Tag Archive: model sheets


Model Sheets

When designing a character for any particular animated medium (2D or 3D), the designer must consider what their design will look like from all angles and from all points of view. Although traditionally drawn animation essentially views everything with a two-dimensional view, one look at the very best of 2D character animation reveals that it is necessary to understand the character from numerous viewpoints, even for something as simple as an animated take or head turn. To ensure that the designer, the director, and the team of animators understand the full structure and nature of a particular character from all possible angles and perspectives, a character model sheet is created.

 

A model sheet is the blueprint of a character, defining its size, construction, and pro-portions. The model sheet traditionally must show the character from the three fundamental viewpoints—front, profile, and rear view—with sometimes a front three-quarter and a rear three-quarter view thrown in for good measure. A good model sheet will also define the head-height formula for that character and may even include close-up details of the character’s features, such as hands, mouth, and feet. There can often be more than one model sheet per character, depending on the amount of construction de-tail required by the production team. Additional model sheets might also show specific attitude poses of the character, its relative size to other featured characters, and even mouth positions for vowels and consonants if lip-sync dialogue is anticipated. With Hollywood-level movie productions, if might also be advisable to create 3D clay models of the main characters, so animators can pick them up and view their shape and form from every conceivable angle. Anything that familiarizes the animator with the character is valuable when designing an animation character.

 

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The basic model sheet shows a character from all sides. This gives the animator a clear idea of the character’s form and any details of costume. These designs give a clear indication of the overall structure and proportions of an animated character seen in 360 degrees. They are designed specifically for use by animators in order for them to gain a clear understanding of the individual character’s ‘three-dimensional’ form.

 

When considering the structure and the anatomy of the animated character, simplification is the order of the day. It is necessary to break down a design into a form where it becomes possible to handle the character efficiently as animation. That’s where model sheets come in. Generally, the use of model sheets for animators is restricted to 2D classical animation, as they create every frame of the animation from scratch each time. While the need for model sheets in 3D stop-frame animation or computer animation may not be seen as such a great issue for the animators, as they are working with prefabricated models, they will certainly benefit from those model sheets and action sheets that illustrate the range and type of actions that a character is capable of. This can only enhance the performance that an animator gives.

 

Model sheets should contain all the relevant visual information the animators need. There should be no ambiguity at all within the drawing or the poses. Model sheets should illustrate the character in a simple pose giving, within separate drawings, details of front, rear and side views. This is just as important and useful as showing the character in a series of dynamic poses. The model sheet should enable the animator to gain a good understanding of what the character looks like through 360 degrees. Model sheets should always be clear, with any additional information added as notation.They should also provide all the detailing of costume and in some circumstances it may be necessary to create more than one such model sheet for a character if, for instance, the character changes costume within the film.

 

Script writing

Screenwriting, also called script-writing is the art and craft of writing scripts for mass media such as feature films, television productions or video games.

123Screenwriters are responsible for researching the story, developing the narrative, writing the screenplay, and delivering it, in the required format, to Development Executives. Screenwriters therefore have great influence over the creative direction and emotional impact of the screenplay and, arguably, of the finished film. They either pitch original ideas to Producers in the hope that they will be optioned or sold, or screenwriters are commissioned by a producer to create a screenplay from a concept, true story, existing screen work or literary work, such as a novel, poem, play, comic book or short story.

The act of screenwriting takes many forms across the entertainment industry. Often, multiple writers work on the same script at different stages of development with different tasks.

 

Visual Design

The director works closely with the art director to develop concept art for all elements in the production. Working under the art director’s supervision, concept artists in the Visual Design department create multiple versions of these elements, which usually include characters, props, environments, and any asset that will need to be created during the production stage.

Visual designs are usually in the form of traditional sketches and paintings, as well as clay sculptures, often referred to as maquettes. These designs begin loosely and are refined over time, and turned into model sheets for the modeling and texture departments.

 

Developing a  Character

1. The KISS Principlekeep_it_simple

Keep it Simple, Stupid. As you’re not only going to have to build, but animate your character it pays not to go overboard on design. Try to keep your designs simple, elegant and above all workable.

