Welcome Animators or wannabe-animators!


I decided 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! 😉
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 Facebook or Twitter! 😛

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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…!  After the High School I attended an Animation Course in Turin, Italy (for 3 amazing years) and from that moment…I never stopped. 🙂
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 😉

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,  long walks in the parks and…I love to play with my American Staffordshire Terrier…Evy!evy01

Lesson #10 – Secondary Action “RECAP”


Here the written recap of the Lesson #10 based on the animation principle “Secondary Action” 😉

here the Video Lesson

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-RECAP-

Schermata 2018-01-10 a 16.21.29

Secondary Actions are the kind of things I like to put in my shots to add details regarding the character’s attitude and personality, and ’cause I really like to have some “natural” movements that we usually do in real life but that we probably don’t notice!

This is not the easiest principle, you really have to learn how to use it and when the shot requires it, otherwise you risk to add too much movements in your shot that would result confused and unreadable for the user!

Schermata 2018-01-10 a 16.21.39

In a piece of animation you have the PRIMARY ACTION, the main action that is necessary to describe the story

But, you can add SECONDARY ACTIONS to give more depth to the scene, to add more informations about the character’s personality and make the scene more entertaining!

Schermata 2018-01-10 a 16.21.50.png

Example: in a scene we have to see a character sitting at a table, this is the main action, but we can add the action of moving the chair forward and some adjusting movements to make it more natural and interestingSitting01.gifIf we take off the secondary actions, the main action is still clear and it works, on the contrary, we couldn’t take off the primary action ’cause the secondary ones are subordinate to the main one!Sitting02.gif

  • MAIN ACTION + SECONDARY ACTION = tell the story and perfectly work together
  • MAIN ACTION – SECONDARY ACTION = tell the same story
  • SECONDARY ACTION – MAIN ACTION = ? (no sense)

Schermata 2018-01-10 a 16.22.34.png

Secondary actions are just a plus, something we add to:

  • support the main action
  • to make the performance stronger and appealing
  • to add realism and authenticity to the scene

IMPORTANT: This secondary actions don’t have to “steal” the attention from the main action, but just fortify it!


The secondary actions are strictly connected to the characters in the shot and they are based on the character’s personality and mood in that moment

But they are also specific to the location and props in that environment!Schermata 2018-01-10 a 16.23.10.png


Tip: study the body language to add the right gestures to well describe the character’s feelings!


 -Examples of secondary actions created using BODY MOVEMENTS-

  • A character sitting and waiting for someone could be a bit nervous and you can add a movement of the foot to better show this feeling

Schermata 2018-01-10 a 16.23.39.png


Waiting.gif


  • Or… someone uncomfortable could scratch his head while speaking <- secondary action Scratch2.gif

  • Or… a sad and resigned mood could be emphasized with the body shape but also with a secondary action like kick a pebble, so we add this little movement of the foot kicking a little stonePebble.gif


     -Examples of secondary actions created using EXPRESSIONS and FACE MOVEMENTS-

  • a character crying could wipes a tear with an handSchermata 2018-01-10 a 16.24.30.png

Cry02.gif


  • A character that moves his eyes left or right while talking to someone…shows his embarrassmentRight.gif

  • A fast look up during an acting to communicate disappointmentUp.gif

  • During a walk, that is the primary action, you can add the head movements looking around and changing expression according to the character’s mood

Walk.gif


-Examples of secondary actions created using PROPS INTERACTION-

I personally love to add props the characters can play with during a dialogue or in many other situations!

  • A character playing with a pen while speaking to someone, the pen is a prop connected to the location (we have a desk so this is a common prop for this type of location)Pen.gif

  • We could do the same with a prop connected to the character like his glasses, he could take them and use them to support the actingGlasses.gif

 


  • In this case… the character is eating and he just stands there, because he’s thinking and probably someone is speaking to him, but we could add a secondary action of him playing with the food to give the idea that he’s thinking about stuff or just annoyedeat.png

  • If your character is sitting on a sofa, he could bring a cushion to make the action more realistic and interestingSofa

  • If he’s drinking he could touch the glass while speaking or thinking, just to avoid moments where the character doesn’t do nothing and again, in this way it’s easier to have a connection with the character’s feelingsdrink.png

This are just some common and easy secondary actions, with the experience you’ll be able to add more complex secondary actions


Workflow tip: Start blocking the main action first, watch the shot several times and ask yourself…how you could make it more interesting in terms of rhythm, entertaining and to better describe the character’s feelings and mood?

Then decide where to add this secondary actions and watch it again and again to make sure that they …don’t overshadow the main action!

In that case…is better to avoid too many secondary actions! 😉


That is all about this principle! See you for the next one “Exaggeration”! 🙂

Lesson #10 – Secondary Action


One of my favourite animation principle: SECONDARY ACTION! How to play with props (and not only that) to make your animation more interesting 😉

Cry01

Rigs:

Alya https://www.facebook.com/AlyaRig/

Ink https://iwanttobeananimator.wordpress…

Lesson 10 “Secondary Actions” COMING SOON


I’m working on this new lesson right now, another explanation with examples of the anination principles “Secondary Actions” 😉

Tutorial 10 – Breakdown of a Dragon Animation “RECAP”


Here a detailed RECAP of my last Tutorial “Breakdown of a Dragon Animation”

here the Tutorial

indexw

-RECAP-

In this tutorial I’ll show the breakdowns for this animation I made recently

final.gif

 

I will explain STEP BY STEP my process starting from CONCEPT to the FINAL RESULT

In my last lesson I explained the principle of  FOLLOW-THROUGH AND OVERLAP (here the Lesson #09) and I also made a little tutorial “Animate a tail” and a simple exercise for beginners!

Now I want to show you something more advanced: in this shot I have two characters that have parts that perfectly show this principles!

 

We have the tailed head/ball (that I used for the previous tutorial), this character has a very simple and basic animation and then I have this awesome and much more elaborated and advanced rig made by Josh Sobel, called ARC, that has a more complex animation. Arc is a customizable Dragon, with huge wings and big tail that is really perfect to show you the concept of overlap, drag and follow-trough applied to a more complex animation


 -ANIMATIC-

So, for this shot, I started from a SKETCHED ANIMATIC – the 2D animatic is very important to study the rhythm, the story and how to represent the personality of the characters!

sketches.gif
TIP: I’m not a good drawer so for the dragon I first studied the rig and tested some poses that I used as reference for the sketches. It’s a sort of blocking but with very few rough poses that you can exaggerate in 2D and have a better idea of what you need

 


-STORY-

The story of this shot is basically a “Dangerous-playtime” between this little bouncing creature and a young dragon that play with fire!

I imagined that they are actually friends, so…the dragon doesn’t wants to hurt him is just that he’s too ingenious and he has no control of his dangerousness!

 

For the dragon’s attitude I got inspired by my lovely/crazy dog. I had in mind my playtimes with her, that usually gets so excited when we play that she literally loses her control and the play-time becomes actually a “fight”!

