Drawing for Animators

Drawing for Animators: The Human Figure in Motion
Drawing for Animators: Animal Expression

These drawing classes are designed specifically for animators. Built on a traditional figure drawing approach, they expand into a more thorough observation and analysis of the figure in motion.

In practice, the course concentrates on two important aspects:
1) understanding and drawing the figure as individual components within the sequence of motion, and
2) capturing the desired motion through the transformation of the figure over the series of frames.

Although these sound like the same thing, they are not—one highlights the figure itself, each frame within the sequence; the other focuses on the essence of the motion over time, what happens between the drawn frames.

For both “Drawing for Animation” classes, I use the fancier term “biomechanics” as this is appropriate for the approach. In class we compare the human structure to various animal structures, and vice versa, and explore weight distribution and balance in each. We examine how the design of a body describes the kind of movement it is, or is not, capable of, and how the rules governing the motion embedded within that structure could be effectively manipulated, re-envisioned or even broken for the purpose of animation.

The art of character animation is in giving the essence of life based on this fundamental knowledge; creating a living, breathing character with its own style, behavior and idiosyncrasies, completely believable within the fictitious world and potentially unlike any that exist in the real world.