‘Believe In Yourself’ ASL Animation Test & Progression


This is an animation test I did at work during what we call “Jam Week” – a week long period where you work on something that pushes you as an artist. I thought of doing a sign language animation because I hadn’t really seen any done before and thought it would push me in pantomime and posing. I got a lot of help from my friend Carly Elizabeth – who teaches ASL (American Sign Language) – so shout out to her

Below is the final animation and progression reel. Plus some takeaways I had. 

My main take away from this (though I had many) was don’t rush through hand posing!! I’m often guilty of not spending enough time posing out hands and working on this forced me to spend more time on them. Before starting, I created a pinterest page (located HERE) of appealing hand poses and I had this up while I worked. This helped me to always be thinking about appeal and simple graphic shapes.

Use pose libraries – many of the signs had similar hand poses – instead of creating each one from scratch I’d use a previous pose and then tweak it to what I needed

Don’t rush thru blocking – my workflow changes from shot to shot, but this one was pose to pose. I often rush out of blocking and get into trouble when splining. I was conscious this time not to rush out and broke things down to 2s and 3s – which made clean up much easier.

Be careful using “curl” controls – Most rigs have an overall “curl” control, but these often don’t create very accurate or appealing poses. Instead spend a little extra time and pose each individual finger to create what you want