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2D Character Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

Pose-to-pose animation: Animating


From:

2D Character Animation

with George Maestri

Video: Pose-to-pose animation: Animating

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.
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  1. 2m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 16s
  2. 48m 21s
    1. Designing characters
      3m 22s
    2. Tracing characters
      4m 32s
    3. Creating joints that work
      3m 53s
    4. Working with outlines
      4m 0s
    5. Accessorizing your characters
      2m 21s
    6. Creating parts for replacement animation
      1m 41s
    7. Rigging hierarchies in After Effects
      5m 33s
    8. Rigging replacement animation in After Effects
      5m 52s
    9. Rigging with the Puppet tool in After Effects
      3m 16s
    10. Rigging Flash characters
      5m 50s
    11. Rigging replacement animation in Flash
      4m 25s
    12. Rigging with the Bone tool in Flash
      3m 36s
  3. 55m 29s
    1. The first law of motion
      3m 3s
    2. The second law of motion
      3m 45s
    3. The third law of motion
      3m 19s
    4. Using slow in and slow out
      5m 34s
    5. Arcs and smooth motion
      5m 4s
    6. Understanding overlap and follow-through
      5m 16s
    7. Animating overlap and follow-through
      5m 46s
    8. Understanding squash and stretch
      3m 10s
    9. Animating squash and stretch
      4m 40s
    10. Squashing and stretching characters
      5m 16s
    11. Understanding weight
      3m 27s
    12. Understanding anticipation
      4m 54s
    13. Animating anticipation and weight
      2m 15s
  4. 45m 50s
    1. Internal vs. external forces
      4m 45s
    2. Bringing characters to life
      4m 57s
    3. Animating blinks
      4m 37s
    4. Animating changes in eye direction
      2m 43s
    5. Animating head turns
      8m 1s
    6. Creating a strong line of action
      4m 16s
    7. Creating strong silhouettes
      2m 19s
    8. Pose-to-pose animation: Blocking
      4m 32s
    9. Pose-to-pose animation: Animating
      4m 21s
    10. Pose-to-pose animation: Finalizing
      5m 19s
  5. 46m 53s
    1. A walk in four poses
      2m 27s
    2. Motion of the head and body
      1m 32s
    3. Walk cycles and backgrounds
      1m 40s
    4. Skeleton motion and walking
      4m 2s
    5. Animating a walk: Contact position
      3m 0s
    6. Animating a walk: The feet
      9m 10s
    7. Animating a walk: The body
      5m 19s
    8. Animating a walk: The legs
      8m 21s
    9. Animating a walk: The upper body and arms
      3m 46s
    10. Animating a walk: The head
      2m 50s
    11. Animating a walk: Squash and stretch
      4m 46s
  6. 26m 52s
    1. A run in four poses
      4m 10s
    2. Animating a run: First pose
      4m 39s
    3. Animating a run: Second pose
      3m 45s
    4. Animating a run: Third pose
      3m 27s
    5. Animating a run: Fourth pose
      5m 1s
    6. Animating a run: Upper body
      5m 50s
  7. 37m 6s
    1. The basics of dialogue animation
      4m 35s
    2. Reading tracks and assigning mouth shapes
      5m 33s
    3. Phonemes and lip-syncing
      8m 36s
    4. Animating dialogue: Animating the body
      6m 27s
    5. Animating dialogue: Assigning mouth shapes
      4m 10s
    6. Animating dialogue: Finalizing
      7m 45s
  8. 1h 27m
    1. Animating a scene
      2m 0s
    2. Setting up the scene in After Effects
      3m 2s
    3. Animating the feet in After Effects
      10m 40s
    4. Animating the legs in After Effects
      4m 21s
    5. Animating the upper body in After Effects
      9m 44s
    6. Animating the mouth and blinks in After Effects
      7m 5s
    7. Setting up the scene in Flash
      4m 6s
    8. Animating the feet in Flash
      9m 0s
    9. Animating the body in Flash
      5m 23s
    10. Animating the legs in Flash
      7m 24s
    11. Animating the hands in Flash
      11m 54s
    12. Animating the mouth in Flash
      12m 26s
  9. 33s
    1. Goodbye
      33s

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2D Character Animation
5h 50m Advanced Nov 13, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating character joints that really work
  • Building with the Puppet tool in After Effects
  • Understanding internal versus external forces in movement
  • Reading tracks and assigning mouth shapes for dialogue
  • Setting up a scene in both After Effects and Flash
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation Character Animation
Author:
George Maestri

Pose-to-pose animation: Animating

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about 2D Character Animation.


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Q: In the chapter "Creating joints that work,” the author uses a circular point for the joints in the arm animation. Do circles need to be drawn in the joints while tracing the character, or there is another method that can be used?
A: It doesn't absolutely have to be a circle, as shown in the video. However, that method is show because it’s the easiest way to make sure the joints will rotate easily.
It’s a matter of personal preference, so use whatever method will work best for each character.
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