 

So, with my little crazy dog in mind, I decided to animate the dragon with a doggy attitude in the first part, when he enters in the shot and when he smells the ground trying to sniff out his friend. And in the final part, when he jumps in the air with his wings and when he goes out of frame, I switch to a more classic dragon attitude

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.33.47.png


-Set the Scene-

So starting from this animatic, I set the scene on maya

For the background I just have a plane and some rocks, something very very simple

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.34.03.png

As usual I use a surface shader so I don’t have to worry about lighting and I have the 2d effects that I personally love.

I set the camera, with the same frame of the animatic

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.34.14

I add a plane in the background where I import the animatic video so that I can use it as reference during the blocking, in this way I can see the timing and the main poses

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.34.26.png


-Tailed Head/Ball BLOCKING-

So now… I import the tailed ball character and I create the blocking

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.34.31.png

I start to pose the “body/head” so I go to hide the tail

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.34.46

I go to animate the creature like a classic bouncing ball but very cartoony, I follow the animatic key poses so we have the bounces at the beginning, I squash it and stretch it and I check the contact with the plane, this pass is very fast cause I have the animatic as reference

 

So, he’s running away from something, he also looks on his back in few frames just to see what’s going on behind him, to check where is his friend and in time to see the flame coming towards him (I add a place holder fire effects just to have an idea of the timing)

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.35.05.png
When he bounces behind the rock he trys to hide himself super frightenedtrying to be as smaller as possible, using his tail as protection

The tail is not very big, I don’t have a lot of control of the shape so what I can do is just to give the idea that the tail covers the body

I also add a very fast shake any 2 frames ’cause he’s trembling

 

 

He hears the dragon coming closer so he has a reaction turning in the opposite direction

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.35.40.png

and…when the dragon jumps on the rock he has a bigger reaction jumping hight in the air (I imagine him screaming here so I add a little shake), and the he just runs away faster then light

 

In a second time I add the tail poses. I follow a path, just like I showed in the previous tutorial, I draw a line on my paper so that I can better follow the arc and I just do this for the length of the shot

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.35.16.png
So this is the ball blocking, I mixed the principle of the bouncing ball but I also added some cartoon movements, it bounces with physic but it’s a character, so it has life and we can break some physic principles or exaggerate them to make it more appealing

 


-Dragon BLOCKING-

Let’s add the dragon

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.36.34

As I said before, this rig has some customizable options, we can change the face design and the texture colour

 

I choose the young version for the head and the black textures

(If you want to know more about this rig I also created a post on the blog or you can just visit the official page

I start to create the main poses, this part it takes most of the time, the character is quite complex, it has a lot of controls and parts to pose, so I take my time….

I use some reference from dogs and dragons

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.37.37.png

I try to make him cute enough: at the beginning he has a very innocent expression

 


He just stands there for a moment, very calm and apparently harmless, his raised leg helps us to catch that he’s looking for something, trying to be quite

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.38.00.png

I continue to block the shot using the animatic as reference for the timing and this is the first pass of blocking for the dragon

First_Blocking_Dragon.gif

There are not too much poses: there’s the first part “the entrance”, we see the forefoot coming in first and I keep this pose with a moving hold

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.39.40

Then we have the reaction, he knows his friend is near there so… before moving forward he makes an anticipation with a jump in the air

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.39.52

First I create the key pose with eyes closed, squashed head, both the legs flat on the ground and the opened wings that he will use as push for the jump within the legs

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.39.57.png

When he moves upward we have the overlap of the wings, we don’t see them cause they are out of screen, but we can imagine that they are pointing downward as reaction to the drag movement of the leading part, the body, same for head and arms that are dragged so they point downward

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.40.09

He makes this arc jumping high and straight first

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.41.32.png

and then he lands forward creating this arc with the body, the tail and the wings

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.41.41.png

Then we have some steps while he’s sniffing the ground

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.41.49.png

I create this curve with the body, the typical exaggerated classic dog sniffing pose, with the upper part of the body almost flat on the ground and the backside pretty up

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.41.54.png

The tail is pretty long so it really has to be soft and smooth and overlap for the entire shot. It always moves creating a nice curve and following the follow through principleSchermata 2017-12-10 a 22.42.42.png

I move each section of the tail with a delay

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.42.47.png

To make the sniffing action readable I add just 2 poses in the blocking, increasing the size of the nostrils, moving up and down the nose and the eyebrows. Is enough to make the action clear in the blocking and then I will smooth it and add more details in the refine

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.42.58.png

He felt something so he turns in the super excited mode

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.09.png

I add this big anticipation before he moves forward, just to emphasize the reaction and to create a nice path of action

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.39.png

The anticipation is made with the eyes, cause he already looks towards the point where he want to jump

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.21.png

and also with the body movement, ’cause he moves backward raising the back, the tail and the wings

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.34.png

Then we have the jump poses, always creating a path with body and a different one with the tail

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.39

He turns upward the head following his friend movement

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.53

And then another jump in the air, flying in place with a couple of movements up and down with the wings, staring at his “prey”

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.43.59.png

l add an anticipation moving backward before going out of frame very fast creating this line of action and with a very aerodynamic pose with the wings closed to the body

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.44.05.png

As I said, in this first pass of blocking I have very few poses but for this kind of animation I want to add some other keys just to make the refine easier

I add some breakdowns here and there and some moving holds, for example I added the leg poses at the beginning:

1) one pose with the raised leg with the toes pointing backward

2) one pose of contact with the toes upward

3) one pose with the leg flat on the ground

Schermata 2017-12-10 a 22.45.00.png

I add more breakdowns and in-betweens during the steps and others for the rest of the shots and this is the second pass of blocking with more keys:

Second_Blocking_Dragon.gif

During all this process I help myself using the silhouette visualization to adjust the poses and check if everything is readable

So… in this phase I focus on the timing and the poses and I watch it and watch it several times to check if everything works well or… if I can do something better or add some poses if necessary 😉


-Tailed Head/Ball REFINE-

The blocking is done and now I can turn off the dragon and refine the head/ball

As before, I hide the tail and I refine and polish the ball, for this character the refine process is pretty easy, there’s not much to polish, I just use a lot the graph editor to make the ball movements clean and smooth, I check the arcs first for the ball/body, and then for the tail

 

I also adjust the tail poses frame by frame in some parts, where I want to exaggerate the shapes or add some further movements

Here the Head(Ball Refine

Ball_Refine.gif


-Dragon REFINE-

Then I turn on the dragon again for the refine

I switch all the curves in auto tangent and this is how it looks like (I didn’t touch anything, this are just the blocking poses switched to auto)

Spline_Dragon.gif

and ….it defenetly needs a lot of work! 😀

I start splitting the scenes in different sections, for example: I start to refine the part when he enters in the screen and I stop before the jump. So… I reduce the range of the time slider

I go to adjust spacing, contacts, breakdowns for the entire shot but moving forward by a range of frames, splitting the scene following the different actions, refining them one by one

I draw the path on my transparent paper so I can easily follow the path with each part of the body, frame by frame I go to adjust the poses where needed

When you refine an animation can happen that you just realize that you need to change a bit the timing or the spacing of your blocking! It happens, some movements result too slow after you switch from stepped to spline or vice versa, so in this cases…just move your keys to reach the better result or add more breakdowns that were not necessary in the blocking but that you need in the refine!