 

2. Development

A strong main character is essential to an animated production. For your main character to be strong, you have to know them inside and out. This is where acting plays a huge part in animation. Think about things like:

  • How will your character react in any given situation?
  • How does your character move around?
  • How does your character interact with other characters and the environment around it?
  • What sort of character is it?
  • What are its goals and motivations?
  • What are the physical considerations you need to make? (Gravity, weight, mass, health, speed, height, weight etc)

 

Step 1:

Draw your way to fulfillment – the next step is rough character sketches, you should have some idea of your story from the brainstorming, and things to note here are that reference is always invaluable, the more reference you can get the better for you and your characters it will be. Get used to drawing your character and its parts over and over again, become familiar with the look and feel of your character, try different poses and actions. Make sure the character has a strong silhouette, a distinct solid black shape. This will make sure it can be seen over a background.

 

Step 2:

Start breathing some life – The aim in any animation should be the “Illusion of Life” you’re not just trying to make normally inanimate objects move, you’re attempting to bring them to life. You will need to make your character believable to your audience. As well as good, accurate motion, there are several other things you can give your character to help present the Illusion of Life

Traditional Animation

In the traditional animation process, animators will begin by drawing sequences of animation on sheets of transparent paper perforated to fit the peg bars in their desks, often using color pencils, one picture or “frame” at a time. A peg bar is an animation tool that is used in traditional (cel) animation to keep the drawings in place. The pins in the peg bar match the holes in the paper. It is attached to the animation desk or light table depending on which is being used. A key animator or lead animator will draw the key drawings in a scene, using the character layouts as a guide. The key animator draws enough of the frames to get across the major points of the action; in a sequence of a character jumping across a gap, the key animator may draw a frame of the character as he is about to leap, two or more frames as the character is flying through the air, and the frame for the character landing on the other side of the gap.

traditional animationTiming is important for the animators drawing these frames; each frame must match exactly what is going on in the soundtrack at the moment the frame will appear, or else the discrepancy between sound and visual will be distracting to the audience. For example, in high-budget productions, extensive effort is given in making sure a speaking character’s mouth matches in shape the sound that character’s actor is producing as he or she speaks.

While working on a scene, a key animator will usually prepare a pencil test of the scene. A pencil test is a preliminary version of the final animated scene; the pencil drawings are quickly photographed or scanned and synced with the necessary soundtracks. This allows the animation to be reviewed and improved upon before passing the work on to his assistant animators, who will go add details and some of the missing frames in the scene. The work of the assistant animators is reviewed, pencil-tested, and corrected until the lead animator is ready to meet with the director and have his scene sweat boxed  or reviewed by the director, producer, and other key creative team members. Similar to the story boarding stage, an animator may be required to re-do a scene many times before the director will approve it.

1In high-budget animated productions, often each major character will have an animator or group of animators solely dedicated to drawing that character. The group will be made up of one supervising animator, a small group of key animators, and a larger group of assistant animators. For scenes where two characters interact, the key animators for both characters will decide which character is “leading” the scene, and that character will be drawn first. The second character will be animated to react to and support the actions of the “leading” character.

Once the key animation is approved, the lead animator forwards the scene on to the clean-up department, made up of the clean-up animators and the inbetweeners. The clean-up animators take the lead and assistant animators’ drawings and trace them onto a new sheet of paper, taking care in including all of the details present on the original model sheets, so that it appears that one person animated the entire film. The inbetweeners will draw in whatever frames are still missing in between the other animators’ drawings. This procedure is called tweening. The resulting drawings are again pencil-tested and sweat boxed until they meet approval.

At each stage during pencil animation, approved artwork is spliced into the Leica reel.

This process is the same for both character animation and special effects animation, which on most high-budget productions are done in separate departments. Effects animators animate anything that moves and is not a character, including props, vehicles, machinery and phenomena such as fire, rain, and explosions. Sometimes, instead of drawings, a number of special processes are used to produce special effects in animated films; rain, for example, has been created in Disney animated films since the late-1930s by filming slow footage of water in front of a black background, with the resulting film superimposed over the animation.