Sunday, March 12, 2006

Imagination 1

... over the past few days, the postman delivered several reference books that I bought. As I read, and re-read, these books, I'm absorbing the information they contain. The books make wonderful additions to my growing reference library and it's certain that I will be frequently looking to them for direction in the future. Likewise, the number of links to webpages saved in my Favorites folder is growing too. These books and webpages are great for the technical stuff, the "how to" information of animation, but they've also inspired another line of thought for me - IMAGINATION.
... any character one cares to draw, whether it is a frog, a fish, a deer, woodpecker, ghost, or a mouse, already exists, sometimes in several different forms. All one needs to do is to pop a copy of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" into the DVD player and a plethora of familiar characters grace the screen in every scene. We recognize Donald and Daffy, the WB frog, the dancing hippos, even the octopus bartender. And now, we recognize both Roger and Jessica Rabbit.
... there are a lot of technical components involved in animation. In virtually every reference book I own, The 12 Principles of Animation are repeated and stressed. These are the mechanics of animation, providing the foundation for bringing a character to life and for making that character move realistically. The "bouncing ball action" uses the principles of 1.) arcs 2.) squash and stretch and in the book Animation 1, Preston Blair demonstrates this action by showing a frog jumping. This is a basic action that every aspiring animator should learn to master and duplicate early on. Simply drawing a frog jumping, however, is rather mechanical and boring. It needs a healthy dose of imagination. The frog needs a scene, or a story, in which it can jump. This is where the technical and mechanical aspects merge with the creative and imaginative realm of possiblity.