uhh…. thing I did a little bit ago because of my appreciation for my friendo @ Blackggggum as they are super inspiring (and ridiculous)
So I did some reffing and design based on their beautiful pictures, I would probably change a lot now looking at it, but it was the first time ever doing anything vehicle/machine related ;;;;;;; (S!P: Hummer / S!S: QUADRO4 (4 wheel moped?)
I use Photoshop to draw each frame and then edit everything on vegas pro, but there are many different programs you could use. I don’t think there’s one better than the other, it’s a matter of which program it’s easier for you to use to draw and then edit.
Now about the tips… Here’s something I got from professors back at the school of comics and some videos/animators online. Animatics are nothing else than storyboards with audio, animators use this process to see and adjust the timing of certain movements before making the full animation. So the important thing is to know how to storyboard. How you can learn to storyboard? First watch A LOT of movies, study which shots are used in certain scenes and why they’re used there. If you’re familiar with comics, storyboards are actually really similar. The only difference is that in comics you can make small, big, vertical panels or panels that cross the page ecc, while in stoyboards you have only that rectangular space to use. As always, the “quality” of the drawings doesn’t really matter as long as it’s perfectly clear what’s happening in the scene (you could use even stick figures). Mmmmh… Another tip that comes to mind (and I find it really useful and try to always do it) is to remember to guide the eye of the audience through the action. As an example I try to make the centre the focus of the shots most of the times.
Even though the camera moves around, the focus is always the centre so it’s simpler for the audience to watch.
Another thing concerning the movement, it’s the direction of the action. There’s a rule (in comics too) that the characters in a scene need to stay in their side of the shot even when the camera changes. It’s a little confusing said like this… xD let me show you. Let’s take the dialogue scene between Jeremy and Brooke. As you can see above, I made Brooke enter so that she stands at the right of the shot and Jeremy’s on the left. Even in the next shots, this order stands so the audience it’s sure of the fact the at the left there’s Jeremy and at the right there’s Brooke and won’t lose any time or energy trying to find again where to look.
This rule can be broken when doing a fighting scene, to add more confusion to the mood.
Anyway keeping that rule in mind, you need to observe it even when a character leaves a shot. What does this mean? Look here:
here the squip is on the right and Jeremy on the left
Next shot, the squip enters from the right (because the audience remembers him standing in that side)
Then he moves around the screen from right to left
Then he exits the shot to the left side
And when the camera widens, the squip stands to the left (doing the same action - in this case pointing at Jeremy- also helps)
You will think “isn’t this a normal thing to do?” Well, yes and no because there’s a lot of people getting this wrong and ignoring the rule altogether. I’ve seen multiple times things like this
It’s wrong and distracting for the eye. This is the right way
The next big thing it’s about the different kinds of shots but I don’t know if you want me to explain that too, this post is already really long xD
If you want to know more, here’s a video lesson from a great animator