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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.
Now let's take a look at a character as he walks through a scene. Though I have turned this with a little bit of ghosting, so you can see how the character actually is moving as he walks. Notice how he is actually bouncing up and down. In fact, let's go ahead and slow this down and take a closer look at this. When the character gets to the contact position, notice how this is not the highest position in the walk. We are going to take a look at this head here. So as you can see the head moves down as the character recoils and then as he pushes up into the passing position, the head goes higher and higher still into what's called the high point.
And then when he goes back to the contact position, his feet extend and again the weight of the character starts to move down. Now if you notice this is actually kind of like a bouncing ball. The weight of the character is being thrown from one foot to the other and it actually follows an arc very much like the bouncing ball. So let's take a look at this again in real time and see how this works. As you can see the character's head and body is bouncing through the seen almost like a ball.
So when you animate a walk, please pay attention to the height of the character above the floor. So that way you can get a sufficient amount of vertical motion as well.
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