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All animators must learn to walk before they can run. In 2D Character Animation, industry expert George Maestri teaches the basic principles every animator must know to build a foundation for more complex work. These principles are relevant regardless of software used or animation style. George explains how good animation depends on a firm knowledge of the laws of motion, which inform the principles of animation. He teaches the basics of creating characters, squash and stretch, pose-to-pose animation, walking and running, track reading, and dialogue animation. He also shows how to use After Effects and Flash to apply the tools learned in the course. Exercise files accompany this course.
Let's go ahead and start animating a run. A run is very similar to a walk in the way that it's animated and so we can use a lot of the same tips and tricks we used with the walk for the run. Now, we're also using the same character to animate this run that I did from the walk and let's take a quick look at him. He is actually composed of individual parts and I can turn these on and off and you can see that. And this is just going to make it a lot easier to manage the character as we animate him. Now before I start animating the run, I do want to set up a base line.
And what this is, is just a line drawn across the bottom of the screen and this gives me a straight line over which to move the feet so that way his feet move in a straight line. It's basically the ground plane that he is running on. So let's go ahead and start animating this run. Now I am going to do this in more of a pose-to-pose sort of animation rather than animate it a part at a time. So I am going to set up the very first pose of this character, which will be the extended position. This is the position of the character right before he takes off on his leap and remember that a run is a series of leaps.
So I am going to go ahead and first I am going to start with the hips, and I am going to go ahead and move those up just a little bit because he is going to be leaping off and I want to get a good extension there. And then I am going to go down to the left leg and I am going to get that ready to take off. This is the leg that's going to be bent, so I am going to go ahead and rotate this leg and I am going to go ahead and move it up into the body here and I want to get a really nice tight high knee on that.
So that needs to be really high and ready to take off. That's probably the most important part of what's happening with this leg here. So I just want to get that knee nice and high, and then I am going to move down to the foot and just go ahead and place that under the leg here and maybe rotate that up just a little bit. So I am getting a nice high knee and the foot is ready to take off. Now let's go ahead and move on to the right leg. I am going to start with the right foot and I am going to move this foot back and I am actually going to move it back pretty far.
In fact, I might even overextend it just a little bit because I really want to get a good stretch on this leg. I really want to get a strong pose, and so by putting that foot pretty far back, I am going to enforce this leg to really give a nice arc here. In fact, I want to look at this arc at the back and then want to try and get that foot pretty far back there. Now, all I have to do is take that leg and get that to match. Now one thing you'll notice is that by putting this character into such an extreme position that this leg isn't long enough to match up.
In fact, if I rotate it back there, you can see how that leg just doesn't quite reach. So what we're going to do is I am actually going to do some stretching. I am actually going to stretch his leg just a little bit and then rotate it and try and get that into position there. So again, I am trying to make this leg about as long as possible so that gives it a much better stretch. So let's go ahead and try and get that in place there. Now, the last thing is that this foot here really needs to bend up because what the character is doing is he is pushing off of the ball of his foot, off of his toes.
So I need those toes firmly planted on the ground. So what I am going to do with this foot is I am going to do a little bit of shape animation. Now you can do this a number of ways, depends on the software that you are using. And if you don't want to do actual shape animation, you can certainly just create a second joint in the foot, so you can actually bend the foot at the toe. So I am going to go ahead and just move this foot up and just give a nice bend here.
So now you can see how this toe is planted and I've got a nice arc to the foot here, so we can see that the heel is off the ground but the toe is still planted and that's the most important part of what is going on here with the foot. So now that I have the pose pretty much set up, I want to add one more guideline. So I am going to go ahead and turn this line on here and I am going to position it right at the back of the heel. Now what this is going to do is it's going to give me guideline for how far back the left foot will go when the character runs.
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