I just dug up this timelapse of a painting I did for Marc Craste back in 2004. I see a bunch of flaws in it now but it was amazing working with him, he taught me a whole load of stuff. Check out his short film Jojo In The Stars which is now on vimeo.
Here’s more material from my theory lectures. I made these clips to analyze various timing styles by showing the exact frame overlap of each animation. The clips on the left basically isolate the motion and allow us to see and compare it clearly - without design, color or sound distracting our brains.
My last post showed how motion-contrast was something that evolved over time. These examples show how motion, as it’s own aesthetic, eventually branched out into different schools of timing. Each one is a refined method of representing movement in a stylized way. They don’t strive towards realism, their beauty is in how unrealistic they are while still communicating ideas. They are all solutions to the same problem: how does a character get from one place to another.
Animation schools are extremely dogmatic about teaching essentially Disney timing, the 3d animation we see in the cinema is just a continuation of these old principles. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but theres so much else to explore. A lot of (dumb) people dismiss South Park’s animation, but it’s an education in minimalism. Richard Williams’s style (the 2nd clip) is obsessively smooth and floaty. Anime uses very few drawings and feels choppy and solid.
Hopefully this shows you that animation is basically music, theres entire genres of motion if you look deep enough.