Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction to monsters and aliens, part of 2D Animation: Animate Monsters & Aliens.
- [Narrator] In this course we look at monsters and aliens. The difference when animating fantastical creatures is that you can't find reference footage for them, apart from animation and performances created by earlier artists, of course. So you have different approaches to this problem. You can use earlier animation or performances as a reference. So, for example, the famous sword fighting skeletons by Ray Harryhausen in Jason and the Argonauts could be used as reference for your skeleton or zombie. Or indeed a TV show like The Walking Dead.
You could use the trolls animated in the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings movies as reference for your troll. But the danger of copying somebody else's work is that your animation can become a weak copy. A copy of a copy in some cases. So look at previous interpretations, by all means, but please do not be limited to them. The second approach is to use existing animal or human actions as a basis for your animation. A famous example of this is the AT-AT Walker from Empire Strikes Back, and that was actually inspired by an elephant walk.
A third approach is just to use your imagination, pure invention. And this is what you have to do with an original creation that no one's ever seen before. Especially if it has no connection with an existing life form. And the walking plant or the blob on the bottom right of the image here are great examples of that. Another approach is to use exaggeration. We take an existing principle of animation but apply it in the really extreme or unnatural way. So before we start, I'm going to show you how to approach these creature types in the general way.
I don't want you to look at these movies as a specific how-to. This course is a way to get you thinking in an open way about how animate the bizarre and the unfamiliar and how to loosen up your approach, how to be creative. I want you to use these movies as a starting point or a springboard for your own animation. Also remember that the principles that we use in one character can be used for others. So for example, the jerky animation that we'll create for the zombie or the skeleton will also be applicable to the mummy, for example.
The principles that we apply to the big, clumsy, slow, Frankenstein monster will also be applicable to the mummy, the werewolf, and the troll. So keep an open mind about which of these styles can be applied to characters or different types. You might be able to use principles that I've used in one character in a different one that I haven't even thought of. An important note about frame rates, all the animation in this course was done on 24 frames per second and all the frame numbers are in 24 frames per second. If you work in 30 and use my numbers, your animation will be a little faster than mine and might look weird.
So if you want to copy my animation and you're on 30, you'll have to adjust your frame numbers accordingly. And finally, if you have access to the exercise files, I've provided a handout for you to use and follow along with the course.
- Animating mummies, werewolves, and trolls
- Animating jerky movements of zombies and elves
- Animating smooth movements