5 DO’S and DON’T in Animation – Part 1
In this Tip video I’ll show you 5 Things that I really don’t like to see in Animation! 🙂
In this Tip video I’ll show you 5 Things that I really don’t like to see in Animation! 🙂
Let’s continue with the Principles of Animation … let’s see how to smooth our animation with “Slow In & Slow Out”! 😉
(In the lesson I used the rig “Pete” by Long Winter Members)
Slow In & Slow Out RECAP
The Slow In and Slow Out principle or Ease In and Ease Out is so important but also really easy to understand and put in practice!
The concept is:
an object doesn’t have a constant speed during a movement. It will have an acceleration at the beginning and a deceleration at the end
So, will starts slower, SLOW IN, increase the speed in between, and ends slower before to stop SLOW OUT
To add a Slow in and Slow out to a movement we need to change the spacing of the in-betweens at the start and the end
If we have an object that moves from A to B and the tangent is linear, so we don’t’ have any variation in the speed, we would have a stiff and mechanical movement
But…if we have the same movement, but we just change the position of the in-betweens near the first key pose and the last one, the movement result more soft, smoothed, and realistic
Always remember that we are doing cartoon, so to have a more appealing animation, we can also exaggerate this principle!
This doesn’t mean that you have to encrase the timing of your animation to have more in-betweens at the start and the end. It’s always based on the speed of your action. In a faster action you will have few frames but you still can manage them in order to have a slow in and slow out
Changing the curve in the Graph Editor is very easy to achieve the result we need, using a FLAT tangents we already have a smoothness on the extremes
if we use the SPLINE tangents we can reach the same result using the handles
We can also add an in-between near the first pose, and an other near the final pose, and move them on a value closer to the extremes, until you don’t reach your desiderata effect
When you adjust the handles don’t create this type of curve, where it goes on a higher (or lower) value compared to the last pose value otherwise you will have a backward and forward movement. So, if you just want to smooth the forward movement, the curve should be like this one below
look how smoothed is the movement on the two extremes. SLOW FAST SLOW
with the same key poses and timing, but with a different spacing, we would have a linear movement, that is really unrealistic
As you can see in the graph editor , I created a Loop animation so I have the two poses at the beginning and the end with the same position, and an other extreme in the middle with the pendulum in the opposite direction, in this case the tangent is LINEAR, that’s why we have this stiff effect, the interpolation has a uniform velocity, so all the in-betweens have the same distance between each other
…just switching the same curve in FLAT, the spacing of the in-between change and the movement is more realistic
If we create the same movement with a character, the principle doesn’t change, we will always have a movement that start slow, takes speed and slow down again
So … use this principle, with all its variations, for your objects and characters animations! It’s easy and quick to achieve and your animations will change a lot! 😉
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…
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.
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
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! 😉
I had some free time last month so I attended for the first time the 11 Second Club Competition 🙂
Time of work: 3 days
Rig: Eleven RIg http://elevenrig.blogspot.de/
Audio from the movie “Ghostbusters” 2016
This are some of the animations I created for a Mobile Game (Maya-Unity)
I loved this project and this little cute creatures were really funny to animate! 😛
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:
In this Tutorial I show my personal workflow to create this Female Walk Cycle (in place)
Rig: The Eleven Rig http://elevenrig.blogspot.de/
“Female Walk Cycle” – RECAP (INTERMEDIATE)
In general, before you start your cycle, you need to decide what type of walk you want to create, the style, the timing, the mood of the characters etc…
Make a research, shoot yourself, watch other walks, make some test. There’re infinite ways to walk and it’s important to chose the right one for your character!
In this tutorial I show you a very fluid and sinuous walk (I made this choice ’cause I wanted play with overlap) 😉
This are the KEY poses for this walk, focusing just on the HIP and LEGS (and below the hip positions in the in-betweens)
You can see the 2 CONTACT POSE with opposite foot leading (the foot forward), the DOWN position with the extreme DOWN pose of the hip, the PASSING and the UP with the extreme UP hip position.
Before start to pose the character, I usually hide the parts of the body I don’t want to see for the moment, I will start posing the legs and the hip, so I temporarily hide all the other faces
To do that, just create a new material (a lambert) and make it transparent, then select the mesh and the faces you want to hide and assign them this transparent material
After that, I also assign 2 different colors to legs and arms to better visualize left and right
We start from the CONTACT POSE. Use a SIDE VIEW and move a bit downward the body, then select the leading foot (in this case is the right one) and move it forward (the leg is straight, not bended) and rotate the foot upward so that just the heel touches the ground.
