Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating gesture drawings, part of 2D Animation Principles.
In this section, I'm going to show you how to do a rough gesture drawing, and why do a gesture drawing if I'm animating on the computer? Well, the secret of a good pose is that it should be dynamic, and it shouldn't look stiff or wooden. So if your drawings are dynamic, then you can use these as great reference material for your 3D poses. So as you can see, as I'm drawing here, I'm drawing very fast. We haven't speeded up the the footage or anything. So here's the thing as you begin to, to do a gesture drawing.
What is a gesture drawing? Why do you need it? Well, a gesture drawing should have dynamics, it should have energy, and it shouldn't look stiff or static. We're trying to get you, your creativity going when you draw like this, and you're trying to do a drawing that captures the line of action, so for example the, by line of action, I mean the line that goes from the base of the character's feet to the top of their head. And the emotion of the character is very important to capture as well.
So let's do a very conjecture drawing of it. Let's say somebody complete the spare like," Oh, no, I can't believe I've done that." Well, I'll start drawing, or thinking about the character from the ground up to the tip of their head, and you can see as I'm drawing this, I'm not worrying, you know, very much, about the individual lines. I'm trying to capture the mass, or the idea of it. Now that's way too rough even for my taste, so I'm going to very quickly bringing the opacity down. And now that I have that over it, I can do a clean level, and, you know not necessarily tie it down, but at least do a, a slightly cleaner gesture drawing that has a little bit more structure in it.
And again, I'm, you know, making the arms and the, the face a little more coherent now. And at this point, I can delete the layer beneath. And we have something that looks like a believable emotional state. And that can sit very nicely with this one. So the things to watch out for when you're doing a gesture drawing. Remember that you're drawing volumes, you're not drawing lines. And what do I mean by a volume? I mean if you're drawing a circle, don't draw it like a flat or think about it like it's a flat plane. Think about it as a sphere. So when you're drawing it, don't be afraid to draw multiple lines and imagine that thing with some mass.
It's got an equator and a median line, so, you're drawing a physical thing not a flat subject and to think about about the acting, think about the emotional content of the characters. But don't go into any great detail, don't start putting in like freckles and wrinkles, that's a complete waste of energy at this point in the process. So get your proportions right, think about volumes, think about the acting, think about the psychology, the emotion, the line of action. Nice, good, strong poses that have good motion in them.
And avoid detail at all costs. That's your gesture drawing.
These lessons are designed with Flash in mind, but work just as well with any other 2D animation program.
- Creating gesture drawings
- Comparing storyboard styles
- Squash, stretch, and volume
- Comparing timing and spacing
- Using anticipation, overshoot, settle, overlap, and follow-through
- Creating eccentric walks
- Building stock mouth shapes for dialogue
- Creating thumbnails