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2D Character Animation
Illustration by John Hersey

The second law of motion


From:

2D Character Animation

with George Maestri

Video: The second law of motion

Newton's Second Law of Motion concerns the mass of objects and their acceleration. What the law states is "the change of momentum of a body is proportional to the impulse impressed on the body and happens along the straight line on which that impulse is impressed." Now in regular English what that means is a force applied to an object will accelerate it in a straight line and the equation for that is F=ma or Force = Mass times Acceleration.
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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

The second law of motion

Newton's Second Law of Motion concerns the mass of objects and their acceleration. What the law states is "the change of momentum of a body is proportional to the impulse impressed on the body and happens along the straight line on which that impulse is impressed." Now in regular English what that means is a force applied to an object will accelerate it in a straight line and the equation for that is F=ma or Force = Mass times Acceleration.

And with that equation we can derive two additional points. One is more force accelerates the same mass faster and more mass requires more force for the same acceleration. So, if something is bigger it's going to require more force to move it. Or if you use more force on something, you are going to accelerate it a little bit faster. So, let's take a look at this. Here we have a simple ball and the red arrow indicates a force.

So, as the force is applied to the object, the object will accelerate, which means it will move a further distance with each unit of time. So, the first unit of time it will move this far, the second unit of time it will move this far, then this far, then this far. So basically, it's going faster and faster and faster, the longer the force is applied. So, as the force is applied, the object will continue to accelerate. So, let's see how this looks.

Now, the other part of this is that the amount of acceleration depends upon the mass of the object. So, let's go ahead and bring in a bigger, heavier object. And let's apply the same force to that object. When we do this you will see that this object doesn't move nearly as fast and that's just because it's heavy. Now this may be common sense, but what this does is it indicates the weight of an object. How fast that object can move with any given force will tell the audience how heavy that object is.

And this is very important for character animation. If you want a big character, you are going to have to move him a little bit differently than a light character. Now, let's take a look at another thing here. If we increase the force on the mass, so in other words, this large red arrow means a bigger force, you can get that same acceleration. Now another thing with force and acceleration is that acceleration can also become deceleration.

So, for example in this case, we have a force that is applied to this object and half way through we take away that force and add in the opposite force. Now, what this will do is it will basically reverse the effects of the original force and decelerate it until it's at a stop. Now, if we continue with that force, it will then continue to accelerate it in the opposite direction until another force slows it down. So, let's go ahead and play this.

So again, forces can accelerate or decelerate. Now, when you have an object that has no force applied to it, again you are going to get steady motion. You are just going to get equal distance per unit of time. The only time an object will accelerate or decelerate is when a force is applied and that force will accelerate or decelerate that mass according to how heavy it is.

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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