Face and Hand Breakdowns : Zootopia

I thought I’d continue looking at breakdowns, this time using the Zootopia teaser as an example. To see a larger version, just click on the images.

When studying the face we can see the animators have used a variety of principles on the breakdowns.

A slight anticipation/squash:zootopia07
Nick Wilde animation breakdown

A slight overshoot/stretch:zootopia05
Nick Wilde animation breakdown

A breaking up of the eyes from the eyebrows:zootopia08
Nick Wilde animation breakdown

A simpler breakdown for a move where less emphasis is needed:zootopia06
Nick Wilde animation breakdown

When looking at the keys on the hands we can see they’re often in a similar position to each other, but when  breaking down the movements the animators have been careful to differentiate the movement. Notice how one hand leads the other into the next pose, this will cause the spacing and general feel of each hand to be different.

zootopia01 zootopia02 zootopia04

7 thoughts on “Face and Hand Breakdowns : Zootopia

  1. Josh

    Nice examples!

    I’m confused though about some of the breakdown labels, from what I’ve been taught anticipation poses are usually labelled as extremes as they define the action going one way and then the other, a breakdown only defines the arcs and motion between an extreme.

    1. David Wilson

      It’s easy to see why the term can be misunderstood, every time we mark a value in Maya/AfterFX/whatever- it’s called a key! “Keys” can be loosely defined as significant poses- thus Key poses. They can include extremes, golden poses, contacts, even breakdowns and inbetweens. Tim is spot on in his analysis of this section- there’s a lot to learn here. The shots are rich with varied arcs, overshoots, ease-ins and the like.

  2. admin Post author

    Thanks Josh, yeah you’re right there, anticipations and overshoots are extremes.
    I don’t think animation terms are so strictly defined though. In my way of thinking a breakdown is describing the way something moves from one key to the next. Another person might say those anticipations and overhsoots are secondary breakdowns, something between the key and the primary breakdown.
    If it’s confusing people I’ll change the post, but to be honest I’ve rarely heard the word “extremes” used outside of animation school.

    1. Fabrizio

      In fact, ‘breakdown’ is actually a label, whereas ‘extreme’ means the pose but basically it’s just an indication, it’s not a technical term…

  3. tapos sarker

    can u please share more drawing like this one but some easy drawing ,what any one can draw …and please make a post about the timing of animation, frame rate, how many draws does it needed make a animation fluent. as i am a beginner so i request these things to improve my self

  4. Eric Thompson

    Awesome examples, and it totally start to make sense. Do you have any examples explaining “Inbetweens” fitting into the key and Breakdown poses?

  5. admin Post author

    Thanks Eric. Yeah I’d like to do this topic more justice, even when re-reading this post I need to look super closely to see what I was referring to.

    A post on inbetweens sounds like a great idea. I’ll have a think about what could be said about the topic.


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