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I’m really enjoying doing this blog! And I’m happy to receive good feedback from you and your enthusiasm for my teaching method!

This is the reason why I created this Blog! So…THANKS! ๐Ÿ™‚

As I already said I can just create stuff for the blog in my free time, but my Big Dream is to be able, on day, to do this… full time and also do private on-line mentoring! Because…I really love to follow and guide other animators or those who need some tips and suggestions to improve their skills! ๐Ÿ˜›

So, what can you do to help me to realize all this? Continue to do what your are doing! Follow this Blog to don’t miss my Lessons and Tutorials, Subscribe to my Youtube Channel, my Facebook page or Twitter! Likes, Share with your friends! ๐Ÿ™‚follow03.png

Welcome Animators or wannabe-animators!

I decided (if I’ll have enough spare time…) to create this free collection of Lessons, Tutorials and Tips about this AMAZING job, based on what I’ve learned in my career and experience as character animator! ๐Ÿ˜‰
I’ve been working in the Animation Industry since 10 years and before that…3 years of Animation School! I really, really, REALLY love my job, I really do… I love animation and I like to share my passion (and why not? My knowledgments) with other people!
For any questions, topics that you would like to talk about, you can contact me!
If you want follow my Blog, or subscribe to my YouTube channel or Pinterest or Twitter! ๐Ÿ˜›

About Me

My name is Chiara Porri, I’m Italian and I came from a lovely small town on the sea in Tuscany!

I always had a natural needs to pour out my creativity, I started with drawings, comics, paintings and much more…!ย  After the High School I attended an Animation Course in Turin, Italy (for 3 amazing years) and from that moment…I never stopped. ๐Ÿ™‚
As Character Animator I worked for Tv Series, Movies and Videogames. Here you can find a link to my Vimeo Channel so that you can have an idea of my job as Animator: Chiara – Vimeo Channel

At the moment I’m working as freelance animator and I will try to find the time to add always new contents on this blog ๐Ÿ˜‰

In my spare time I create tv series pitch, short movies, animation tests, ….this blog…, concepts for videogames, comics, I sew handmade puppets, I love cooking, ย long walks in the parks and…I love to play with my American Staffordshire Terrier…Evy!evy01

Lesson #6 – Slow In & Slow Out

Let’s continue with the Principles of Animation … it’s time let’s see how to smooth our animation with “Slow In & Slow Out”! ๐Ÿ˜‰

(In the lesson I used the rig “Pete” by Long Winter Members)


——————————-

Slow In & Slow Out RECAP

The Slow In and Slow Out principle or Ease In and Ease Out is so important but also really easy to understand and put in practice!

The concept is:

ย an object doesn’t have a constant speed during a movement. It will have an acceleration at the beginning and a deceleration at the end

slow_in_slow_out_02.png

So, will starts slower, SLOW IN, increase the speed in between, and ends slower before to stop SLOW OUTslow_in_slow_out_03.png

To add a Slow in and Slow out to a movement we need to change the spacing of the in-betweens at the start and the end

If we have an object that moves from A to B and the tangent is linear, so we don’t’ have any variation in the speed, we would have a stiff and mechanical movementslow_in_slow_out_06.png

But…if we have the same movement, but we just change the position of the in-betweensย  near the first key pose and the last one, the movement result more soft, smoothed, and realisticslow_in_slow_out_07.pngslow_in_slow_out_08.png

Always remember that we are doing cartoon, so to have a more appealing animation, we can also exaggerate this principle!slow_in_slow_out_09.png

This doesn’t mean that you have to encrase the timing of your animation to have more in-betweens at the start and the end. It’s always based on the speed of your action. In a faster action you will have few frames but you still can manage them in order to have a slow in and slow out

slow_in_slow_out_10.png

Changing the curve in the Graph Editor is very easy to achieve the result we need, using a FLAT tangents we already have a smoothness on the extremesslow_in_slow_out_11.png

if we use the SPLINE tangents we can reach the same result using the handlesslow_in_slow_out_12.png

We can also add an in-between near the first pose, and an other near the final pose, and move them on a value closer to the extremes, until you don’t reach your desiderata effectslow_in_slow_out_13.png

But…keep attention!

