Part of the reason i haven't posted in a long while with hard proof of animation progress is the fact that i had to spend a long time fixing my own mistakes with timing and drawing in my very first scene.
I'm going to try and explain my process in this obscenely long post:
1. This was the original keys for scene 1 inbetweened by Freya, I was disappointed with the result, i thought it was too slow and the face and head in general seemed to morph shape far too noticeably for the slow start of my film. The way i'd drawn her face dipped forward at the opening was also inaccurate of the actual length of her face portrayed in my character sheets.
I fixed it by drawing new keys (they are currently being inbetweened by Louise Cadger) after doing some in depth research on skull and facial muscle construction and facial angles from a hand made maquette of my character's head.
2. The second part of the first scene with original keys by me and inbetweening by Freya. I thought again that my timing was mis-judged and the face was once again off model....
However to spare myself the task of redrawing all of the keys i only re-drew and re-inbetweened the frames at the beginning and end of this part that i felt left the face too noticeable when un-obscured by the character's hands. I also took out a lot of inbetweens to speed up the movement. Nuria's my go-to-woman for timing help :)
3. Part 3 of scene 1 had some drawing issues like the other parts of this scene: the shoulders move at different times and the head is not on model when in it's extreme positions.
I fixed the scene by re drawing the keys and personally inbetweening to guarantee the fast flip forward of the head was executed on model.
All the head research i conducted in my sketchbook to help me achieve animated results i could live with:
1. observing and drawing my hand made plasticine maquette of Nina's head
2. studying the construction of the human skull from John Raynes "Human Anatomy for Artists" and adapting it to suite Nina's unique character design.
3. Side studies of skull and muscle structure on an adapted human face
4. Photographs of the maquette in lots of different positions and angles, time was spent drawing over the photographs with a hard clean line to demonstrate the flat shape that would be visible of any particular angle on a frame of animation.
5. Making of the maquette: observational studies of an anatomical skeleton and reference from my own 3D Maya model of Nina, made months ago in the early stages of the film's pre-production. When moulding Nina's face i paid attention to the underlying (hypothetical) boney structure of the skull i had imagined and the main muscles responsible for shaping the face i had read about in John Raynes "Anatomy for Artists".
6. I noted a section of "Human Anatomy for Artists" about the tendons connecting the skull to the main torso as these would be in action heavily in the opening scene of Dancing Nina.I would like to note that i make these studies in the hope of making my character's structure and movement convincing but i know that due to the unique design of Nina, especially, this won't be entirely possible and i will have to allow for in-human exaggeration in areas such as the neck, arms, lower spine, legs and feet. A lot of the normal human bone and muscle structure has been warped to achieve Nina's design and i intend to make hypothetical studies of more of her body in regards to it's similarities and differences from a normal body.