With a loooot of patience I finish the refine of entire shot, I can’t show you each step ’cause it would take too much time


For the entire shot I spent 5/6 hours for the blocking (for both the characters) and around 15 hours for the refine

I add the motion blur in the render, the the 2D fire effect I made and…that’s the final result!

final


I hope you enjoy this video, show the entire process for the creation of a shot is not easy and I tried to show the most important steps for me.

When you plan a good and efficient blocking, the refine process will be easier so… see you for the next lesson and tutorial, thanks for watching! 😉

Tutorial 10 – Breakdown of a Dragon Animation


-Breakdown of a Dragon Animation-

Well…after a big break I finally uploaded a new tutorial (it has been a bit hard to finish it…I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on it) but I hope you enjoy it 😉

Schermata 2017-12-03 a 23.59.38.png

In this Tutorial I show the breakdown of a Dragon Animation, step by step I’ll show the process for the creation of the shot. I made this animation in 2 days and this tutorial is based on the principles explained in the Lesson 09 “FOLLOW-THOURGH AND OVERLAPPING” https://iwanttobeananimator.wordpress.com/2017/08/29/lesson-9-follow-through-and-overlapping/

Halloween Break


The life of an Animator is also this… have fun doing anything handmade! ^^ Halloween is coming and so my birthday 😛

What is needed:

– a patient dog

– an even more patient dog ^^’

– a black hoodie and colored felt! 😀

Update


I would definitely need longer days….I’m so busy right now that I can’t create new contents for my blog as much as I would like to! I have so many ideas in mind…but no time to realize them!! 😥

As you know, my tutorials and lessons and all the time I dedicate to create them and give feedback etc….is totally free so… for most of the time…I have to work on other stuff 😀

Besides this, there’s my life: complicated sometimes, there’s my lovely dog that deserves my time, relationships that end, relocations, new jobs….but I really want to continue what I started, so…keep following my blog and I’ll try to do my best to post as mush as I can! 😉ioWORKING

Coming Soon


I really didn’t had enough time for this channel in the last days, I’m having big changes in my life so… sometimes it’s really hard to find a little “moment” just for my stuff 😛

BUT…. I’m working on a new video tutorial/breakdowns based on a shot connected to the last lesson “Follow-through and Overlap”!

Schermata 2017-10-04 a 13.42.32

This is just a little preview, a wip of the blocking, showing part of the shot! Just few poses… DragonBLK_Wip01.gif

I used two rigs for this shot: my Tail ball/head and Arc the Dragon by Josh Sobel!
Both the rigs have an element like tail and wings that show the principle of follow-through and overlap applied to an easy basic tail animation (for the ball) and a more complex animation of tail and wings for the Dragon! 😉

In the video I’ll show you how I concepted the shot from 2d sketches up to the refine version!

So…I hope to be able to continue to work on that and…post it as soon as possible! 🙂

In the meantime you can follow this blog (just clikc on the follow button on the right :P) so that you’ll receive an email when I will post something new, and….. like and follow my: Facebook PageTwitter and Youtube Channel! 😉

I Like to present: Arc the Dragon


I want to present you a very cool rig I’m “testing” right now for a shot, Arc the Dragon, created by Josh Sobel 🙂

Arc

Arc1e.png

Arc is a really well done and pretty complex rig with some customizable options: you can choose between different “personality”: 6 in total! That is pretty cool! 😀

I’m animating the Young version and is really nice to pose and instantly appealing! 🙂


You can also change the texture and eye color between this 7 variations:


The rig comes with a very useful picker where, in addition to the customization options, you can easily select the rig controls, splitted in Body and Facial (extremely useful for a complex rig like this one) I usually don’t use pickers, I like the direct approach with the rig but …. in this case I use it a lot 😉

Arc1d

In the picker is also available a little set of expressions and poses:


The rig has a very affordable price 18,00€ for a standard license and is available on this link http://www.joshsobelrigs.com/arc-the-dragon

So far I didn’t find any issues with the rig that works pretty well!

As I said, it’s not an easy character to animate for those who are just beginners, but is absolutely a good character if you want to test your skills with a quadruped, or in some flight cycle, acting shots or action! 😉

It’s really funny to animate and soon I’ll post a tutorial/breakdown for the shot I’m working on, so that I can show you my approach with the rig and my workflow! 😉

So… if you are looking for a new and original character for your next acting/action shot, Arc could be a good option! 😉


Here all the links:

Official site: http://www.joshsobelrigs.com/arc-the-dragon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshsobelrigs/

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/227662496

 

Exercise #5 – Animate a Tail


In the Lesson 09 I explained the principles of Follow-Through and Overlapping and in the Tutorial 09 I show you how animate a ball with a tail, so now you should be able to do this simple and basic exercise to practice with this concepts! 😉

Tutorial #09 – How to Animate a Tail


– HOW TO ANIMATE A TAIL –

How to Animate a Tail RECAP

If you watched my Lesson 9 you should be able to put in practice what Follow-Through and Overlap mean and how to use them

We will start from a very simple example:Follow_Through10

I will use this super simple rig of an head/ball with a fluffy tailTail01

Tail02

To approach an animation like this, I usually start animating the body

In this case…the head/ball, ignoring the tail for the moment

So I hide the tail mesh and I animate the ball up to the refine and polishingTail01.gif

When my animation is finished, I go to animate the tail

At this point you should already know that I’m used to use different shaders to simplify my workflow so I create a sort of rainbow tail assigning different colors to each section of the tail connected to a jointTail04.png

So, I set the first pose for the tail…Tail06.png

…and then I go to animate the first section, the ones directly attached to the ball, that is the leading partTail05.png

that will drag the rest of the tailTail07.png

but in turn, the first section is dragged by the ball headTail08


 

So, following the main action of the ball, I go to animate just the first section that would react to the ball movementTail09

It’s important to determinate if the tail will be just dragged by the ball movement or if will also moves independentlyTail10.png

In my case, the tail is mainly dragged by the ball, but also has an independent movement when needed

For example: at the beginning I want to use the tail to have the “push” for the jump! So, even if the ball has a very small rotation and the squash to gain energy for the jump, I move the tail right and left to increase this push and have more power for the jumpTail11.png


During the jump, when the ball is stretched, the tail must point downward, ’cause it has a delay compared to the ballTail12.png


Also during the spinning in the hair, the tail overlap the main action, the ball rotation. As you can see, here I rotate the tail on the right, dragged by the rotation of the ballTail13.png


When the ball stops his rotation, the tail will stop with a delay of 3/4 or 5 framesTail14.png


For all the time that the ball stays in the air, the tail will continue to move upward, with a very slow spacingTail15.png


When the ball starts to fall, the tail is raised up Tail17.pngand just as before, after the ball landed on the ground, the tail will arrive with 3/4 frames of delayTail18.png

Don’t care about compenetration for the moment, cause we will go to adjust the position when we will animate the rest of the tail!


