In a previous blog we went through the ‘pre-production’ stage of making an animated film. With that established we will now discuss the ‘Production’ stage.
10: Animation: Blocked-in Keys and Rough Inbetweens.
Animators should first rough out their initial ideas and film them as pose tests. This will give a very quick and basic understanding of how the proposed animation will work in the scene. When the animator is happy with their pose test, it could also be edited into the animatic in its appropriate place to see how it works in continuity with scenes either side of it. Modifications can be made at this time as if the key poses do not work the final animation never will.
When the animator is ultimately happy with the way the poses work they (or an assistant if they have the budget for it) will rough in the inbetweens to see how fluidly or smoothly it will work. Again, when filmed, this can be edited into the animatic for a final continuity test.
11: Animation: Cleaned-up Keys and Inbetweens.
When the rough animation is drawn, tested and approved its next necessary to ‘clean up’ all the drawings. This simply means removing the roughness from each drawing and redefining it carefully in a style that echoes the original model sheet design style.
12: Background painting.
While the animation is being created (or after it, if the person is working alone on their film) all the background artwork needs to be painted. (Note: Backgrounds are generally defined as everything in the scene that does not animate).
13: Animation: Inking and Scanning.
Once all the animation drawings are cleaned-up, they now need to be ‘inked’ (traced). (Note: This is for the traditional ‘pencil & paper’ approach to animation. Today, more and more work is created digitally (‘tradigital animation’) in which case there is no need for scanning as the clean-up is done in the computer.
14: Animation: Coloring.
Whether the production uses traditional or traditional animation drawing techniques, the final artwork will pretty much always become digital these days – whether via scanned drawings or having been cleaned-up directly in to the computer. At this point it is all colored digitally and combined with the painted backgrounds.