Larry Lauria highlights the thumbnail process that precedes the animation process.
THE ANIMATION PROCESS
Here I am hip deep in GACKS and MIMIS. The dark side of the force has tried to lure me to its side. “Go ahead…just start animating.” It whispers. “No one will know. Crank out that footage and just get it done.”
As tempting as those suggestions are, I know the correct way, most fruitful way to proceed is to take a step back - grab my sketchbook and some pens and pencils, a sharpener and my ipod and head for a café or coffeehouse.
Experience has shown me that my visual research must come first. So armed with my sketchbook and storyboards, I sketch madly for a ½ hour. Along the way I draw dozens of tiny thumbnails (about an inch high), to explore attitude, the emotion of the pose, and to stage the action.
I am also aware of the silhouettes, the line of action, opportunities to reversal the spine and exaggeration. This “visual thinking” allows me to experiment with different bits of business, expression and poses. Ah, one scene done!
After a few hours, I have gone from Scene C to Scene H – and I could clearly see the continuity from one scene to another. New ideas for gags and bits have come to mind and are now part of the film.
At the conclusion of the thumbnail session, I give the drawings another go – to see if anything else can be “pushed” or modified. THEN, I AM READY TO ANIMATE!