So this was my last shot on Surfs Up. Animation by:
Cody and Reggie(Otter at the end of the Shot): Me
Lani: James Crossley
Two Intro Penguins: Seth Hippen (flippin hippen)
I began the shot by shooting reference(yada yada yada) but that is probably lost in the archives of Sony. Once I got my reference laid out; I usually do so many takes that I have to spend a good amount of time sorting through it. I look for the best performance but within that I try get the best poses. From the poses I work out my thumbnails. I do not like to take my reference exactly. I use it just as that ...reference. In my thumbnails I look for the areas to push on as if I was going to animate it in 2D. Adding the keypoints of dialogue to the top of the key poses ensures that I will hit the poses when I need to, but there is always room to experiment if you plan right. I spend most of my time planning and luckily on Surfs Up, Chris Buck and Ash Brannon were open to looking at thumbnails during the shot launch. Before the shot launch we had a sequence launch which allowed us to know what was going on in the scene.. this made a smoother transition when we had to go listen to the specifics about the shot. I had to make sure I broke my neck in time to pitch the thumbnails before I touched Maya. I few times I believe I showed my acting reference and got great feedback. I had fun working with the people on this shot..camera things changes a little bit on the final product and the track a little but the essence pretty much stayed the same.
I probably could give you every last detail of how I work but ...eh. Just a brief explanation of the images you see below should work for this post.
Anyway... I have never shown animation on this site, but this shot was kind of a "release".
before added FX, background characters, fur, and lighting