Residual Energy


Someone asked me to talk more about residual energy. There are alot of different ways this can be put to use. Residual energy is the energy left over from a primary or secondary movement. For example, a character does a gesture. When he hits the pose there may be a slight settle in the arm, hand and fingers. It is paying attention to these details that make the gesture look more believable. It could be how a hand comes to rest when it is placed on a surface. It is the small details that make it look physical. Overlap is another way of explaining this. When you think overlap, you think about hair or appendages or other broad things. Residual energy is a bit more subtle. There is a great scene in the incredibles that Animator John Kahrs did. Its when Violet is on the plane and is jostled by the turbulence. The way her leg bounces bounces up and down really makes her feel like she has flesh and bones. Understanding where the energy comes from is one of the most important parts. Then you need to figure out how it should be used. You don’t want to over do it so that it take away from the main action.

Another thing you want to try an get into your work is patterns. I’ll try to cover this in a future post.

-Andrew