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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Rusty works in the animation industry doing Storyboards, Timing, Animation and Directing. Recently he has worked at Disney TV Animation and Universal Animation Studios. He's best known for his Directing and Producing for Warner Bros. on "Animaniacs" and "Pinky and the Brain".

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Utility Scenes

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Sometimes there are scenes I like to refer to as utility scenes. These are necessary scenes that are needed to keep the story moving by helping to establish location or to transition between scenes. Often these tend to be the more boring scenes for me. But they are necessary and can be a great place to hone your skills of simplicity. I like many animators tend to over complicate a scene by adding in extra action that doesn't help get the story point across. I constantly find myself simplifying my actions.
Above is the scene I am currently working on presented in it's roughest stage. Some of the inbetweens are even missing as well as one of the characters. In this scene the insurance salesman approaches the door again, knocks, and steps back ready to pitch his next form of insurance. I have already taken this scene further by adding the inbetweens and eliminating some of the walking to the door. There is a wipe at the beginning of the scene starting from the left side so much of the walk will be lost. I also decided the walk was a little to brisk for this point in the story. So I eliminated part of the walk and slowed it down.
Even though I find this scene boring to animate I know that not giving it the proper attention can make it weaken the entire film. I have even combine actions to help keep things moving. He pulls out the insurance policy as he steps back so the audience won't get bored watching him pull the policy out in the next scene. This is the setup for the next scene in which he starts to offer Auto insurance. There is no need to do any more than the setup. He knocks and the other character answers the door. Because this scene doesn't make a big story point it's best if the audience doesn't notice it so there's no dialog, no funny expressions, and no extra action.
So if you find yourself doing utility scenes do a great job on them by not drawing too much attention to them.


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