Then we have the following little bounces so, we go to animate the settle, moving the tail up and down for a couple of time, decreasing the movement up to the complete stopTail19.png

This is the animation of the first section of the tail:Tail02.gif

After that we go back to animate the rest of the tail, one section at the time, and following the order starting from the topTail20.png

Each section will have a delay of 2/3 frames compared to the previous sectionTail21

What you have to remember is that each part would first react to the movement of the part that drag it, moving in the opposite direction

 

Let’s see an example with less tail’s sections:

when this section moves forward…Tail23

…the following part is dragged but it turns in the opposite direction due to the delayTail24

and then it will follow the first section movementTail25

The last part would have the same reaction but it’s dragged by the second section, so at the beginning it would rotate on the right when the second one rotates on the leftTail26


 

Even during breakdowns and in-betweens you have to be extremely careful to create a nice and rounded shape

Avoid straight lines, except when its completely stretched like during the fall, in this cases a straight line is allowed!


Keep attention to the arcs that you will create with the tail action!Tail30

A nice tip is to use maya tools or script to create an onion skin that shows you the previous and following poses or to draw on maya…

…but I prefer the old school transparent/celluloid paper that I put on the screen (that is always attached to the back of my Mac and I easily turn it on when I need it) Tail31.png

Tail32I can quickly draw the arc I want for the tail movement and then, frame by frame I go to adjust the positions, following that path

Tail03.gif


With this simple rules and if you well understood this principles, your final result should be something like this:Follow_Through01So, this was a simple tutorial for a basic tail animation, with a straight ahead approach! 

I will do an other tutorial with a more complex rig but if you are just beginners…

I suggest you to start with a short and simple animation and became familiar with the concept of drag, follow-trough and overlap!

You can follow the Exercise 05 based on this tutorial! 😉

Lesson #9 Follow Through and Overlapping


I had quite busy days during the last month but I finally find the time to create a new lesson … ready to learn how to “section” your character? 🙂

Follow Through and Overlapping RECAP

The principles of follow-through and overlapping will help you a lot to refine your animation and make it more realistic and fluid

Follow_Through01.gif

Behind this principle there’s a simple rule:follow_through01.png


follow_through02.png

Follow-through is the principle that a parts of the body follows the movement of an other part (the leading one), with a bit of delay

Example: when you have a stop a part stop first and an other one has a delay, so it will stop in a different timeFollow_Through02.gif

Overlapping action is the principle that some parts have different timing or speed compared to other parts, so they overlap the main actionFollow_Through03.gif


follow_through07.png

– We can use them to delay each parts of the body:

  • for human characters we can apply this principles on several parts: arms, neck and head, upper chest, legs, hair…

Follow_Through04

All this parts will move with a bit of delay compared to the main part of the body that leads the movement, they are offsetted and they OVERLAP the ACTION

  • for animals or anthropomorphic characters we can also have some different elements like long ears or tails to animate using this principles

follow_through14.png

Is quite simple, if you analyze for one second the movement… you should be able to recognize which part leads the action, here some examples:


When you know which part leads, you just have to delay the other parts

Don’t forget that… at the beginning of the action, this parts react to the movement of the leading one, by moving in the opposite direction!

In this example we have a simple arm movementFollow_Through05.gif

the shoulder and the upper part of the arm lead the movement, so when they start to move forward, the forearm reacts moving in the opposite direction, then we have the same reaction on the wrist and the fingers

When the leading part arrives to a stop, the forearm, the wrist and the fingers stop with a delay and different timing

So the arm and shoulder drag the lower part of the arm and during this movements you can also break some joints and use some deformers to emphasize the delay and the arcs

So… at first animate the upper part, the leading one, then the lower arm, then the wrist and last…add the fingers animation

You can also delay each finger from the others or even the single parts of the finger

To complete the movement you can add a…follow_through20.png

to avoid a sudden stop, keeping a slight bit of motion for all this parts for more frames

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or add a…follow_through21.pngafter the stop all this parts go back and forth for few times, always decreasing the motion, keeping the delay between a part and an other. The leading part could have just a small and short settle, and the other parts a longer settle

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or just the…

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In this Lesson I explain more in detail Moving Hold and Settle


How to manage follow through, overlapping action, moving hold and settle depends on:

  • -the type and speed of the motion
  • -the length and weight of the parts that follow the movement

 

An other situation where you need to apply this principles is when your character has some cloths like: an hat, a scarf, a coat, a skirt, etc…

This elements will have the follow through and the overlap just like the body parts. The body movement drags this elements and they will react in different ways, depending on the type of cloths, the material’s weight and the speed of the movement


A good way to manage and animate parts with follow-through and overlap is to visualize the body as sections

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In this way will be more easy and fast for you to manage all the delays 😉

Also a tail can be visually split in section:follow_through27follow_through28

the upper part would lead the movement, moving first, the second one would follow this movement, the third one would follow the second one and so on…Follow_Through08.gif

Compared to the main section, the second one has a delay of 1 frame, the third one a delay of 2 frames, the forth one of 3 frames and so on….

in this way your movement would result smooth and realistic! 😉Follow_Through09.gif

Do the same for objects or parts of the character and the practice will help you to naturally apply this principle in the right way!

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Follow_Through11b.gifFollow_Through10

How I became a Character Animator


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I was the typical super creative and dreamer child, with a wild imagination! I liked to play with conventional toys but….I liked most to play with the ones “invented by me”.

My nick name as child was “Blonde devil”….you can imagine 🙂scansione0003

When I was really young I started to draw (actually….retracing Mickey Mouse books), or…another of my pastime was to re-create the planimetries of the tv shows I was used to watch (I scansione0002ccshould still have the planimetry of the house of Brandon and Brenda Walsh or the cafè of “Saved by the Bell” somewhere….
I was so detail-oriented that I even had the list of menu’s prices! Don’t ask me why! Kids… 😀

Then I started to read comics, especially manga: Ranma 1/2 and Video Girl Ai my favourites! And that’s just stimulated more my creativity… so I started to write and draw my own comics tavo012

I created comics in secondary and hight school (of course, my only readers were my classmates and my sister, but they were always looking for next episodes! 😀

During my Art High School I also discover a passion for paintings and for a small period I was used to withdraw in my “studio”…painting my plywood covered by acrylic colors, sterile gauze pads, vinyl glue and stylized animals and human figures!

Amadeus#03Amadeus#01

During High School I followed a super interesting course in Cinema and that was the time that I became a movies addicted (I think I’ve seen something around 2000 movies in one year :D) I also started to write movies script on my own

Then…was time to decide what to do: University? I wasn’t so enthusiast, no one of the courses was really convincing me… so I started to make researches for some private course or school for cinema (my primary passion at that time) and I found an interesting school (actually was pretty famous in Italy but I never heard about that before) the “The Experimental Center of Cinematography” based in Rome, the oldest school about cinema art, with courses for: directing, photography, acting, scripting etc…

“Ok! This is the school for me! I’ll be a movies director!”

