This post is part of the Anchor Podcast APG Design Cast: #027 Animator Journey 6 – Laika visit & DVE 1.
During our review we had a surprise visit from Danny Chong who was one of the first few graduates of DVE1 back when 3dsense started. He now works at DICE EA.
He talked about some tips on making animations better during our reviews.
Why is the character doing what is he intending to do?
Every character on screen that performs the actions has a purpose and goal. We need to animate the character to show audience the intent of the character and clues as to where he is going through his movements and actions.
Look for good posing.
When starting off especially in reference. Look for a strong pose that fully explains the character motivation. It has to be clearly readable in the frame and relates to the character intentions.
Learn the basics gather references
He talked about the 12 principles we maybe were only at the first few like staging or timing, get those basics right and move on to the next phase every part of the process has a purpose.
Gather all the references you can find on the subject matter, cause you don’t know what you don’t know.
Listen to advice and trust the process
Don’t be afraid to take your own reference. Work out the actions with your body so you can get a sense of the weight timings and other nuances.
He worked in games and he still does video references to this day even for simple things like picking up a gun there is so much that goes into it like understanding its weight and how it affects our body weight shift.
Use whatever that works
If a rig has to break or you use a technique that gets the result even if it is not accurately portrayed, as long as it looks good on screen, it’s ok as long as if helps your objective.
It takes a long time to get good.
lastly to get to the best level of your animations career, he talked about how he started small somewhere and it took him a long time to get good and only after many years he is working on larger things like AAA games at DICE.
Listen to the Podcast on Anchor.