Move back the left foot and with the foot rool pose it so that the heel starts to leave the ground
In the FRONT VIEW move on X the feet so that they are almost aligned in the center of the body, one in front of the other
Then we copy the same pose at the end of our cycle (frame 31) and in the middle (frame 16) we add an other key, but this time we mirror the pose of the feet (now the left foot is the leading one)
To mirror the pose: go on frame 1, select the right foot ctrl and right-click on the timeline and select COPY, then select the left foot ctrl and move on frame 16 and right-click…PASTE. Then go in the channel box and change the + with the – (or viceversa) for the axis that are opposite for the other foot (translation X, rotation y and Z)
Again, go on frame 1, select the left foot ctrl, COPY, select the right foot ctrl and go on frame 16, PASTE, and mirror values. Do the same for the knee ctrl!
Now select all the ctrls and in the graph editor be sure to have the tangents in SPLINE (or Auto), then select just the feet ctrls and switch to LINEAR the part where the feet slide on the ground
At frame 3 set at 0 all the rotations of the right foot (now it touches completely the ground), move downward the body (here it reaches his lowest position)
On the left foot increase the values of the foot rool so that now it’s alsmost detached from the ground, it touches it just with the toes
Both the legs now are bended!
At frame 8 we create the passing pose, the moment when both the legs are aligned in the middle of the center of gravity, the left foot is moving forward and the right foot…backward
The body started to go UP again, the right foot is still complately flattened on the ground and the left foot is in the air (rotated downward and translated and rotated a bit externally)
Keep attention to balance the body in this pose. The right foot must be perfectly on the center of gravity (’cause all the weigth is on this foot now)
On frame 12, move the body upward (this will be his highest position), the left foot is almost forward, pointing upward and the leg is a bit bended
The right foot is flattened on the ground but the heel started to detach from the ground a bit
Let’s copy and mirror the DOWN (frame 3), PASSING (frame 8) and UP (frame 12) poses on the other half of the cycle: mirrored DOWN (frame 18), mirrored PASSING (frame 23), mirrored UP (frame 27)
Switch ALL the curves in STEPPED and make a playblast!
Now we can add the HIP movement! Funny part 😉
In the contact pose (frame 1), the weight of the character is on both the feet, but we translate a bit the hip on the left, and rotate it towards the left foot on Y and a bit on the left on Z so that we will have a big change of rotation of the hip between down and passing pose!
Then we skip for a moment the down pose, and we move directly on frame 8 (passing pose) and here we have a completed change of the weight on the righ foot, so we translate the hip on the right and we rotate it on Y and Z towards the right foot (this is the extreme hip pose on the right side)
Now add a key on the down pose where you just have to slow down the spacing between contact and down, so rotate the hip a bit on the left so that is more similar to the position at frame 1! In this way we have a slow spacing between contact and down, and a speed spacing between down and passing!
Do the same for the other stride. Move on frame 23 and create the extreme hip pose on the left side (copy the pose of frame 1 and increase the translation on the left and both the rotation of Y and Z)
Now you have an interpolation between frame 8 and frame 23 where the hip moves from right to left, add a key on frame 12 and move it to frame 16 (in order to slow down the spacing between the passing and the contact position and speed it up between contact and passing of the following step – between frame 16 and 23)
Now add a key again on frame 12 (just keep the interpolation)
On frame 31 just copy the pose of frame 1 and then add a key on frame 27
That’s it! So…the big change of position for the hip happens very fast (3 frames) between the contact – passing pose (this makes a more “sashay” effect)
When you are happy with the result…go forward with the REFINE! 😉
Switch the curves in STEPPED and create a playblast! 😉
Start refining what you animated so far, legs and body. In the graph editor switch again all the tangents in SPLINE (or AUTO) except for the translation Z of the feet in the part where they slide on the ground, that must be LINEAR
After that, cycle ALL the CURVES (pre and post infinity) and adjust the transition at the start and the end, using flat tangents (when you have just two extremes keys) or using the handles. REMEMBER to adjust the tangents of the first and last keys together at the same time (they must be the same)
Select the body (COG) ctrl
and add a small movement left and right: on frame 1 move it a bit on the right (copy the same value on frame 31) and on frame 16 move it a bit on the left. In the graph editor select the X axis and make the first and last keys FLAT
Then, keep open the graph editor and select the traslation Y and polish the curves
The result should be like this:
At this point I just animate 1 leg and then I copy/past the animation on the other one (but if you prefer you can animate both the legs separately to have less symmetry in the walk). During the blocking is important to have both the legs animated to check timing and poses but now…you can hide one leg and animate just the other one! 😉
On frame 2 adjust the right foot and make it flat (set at 0 all the rotations) and animate the toes cntrl that must point upward (it doesn’t touch the ground yet)Now animate the TOES (offsetted from the foot movement) for the entire range of animation (ex. when the foot moves upward the toes point downward and viceversa)
If you have it, use DEFORMERS ctrls to adjust arcs and legs shapes! They will help to smooth your animation 😉
Now clean the path of your foot movement (you can see my tutorial on “How to REFINE a shot” minute 5.40 where I also explain the use of motion trails to adjust the arc!)
