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Animation Step 4: Determine Your Approach

May 28, 2007

There are basically only 3 different approaches to an animated scene.

1. Straight-ahead animation.

Straight-ahead is just that, animating frame by frame, starting at frame 1 and ending on the last frame. There are benefits to this kind of approach. It’s great for wild, complicated actions that do not have specific points or poses it’s supposed to hit. The mandate must be more general than specific. The classic example of this is Goofy riding a horse while swinging a sling over his head to nail an opponent. Goofy looses control of the sling and it begins wrapping itself around him and the horse while the horse is charging, and it eventually causes the horse to collapse.

This example would be very difficult to achieve in any other approach because there are so many uncontrollable variables at play.

2. Pose-to-pose animation.

This is the most common approach. The animator choses key poses, times them out, then goes back and fills in the keys and inbetweens after. This is very controlled and is usually the best approach.

3. Mix

Many scenes call for a mixture of both straight-ahead and pose-to-pose.

Plan these out beforehand so that you don’t have to think about them.

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