Yesterday we started our intensive animation week with industry professionals Susannah Shaw, primarily a stop motion animator, and Campbell McAllister, a freelance animation director who worked on one of my favourite animations - The Illusionist!
I really enjoyed the first day, even though I was a little late (tut tut). Basically we spent our time in the first workshop participating in some 'people watching'. Observing how others walk and the slight differences in which they do this as it's what gives animation soul. We spent a lot of time recording others walks, especially focusing on how the different genders differ, which I continued to pursue during our lunch break with a few others. Just a heads up, there are some people who don't like being secretly filmed whilst walking around University! I did also pick up a few pointers from Susannah and Campbell about using my own body to help me observe movement, i.e. using a mirror to better understand both facial and body movement - "Enjoy your body, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own", to quote Baz Luhrmann's 'Sunscreen'. They also suggested looking into actor's interviews focusing on their tricks of the trade, as understanding acting is a vital part of understanding animation. They also encouraged us to get up and actually walk around, to try and focus on the pattern of movement.
In the afternoon workshop we were given a rig to animate. Using our footage we attempted to apply the help we were given by Susannah and Campbell to make a start on our walk cycle.
p.s. if you guys haven't heard this song yet, check it out, it's really inspiring.