Tired eyes !!!

The process of working through a shot is a tough one. Much of the creative stuff occurs just after launch. It is here that acting choices, filming reference, thumbnailing and key-posing are hammered out, leaving the rest of the time allocated for revision, detail and polish, and it is here that familiarity comes with a set of blinkers. Once you've got them on it makes it hard to see things that would once have been obvious, like pops, spacing issues, even some acting choices not working so well!

Given that an animator has probably looked at one shot thousands of times when they reach those final stages, it's good to have some tricks to help see the work with fresh eyes. Here are some:

- Look at the shot at half speed -
Spacing and weight issues really show up when slowed. This way brain has time to pay attention to all of those little details you put in!

- Flip the shot horizontally -
If your movie playback doesn't support this, you can always go all old school and simply hold up a mirror to the screen, for the result is the same. Looking at the shot this way is cool for personally I find that I uncover balance issues with my poses in this way? Have I been posing with my head tilted to one side? I don't know, but this helps fix it.

- Turn off bits of the character -
Arms and legs can be be and flappy and gesture-y, distracting you from the movement of the core parts like bodies and heads. Turn them off! Now you can track the important bits free from all that gesticulation!

- Take a break -
I always find that a five minute break does wonders for my ability to see what's not working. I will sit back down and my desk and wonder what I was thinking of, just 10 minutes ago! Whee!

- Someone else's opinion -
Probably pretty obvious, but this is absolutely the best thing you can do to improve your work! Animation is a collaborative thing, and your work will be all the better for having some new eyes on the work...