Henrique Barone animation work is really special. For two reasons. Firstly, Henrique is a master of the fine detail. The quirks, the ticks, the little subtleties that make a character stand out. Usually this is just through movement as well which if you haven’t tried, is incredibly hard to achieve.
The second thing is really just the sheer joy of movement and space that Henrique Barone animation has. It never feels rushed or there for the ‘sake of it’. Henrique considers all elements in his work and it’s a joy to see.
We were lucky enough to ask him a few questions and this is what he said…
Tell us a little about you, where were you born, when did you realise your ability and where are you based?
I was born in Brazil and now I live in Vancouver, Canada.
Since I was always a kid I always liked to draw. I’d copy the cartoons from the kid’s session of a TV magazine and used to keep a drawing book with my drawings.
I can’t tell if I realised my ability back then but, I do remember feeling very ‘in the zone’.
I might have realized a passion or, at least, something that kept me focused. Which was a bit hard, according to my mom. :)
Drawing and doing puzzles and Lego-like activities were always my thing and a way to keep me quiet and calm.
Why animation? What excites you about it?
A big part of what excites me in this puzzle-like quality animation has.
I see the frames as pieces of this puzzle. The more I play with them, the more the figure (or, in this case, the movement) starts to show up.
It’s very much like sculpting something, I think, bit by bit, playing, trying, tweaking, adding time, taking time out and letting the movement come up kind of naturally.
I enjoy this process a lot!
Have you noticed your style develop over the years? If so, in what way?
The above being said, I do feel myself, often times, trapped in this puzzle play.
I think, the more you do something the more you see the details and the possibilities of improvement. It’s a constant battle for me to remember to focus on what’s is important for the scene. Especially with client projects with tight deadlines.
However, for the same reason, I do feel that my style developed over the years.
The drawings became more “precise” and the poses come more naturally. As well as the Timing. Also, working with Motion Graphics helped me to not feel afraid to work with different styles. The possibility to work with a great variety of styles is something that I really like in Motion Graphics.
Where’s next? Which direction do you want to head?
I recently started teaching online with MoGraph Mentor and I enjoyed the experience a lot. It’s really amazing to see people starting to grasp the concepts. And getting more and more confident with the drawings and how they move. We run a course where I follow all 15 students with weekly classes and feedback through 3 assignments. A shape, a bouncing head and a full character.
Unfortunately, I have no time to run another class like that any time soon. So, we released a broadcast version where students can get the same classes. And do the assignments at their own pace and time.
People can have a look at the course here.
Teaching is a long term plan that I can see myself liking a lot.
But for now, I want to develop more personal stuff like short films. Or even small experimental loops, directing more and to be involved with more talented people.
What tips do you have for anyone starting out in animation?
Do NOT start with a walk cycle! I’ve seen many people starting with a walk cycle and get frustrated pretty quick.
Walk cycles are one the hardest things there is to animate and it’s very easy to spot mistakes.
We’ve all seen so many people walking. After all, and know how it’s “supposed to move”. Start with something fun, easy and not necessarily “real”.
You will get a much more rewarding feeling and most likely feel inspired by animating something else. To improve little by little is my best advice. Think of your career frame-by-frame. :)