But… there was only one “huge” problem, my age: the Director course had a minimum age limit (I was 19 and the limit was 21…. I should have wait 2 years…)

So…I had a look on the other courses of the same school (with lower age limit) and I found a new course (based in a different city, Turin, in the north of Italy) about “ANIMATION”

At that time I had no idea of what this was about, yes of course…I watched all the Disney classic movies but I never thought to became an animator… but … I decide to apply for the course!

Then… there was another little obstacle: only 1 class per year, max 16 student would have been admitted…

“What???? Just 16 students?? I will never be one of them!!!”

I was a bit negative about my possible admission… I would have to overcame 3 “selections” to pass (the first one was the portfolio) so, I sent my application with my portfolio (some of my drawings and comics) but in the meantime I signed up for a University course in “Art of Cinema”…. just in case…

I was waiting for a response. I went to my first day of University and…just in the way back home I received a call:

“Hi Chiara! I’m calling from the Experimental Center of Cinematography, you passed the first selection, you are admitted to the second one!”

I was in the train and I think I started to cry! 😀 😀 😀

The second selection have been place in the school, it was an interview with the teachers and some test to do. I passed this selection as well 🙂

And then…the last one: the preparatory course, some days in the school with the other students to test our skills and attitudes!

After that…I was officially an Animation Student! 🙂

How the courses were organized? Well, the first year they teached us the History of Animation, the main softwares used, life drawing sessions

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mime/acting class and …of course…the basics of traditional animation (yeah…I animated on a light table for a year 😀

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The second year you had to choose which path to follow: 2D or 3D Animation. At that point I was still more oriented on directing and VFX, not on the animation part, so I chose 3D cause it seemed the one more closed to me and my interests

(me having milk time in the school/bedrooms floor kitchen)1196200303_adc12536df.png

The third year (absolutely the best one) was dedicated to the creation of a short movie, in small teams. My team was composed by me and other 2 classmates. We realized an “horror” short movie named “Rampicante – Hederae Sicarius” – for this short I was responsible for: directing (of course) and animation (I wasn’t really good at that time… :D)

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(me working in the diploma short movie’s room)

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(and … in XMas time)

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Watch “Rampicante – Hedeare Sicarius” here

That were my 3 years of Animation School. The best years of my life…still miss that place! And as any animator…I started to dream to work in Pixar one day 🙂

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(drawing of me, made by a friend)


Time to find a job!

-First steps in production-

Finished the school I went back home and I started to look for a job opportunity.

I live in a small town, in Tuscany, and I found an animation studio in Pisa, around 1 hour by train, that was looking for animators for a tv series.

I gave it a try! I wasn’t yet sure of myself and my skills, so I proposed me for a stage as 3D generalist

“We need animators! So if you want to do animation we can offer you a one year contract”

I was a bit hesitant, I didn’t feel ready to work as animator (my skills were really poor ’cause in school I focused much more on other aspects of production) and the supervisor of the studio was an animator with 20 years of experience in dreamworks… I definitely was a bit scared but….I accepted the offer!

The series was “Bird Squad”Schermata 2014-05-31 a 00.01.24.png

The protagonists were: a crow, a penguin, a bat, a flamingo, an hummingbird, a lady owl, a woodpecker, a blackbird and 5 ducks!

They fly around the world on a zeppelin to save other animals who need their help!

It wasn’t so easy to animate for a totally beginner, (at that point I was used to animate everything in LINEAR tangents, never touching the graph editor and without knowing the difference between FK or IK …Now I can confess it!! 😀

But… I won the challenge and I animated the series for 6 months with an amazing team of talented animators!

Watch some of my animations for “BIRD SQUAD”

After this series, I started a new one in the same studio: “Taratabong – The world of Meloditties” a crew of musical creatures that communicate through sounds and musicbfa0ecb6d577a1cbf322110c6948bb00

The challenge here was setted a bit higher: characters with no voice, no mouth or eyebrows, no arms… but… it’s still absolutely the project I loved most!

Watch some of my animations for “Taratabong”

This projects and the studio itself will stay in my heart forever, they were the first to believe in me and gave me the opportunity to start to work as animator

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(me and the meloditties made by a friend)

And… I can’t explain it with words but… in that studio there was a unique and great atmosphere…

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(me, wearing the awesome hoodie of the company)

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(playing Ping Pong during a break)

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(me and collegues in a cafè…an other break :D)


During that period I also started to create and sew (100% handmade)foto_chiara a series of puppets and portraits for my friends, you will hear about the PUPPETS again in my story 🙂

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volkswagen (puppets on the yellow van)

(friends and sister’s portraits)


– Moving in the capital: ROME –

After this second experience I moved to Rome with most of the team of Taratabong, for the production of an Animated Movie about an ogres family


It was my first movie and I had the chance to improve my skills, especially in acting

Unfortunately the production dealt with some problems and the movie was stopped.

But I still have a good memory of that experience!


– Taratabong 2 –

After this production I went back home, with my family. My dad (the greatest and best man I met in my life) passed away and I needed to stay home for a bit

So, I went back to the studio in Pisa for the Second Season of “Taratabong”!

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(some meloditties puppets I made for fun)

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(lunch time on the beach)

(snowy weekend with colleagues)


– Animating Gladiators –

Finished Taratabong 2, someone needed animators in Rome, in the Rainbow studio (best know for the creation of the successful tv series WINX)

I moved there and I started the production of another Animated Movie “Gladiator’s of Rome”. Set in the ancient Rome, it tells the story of a unusual gladiator!

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We worked first on the Layouts and then on the Animations

Watch “Gladiators of Rome” Progression Reel

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(me and my Gadiators Stickers Album :D)

(movie’s posters around Rome)

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(first preview in the movie theatre)

We had great times during the production

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(swimming pool in our residence)

Awesome team, funny moments to remember!


