In the process of animating Vaiva, I start with blocking key poses which tell the story within the shot. After that I make sure to create some equally strongly posed in-betweens. Third phase is adding some delayed animation poses for separate parts of the body. All of this done in stepped mode of animation (non-smooth flow of action) . Having done that I hope I have mapped out something decent and with my fingers crossed spline the animation curves.
Still not good. Splined animation gives dirty anchors and brings out mistakes naked to the surface. At this point I work on ‘cushioning’, as Richad Williams terms it. It is essentially making sure that there are not a single hard stop within animation curves, meaning every action would start or end incrementally and organically, unless otherwise intended. Lastly, refining and tweaking anything to hit the right timing is what I end up with.
Also, when thinking about the quality of animation I almost never consider film, for, as I mentioned a while ago, one animator has the whole year for 2 min of animation. Instead I always have in mind a commercial quality type of animation, for a typical commercial project has roughly the time I have to animate the character, which is – from 3 to 5 weeks ( 3 for me).
I am reaching the ending scenes at the moment and am hoping to move to some secondary animation ( rainbow, riverside, ‘Laumikas’ and so on. )