7. ANIMATINGNow comes the time to roll up the sleeves and buckle down for real. Animation is probably what took me around 60% of the total project time, because there are so many things to think about. How does the weight of your head affect the muscles of your neck and shoulders? How does your body move if you put all your weight on your elbow? Which muscles in your face move when you smile or cry (or in this case, do both at the same time?) This gave me a whole new appreciation for what the Nine Old Men and Pixar have to work with every day: making something that has never existed, and making it believable.
The problem with computer animation, as my teacher Mark Simon hammered repeatedly into our heads, is that you have to create gravity and weight where there is literally nothing but empty abyss. My friends and I would joke to each other where someone would say, "How much does it weigh?" and the other person had to holler, "NOTHING!!" And the best, most efficient way to learn how to create weight and gravity where there was none before was to observe real life. I can guarantee that everything you see in my final animation, I at some point physically acted out. This being a story about fatigue and struggle, there were many moments when I had to make myself repeatedly fall over, throw myself on the ground, and crawl around on my stomach. Why they don't make us sign a waiver for this program, I'll never know.
Click on the images below to watch the videos.