Animation Secret: Brainless Slobs

Sadly, this is not an article about how to get that lazy so-and-so at the desk next to you to hurry up and get his scene done. No, co-workers are one thing, but we’re talking about characters who might be a few chicken nuggets short of a Happy Meal, if you catch my drift. Here’s a secret for how to squeeze a little more life into your almost-brain-dead characters.

A simple blink instantly gives life to a character. Moving holds are wonderful, but let’s face it, many times you just don’t have the budget or time to have a secondary character moving just enough to stay living on screen. The blink zaps him or her back to life without being a distraction.

A blink can do a lot more, though. In the case of a character who might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, you can turn a blink into a visual indicator of just how badly he’d probably fail an IQ test. To do that, just follow the good old principal of “Avoid Twinning.”

Learn about what Twinning Is, if you aren’t familiar, right here.

By offsetting the eyelids of your character during a blink the audience will instantly see that the lights may be on but no one is home.

[quicktime width=”550″ height=”400″]https://www.animatorisland.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/blink_offset01.mov[/quicktime]

Want to push it further? That’s what animation is all about! DO IT!

[quicktime width=”550″ height=”400″]https://www.animatorisland.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/blink_offset02.mov[/quicktime]

How far can you take it? Well, that’s up to you. Take out enough overlap, though, and you might find you’re left with a jittery character with a nervous tick!

[quicktime width=”550″ height=”400″]https://www.animatorisland.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/blink_offset03.mov[/quicktime]

Something related to keep in mind: The slower your character blinks, the dumber he’s likely to end up looking. There’s a little bonus secret for you. Two for one!

[quicktime width=”550″ height=”400″]https://www.animatorisland.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/blink_offset04.mov[/quicktime]

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granman
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granman

Here’s another little tip: For a good twitch, if you remove all the frames but two (half and closed) it will make it much more like a nervous tick. You want it to barely register that the eyelid comes down. Also you can try having the lid come up from the bottom instead, which makes it looks very neurotic.

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[…] Stuff is Stupid First for ye animators, there's a new article over at Animator Island on Brainless Slobs. It deals with blinking, which if you didn't know really gives your characters […]

snowpea45
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snowpea45

this was actually super helpful cause I was just doing a flash for youtube with a stupid guy!

Jason
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Jason

Really h elpful to have animated examples, please do that more often! Take care. Jason

Zakaria
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Zakaria

simply stopping by to say hi and say good job good article