I found this on Cameron Fielding's blog FLIP... Talking about the importance of eyes. A handy-dandy post if I do say so myself!! Cameron is currently working at DreamWorks but he has worked at numerous studios around the world! Thanks Mr. Fielding.______________________________________________________________
Just going to post this up quick. Something I've though about before when I'm animating something is how we animators have a kind of 'wide eye' for the shot were working on... like we can see the whole frame in our vision and judge the motion within it, rather than just concentrate on whats deemed as 'important'. Its like when we watch our motion back on the playblast - we tend to watch the whole character, by looking at their `average point`, because we're trying to see how everything works together as a whole, as well as concentrating on the specific part we just changed... its as if were trying to look at every little detail all at once.
When you learn about animation you find over and over being told how important the character's eyes are to the performance, and its equally true to remember how the audience will spend all of their time almost exclusively looking at the character's eyes. For me personally, its kind of odd how much I don't think of this when im animating... I tend to concentrate so closely on the eyes that I forget to watch how they fit with the rest of the body... either that or I'm looking at the shot 'wide eyed' and not seeing the details...
I think a good approach is for an animator to look right into the characters eyes when running playblasts. In fact, I think it would work too to look into the eyes of your character while posing - even if your posing the hand or foot, you can get the overall "shape" of it by looking in the eyes, then afterwards looking at that specific part and posing the details. Same too maybe if were animating the hand of our character, look in the eyes as you watch the playblast and see how the motion reads there, rather than just staring at the hand, or staring at the shot 'wide'.