When you adjust the handles don’t create this type of curve, where it goes on a higher (or lower) value compared to the last pose valueslow_in_slow_out_14.png otherwise you will have a backward and forward movement. So, if you just want to smooth the forward movement, the curve should be like this one belowslow_in_slow_out_15.png

slow_in_slow_out_16.pngSlow_In_Slow_Out_Pendulumlook how smoothed is the movement on the two extremes. SLOW FAST SLOW

But…

with the same key poses and timing, but with a different spacing, we would have a linear movement, that is really unrealisticSlow_In_Slow_Out_Pendulum_Linear

As you can see in the graph editor , I created a Loop animation so I have the two poses at the beginning and the end with the same position, and an other extreme in the middle with the pendulum in the opposite direction, in this case the tangent is LINEAR, that’s why we have this stiff effect, the interpolation has a uniform velocity, so all the in-betweens have the same distance between each other

…just switching the same curve in FLAT, the spacing of the in-between change and the movement is more realistic

If we create the same movement with a character, the principle doesn’t change, we will always have a movement that start slow, takes speed and slow down again

Slow_In_Slow_Out_Character_FrontSlow_In_Slow_Out_Character_SideSo … use this principle, with all its variations, for your objects and characters animations!ย  It’s easy and quick to achieve and your animations will change a lot! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

Work in progress

I’m working on the new Lesson but in the meantime I’m also working on this Shot for a friend with Alya Rig ๐Ÿ˜‰

When the shot will be finished I will post a breakdown video on how I created the shot, step by step! ๐Ÿ™‚

This is just a wip, a sort of animatic, I put together some poses of the 3D charcater and I painted over them to create the outfits (the 3D outfits version will be modeled at a later stage). In this way I already can choose the timing, the main poses and actions and I will have a more clear idea in mind when I will start the animation!Alya's_show_animatic

So far, I created some sketches, studied the outfits and the concept of the shot! It’s an introducing video for Alya so we will show her in different styles…it will take a while to finish ’cause I never have enough free time but…I’m really enjoying working on it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tips #3

โ€“ TOON SHADER โ€“

Here a different way to render your character! Are you a fan of 2D style? A Toon Shader is an alternative choice! ๐Ÿ˜‰toon01

To create a Toon Shader you just have to select the geometry, go in the TOON Tabtoon02

here you will find different TOON style, I usually use SHADED BRIGHTNESS TWO TONEtoon03

after you click on one of the options, go in the ATTRIBUTE EDITOR and edit the two colors in the COLOR TABtoon04

one lighter, one darkertoon05

That’s is! ๐Ÿ™‚ But…toon06

 

Tips #2

– RHYTHM OF YOUR SHOT –

When you start your animation, I always suggest to create a BLOCKING first!rhythm01.png

Set your tangents in STEPPED mode, in order to have a Pose to Pose, with no interpolation between keys!rhythm02

In this simple example, the Timing and the Rhythm of the shot is too boring…Timing_oldIt’s not interesting… all the keyposes, the mains action, have the same speed and a regular timing!rhythm03

Add variations in the intensity and speed of any actions helps you to have a more interesting shot! rhythm04.png

In a Blocking phase is really easy to adjust timing and spacing just moving your keyposes, change them or add some new breakdowns!rhythm05.png

In this new version, the Rhythm is much more interesting!Timing_newI added this variations: different spacing and intensity for each actions, more breakdowns, some anticipations, some exaggeration…and now also the mood of the character is more clear!rhythm06.png

rhythm07.png

Tutorial #05 – Animate a Character Turn

-Animate a Character Turn-

Learn how to animate a Character Turn in two different Timing, Fast and Slow! ๐Ÿ™‚

This tutorial is connected to the Lesson 05 where I explain the principles of TIMING and SPACING!

In this Tutorial I used this lovely Rig โ€œAlyaโ€ by Eyad Hussein https://eyad.tv/home/ Itโ€™s really a great rig and I suggest you to check it when will be availabe (you have to wait the first quarter of 2017 :P). But you can fill the pre-registration form on this link and you will receive an email once the rig is ready for download https://eyad.tv/home/alya_pre_registrโ€ฆ

Alya

After the tutorial I suggest you do do the Exercise#2 “Animate a Character Turn”Exercise_002

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Charater Turn Tutorial RECAP

Let’s see how to animate two different turns of a character:01.png

The first Turn we are going to do is the:02

We start setting the two key poses. In the first one she looks on the left screen, and in the last one she looks on the right, with a surprised expression.

The idea is that she suddenly hears something coming from the right screen. So, the movement will be pretty fast: 10 Frames03.png

The software create the interpolation between this two poses04.png

and the result is a linear movement that is really far from the result we wantHead_turn_fast_LINEAR

let’s add an in-between two frames after the first pose, at frame 305.png

the position of the head is pretty close to the first one, so we slow down the spacing!