In the sparetime, I started a personal short movie “Felt in the Box”, using my puppets design for the characters

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The idea was pretty cool but in the meantime…things started to be a little too complicated and I had to stop the production


-The magic of Winx-

Just after the end of the movie’s production, I started the Season 5 of the very successful tv show for kids “Winx”

First we animated the Transformation Sequence, I made part of Stella and Tecna sequence! Very funny to do! I loved that rigs, so well done, full of controls in order to don’t put limits to an animator’s imagination! 😀

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Schermata 2014-01-10 a 16.27.53.pngWe were responsible for layouts and animations and the production was like….5/6 months long

Watch “Winx” Progression Reel

And here other Animations I made

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(me and my lovely Winx air mattress :P)

(me and my sister in the Rainbow Magic Land Theme Park)


– First time abroad –

After Winx, I felt to be ready to try an experience abroad and I moved to France

I found job in a studio placed in Angouleme, a small town in the Charante

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(my first day of work…under the snow)

The series was pretty complex, “Foot2Rue Extreme”, a lot of human characters playing football, parkour, roller blades and other crazy stuff! 😀

F2R

Watch “Foot2Rue” Animation Reel

Very challenging and tought experience! With a GREAT ANIMATION TEAM

TRAINCROWD

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– Back to Italy –

At one point, I felt the needed to go back to Italy and stay close to my family

For a while I stayed home working on a new personal project (with an other collogue), a TV series for kids with the Puppets as protagonists

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We created the Opening Theme (whatch it here), the scripts of some episodes, a pilot episode and a super detailed graphic bible

Here a Making Off Video (watch us working :P)

We developed two apps, connected to the series that have been available on the Apple Store for a while. An Alphabet App, a Coloring Book, a Puzzle and an Interactive book

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Here you can watch the Spot of the “Interactive Book” app

(my Awesome Puppets Birthday Cake :P)

And wee also participated to a famous event in Italy “Cartoons on the Bay” to pitch the series, but unfortunately…nothing happened! 😦


So, I went back to Rome, in Rainbow, to work on another successful tv series “Mia&Me” and this time I had to deal just with layouts

The only animation I made was the transformation of the main character, re-used for each episodes

MiaWatch “Mia&Me” – Transformation – progression shot

(colleagues :P)


– The big switch to VIDEO GAMES industry –

I had the chance to apply in a very big company based in Hamburg, GOODGAMES STUDIO in the extreme north of Germany!KIA01ENG

At the beginning I was a bit scared, I never worked in video games before

But…after some technical issues I just get used to it and I worked for 1 year and half on a puzzle gamesnow1

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(my workstation with the main character puppet made by me)

Watch my “A Little Lost” Animation reel

I was responsible to manage the animation team, we had several little cute animal/fantasy creatures to animate and make them interact with the gameplay

I’ve done so many idle, attack, win and lose animations…..that it’s hard to remember all of them! But I’m extremely proud of the work we have done! 🙂

(findind cooking on my desk in the morning ❤ …for those who don’t understand italian… stronza=asshole, with love of course 😀 )

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(me with Elisa, from the Onboarding team, those who helped us in burocratic stuff and relocation)

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(and our daily match with MARIO KART after lunch time 😀 )

You can watch other pictures about my experience in Hamburg here


– Life changes –

After the german experience, I had to deal with an other family lost, my great mom…. so I went back home to take care of our family stuff, that’s the main reason why at one point of my life I decided to work as freelance remotely

Right now I work as freelance for other italian and foreign studios, and in the spare time…I have this blog!

I was thinking to create this blog since a while but never find enough time to do it! I love this “project”, I like to teach and share what I’ve learn so far with other animators, so… I hope you appreciate it! 🙂

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Chiara

 

 

My Work Experience


For those who wants to know the studios and the project I’ve worked on, here’s my past experiences 😉 MyJob

  • Senior 3D Character Animator

    Company Name: Goodgame StudiosSchermata 2017-08-14 a 15.38.26.png

    Dates Employed: Jul 2015 – Sep 2016

    Location: Hamburg Area, Germany

    Responsible for the in-game animations of the 3D characters of “A Little Lost” – puzzle game. In my role I had to deal with: set a workflow and the animation style, deliver animations for most of the characters in the game. In addition, I was responsible to guide and supervise other animators.

    My first experience in game started with this cute and fun puzzle game! I was responsible to animate the little 3D creatures that help you during the game…it has been a challange to find a way to keep this high quality of animations for this type of game, where you have technical limitations (limited bones, characters interaction with the gameplay, animations in place…) but looking at the result…I can say we have done a great job! 🙂

    We’ve been brave, we wanted to keep a quality comparable to a Tv series animation, and…we won! 😉

    “A LITTLE LOST” – IN-GAME ANIMATION REEL

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  • Senior Character Animator/Layout Artist

    Company Name: RAINBOW CGISchermata 2017-08-14 a 15.48.03.png

    Dates Employed: May 2014 – Nov 2014

    Location: Rome, Italy

    Working as Animator / Layout artist on the Tv series “Mia&Me – season 2”

    Between elves and unicorns! 🙂
    I came back to Italy after the French experience and I worked for several months on the second season of this successful tv series, a Germany / Italy coproduction.

    I took care of the layouts, and I also animated the transformation of the protagonist.

    “MIA&ME” TRANSFORMATION SHOT – PROGRESSION REEL

    Mia


  • Concept / Script / Design / Art Direction / Layouts / Animation

    Personal Project

    Pitch for a TV Series for Kids “Puppet House” I developed with Emanuele Leoncilli

    “PUPPET HOUSE” – OPENING

    “PUPPET HOUSE” – APP SPOT

    “PUPPET HOUSE” – AUDITION

    Bibbia001Bibbia002


  • Senior Character Animator

    Company Name:  2D3D AnimationsSchermata 2017-08-14 a 15.59.58

    Dates Employed: Feb 2013 – Dec 2013

    Location: Angouleme, France

    Working on the Tv series “Foot2Rue Extreme”

    Moved to France for a year, in Angouleme in the region of the Charante, I worked on the most challenging (but really funny) series in my career, the 3D tv series “Foot De Rue Extreme” (produced by Télé Images Productions).
    I won the challenge with “action shots”, also a girl can animate people who play football and do a lot of other crazy acrobatic stuff! (Yeah, ’cause I was the only girl in the team^^)

    “FOOR 2 RUE EXTREME” – ANIMATION REEL

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    Here’s the fantastic ANIMATION TEAM I had the honor and the pleasure to work with, here in Angouleme.

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  • 3D Senior Character Animator / Layout Artist

    Company Name: RAINBOW CGISchermata 2017-08-14 a 15.48.03

    Dates Employed: Jun 2012 – Nov 2012

    Location: Rome, Italy

    Working on the CGI series “Winx Club – Season 5”

    One of the most funny projects I participated! Yes…the Winx 🙂 
    The Winx are a well-known successful product and, in the fifth season, it was introduced the computer graphics, that we animated! 
    In addition to the episodes, I had the pleasure and honor to animate part of the transformation Sirenix (in my opinion, the most beautiful transformation in the history of winx transformations  ^ ^) I made part of the transformation of Stella and Tecna. POWER OF TECHNOLOGY!! 😛

    “WINX 5” – PROGRESSION REEL

    “WINX 5” – IN SEQUENCE SHOTS REEL

    _winx_club_season_5Schermata 2014-01-10 a 16.27.53


  • 3D Senior Character Animator

    Company Name: RAINBOW CGI

    Dates Employed: Dec 2010 – May 2012

    Location: Rome, Italy

    Working on the project “Gladiators of Rome” Feature Film Production

    I worked on this project for 2 years! 🙂 First as a Layout Artist and later as  Character Animator. Challenging! Funny! Exciting! I grew up a lot thanks to this project! Awesome team! 2 amazing years! 🙂

    “GLADIATOR’S OF ROME” – PROGRESSION REEL

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  • 3D Senior Character Animator

    Company Name: Toposodo Schermata 2017-08-14 a 16.52.01

    Dates Employed: Apr 2008 – Oct 2008 (season 1) / Aug 2009 – May 2010 (season 2)

    Location: Pisa, Italy

    Senior animator for the tv serie “Taratabong – The World of Meloditties – Season 1 & 2”

    Full in love with Meloditties!
     
