Week 4 Video Analysis Assignment: Principals of Animation
Video Selection: Snack Attack
One principle of animation that can be difficult to pinpoint, unless you really look, is the principle of arcing. As described in animation terms, arcing is the natural movement of appendages from a central point or fulcrum. A shoulder for instance. This motion, in truly well done animation, is so subtle it is almost invisible. However, without arcing, motion becomes choppy and robotic. This would be fine if you were animating say, a robot, however humans and organic objects do not move in such a rigid fashion. Even a tree blowing in the wind would arc at its furthest point from its anchor. Thus, arcing is one of the most important aspects of animation, and probably one of the hardest to master. Conceptually, a fundamental knowledge of motion in general is needed. You must understand how things actually move in life, in order to mimic those movements in a two dimensional plane.
While examining this video I found the motion animations and arcing instances were too numerous to count, but some slightly over-exaggerated instances where the arcing is visible happen at marker 0:36 as the elderly woman reaches into her purse to retrieve her coin for the vending machine. Within that same scene at marker 0:45 she again shows exaggerated arcing while slamming her fist into the machine.
One example of the more subtle arcing is the young mans head movement at marker 1:38. This is a prime example of how the arcing motion gives a sense of life and substance to the character. If there were no arcing, that motion back and forth would probably be best described as looking somewhat like a bobble head doll. However, the arcing motion gives the sense of being alive and there is a natural fluidity to the movement. Just something to think about when I begin my next animation project.