You have to create a nice, rounded and smooth arc for your feet! 😉
Also, you can use the knee deformer to avoid POP result during contact and down pose!
The KNEE should have a smoothed movement just like the feet but sometimes you could have a bad effects due to the movement of foot and body, in this case a knee deformer can helps you (animate it frame by frame during the contact and down positions)
Now you can polish the curves of the foot:
When you are happy with the result, copy/paste the animation on the other foot!
Remember to past the animation of ALL the controls you used for the first foot (foot, toes, knee, deformers etc…)
To copy the animation: select one control at the time, example: select right foot ctrl, in the timeline select the entire range of animation, right-click COPY –> select the same ctrl on the left foot, point on frame 1 and right-click PASTE
Do the same for ALL the controls and after that you should have the feet with the same animation at the same time (they should move together)
Select ALL the controls used for the left leg and, in the Graph editor, select all the curves and drag them forward in the timeline (the first keys should be at frame 16, exactly in the middle of the cycle)
Check you animation, does it works? Ok, now go back in the graph editor, with the same ctrls selected of the left foot, and add a key at frame 31, select all the keys after this one (31 included) and drag them backword up to frame 1, now copy the keys at frame 1 to frame 31! That’s it!
You can watch my tutorial “Run Cycle” minute 10.56 where I show how to copy/paste animation from a foot to an other! 😉
Now polish the curves of the HIP ctrl and… you should have something like this 😉
Chest controls (in my case I have 3 ctrls)
I use the upper ctrl to add a squash and stretch (I can use the other 2 just for rotation)
Use the rotation Y to add a visible Up and Down, the chest should squash with a bit of delay from the Up and Down of the body: with the Low extreme position between the Down Pose and the Passing Pose (around frame 5 or 6) and the Highest extreme position between the Up pose and the Contact pose (around frame 14/15)
To do that: add a key at frame 1/16/31, then on frame 8 translate a bit downward the chest, and on frame 14 a bit upward. Then copy the pose at frame 8 on frame 23, and copy the pose of frame 14 on frame 29. Now select the handles of the first and last key and smooth the transition
Now we add a bit of Rotation on Y
select all the 3 chest ctrls together and on frame 1 (with the right leg leading) rotate the chest on the left (copy this pose on frame 31), on frame 16 (with the left leg leading) rotate the chest on the right
Offset 2 of this controls, select the one in the middle, select all the keys and move them forwards in the timeline by 8 frames (so now the first keys is on frame 8), then add a key on frame 31, copy this key on frame 1 and delate the key on frame 38. Now select the handles of the first and last keys to smooth the transition
Then select the upper control and move all the keys forwards (so that the first keys is on frame 16) then copy the key on frame 31 and paste it on frame 1 and delate the keys on frame 46!
So now the upper part of the chest is rotated opposite to the leading leg!
Now use the same process to rotate the chest on X, a small rotation back and forth. You can use just the upper ctrl of the chest: add a key on the rot X on frame 1/16/31, then on frame 8 rotate a bit the upper chest forwards, and on frame 14 a bit backwards, then copy the keys on frame 8 and past it on the other stride (frame 23) and the copy/paste the key of frame 14 on the frame 29. In the graph editor select the handles of the first and last keys and adjust them to smooth the curve, the adjust also the handle of the frame 16
Just as for the legs, you can animate one arm and then copy/past and mirror the animation on tje other one (or, especially for the arms, you can animate both of them separately, I always suggest to add a bit of variations in the arms movement! 😉
The arm are in FK, and you have 3 controls: arm, forearm, wrist + the shoulder ctrl
Before animate the arm, pose the fingers in a natural and relaxed pose (avoid rigid pose, ore fingers too separated between each other, or “paddle hand” effect)
First of all we set the 2 main key poses in the contact pose (frame 1/16/31).
