Tutorial #06 – Animate an Head Take

-Animate an Head Take-

Learn how to animate an Head Take in two variations, a soft take and one more cartoony! 😉

This tutorial is connected to the Lesson 07 where I explain the principles of SQUASH and STRETCH!

In the Tutorial I used the “Eleven Rig”eleven3

“Eleven Rig”

After the tutorial I suggest you do do the Exercise#3 “Animate an Head Take”Exercise_003

Tutorial #05 – Animate a Character Turn

-Animate a Character Turn-

Learn how to animate a Character Turn in two different Timing, Fast and Slow! 🙂

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 “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…


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


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!! 😀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, decreasing  in height and increasing in width 14.png


between frame 3  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-between  around frame 20. We  slow down the spacing, at this point the head almost reached the final position


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 14  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! 😉

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 bounce  12 frames – 10 height

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

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

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

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

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

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

4th bounce 1 frames (+ 1 to go on the ground)  / 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.


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!


Ref_Run Cycle

Run Cycle Tutorial recap and TIPS! 😉

here the Tutorial

Before start…take your time to plan the Run and chose the style.

  • Which type of run do you want to create?
  • Where’s he/she going?
  • Why?

Follow the design of the character: this can guide you to make your run more appealing and interesting!   Be creative!!! 🙂

Decide the Speed of your run, make some test during the blocking to find the best speed!
When you calculate the length of the shot consider that you have to sum the tow step, plus one frame at the end that is just a duplicate of the first one, so:

  1 step frames + Second step frames + 1 frame

Start the Blocking with the main poses:

run_021- Straight Leg (sx foot)
3- Down
5- Push
8- Up
12- Straight Leg (dx foot)

run_03.png1- Straight Leg (sx foot) the leading leg is straight forward but doesn’t touch the ground yet. The right leg is behind in the air.

run_04.png3- Down translate down the COG, the left leg is flat on the ground and starts to slide backward. The right leg start to pass forward.

run_05.png5- Push Translate Up the body, the left leg is behind, bend the foot that is close to leave the ground. The right leg is almost in front.

run_06.png8- Up Push a bit more Up the body. The left leg is behind in the air and the right leg is pretty high in the air, bended, in front of the character.


Speed UP the Spacing between the Straight Leg pose and the Down pose, then Slow Down between the Push and the following Straight Leg pose, the result will be a sort of “pause” in the air, and the run will result more snappy and cartoon.

spacing_armdx1spacing_totalRefine the animation

  • Feet Refine:  in the Graph Editor adjust the curves and switch in Linear the part where the feet touch the ground and in Spline when they are in the air.

z_curves_foot.pngBend the feet and the Toes


Keep attention to the arcs of the feet (use motion trail if necessary)!!!


Here’s the final Curves of the foot on Z:

Here’s the final Curves of the UP and Down of the COG and the Chest Refine:

Tutorial #3 Run Cycle

–  Run Cycle – Tutorial –

Let’s see how to create a run cycle! 😉
Video tutorial created with the Rig: Steel by Long Winter Members Long Winter Member

here other animations I made with this Rig:


Run Cycle Tutorial

I’m working on this new tutorial based on this RUN CYCLE made with:  Steel Rig


Female Walk CURVES & Graph Editor

Here’s the main Curves for Feet / COG / Hip / Chest, showed in the Graph Editor,
based on the “Walk Cycle” I posted in the previous Tutorial ( Walk Cycle Tutorial)

  • Leg / Foot CURVESleg_ctrlfoot_ctrl
  • COG CURVES cog_ctrlcog_ctrl
  • Hip CURVES hip_ctrl


  • Chest CURVES




Tutorial #2 Female Walk Cycle

– Female Walk Cycle – Workflow Tutorial –

In this Tutorial I show my personal workflow to create this Female Walk Cycle (in place)

Software: Maya
Rig: The Eleven Rig http://elevenrig.blogspot.de/



Soon I will post the video tutorial based on this female walk cycle I did some times ago (2 days of work) and I will show you my job step by step! 😉

for the cycle I used the Eleven RIg




Hotkeys & Shortcuts_01


REF_Maya Interface_03





I like to present: ELEVEN RIG

I suggest you to download this FREE Rig, the Eleven Rig, ’cause I found it pretty easy to animate (I would just improve the facial controls and blendshapes) and have some nice possibility to customize it. The rig is well done and allow you to create both realistic and extremely cartoon/squashy animation! 🙂eleven3

Eleven Rig – Official Blog

You can chose the gender:eleven1you can customize the head (scale, hair/eyebrow style, add beard or mustache and change the eyes color)eleven2and from the Root control, you can customize the body proportion! 😉eleven3you also have some nice helpfull extra controls like the SQUASH and STRETCH for the head and some cool deformers for arms and legs! Have fun! 🙂eleven4

REF_Maya Interface_02


you can change the display mode of your objects in the scene pressing 1,2,3,4,5,6, or 7 on your keyboard. (You can also change it from the menu Shading)display2

REF_Maya Interface_01

How to Move in the VIEW SCENE

here the keyboard shortcuts to translate, rotate and zoom in your scene:02sceneviewcommand

Tutorial #1 Maya Animation Interface


This is a very Basic tutorial about the main tools and the Maya interface for animators.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnE8cyC_644

Here you can easly donwload the last Maya TRIAL VERSION (free for 30 days) to start to do some test and simple animations! DOWNLOAD the TRIAL HERE

(the video is splitted in 4 videos)
You can find the following topics (in the descriptions of each video I added the specific time in the video for that chapter):

Part 1:
– Scene View
– Cameras
– Outliner
– Hotkeys!  F
– Time Slider
– Animation Preferences
– Playback Controls

Part 2:
– Range Slider
-Channel box
– Axis
– Import Rig
– Show Menu
– Selection Mask
– Manipulators
– Set keys
– HotKeys! UNDO (Z)
– Auto Key

Part 3:
– Playblast
– Display Settings
– Layer Editor

Part 4:
– Graph Editor
– Timeslider_part 2 (Manage Keys)
– Import Sound