I introduce some points that I am careful about animating the puppet.
image the movement
Before shooting, Image specifically what the movement the puppet will do. It is the first step to make a good animation. Puppet animation is a work shooting from the first one by one. In the case of cell animation, you can modify the middle frame after writing animation until the end. if you image as much detail as possible in detail, it will be a movement as you want.
When trying to image the movement specifically, You will realize that there are many things you have missed in common movement. For example, When lifting a heavy thing. Where is move first? arm? hand? Waist? knee? What is the direction of the face when I exert my strength? Just grasping such details before animating the puppet makes better the movement of the puppet.
When you watch your animation, If you think something is different, check it over and over. I think that it is quite difficult in the beginning, but always animate the puppet while keeping in mind.
Confirm the start and end position
You put the puppet in the start position of the shooting. You should not start shooting in a minute. Put the puppet in the end position once. By doing so, you can calculate how much you want to move the puppet, and you can also help you to image the movements by looking at the puppet in the end position.
Firmly hold the puppet’s waist or upper body with one hand and move the puppet
You can only change poses by one place. If you do not fix the body with one hand firmly, the position of the part that you moved first will shift when you move next part. For example You change the position of the neck first. and when you change the position of the arm, the neck is off the position. You have to adjust the neck. and when you change the position of the leg, the neck and arm is off the position. You have to adjust the neck and arm. It takes time to do many times, and the puppet will get dirty and bruise. Animating the puppet with fixing firmly and make a pose with as few touch as possible. I think it is important.
control the movement with flow
In puppet animation shooting, compare the image taken before and the live video to check the position of the puppet and shoot, but if you playback it, the motion may be awkward than you thought. That’s because you did not check the vector (direction and width of motion).
As the upper illustration, if the direction and width of the motion are different from each other in every frame, it will not be a smooth movement. When write pictures with cell animation, you may have seen that flipping through the paper and checking the movement. Just like that, check the flow of movement from 3 ~ 4 frames ago. In Dragonframe, you can easily move to the previous and next frame with the cursor left / right key.
When moving multiple places, decide the order
When there are a lot of things to animate, even if you use the toggle function, it tends to make a mistake of “forget to move”. In order to prevent this as much as possible, it is effective to decide the order to move. Like a doll A → doll B → doll C.
Do not depend on the monitor too much
Toggle function and onion skin function in Dragonframe is very convenient, but if you depend on the functions too much, the motion will become a too simple like that moves only in the horizontal and vertical direction against the screen. I think that if you make it move in three dimensions conscious of the depth, it will be a lively movement.
Let’s move it beautifully. Let’s move it smoothly. If you do, movement will be small. Smooth movement is important, but the most important thing is whether the puppet seems to be alive and feel the emotion. The performance of the actor is finally transmitted to the opponent at about 3 times as much as thinking. Animate without fear of failure.