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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.
Anyone involved in animation needs to understand how objects move and the way that objects move are defined by the laws of motion. Now these laws were developed a couple hundred years ago by a man named Sir Isaac Newton and he has three fundamental Laws of Motion. So, we are going to go through those and see how they apply to animation. Now Newton's first Law of Motion in his own words was "a body persists in its state of being at rest or of moving uniformly straightforward, except insofar as it is compelled to change its state by force impressed." Well that's 17th century English.
So, let's just go ahead and state this in just regular plain old English and the first part of this law is an object that is not moving will remain still until a force acts upon it, and the second part of this law is an object that is moving will not change its velocity until a force acts upon it. Now the fundamental point of this law is that you need force to put something in motion. So, let's take a look at this in practice.
Now, here we have an object at rest. It's just a simple ball. Now in order to get this moving we need to apply a force and once that force is applied, it will start to move that object from rest and then accelerate it. In fact, let's just go ahead and play this and see how it works. So, once the force is applied, it starts pushing the object and moving it. Now the longer the force is applied, the more the object accelerates and the faster it goes.
Now, the second part of this law is an object that is moving will not change its velocity until a force acts upon it. So, let's go ahead and take a look at an object that is moving. Now when an object is moving with no force applied, it moves in equal steps per unit of time. In fact I have marked these out. So as this object moves, you can see that it's moving equal distance per unit of time. Now, once we apply a force to that it will change its direction.
Now, let's look at this with a force applied. Now the ball is moving in a constant direction. Now as soon as the force is applied here, the path of the ball changes. So, it continues to move forward but the force pushes it in a different direction. So again, the object will not change its velocity or its direction until a force is applied. So typically, an object in motion will tend to stay in motion until a force is applied and an object at rest will remain at rest until a force is applied.
Now the important thing to remember about this first law is forces create motion.
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