    I love this TV series! I participated to the first and the second season! 🙂
     
    Animate characters with no voice except for “music” sound was so challenging and interesting! I learned a lot, especially how to give life to characters just through eyes and “timing” and how to animate following precise beats and rhytm of the shot!
     
    LittleGossip: during the production of the second season I knew the best partner that I could meet (at work as in private life ^ ^)

    “TARATABONG” – OPENING

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  • 3D Character Animator

    Company Name: ToposodoSchermata 2017-08-14 a 16.52.01

    Dates Employed: Aug 2007 – Mar 2008

    Location: Pisa, Italy

    3D Character Animator for the tv series “Bird Squad”, Rai Fiction_Toposodo

    We never forget the first series 🙂 
     
    Here’s my first job as animator in the “pretty far” 2007, when I didn’t know that the blood of animator was flowing in me. 😛
    Thanks to this experience and the people in the studio that believed in me, I discovered my “talent”.

 

“BIRD SQUAD” – OPENING

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 And, where’s everything started… my School Diploma, the “horror” Short Movie “Rampicante – Hederae Sicarus”

That I realized in 2006 with other 2 students! (I wasn’t so confidence with animation at that time…. :D)

“RAMPICANTE- HEDERAE SICARIUS” – BLOG

“RAMPICANTE- HEDERAE SICARIUS” – SHORT MOVIE

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Spartacus – tv show


I know… this is a bit off topic 😀  but I’m watching again this amazing tv show, I just love it! Extremely intricate plot and a huuuugeeee font of reference for Actions animations! 😉

I often go to analyze some poses and actions from this show when I need some references! It’s a goldmine for this type of animations! 😛

By the way, yesterday I just had this inspiration and creativity so I’ve done this “tribute” to some of the characters and their most famous quotes!

ps. GANNICUS ♥ deserves two of them! 😀 😀 😀

I really enjoy creating this 2D sketches and comics, I have an entire blog “My life Adventures Book” where I posted some comics of real life’s adventures (most of them are in italian). It’s been a while since I posted the last one, I should add some new comics 🙂

Do you need feedback?


I know…sometimes animators are a bit shy and reluctant to show their animations but feedback are really important to improve your skill. A “fresh eye” can see what you don’t see, to have a more “general view” of the shot and can helps you to improve it where really necessary!

I really enjoy the “feedback” process! (♥)

Usually I have a quick view at the shot “Does it works?” “Did I understand what’s going on?”Could be better with just some little modifications?”

After that I got to check the Poses! I have a thing for poses 😀 I love to see the characters in natural and original posesit’s probably the step where I spent most of my time when I animate! Then I check the Timing/Spacing, the Arcs etc..

When I prepare the image reference for the feedback I always try to keep them as much clear and easy to follow as possible, I don’t want to confuse the animator….I should just help him, not make him frustrated 😛

So, have a look on the feedback I’ve created so far (based on you “colleagues” works) and if you have an animation test or a shot and you need feedback…just use the page “Your Animation”and add a link in the comments! I will provide you with a feedback in a couple of days (usually) 😉

Have FUN! 😛

#iWantToBeAnAnimator #beananimator #animation #learnanimation #animationforbeginners

In a Heartbeat – short movie


The animated short movie many animators (and not only them) were waiting for!

Hey guys! I’m really excited today ’cause I’ve seen this beautiful and touching piece of animation that I want to share with you! 🙂

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Finally, someone brought up a theme that has never been addressed so directly, so far…

Beth David and Esteban Bravo just did it, and in the more adorable and subtle way as possible.

In their animated short movie “In a Heartbeat” they follow this super cute redhair boy in an internal conflict (not so internal…actually :D) while the boy he likes is walking to school.

“A closeted boy runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams” this is the plot… and I just love it! 🙂 (from the official Facebook Page In a Heartbeat – Animated Short Film)
The idea of this little “brave” heart popping out of his chest… is just BRILLIANT!
Or, do we want to talk about the moment when the heart/boy touches his hair….. ? Beautiful…

I found this short really INSPIRATIONAL, you know…. when I see this kind of things I really believe that we do “the best job in world”
Besides this, I really loved the character design, renders and…..the MUSIC! When everything can be told with not a single word…. really well done!

So, all my respect to this two great guys and…Thanks for made me dream today! 😉
I really look forward for new projects from you! 😉

Ok, now… LET’S GO BACK TO ANIMATE!!! 😀

The creators:

EXERCISE #4 Animate a Throw


In the Lesson 08 I explained the Animation Principled “ANTICIPATION” so now, following the corresponding Tutorial 08 you could try to re-do this exercise of a character throwing an object! 😉

Tutorial #08 – How to Animate a Throw


-How to Animate a Throw-


How to Animate a Throw RECAP

In this quick tutorial I will show the main poses, the timing and the spacing to animate a character throwing an object. The tutorial is linked to the Lesson 08 “ANTICIPATION”

I’ll use Ink, the official rig of my channel! Ink has a very simple design to better focus on the poses and animation, and has this flat monochromatic texture with shoulders, chest and hip lines to helps you to create nice and appealing poses for him! 😉

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Let’s create the object he will throw away, a simple ball. We go to create the control for the ball and we parent the mesh to itSchermata 2017-08-02 a 12.10.47.png

I set the camera, with the character on a side and I create a plane to check feet position and compenetration

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We set the first pose, you can do the pose you want. In my pose he holds the ball with both the hands, he’s quite relaxed, the shoulders are rotated downward, the head is a bit rotated downward like he’s watching to the object and the feet are pretty spread, the weight of the character is more on the left foot

Let’s adjust the finger position, to avoid compenetrations and be sure that the hands are really holding the ball, so keep attention to pose each finger in good and natural pose

Now add a constraint for the ball! Select the right hand control, then the ball ctrl and create a translation and rotation constraint


Let’s create the anticipation main pose, around frame 28

The timing I’m using is just indicative, to give you an idea of the distance between a key pose and an other, but you can do it with your own timing

So, for the anticipation he will move backward with the entire body, stretching the chest, and he also moves back the right foot to balance the weight, raise the hell of the right foot (he’s really stretched in this pose, so he needs to stand on his toes)

Now just one hand holds the ball, the right one and I move it pretty backward, is not completed straight but a bit bended (try to simulate this movement yourself, you will see that the more natural pose is keeping the hand faced towards the area where you will throw it, and you will naturally move upward your shoulder)

The left hand started to move forward and it’s bended towards the body, it helps to maintain the balance and gain more energy


Now let’s move forward in the timeline for the extreme throw pose, around frame 42

The body moves and roates forward. The weight of the character is on the left foot, but the right foot in the air helps him to balance the weight and contrast the power of the throw that moved him forward. Create a nice and pretty relaxed pose for the right foot, with the toes pointing down.

