After the Introduction to the Principles of Animation in the Lesson 04 I will now explain Timing & Spacing using the example of a Bouncing Ball and the Animation of a Character Turn! 🙂
In this Lesson I used this lovely Rig “Alya” by Eyad Hussein https://eyad.tv/home/
It’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_registr…
Timing and Spacing RECAP
In this lesson we will see the main principles Timing and Spacing A GOOD TIMING makes the difference and can really give an edge to your animation!
As I said in the Lesson 04, the TIMING is the speed and the rhythm of your animation, how many frames you use to make a movement, the SPACING is the variation of the speed during this movement.
- If you have to reproduce a fast movement you need less frame
- A slower movement….more frames
Example of different type of ball, a RUBBER ball, a BALLON and a BOWLING ball, with their different timing!
The ball falls from point A to point B. It takes 10 frames to fall on the ground, this is the timing!
this movement is generated by the gravity that push the ball on the ground
as it get closer to the ground it has an acceleration due to the decrease of air resistance
So we have more frames when the ball is high in the air and less frames before the contact. This is the SPACING, the variation of the speed between point A and B.
After the contact we have a reverse of the acceleration, now the ball is pushed upward and it lift from the ground, moving fast at first and then, when it reach the high point it slow down its movement due to the opposite forces, the gravity that pull it downward and its own speed going upward
As it get closer again to the ground it accelerate again and we have al the consecutive bounces. Any bounce lose speed and force. The timing slow down at any bounce so do the high of the bounces.An other physic phenomenon that happens during the bounces, is the
The ball deforms its volume during the bounce. Stretching before and after the contact and squashing during the contact! Why? cause The gravity push the ball against the surface causing its deformation.
This is reality, in animation we can exaggerate to reach a more cartoon effect!
When the ball bounces moving forward, it follows an elliptical path in the air, an ARC!
This gives to the bounces a natural feeling. The forward movement starts linear and slow down in the last part, before the ball stops its movement.
The choice of the timing is finalized to make the performance perfectly readable and interesting, thats why is also important to don’t create all the beats and accents with the same disance, intencity and speed! Add variations in the timing and rhythm to make your animation more interesting!
A good tip is to use a stopwatch to time yourself doing the shot, in order to have a realistic reference to start with and to see how your body reacts to different actions and how you reach a certain position or how fast you do it
This is my method, I always “see” the animation in my mind first, so that when I start to animate I already have clear in mind what to do and HOW to do it
A quick example of timing applied to character animation: a character that turn its head.
She turns fast cause she heard something, we have few frames… it’s a very fast movement
But, if we use more frames, we can have a totally different turn, she’s now very relaxed, and she’s just looking around
So, the same action, a simple turn, but the different amount of frames makes the two animations completely different
An other thing that we can manage during the turn, is the spacing. When we create the first and last pose the software creates the linear interpolation between this two posesNot very interesting, right?
But, let’s put into practice an other principles SLOW IN AND SLOW OUT, if we slow down the spacing in the last part, creating an in-between close to the final one, and we do the same at the beginning…
and…we also add a moving hold at the end, so the movement doesn’t freeze but continues to move just a little bit, enough to be perceived by the human eye and if we also add some details like the overlap of the hair…
much better! 🙂
Let’s do the same with the slower turn, at the beginning we have just the two key poses, and the linear interpolation then we add a breakdown, pretty close to the first pose where she also makes an half blink
the slow in and the slow out
the moving hold at the endhair overlap and…
…now the two turns have a much more interesting spacing and the character looks more alive and appealing!
after that I suggest you to create the two exercise based on this lesson
In the comments add a link to your exercises and I’ll provide you a feedback! 😉