The arms always move in the opposite direction of the foot on the same side
On frame 1 we have the right foot forward, so we move back the arm (the 3 controls) and also the shoulder (for the shoulder you can also use a bit of translation back and forth)
Choose a natural and armonic pose of the arm, use deformers to adjust it or make it a bit more rounded and “soft”
When you have done with the first pose, copy all the 3 ctrls + the shoulder (and the deformers if you used them) on frame 31
On frame 16 create the opposite pose, with the arm rotated forward (and the shoulder also translated a bit forward)
Now create the passing pose (around frame 8) and, it depends on the pose you choosed for you arm, in my case I keep the arm straight during the passing pose and I break the joint a bit (rotating the forearm and the wrist backward and using the deformers)
Now select the forearm and offsett it by 1/2 frames from the arm
Then polish the curve in the graph editor and do what you have done for the chest to keep the animation in the range of 31 frames
Select the wrist and now offset it by 1/2 frames from the forearm this time (add some in-betweens to overlap)
Then polish the curve in the graph editor and again, keep the animation in the range of 31 frames
When you have done, copy/paste mirror on the other arm or, as I said before, animate it separately!
Let’s move to the head! First of all, add a nice and relaxed expression to the character, keep attention to the eyes look direction, we need the feeling that the character is looking at something to keep it alive
For the head we just go to add a small X rotation back and forth, following the back and forth movement of the chest: frame 5/6 extreme forward rotation, frame 13/14 extreme backward rotation
I also add a bit of animation to the hair, this rig doesn’t has hair ctrls, so I directly animated the mesh so…is something you can do just for your animation test but NOT IN PRODUCTION 😀
In this particular animation (due to the character design) is interesting to add a nice and exaggerated animation of the brest (just to have more overlap!)
We can translate and rotate them in order to create a circular movement + an Up and Down (use motion trail if needed) and animated them offsetted by 1/2 frames! 😉
So, don’t be shy and send me your walk cycle adding a link to your video in the page “YOUR ANIMATIONS” to receive my feedback! 😉
A quick animation test I made using Eleven Rig elevenrig.blogspot.com/
Time of work: 4 / 5 hours
having fun testing Steel (one of the rig from the Cash Pack) by Long Winter Studio longwintermembers.com/
This time I wanted to try something different 🙂 not easy but really funny to do!
Time of work: 3 days
Rig: Mery project meryproject.com
For my first approach with this great rig “Mery” I chose the song “Let it go” from Frozen movie. Thanks for watching!
Work Time: 4 days
Original Song: “Let it go” written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and performed by Idina Menzel
Rig: Mery from meryproject.com
Rig: Dog Rig by Ram Krish creativecrash.com/maya/downloads/character-rigs/c/dog
Chiara Porri – Character Animator / Work Time: 1 days
Here’s some of my shots from the Animated Movie “Gladiators of Rome”. 2012 Produced by Rainbow/Paramount
I was responsable for Layouts and Animation.
Shot01 – “Birds” responsable for animation. Time of work: 14 days
Sequence02 – “Timo & Diana” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 7 days (roughly)
Sequence03 – “Timo & the Minotaur” responsable for layouts and animations. Time of work: 15 days (roughly)
Shot04 – “Minotaur Stopping” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 4 days (roughly)
Shot05 – “Cassio Transformation” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 7 days (roughly)
Shot06 – “Cassio Push” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 3 days (roughly)
Shot07 – “Cassio & Flavia” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 10 days (roughly)
Shot08 – “Baby Gladiator” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 3 days (roughly)
Sequence09 – “Cassio & Flavia” responsable for layouts and animations. Time of work: 15 days (roughly)
Shot10 – “Diana” responsable for layout and animation. Time of work: 2 days (roughly)
Shot11 – “Timo & Chirone” responsable for animation. Time of work: 4 days (roughly)
Here is my Animation Reel with the new stuff I’ve done in the last 2 years (and also some older animations).
– “A Little Lost” – in-game animations for puzzle game. Goodgames Studios (2016). 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. Quote: 1/2 cycles per day
Acting/Action Shots & Cycles (“Let it Go”, Dog Cycle, Pole dance and Walk Cycle) personal projects and animation test
Tv series: “Foot2Rue Extreme”, 2013 tv series – responsible of Animation
(automatic lip synch – personal quote of 10/15 seconds per day)
Feature Film – “Gladiators of Rome”, 2011 featured – responsible of Animation/Layout
Tv Series: “Winx 5”, 2012 tv series – responsible of Animation/Layout