To slow down the head rotation, go in the graph editor, select the head rotation axis and drag down the key at frame 3, so that we have less change in position between frame 1 and frame 3

So, REMEMBER THAT: in the part where we have a SLOW SPACING we have less change in position, the movement is slower and the curve is almost flat, where we have a FAST SPACING we have more change, the movement is faster and the curve go down, or go up, depends on the axis movement!

so, in the In-between at frame 3 the head is still rotated on the left, we have a little downward translation of the chest, the shoulders rotate a bit upwards and the eyes open a bit! JUST A BIT!! ๐Ÿ˜€06.png

Let’s add a breakdown at frame 511.png

the chest continue to go down (just a bit)12.png

and we speed up the spacing of the head rotation. It starts to rotate on the right13

and we also add a little squash of the head. So the head volume deforms a bit, decreasingย  in height and increasing in width 14.png

Head_turn_fast_BREAKDOWN.gif

between frame 3ย  and frame 5 we have the change of the look direction, it moves from left to right15.png

and we shouldn’t use more then 2 frames, otherwise we would have a floating look result and the characters would result totally lifeless!

So at frame 3 we still have the same look position of frame 1, but at frame 5 we already have the same look position of the last pose16.png

So, at frame 5 we move the look manually on the right17.png

This movement must to be really fast and two frames is even too much, so let’s go at frame 4 and we move it a bit more on the right18.png

So the big movement happens between frame 3 and frame 4, and at frame 5 we have a bit adjustment19.png

Let’s reduce the spacing in the end! We add an in-between at frame 8, where the head almost reached the final position20.png

To slow down the movement we do as before, in the graph editor, we move the key more close to the last one so the curve is almost flat21.png

Last, we add a MOVING HOLD, approximately 10/12 frames after the last pose. We just smooth the movement: the head, the chest, and the eyes continues to move just a bit, just enough to don’t result that the body freezes22.png

Now you can also add some details and overlap, like the hairs animation or a blink in the breakdown!Head_turn_fast_REFINED

——————

Let’s now do the:01a.pngLike the other one we start setting the two key poses. For this slow turn let’s imagine for example that she’s just looking around. On the first key she looks on the left screen, now in a much more relaxed expression, and in the last key, she’s turned on the right screen. The movement now it’s slower, 30 Frames01.png

The software create the interpolation between this two poses02.png

and we have this LINEAR movementHead_Turn_Slow_LINEAR.gif

Let’s add a breakdown approximately more close to the first key, at frame 1203.png

on this breakdown the head is still rotated on the left screen, we have a small translation downward and a bit of squash of the head, we add an half blink, so we translate downward the upper lids and the eyebrows, and just a bit the bottom lids up04.png05.png

we add an in-betweenย  around frame 20. Weย  slow down the spacing, at this point the head almost reached the final position

06.png

we add an other in-between just after the first key pose, at frame 507.png

here the change is really imperceptible, the head almost doesn’t move, it just have a tiny translation downward, also the upper lids and the eyebrows moves upward just a little bit08.png

So…the main head turn happens between frame 12 and frame 20!09.png

Between frame 14ย  and frame 16 we change the eye look direction, in this three frames (at frame 15 the eyes almost reached the position of frame 16)! 10.png

And after that… we add the moving hold at the end11.png

and some hair animation!Head_Turn_Slow_REFINED.gif

Tutorial #04 – How to Create a Bouncing Ball

-How to Create a Bouncing Ball-

Learn how to create the aimation of a Bouncing Ball just following this quick and easy tutorial, in the first part I also show how to create a simple rig for the ball! ๐Ÿ˜‰

This tutorial is connected to the Lesson 05 where I explain the principles of TIMING and SPACING!

After the tutorial I suggest you do do the Exercise#1 “How to create a Bouncing Ball”Exercise_001

Bouncing Ball Tutorial RECAP

Let’s start with the Front view. We pose the ball in the air at frame 1 (approximatly 10 units on Y)Schermata 2017-03-17 a 13.10.06at frame 13 tha ball go back on the ground so we put at zero the Y translation in the channel box. Schermata 2017-03-17 a 13.10.17.pngLet’s take this line of the grid as reference for the ground. Schermata 2017-03-17 a 13.10.25.png-As I said in the Lesson 5,any bounce lose speed and force so the timing slow down at any bounce so do the high of the bounce-

So for the second bounce we slow down the timing and the ball will bounce in 10 frames instead of 12. So we go at frame 23 and we put the ball in the air again, but this time we reduce the height of the bounce! To be more precise, look at the value on Y of the first bounce. and reduce it a bit: the first bounce is height 10 units, so let’s put the second one 3 units less compared to the first one, so… at 7 units.Schermata 2017-03-17 a 13.10.48.png

Then we put the other key, where the ball go down again, with the same amount of frame it use to go up, “10 frames”, so we go at frame 33 and we put the value of Y at zero. Schermata 2017-03-17 a 13.11.01

We do the same for other 5/6 bounces. Always decreasing in height and timing.

