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How to do animate straight ahead animation
Straight ahead animation is one of the now famed 12 principles of animation established by the master Animators from the golden age of Walt Disney animation. Its opposite is known as pose to pose which is also included in the 12 principles.

This animation tutorial demonstrates the application of animating straight ahead utilised by professional animators working in the industry. A lot of pro's like to work using pose to pose as it determines a definite plan and framework for the animation to follow.
This lessens the chances of mistakes occurring and also enables the animator to refine the timing of the scene. Pose to pose animation is generally a safer and more time efficient method of animating than straight ahead.

Straight ahead animation is often done by beginners who like to 'feel their way' through the action. This can be problematic as arcs can be broken and the form and volume of characters can wander in all directions.Many beginners tend to think that animating pose to pose or straight ahead is an either or situation. The fact is, that pro's like to 'feel their way' on certain actions too. Particularly ones that involve complex actions that don't conform to a generic stock of motions often utilised from the animators stable. The video shows that animating straight ahead can be a very effective way of working when combined with pose to pose.

By blocking out an action straight ahead and then selecting various poses as key frames from the drawings, the animator can then refine the arcs of motion and character volumes. Breakdown drawings can be established afterwards, either from the initial straight ahead roughs, or altered to fit into the framework of the refined key poses. This can also be a very time efficient way of working on action scenes that do not require much planning, acting or performing to a sound track. This method can also be exploited by storyboard artists who have to board complex action sequences that resemble key animation to establish the flow of the scene.

 

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