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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.
Once we have this first pose in place, we can now work through the other three poses in order to animate the run. But before we start laying down any keyframes, we need to understand the timing of the run. Now, this run is going to be animated at 8 frames per step for a total of 16 frames for the cycle. Now this is a little bit quicker than the 12 frames per step we used in the walk and it will give us a nice smooth jog. You can certainly animate the run faster or a little bit slower depending upon the character and the requirements of the scene.
So let's go ahead and turn on the timeline so you can see what frames we are at and let's get started. So the first part of the character I want to pose is the hips. So let's go ahead and scrub over to Frame 2. What's happening at this second pose? Well, the second pose is the extended position. This is where the character is taking his leap, where he is flying through the air in the middle of the run. This is where both feet are off the ground. He is at his highest point. He is actually in the air. So let's go ahead and move his body up.
Now once we have the body up, we can pretty much see where the legs are going to go. So I am going to go ahead and take the right leg, move it up to match the body. Now, he is actually stretching out, he is starting to take his leap. So this leg is actually going to straighten out as he takes that leap. So I am going to go ahead and unbend that knee and go ahead and do a little bit of a tweak here and then maybe also rotate this around just a little bit. So we'll go ahead and fine-tune that knee.
So again, I don't want this completely straight. I want kind of a nice little arc here and then just go ahead and take this foot and put it into place and rotate it. Now let's go ahead and do the right leg. So the first thing I want to do with this leg is un-stretch it. Remember how we had to stretch it in order to get this pose. So I am going to go ahead and undo that. So I am going to go ahead and set this back to normal and then rotate it back a little bit.
Now, what I am looking at here is this nice line. I want to get a kind of an S-shape curve. I know we're not going to get it exactly perfect because of the way the character is constructed. But this will be a good nice stretch here and then let's go ahead and put this foot into place as well. Now first thing I want to do is go ahead and undo the shape animation that we did and then let's just go ahead and rotate this into place and move it. So there we go.
That's pretty much the pose. I am going to save the upper body until later. So let's just go ahead and focus on the legs and the hips for this. Again, it's very similar to the walk in that I want to pin down those three points, the hips and both feet. In a way if I can get those, then the rest of the body will just follow them in place. Here because this is such an extreme change here, I have got a little bit of an in-between problem so I am just going to have to readjust these feet to make sure that I get them in place.
So I am actually putting in a keyframe at Frame 1 just to go ahead and get them into place. So now we've got our second pose. Now again, remember, it is an extended pose. So try and keep your feet pretty far apart. The character is flying through the air and also get a nice curve along this front and back leg and that will help it to read during the fast run.
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