Thursday, August 14, 2008


It's amazing how busy you can be with a 6 month-old child, but I promise I have material for a couple more posts coming up. Today's post will be all about my son. It's wonderful to watch him grow and figure things out, both as a parent and as an animator. It truly is amazing to see him experiencing things like solid food for the first time. There's nothing he can compare the sensation to, and no understanding of what he's supposed once the food goes into his mouth.

This video is a bit messy, and a couple months old, I think, but check it out and see what you notice. One of my favorite bits is the take he does about two minutes in.

Joe's 1st Meal on Vimeo.

Another thing that I notice now when I see babies animated in reels that really bothers me is when the baby is treated like a very animated yet tiny adult. The reason it looks wrong is because babies don't move like adults, or even drunk adults. They really have little control over their muscle contractions, especially in the fingers. And there's practically no muscle memory yet because there's nothing for the muscle to remember.

Also, you can read their intent several seconds before any action is made. For instance, when little Joe 5 decides he's going to put something in his mouth, his eyebrows raise and his mouth opens as he slightly leans forward, revealing his intent. He'll usually pause for a moment to see if anyone is watching and then quickly bring the unlucky object to his gums for a good chewing. When he's trying to be sneaky, he holds in that leaned forward/mouth open pose as long as he can and brings the desired thing to his mouth as slowly as he can. Makes me laugh every time I see it.

Oh, and I totally appreciate the scene in Incredibles where Helen is feeding Jack-Jack dinner. I don't know how many times I've caught myself chewing along with him muttering omnomnomnom...

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