Swing again

As you may recall, I was not happy with swing exercise. I was tempted to leave it at that and focus on other assignments, but, well…

Well time sort of opened up and I found myself with more of it to spare. Also, we had a meeting with our Animation teacher to help us with an assignment before the end-of-semester-assignment-collection submission, and I was happy with all the other ones… And then there was the stupid feeling like I had to fix this, I had to do it right or it will stay there as a black mark I would never be able to clean, even if I improved upon it ten times over. Yes, I can indeed be rather silly.

Anyhow, be the reasons as they may be, I started over. From scratch. No pencil and paper this time, I took my trusty graphics tablet and sat at my computer and got to drawing. By the time I met with my teacher I had a “rough” to show him (“rough” is like a sketch, something to give an impression of the final product). By the time I had to submit the animation compilation, I had the clean version. And I’m much happier with it than with the first one:

Not 100% happy, of course, the braids are still floaty and the line is kinda ugly, but the movement is there. The weight is there, much more than in the first one. She’s not sitting on a moving swing, she’s SWINGING. It’s also in 3/4 view, which is pretty cool. I think I did quite well with giving her depth.

Also, funny story! When we animate we work with 24 frames per second, but we don’t actually draw 24 drawings each second – we sometimes stretch a drawing to 2/24s of a second, or even 3/24s. That’s called the drawings “exposure”. I usually work on 2s, that is an exposure of 2 frames for every drawing, because I think it’s a good balance between fluidity and effort. The thing is, though, you can give the animation a more fluid feel with careful timing and careful drawing, even if you have some 4-frame drawings.

So when I showed the rough to my teacher, he asked about the exposure and said it was probably on 2s, maybe 3s, right? So he checked. There were indeed some drawings on 3s, and then there were some on 4s. And when an animator with 40 years of experience doesn’t notice your 4 frame exposures, it feels pretty good.

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