This is a reference for the consecutive bounces:BOUNCING_BALL_guide

This is just an example:

1st bounceย  12 frames – 10 height

2nd bounce 10 frames (+ 10 to go on the ground)ย  / 7 height

2nd bounce3rd bounce 8 frames (+ 8 to go on the ground) /ย  5 height

4th bounce 6 frames (+ 6 to go on the ground)ย  / 3 height

5th bounce 4 frames (+ 4 to go on the ground)ย  / 1 height

6th bounce 3 frames (+ 3 to go on the ground)ย  / 0.5 height

7th bounce 2 frames (+ 2 to go on the ground)ย  / 0.2 height

4th bounce 1 frames (+ 1 to go on the ground)ย  / 0.07 height

Now we have all the bounces in LINEARBouncing_ball_Linearso we need to open the graph editor and polish the curves!

In the graph editor we select the translation of the Y axis, and if you set the curves in AUTO TANGENTS or FLAT TANGENTS you can see that all the curves are smoothed, when the ball is in the air and also when it touches the ground.07.png

But we need to change this spacing, ’cause as I said in the Lesson 05, when the ball is in the air we have a SLOW SPACING (due to the combination of the gravity force/ the air resistance/ and the speed upward of the ball), but…when the ball is pushed to the ground and when it lift from the ground, we need to have a FAST SPACING08

So, the first thing to do is to select all the keys where the ball is contact with the ground (all the lower keys)09

and we switch the curves in Linear09

You can see now that during the contact the curves are straight so the movement is faster11

At this point we still need to adjust the curve before and after the contact, so we use the handles. But… if we select one handle and we try to move it, you can see that they move together12

So… we select again all the keys on the ground,and we click on the icon “BREAK TANGENTS”14

in this way we split the two handles and we can move them separately15

Now we can move them one at the time and we don’t have any influence on the other handle. So, let’s go to adjust the curve: we move them in order to have the part close to the contact much fast and slower the part in the air. The result we should have is this type of ARC16

Can you see the difference…just changing the Spacing?Bouncing_ball_Polished

Let’s now add the SQUASH and STRETCH!

As I already said also the Squash and Stretch decrease at any bounces, so in the first bounce we have a visible squash and stretch..in the last bounces the ball doesn’t deform it’s volume anymore.

We select the deformer, and we go to animate the Factor attribute on the right in the INPUTS17.png

let’s set a key at any bounce, in the lower and highest positions17b.png

At frame 13 we squash the ball decreasing the Factor value18.png

One frame before the contact, at frame 12, we stretch the ball, increasing the Factor value19.png

and we do the same one frame after the contact, frame 1420.png

Now we open the graph editor and we select the deformer factor21.png

We slow down the spacing of the stretch when the ball is in the air, so… the ball deforms when is close to the ground but quickly go back to its original shape when is in the air. We add two keys on the curve, one after the stretch and an other before the stretch: we click on the ADD KEY icon, we select the curve and with “central” click we add the keys22.png

we move them down, close to the original size, without the stretch23.png

And we do the same for 3/4 bounces, the deformation is each time smaller.

Bouncing_ball_Squash&Stretch

Ok, now we can add the forward movement.

We set a key at frame 1 and an other key at the end of the shot, at frame 9024.png

At frame 1 we move the ball on the left screen, just out of the frame25.png

and on frame 90 move it on the right screen26.png

Let’s go in the graph editor and we select the axis with the forward movement. The curve is Linear at the beginning, and Flat at the end27.png

we add an other key around frame 8028.png

move this key on a value more close to the last one

So now the movement start fast and slow down at the end!

Now we just need to adjust the rotation of the ball during the stretch, because if you look at the ball during the squash and stretch you can see that righ now, when the ball stretch, doesn’t follow the Arc path, is straight but should bend on right and left

We can adjust the rotation using the deformer.

We select the deformer and we set a key on the rotation of the deformer on any bounce, in the contacts and in the highest positions. For all the bounces where we have the squash and stretch!31.png

and then we just rotate a bit the deformers on the key before the contact and on the key after the contact

and…THAT’S IT!

Bouncing_ball_Forward_movement