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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 weight of the character shifting from one foot to the other. As you can see the hips drop and then he takes a step and we have a shift of weight. Now, I have added in the legs underneath him and the most important thing is that if you get the hips and the feet, the legs kind of just fill in the difference. So here, right before he takes his step, you'll see that I have bent the knee on both legs and then as he straightens up, those knees straighten up as well.
So, it really is just filling in the gaps. The most important thing is to get the feet solid as well as the shift of weight in the hips and the legs kind of just following underneath. Now as this character is turning, he's also doing a head turn. Now remember, when the character turns his head, what does he do? He drops the chin and he also blinks. So, let's go ahead and do that with this character. Let's do a nice head turn. So as he shifts over, I want to actually drop the facial features to indicate that he's dropping his chin.
So, I'm going to go halfway into this turn and grab the mouth and drop it down. Grab the eyes and drop them down as well. So, now it looks like he's kind of dropping his chin as he turns his head. It looks much more realistic. But we also need to blink the eyes, because when a character does a head turn he also does a blink. So, I'm going to go ahead and take these eyes and squash them down.
So, in this case, the blink really isn't going to be a standard blink. It's just going to be kind of a squash of the eyes because the way this character is built. And I'll also do the same for the other eye. So, now it looks kind of like he's blinking. But he is also blinking over the whole course of this animation. I really just want to blink in the middle. So, I'm going to just copy some keyframes, so that his eyes are wide open, about three quarters of the way into this and then he blinks here.
So, now he comes in then he blinks, then his eyes go back to normal. So now I have this. I kind of have a nice blink, and then his head comes up. But we also can add some squash and stretch to the head. Now what is happening is as the body drops, the head is going to want to stay in the same place. So, let's go ahead and do some squash and stretch on the head.
So, as the character drops down, I want that head to stretch a little bit. So, I'm going to go ahead and scale it down this way a little bit, and scale it up. So now, as he's coming down, it's kind of pulling the head down and then as he pushes up, he's going to squash that head as well. Right around here when he is really pushing his head up, I'm going to go ahead and just do the opposite. I'm going to go ahead and squash the head and another thing I'm going to do is just push that head right down on to his shoulders.
So now, I've got a nice stretch and squash. Now one of the things I can also do is I have a very nice overshoot here. So I've got this weight kind of going up and then settling back down. I can mirror that with the head motion. So what I can do is I can actually do a little bit of overshoot here, so it would just stretch up the head just a little bit again, just to get a little bit more bounciness.
Now this is almost like the bouncing ball. Now you can see I've got a much better sense of motion. So, let's go ahead and see the final version of this. So, as you can see as the head turns, it squashes and stretches, we put a blink in the middle and we also bend the knees to give a much better sense of weight and volume. Now, once we have this all we have to do is some additional fine-tuning and we'll have a very good pose-to-pose animation.
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