Sunday, 8 January 2012

Disney's Bolt and Clay Kaytis animation

During the summer of 2009 I had the pleasure of meeting Clay Kaytis, Animation Supervisor at Disney Animation Studios.

During my meeting with Mr. Kaytis, he showed me the break down of this shot he made while working as a Supervising Animator for the movie Bolt. Please take your time to watch this clip a couple of times:

Time, Spacing, Slow in and Slow Out in the "Bouncing Ball"

Through good space and timing this shot gives you the following information:

  • The hamster ball is rigid as it doesn't show any deformation while is being pushed or during the impact stages.
  • Most of the weight of the "hamster in ball" system lies on the hamster as he "pushes" the ball during the fall.
  • Rhino bounces back after the impact with the bench which gives you an idea of how rigid the Rhino is.
Lets break down Rhino's fall from the edge of the table to the top of the bench:

Appeal and Anticipation

Through great poses and great facial expressions we empathize with Rhino. (Who haven't met somebody they admired?)

At this point of the story we don't know who Rhino is but we learn he is a very enthusiastic fellow, bursting of joy when he realizes he is meeting his idol, Bolt.

Let's break the shot after he runs from left to right and then back to left, Notice the anticipation before the big cheer and slow out into a good extreme.:

Did you notice the look Rhino gives to Mittens? look through the shot again. I understood that Clay wanted to enhance Rhino's acting by making him react to the presence of a cat, not just as his natural enemy but as Bolt's arch-nemesis Doctor Calico's minion.

Thanks again Clay Kaytis for all the tips. you can find him on Twitter or sign up for his podcast at

If you haven't seen Bolt, you can buy it now on DVD and Blu-Ray, it's a great family movie:

Hope you liked this post!

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