Understand how to show the weight of limbs.
- All right, physicality of limbs, or physicality of gesture, what does that mean? It means, basically, tying in the fact that we are made of bones, and skin, and muscles, and making things feel like they have weight. So that if I present a gesture, it doesn't just rotate and hit. There's an overshoot and a settle. Right. When I point, you know, my arm settles and does something. Right. My shoulder is tied into my arm.
All these things are happening. And it's basically the tying in of features. Physicality of gestures, for example, on a film where I might be animating a very heavy character, I would want to really research what it looks like for a heavy limb to hit something, all the jiggling of skin, and what happens to the rest of the body. Again, that's the reference part of my job. I go back, I look at clips. I look at clips of, of say, grizzly bears, and I wanna understand how that moves in order to apply it to the character that I'm animating.
I want you to take a look at some of these clips with me. And then, let's look at how limbs move and how they settle after somebody does something. Right. We call this residual energy. A limb, maybe points, and then maybe drops. And then, what happens to all that energy? It has to go somewhere. And being attentive to where that goes is part of the job. So, this is kinda that secondary kind of overlap and follow through.
Right, his arms drop, boom, room. And they have this kind of extra motion on the end of the scene, where they kinda settle, right. If you're looking at his arms, and then these, there's a nice straight here. You could see where we're kind of, design-wise, there's some nice things design-wise about straights to curves. You know, and you want to get into your work. Right, even how she drops her arms, you could feel, like, there's like a nice rippling of action.
These are the details that we're looking for in animation on a high level when we're polishing a scene. As he twists from side to side, what I love about this is just how that big muscle, here, his kind of rib cage drives everything else. Right. This is the main thing that is driving these limbs. Right, so this thing comes around, it makes all this stuff follow through and overlap.
When he goes up on his feet, his arms overlap as well. So, there's a looseness to it. Right. See how far his wrist will go out, and then it reverses, creates another change there. Look at the bow of the arm. Right. This is really great because we're able to do this in animation. We're able to get a bow on this area, and push this part of the arm back and forth. But look how it's really designed in the human.
This is the stuff that we do to avoid, like these stick-like arms in animation that we see that look like skeletons. We don't want that. We want this, more of a curve along certain things. So, it's looking for the change. It's understanding how things move, and keeping things loose, heavy, and not hollow. Physicality of gestures and limbs is just as important as the acting that you do with your characters. This is the part of the job that makes it feel believable.
This is in the polish process. Usually, I'm spending most of my time doing this stuff in the spline editor. So, make the polish of gestures and things feeling physical part of your process to push your characters to the next level of believability.
- What are gestures?
- Cliché and illustrative gestures
- Using reference for gestures
- Gesturing with other body parts
- Polish of gestures
- Facial gestures