As I mentioned earlier, my concept of blocking has been altered a bit. I don’t know if I’m qualified to suggest advice about the blocking process, but here’s a couple tips in regard to what blocking has been like for me:
It’s temporary! I had to come to grips with this, because I was holding back on stuff which I thought might be affected by any changes down the line. You know, like that foot wasn’t quite nailed down, but I let it slide (ha) because I didn’t think it was worth the time if it was just going to be changed later. Or stuff like overlap, which seems implied that it will come later.
But now I think a better way of looking at it is just to accept that the work is going to be torn apart, and deleted, the built up and torn down again. So since it’s temporary, that makes it ok to take it as far as you can in the time you have. Or even better, do a couple different versions. One shot I got I plowed through 4 different versions in a day, and the reason it went fast is because I knew most of them were going to get thrown away, so I didn’t have much attachment to them. And because of that you can feel free to go in some wild direction, and you might end up with something you didn’t expect. And if it sucks, then chuck it. (They don’t always want you to do this, but sometimes it’s good to be able to present more than one idea.)
On the other hand, you don’t want the blocking to look like crap. It’s got to be good enough that the client can not only understand what’s going on, but also hopefully enjoy it. Because otherwise it’s not going to get approved.
An animator at work, who does amazingly clean blocking, says he does all his squash and stretch in the blocking phase, because otherwise he’ll never get around to it.