I have used live action reference many times on many films, especially movies with human characters, such as The Road to El Dorado and Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron, and especially on action shots where the motion was complex and hard to get right.
|Andy Serkis and Gollum.|
But what if you don't have great reference to hand? One excellent resource is the Youtube Channel "endless reference" which offers, well, endless live action reference - especially for animators. It's a great resource and one we're recommending for all our students. You can find it here.
Using live action reference is something we get all our students to do at Animation Apprentice. Obviously, the trick is to take the live action and use it to inspire and inform the animation - but without being a slave to it. In the end, the animator's performance must be more interesting and entertaining to watch than the original live action was - else why bother to do it?
For more on the use of live action in animation, and how to incorporate it into your animation in Maya, see this blog post.
To find out more about Animation Apprentice, click here for a link to Frequently Asked Questions. To sign up for our next classroom at Animation Apprentice, follow this link.