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! 😉

Schermata 2017-08-02 a 11.26.56.png

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

Schermata 2017-08-02 a 11.27.26


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 !

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2 thoughts on “Tutorial #08 – How to Animate a Throw

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