The professor tasked us with having to watch a webinar. That’s pretty much a seminar…but on the web. She gave us a few links but I didn’t find anything worthwhile. I ended up searching for one on my own and found one relationship to animation and martial arts. Those are two things that I’m very interested in and they’re both being discussed in a webinar?! You already know I had to watch it.
The webinar was on a site called Animation Mentor and the speaker was a man named Stuart Sumida. He’s a professor of Biology that teaches anatomy and has had 20 years experience in teaching animators anatomy as well. He also has 30 years of experience in martial arts, being a black belt in Aikido. Professor Sumida worked on animated films with Disney and Dreamworks, primarily Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, How to Train your Dragon, and Kung Fu Panda.
The topic of this webinar was “Anatomy of Fights, Biomechanics, and staging of fights in animated films”. The lesson focused on how real life principles of martial arts translates into an animation. There were many important things when it comes to martial arts but the key is your core. By core, I mean your center of gravity, the source of your power and balance.
Professor Sumida would go into detail about this one rule of the core being the main focus of everything. Without proper knowledge of how your core worked, one would be unable to make their animation convincing when it comes to animating combat or any kind of action scene. He would then demonstrate it himself in the video.
Most of the webinar consisted of him relating animation to martial arts but one thing I took from this is that art can really imitate life. If you wouldn’t keep your feet together when throwing a punch instead of finding a balance, why would you let your animated characters do it?