Monday, May 16, 2011

Improving your Animation OUTSIDE of the computer

Go Outside
Make a point to plan some sort of outdoor activity during the weekends. Hiking,beach, pool, snowboarding, build a snowman, plant some flowers, take your dog to the park, ect. 

Take a break every hour
I use this timer, you can download for free:

After every hour of working on the computer be sure to:
1.Stand up, walk around
3. Look at object far away. When you sit in front of the computer your eyes are only working at looking at objects that are near. So when you look around it takes your eye a bit longer to adjust to farther distances. This can be a big problem in the future as your reaction time for your eyes to focus can be slower than most people.
4.Get a drink of water, hydration is very important
5. Don't forget to Blink, when we are on the computer we blink 15 times less than we normally do. If you wear contacts and they dry up, I recommend using artificial tear drops. There are many different types available at a lot of stores.

People Watching
The first thing to remember about people watching is that you will not remember every single thing you observe. So don't worry about it, just enjoy watching people smile, be scared, laugh, feel uncomfortable, ect.
When you are observing human behavior try to think of it critically. For example let's say you are sitting in a restaurant and someone looks like they are having a birthday party because a mom with a stroller has a giant stack of cups on the table. Now watch all the people that are invited, try to:
-guess who's birthday it is. How does she feel, happy, exhausted from welcoming everyone, nervous, ect.
-how do the guest know the birthday girl, family, friends, school crush, boyfriend, girlfriend, ect.

Observe the relationships people have with each other, with themselves and with the environment they are in. 

These critical question and guessing game you are playing in your mind will help you remember the essence of the moment and you will always keep that in your brain. As opposed to trying to remember tiny details, such as how the feet were, and how she tied her hair up.

 Be sure to get some sort of exercise, at least two days out of the week. Go to the gym, go for a run, swimming, basketball, anything that will get you active. This will strengthen your muscles and relax your brain from all the million animation stresses running through your mind. Take this as your time for your mind and body.

In Conclusion
If you make it a point in your week to incorporate these simple ideas, your work will improve tremendously. Your brain and body will be healthy and relaxed. Your observations will help you understand your characters in your performances better. The sunlight and fresh air will remind you that life is not all about animating :)

Enjoy, be healthy, be creative and live life to the fullest.

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