Dynamic Exercise Draft 2

Dynamic Exercise Test 2.gif

Taking on Robin’s advice from the catchup session on Thursday, I’ve changed some elements of my dynamic exercise to make a smoother and more believable animation. Two things Robin noted were that the starting position was perhaps too extreme and that the foot came up a little too early at the end.

The humanoid now starts in a more neutral pose while still giving the viewer some idea of how he’s is going to handle the task. The foot has also been delayed another couple of frames as not to look like him raising his foot is the cause of the fall but to make it seem like he’s lost control. I also added a slight pause to his leg in the air for comic effect.

Whilst getting on with that I also took the time to add in the inbetweens that were sorely missed from the last export and that’s making it run a lot smoother. I’m particularly pleased with the spacing at the end that leads up to him hitting the floor. falling-into-the-abys

Dynamic Animation Ideas

Weight & Effort

  • Two balls drop, one heavy (Bowling ball) one light(Tennis Ball). Two small cubes drop and push the balls off screen with their respective amounts of effort.
  • A seal moving on land.
  • Shoving a heavy box.

Speed & Acceleration

  • Propeller Starts spinning.
  • Ball rolls round in circle.
  • Rocket Launch

Stretch and Squash

  • Piston squashes ball, pincors stretch ball.
  • Blob gets run over.
  • Squirrel Jumping

Impact and Reaction

  • Ball lands on trampoleen
  • Fishing float lands in water

Workshop: Jump!

Todays workshop focussed on anticipation and follow-through. Anticipation is the build up to an action and follow-through is the reaction to a movement, the last of the enegy to a movement slowly being killed.

Again, we planned our animations, drew our key frames and line tested them. Being happy with that, I went ahead and made this:

On review of it, I realize that I’ve made good anticipation, but I’ve confused follow-through with easing out. I need to finish the squat with some rocking forward and back again to make this movement less solid.

Workshop: Walk Cycle

This session got us drawing a simple humanoid walk cycle that introduced us to keyframe animation. In previous sessions we had just used ‘Straigh Ahead’ animation, just ploughing straight on from frame to frame. Keyframe animation lets you see the overall movement before it’s complete and paves the way for all the inbetween frames. It feels like planning while your working. It makes sense to use this method when there are a lot of complex movements going on.

With keyframe animation, we planned our shots around the extremes of the movement. These extremes were the contact points for when each foot hits the floor. Then we found the passing possitions placed directly inbetween each contact point. Then inbetween those key points are the low then high points of the step.


Here’s my first test of the keyframes. It’s a little juddery to watch and the lines are a little faint, but I was confident to use these as my building blocks.

The video is hideously breif and appon close inspection, I can see that both his calves shrink after lift-off which is a bit off-putting. I was concerned about how rappid the downward movement is towards the end of the cycle was but that was laid to rest as I started to see is as more of an angry walk as the face suggests.

Bouncing Ball w/ Appendage

This session let us build on our previous task of the bouncing ball and put our imaginations to work by letting us choose something to add to the ball, like ears and a tale and try to work out how they would react whilst being taken on a ride.

I decided to add some small, Arthur-esqe ears and a face to accompany them. I made the ears blow back during flight and flop forward on the impact as if they were very loosely attached and elasticated.

The face also tenses on impacts and screams before the final one.

The ears and face I added were a little too subtle to see clearly in the video, but the thought behind it is there. Next excercise I’m given, I’ll try and make my demonstrations bold and obvious.

Workshop: Bouncing Ball

This workshop focused on the fundementals spacing, timing and squach and stretch.

Spacing takes care of the velocity of the ball, slowing it down at its peaks and accelerating towards the ground. The balls appear condensed as the arc reaches its top. The less change in position there is in each frame the slower the movement is. The greater the change in position, the swifter the movement will be as the ball will appear to spend less time in the same place.

Timing takes care of the rythm of the bounce.Each time it hits the floor, it travels a little less further than last. I’ve tracked the rythm of the bouncing ball in the image below, marking each time the ball hits the ground.


My video demonstrates these elements.

Squash and stretch add another level of depth to the animation. Although it is a realistic thing to add if we’ve got a small rubber ball as the subject, it can be taken wildly out of proportion. It’s something key to cartoons, integeral to the entire style and feel. Something noted to us was that you can stretch and squash your ball, but always roughly maintain the volume.


Workshop: Paper Pendulums

This workshop took what we learned on the monday workshop, put it to paper and saw us nail down the spacing and shot planning.

The key to setting out well spaced frames was to lay out the key frames of the animation; Those being both the up positions and the down position. To help get that right, we used a coin on a string as depicted below.


I then added the inbetweens symetrically, one at a time, slowly increasing the gap between them towards the centre until I had this.


When I drew this, I more or less played it by ear but I did measure each space and they came out fairly even, give or take a millimeter. Here’s what the spacing – more or less – was.

0.5 – 1 – 1.2 – 1.6 – 2 – 2.7 – 2.7 – 2 – 1.6 – 1.2 – 1 – 0.5

The rate of acceleration certianly isn’t consistent, but I feel it doesn’t show in my final clip. I haven’t seen myself do any better, but I thought it came out pretty smooth.

As for my second stage, had I spent more time on it, it could have come out better. My interuption to the swing was a brief 7 frame encounter with a fish. Watching this back at 25 fps is rather confusing.

Note to self: Keep frame rate in mind at all times.

Workshop: Pendulum

This session gave us the mission of creating a beliveable swing of a pendulum that we could loop smoothly. The point of the task was to demonstrate the importance of spacing, timing and the illusion of weight in animation.

In our first attempt, we focussed on getting the acceleration of the swing right. This is all in how much we incressed the spaces between the position of the pendulum in the last frame and in the new frame using the onion skin. Although that came out well, the speed of each swing wasn’t equal. A keen eye could see that ther rebound was a touch faster than the initial swing.

To correct the issue, we started a new clip, this time planning the swing to be 12 frames between each apogee. This way the swing would hopefully be even.



Light-weight ball swings fast on cable.

Light-weight ball swings on resistant/constricted wire.