Assignment 3b
Introductory level

This assignment has two keys: #1 and #6. There are four inbetweens #2, 3, 4, and 5.

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You are to draw the 4 inbetweens. #3 is half, 2 and 4 are quarters and #5 is a slo-in to Key 6.

This is the first assignment to deal with a character. I've kept it pretty graphic and flat to make it easier to inbetween. There are some very subtle movements here. As you flip the two keys, look at the different parts of the drawing: see how the tail moves, the arm fin, the eyes and brows, the curl of the mouth, the overall shape, the head fin and finally the bubbles. Each of these parts need to be thought of in a different way. Again, a "half" doesn't mean 1/2 the mathematical distance. Consider some of the principles of animation here: overlapping action being the primary one, stretch & squash, possibly even anticipation.

In your discussion with the animator (that's me in this case) you would be told what needs to be done.

First, the body shape is to be inbetweened just as it's charted. There is a forward and upward shift to the mass as well that needs to be spaced exactly as the chart shows, therefore inbetween #3 will be the first one done.

The eyes are going to move differently than in the chart, they will anticipate and stretch up slightly on drawing #2 and then settle down into #6 following the chart for 3, 4, and 5. This would usually require a breakdown from the animator to indicate just how far the eyes should stretch. I'll let you do it. Not too much, just a bit. Take the eye brows up as well.

Because they timing on the eyes is different, you can't draw them in on #3 yet. Just draw the shape of the body lightly, especially where the eyes are. This way you can then take drawing 3 and 1 and do the inbetween for just the body shape on #2 and draw the eyes stretched up. Then take drawings 2 and 6, put them on the pegs and place drawing #3 on top and now inbetween the eyes half way.

When you go to inbetween the body, look for the distances between the 3 main points on the head: the back end of the body where the tail is attached, the tip of the chin point, and the intersection of the upper lip with the mouth line. Lightly draw a path of action line beteween these common points making sure the line is accurate to the start and stop points. Now make a small mark along the lines to indicate the half way points.

Take the top two drawings off the pegs now. Turn on the light table and position the second key directly over top of the first key, aligning the three points as closely as you can. If there is a shift and you can only line up one, make it either the point at the tail or the tip of the chin and get the others as close as you can. Now take your inbetween drawing and line it up with the points. If the tip of the tail is the alignment point, do the same with the inbetween, matching up the halfway point on the path of action. Here's what it should look like:

Now you can more accurately inbetween the body shape. This is called, "Shift and Trace". We'll be using this method again on many of the assignments.

Take the drawings off the pegs and put down 1 and 6 again then place 3 on top. You can now inbetween the bubble half way as well as the head fin.

The arm fin we want to have some overlapping action here. The fin will move forward with the same curve as in drawing 1 with the tip point half way between 1 and 6 following an arc. Use the shift and trace method again to get a more accurate inbetween here.

For the tail fin, there is a pushing forward action to the tail and we want to use overlapping action here. Think "seaweed assignment" when you do this inbetween. The center of the fin will be half way but the two tips will be pushing back (to the left) with the same curvature as in drawing 1.

Next, move to inbetween #2. Follow the same methods. Only the eyes are different as they should be higher in this one for the anticipation up.

After this, do drawings 4 and then 5. The only thing to note will be the overlapping action that you should have in the tail fin and the hand fin. Inbetween 4 should have an 'S' curve to it on the hand.


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