Thursday, 9 December 2010
The Struggle Continues
From this point onwards I started building up the character in layers rather than trying to draw everything at once, as the hair was getting more and more complicated and it was hindering the flow of the body movement due to how much I had to keep rubbing out and correcting it. Every time the pigtails overlapped the body I ended up destroying all my hard body work while trying to fix the hair, so I created a new layer on top for the hair alone and decided to only start animating it once the body and facial acting was perfect. Above is the test showing only body movement.
Same action but with facial expressions added. I spent a lot of time ensuring that the facial features remained consistent and didn't melt all over the face; a task easier said than done when her face is literally just a ball. I found it was very easy for the eyes of eyebrows to slide of course, making the flow look off. I also tried to add variance to her expression as she struggles such as her eyes clenching even tighter/opening slightly for only two frames before shutting again, her mouth contorting as she grits her teeth/gasps for breath etc. All tiny little details you probably wouldn't notice unless you zoomed in and went through each individual frame, but I feel it makes her struggle a lot more dynamic and compelling to watch rather than her keeping the same static expression.
Hair added in a different colour to make it easier for me to distinguish which line belongs where. The hair is technically a separate character from the girl at this point, so I think it was a good choice to animate it on a separate layer. It makes things far easier on me when I din't have to redraw everything underneath everytime I make a mistake, and thus speeds up my workflow. Also, I enjoy making sure that the body movement works on its own without any hair to hide possible flaws. This way even though I had to rub out most of the footwork that fell behind her pigtail, its still clear to the viewer that the hair isn't hiding any lazy corner cutting.