These past two weeks as well as designing the characters for our animation project we've also be training with the fantastic Barry Purves.
You can check out his work at http://www.barrypurves.com/ (he has a brilliant forum as well where he posts a lot of great advice).
Barry's work is very fluid and theatrical, he talked alot about liking animating to ballet and dance and I can really see this influence in his work. All of his characters have very graceful yet powerful movements.
We've been working under the camera with Barry, animating simple cut-out characters we designed ourselves and instilling them with personality. I've never animated cut-outs before so it was great to have so much time to really understand how we need to 'feel' the movement instead of just putting keyframes on timelines and letting the computer figure it out.
Barry's motto for the weeks was if we're going to move something then we have to be bold and really go for it and 'LET IT READ!', something I will strive to do from now on.
For the last project we each selected a type of movement randomly. I got 'someone marching' so I had to design a soldier with very rigid, ordered movements. I've included some of the sketches I made and the actual puppet itself (just bits of card and blu-tack) and also the finished 10-second clip (animated in 1 day). Barry was full of great advice so I hope he will come back soon to teach us again. Until then..