Tuesday, November 20, 2007

striving for mediocrity

Today during my animation class we went through all the assignments we handed in last week while my teacher gave his critique on them. What is looking good, what we should avoid, what we are doing right, etc.

As he was going about the critique he seemed to emphasize how important it was to have a nice clean final animation. While I do agree with that sentiment in general, the animations that end up being clean tend to be lacking in quality while the nice rough pieces of animation had more energy, better acting, superior draftsmanship and full understanding of the principles of animation.

I find the people who had the cleanest animations animate clean, meaning they do not actually work out the animation until it moves properly to the best of their ability, but rather tend to leave a lot of mistakes in the animation because it is a lot harder to fix a clean animation than a rough animation. The difference between clean and rough animation is that there is gesture in rough animation that is essential to capturing the life of your character. Just look at glen Keene’s initial drawings in an animation, you can hardly tell what they are, but they are alive!

During the critique he compared two of the animations, one, a nice rough piece with good acting while the other was a stiff, poorly executed clean animation and said that he would be more likely to hire the less skilled draftsman because he would probably get the job done.

just get the job done. who cares if it looks good?

Now, I do acknowledge that it is important for portfolio purposes to have clean animation but in a learning environment I would like to think that quality would be the focus in an arts program rather than an emphasis on production.

Essentially, we’re being told to strive for mediocrity. Its not very inspiring to say the least.

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