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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.
So, now we have the character very close to being done. Let me show you where we are at. We've got the arms, the legs and the feet and the hips all animated. Now, there's one major part of the body left that we need to animate and that's the head. If you notice the character's head really is kind of stiff. So, let's go ahead and add some secondary motion to his head to make him look a little more alive. So, I'm going to go ahead and scrub into this first position, which is that recoil position, and you can notice that the body actually is moving doing and leaning forward just a little bit.
So as it does this, this head is going to want to resist that motion. It wants to stay put. So, I'm going to create a keyframe here, where I'm going to lean that head back and what I'm doing is I'm just getting a nice line of action. In fact you can see from the tip of hat, all the way through this foot, you get a nice kind of curved line. In fact I might have a little bit too much. Let me go ahead and straighten that out. So, you can see he kind of leans in to this, but also in this his body is actually dropping just a little bit.
So as his body drops, again get his head once to stay put. So, I'm going to lift that head up just a hair. So, in the next phase of the walk, you can see he is pushing up into this passing position and as he pushes up, again the head is going to want to stay put. So it's going to sink down into his shoulders and the rotation of the head is going to just basically go back to where it was, so it's going to rotate up. So, now we've got it kind of dragging back and now here we have it pushing up and then as the head falls back down again, again the head is going to want to resist this motion just a little bit.
So maybe just add a little bit of a settle right in here. So, I'm just going to go ahead push him down just a little bit, just to give a little bit motion here and that should be it. Okay, so now I have got it in the front part of the cycle but not the last half and you can see the difference. You can see the how the head moves a little bit more naturally in that front part of the cycle. So all I need to do now is just copy the first half to the second half and we should have pretty good head motion.
So, let's go ahead and take a look at that. So, it gives a much better sense of motion for the head. Now again we can stop here and this would be a fairly complete walk cycle but if we want, we can go a little bit further and add some squash and stretch. So, when you're animating the head, just remember that the head does engage in secondary motion and it will drag behind the motion of the body just a little bit.
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