some really nice stuff happening here. I'll walk you through it. If we go from the original pose into this pose here, you can see how the shoulder is beginning to hunch up to give us that kind of classic Igor effect. From here to here, the shoulder is now really leading the action. And then from this frame, the elbow takes over.

And the elbow still is leading the action here. And at this point, the other side of the body, the opposite shoulder catches up and is now leading and is still leading here. You can see at this point and then we settle into the final whole scene. So were I doing this in flash or CGI I would use these as reference, kick my biped rig or whatever rig I have into it, line it up as best I can to match these poses, and then the business of adding the secondary breakdown scenes that are poses between these keys would really finish off the scene. So that's the importance of thumbnails if you want to do a very, very strong acting scene.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 2D Animation Principles
2D Animation Principles

35 video lessons · 8614 viewers

Dermot O' Connor
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
  2. 18m 9s
    1. Understanding appeal and design
      4m 3s
    2. Comparing body types
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding silhouette
      1m 52s
    4. Creating gesture drawings
      2m 50s
    5. Tying down the drawing
      2m 57s
  3. 18m 10s
    1. Comparing storyboard styles
      5m 8s
    2. Understanding shot composition
      4m 36s
    3. Demonstrating lighting
      4m 8s
    4. Understanding the 180-degree line
      4m 18s
  4. 13m 8s
    1. Understanding X-sheets (dope sheets)
      3m 25s
    2. Comparing frame rates
      4m 39s
    3. Creating sweatbox notes and preparation
      5m 4s
  5. 18m 42s
    1. Understanding arcs
      7m 38s
    2. Squash, stretch, and volume
      4m 59s
    3. Comparing timing and spacing
      6m 5s
  6. 10m 4s
    1. Using anticipation, overshoot, and settle
      4m 2s
    2. Breaking and loosening joints
      2m 43s
    3. Leading action
      3m 19s
  7. 19m 51s
    1. Understanding primary and secondary action
      4m 14s
    2. Using overlap and follow-through
      6m 0s
    3. Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves
      4m 34s
    4. Moving holds and idles
      5m 3s
  8. 15m 52s
    1. Understanding walk and run cycles
      5m 24s
    2. Creating eccentric walks
      6m 50s
    3. Animal locomotion
      3m 38s
  9. 14m 31s
    1. Finding dialogue accents
      2m 42s
    2. Creating dialogue through body movement
      2m 46s
    3. Creating stock mouth shapes
      5m 4s
    4. Using complementary shapes
      3m 59s
  10. 13m 8s
    1. Creating thumbnails
      4m 31s
    2. Comparing straight-ahead and pose-to-pose animation
      4m 37s
    3. Adding breakdowns for looseness
      4m 0s
  11. 2m 9s
    1. Next steps
      2m 9s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed 2D Animation Principles.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.