The right hand is now straight and stretched in front of the character, the left arm moves backward, and it’s still bended at this point

The head is rotate upward, contrasting the rotation of the chest, he’s following the ball movement


Let’s add an other little anticipation, around frame 8 with the very small movement upward with the hip and the hands, just before the big backward movement (pose 28)

Practically, we go to create an anticipation of an other anticipation!


Now we add an important breakdown, around frame 15, when he starts to move backward, here we need to slow down the spacing between the pose at frame 8 and the pose at frame 28

The body starts to move down and backward, the left hand is not touching the ball anymore but it’s still pretty close to it, the chest is squashed and rotated forward, and the right foot started to slide backward, I keep it flat on the ground, I just overlap a bit the toes that moves offsetted by 1 frame


Let’s add an other important key to slow down before the pose at frame 28
(we need to keep this pose longer) so let’s add a in-between approximately 5/6 frames before the pose at frame 28

On this new in-between, frame 22, the body is already stretched and ready for the throw (with a pose really close to the pose at frame 28)

So the big movement and change in position is between frame 15 and frame 22


Now we slow down again just after the pose at 28

Add an in-between at frame 34 where he just starts to move a bit up and forward , very small change


On frame 39 he continues the movement up and forward BUT the chest is still rotated backward

Bend backward the right arm so that the hand with the ball don’t moves too much, maintain a position closed to the position of frame 28 (use deformers for the arms and create a very dynamic pose)

The right foot starts to move upward in the air and the hip in this transition moves a bit upward as well


Now we need to add two poses at the end for the SETTLE
On frame 46 the body continues to move and rotate forward, the right hand goes down, the left hand continues the movement upward, and the same for the right foot


On the last frame the body starts to go back, the right foot to go down and forward, and we have a follow trought of head, forearms and wrists


Now that we have all the poses we can switch the curves in stepped to see the result (the ball is still attached to the hand, but let’s ignore it for the moment, we will animate the ball in a second time) throw_BLK


We can now proceed with REFINE, we change again the curves in auto tangent and let’s polish the path of arms and the right foot

We start with the right arm: if you create a motion trail, you will see that the path of action of the arm movement is not so nice, we can do better then this so we go to add some poses for the arms in order to create a nicer path

Continue to polish your curves and when the body is done you can move to the ball

On the frame where you want to turn off the constraint on the ball (frame 41 for me) add a key on the ball control and it will create a blend parent attribute: set it to 0 and add a key

On the frame before (frame 40) add an other key on this attribute and set it at 1Schermata 2017-08-02 a 11.31.23.png

Now the constrain is active up to frame 40, after that you can animate the ball

On frame 41 we move the ball forward following a linear path, it must be already pretty distance from the hand, with a very fast spacingSchermata 2017-08-02 a 11.31.34.png

Add a stretch on it, then move forward in the timeline and place the ball so that it goes out of the screen in very few frames, 3 or 4 frames, keeping the stretch!Schermata 2017-08-02 a 11.31.48.png


That’s it, this is my final resul! 😉Throw_Refine.gifIf you want to re create this throw animation you can do the Exercise #4  following the steps of this tutorial and send me your animation (adding a link in the comments)  to receive a feedback !

Lesson #8 – ANTICIPATION


A new Lesson available! This time talking about ANTICIPATION and the different types of animations that need it! 😉

In the Lesson I’m using my NEW “cute and super cool” (♥) personal and official channel’s rig INK!!! 😛


Anticipation RECAP

One of your first goal, when your are creating an animation, should always be to make something that is perfectly readable! You can create awesome poses and have a great concept, but…if you don’t make it clear and readable… would be impossible to catch the sense of what you are trying to communicate!Anticipation01.png

Anticipation02.png

that’s why we use ANTICIPATION! That, as the word suggest, is nothing more than the “preparation to the action”!

We can haveAnticipation03.png

let’s see some example:Anticipation03b.pngwhen the movement of a body (or an object) prepares for an action

Example #1: if a character throws something far, he would prepares the action by moving back the arm with the object (preparing for the throw)

In this way he will have enough energy but this movement also prepares the users for what will happen. From this anticipation, you already can imagine that he will throw the object!

Example #2: a character running out of the screen, is made more readable thanks to an anticipation of the character moving in the opposite direction and raising one leg!

This helps the user to read a very fast action. Without this anticipation…. the user could have some problems to read the scene!

Example #3: or you can use it for a very cartoon effects…. or for something more realistic, with a much more soft anticipation!


Anticipation09.png

Another way to use an Anticipation is to create a funny effects!
Example: if you see the same run anticipation of the run we’ve seen before, you imagine that he will run away super fast…but…adding a pretty slow run just after this big anticipation…you will create an unexpected result!Run_Fun.gif


Anticipation10Or… you can use it to direct the attention to something that is going to happen or leading the eye in the right screen area.

Example #1: if your character is standing in the middle of the screen and something is going to enter from the right, if you don’t add an anticipation, the users would probably miss the first part (when the second element is entering in the screen) ’cause you are looking at the character in the center.

But…if you add an anticipation of the character looking on the right your attention would be re-directed in the right area, just in time to better follow the action!

Example #2: in case the character is going to take something, a fast look at this object prepares the users to what he’s going to do

Or you can use the anticipation with the hand, holding it in the air for few frames, this is an other way to communicate to the user that he’s going to take the glass!


Anticipation15.png

Example: thanks to the anticipation you can better feel the weight of the character in two different jumps.

In the one on the left he makes a soften anticipation cause he’s pretty light.

In the one on the right he’s bringing an heavy backpack so he needs more energy for the jump, he needs a stronger anticipation, bending and keeping this pose a bit more


Anticipation17.png

depends on the action!

Usually with fast action or big change in position we need more anticipation!

Like for the fast run or the cartoon one, both this examples has big anticipation, and a very fast action just after them!
Or, an angry reaction like, a character smashing a door, would require a big anticipation to enphasize the action and after, the door is closed in very few frames


Anticipation20.pngSome Anticipation must be really subtle!

Example #1: an hand that is going to grab a light object would have an almost imperceptible anticipation! The hand just goes upwards for few frames before going down to grab the apple

Example #2: in a simple take we have a little anticipation, a very small movement with the character moving upwards before the take, few frames of anticipation, is there but it’s not so visible


Anticipation24

Example: the door settle doing little movements back and forward in few framesAnticipation25


Anticipation26.png

You absolutely don’t need an anticipation for every single movements of your character…with practice and experience you will get used to it and you will naturally know when an action need it, as I said, usually we use it before big and or fast action, but also to make the movements more fluid and readable! 😉


Now that you know how to use ANTICIPATION you can follow the Tutorial #08 “How to Animate a Throw” and try to do de Exercise #4 following the steps of the tutorial! 😉