New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way—like a learning mixtape.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

2D Animation Principles
Illustration by John Hersey

Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves


From:

2D Animation Principles

with Dermot O' Connor

Video: Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves

One of the challenges that crops up again and again is And we break into an S curve around these two frames.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
  2. 18m 9s
    1. Understanding appeal and design
      4m 3s
    2. Comparing body types
      6m 27s
    3. Understanding silhouette
      1m 52s
    4. Creating gesture drawings
      2m 50s
    5. Tying down the drawing
      2m 57s
  3. 18m 10s
    1. Comparing storyboard styles
      5m 8s
    2. Understanding shot composition
      4m 36s
    3. Demonstrating lighting
      4m 8s
    4. Understanding the 180-degree line
      4m 18s
  4. 13m 8s
    1. Understanding X-sheets (dope sheets)
      3m 25s
    2. Comparing frame rates
      4m 39s
    3. Creating sweatbox notes and preparation
      5m 4s
  5. 18m 42s
    1. Understanding arcs
      7m 38s
    2. Squash, stretch, and volume
      4m 59s
    3. Comparing timing and spacing
      6m 5s
  6. 10m 4s
    1. Using anticipation, overshoot, and settle
      4m 2s
    2. Breaking and loosening joints
      2m 43s
    3. Leading action
      3m 19s
  7. 19m 51s
    1. Understanding primary and secondary action
      4m 14s
    2. Using overlap and follow-through
      6m 0s
    3. Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves
      4m 34s
    4. Moving holds and idles
      5m 3s
  8. 15m 52s
    1. Understanding walk and run cycles
      5m 24s
    2. Creating eccentric walks
      6m 50s
    3. Animal locomotion
      3m 38s
  9. 14m 31s
    1. Finding dialogue accents
      2m 42s
    2. Creating dialogue through body movement
      2m 46s
    3. Creating stock mouth shapes
      5m 4s
    4. Using complementary shapes
      3m 59s
  10. 13m 8s
    1. Creating thumbnails
      4m 31s
    2. Comparing straight-ahead and pose-to-pose animation
      4m 37s
    3. Adding breakdowns for looseness
      4m 0s
  11. 2m 9s
    1. Next steps
      2m 9s

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
2D Animation Principles
2h 25m Beginner Apr 11, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Bring a cast of characters to life. By following the basics principles of animation, you can build characters that interact naturally with their environments, convey realistic emotion, and talk and walk convincingly. In this course, Dermot O' Connor shows how to design a solid character and stage and storyboard your animation before you begin. He'll examine principles like anticipation and squash and stretch, which provide characters with a sense of weight and flexibility, and show you how to animate walk cycles and dialogue. Finally, learn how to thumbnail scenes from start to finish, so you can sketch out the action before you commit to fully rendering it.

These lessons are designed with Flash in mind, but work just as well with any other 2D animation program.

Topics include:
  • Creating gesture drawings
  • Comparing storyboard styles
  • Squash, stretch, and volume
  • Comparing timing and spacing
  • Using anticipation, overshoot, settle, overlap, and follow-through
  • Creating eccentric walks
  • Building stock mouth shapes for dialogue
  • Creating thumbnails
Subjects:
3D + Animation Animation Character Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Applying lines of action, reversals, and S-curves

One of the challenges that crops up again and again is keeping material and hair and soft matter looking soft and free. So how do we do that? Well there is a trick and it involves using curves. C curves and S curves, and here's what it roughly looks like when you do right. And this could be a dog's tail or a, you know, a piece of paper blowing in the wind or a flag. Any number of objects can be made or built around this basic action or variations of this action.

So how does that happen? I actually drew this frame by frame, just straight ahead. You begin with a C curve. And again, the primary motion is from wherever it's rooted here, and we just pull it down. And we break into an S curve around these two frames. And then we slowly work into the opposite C. So we go from this C into a reversal. From this S to that S. And this is the classic wave motion action. It's the kind of thing you just pick up by practice, just by, you know, being comfortable working from one shape into an opposite.

And you can see from the domain movement actually is from this C curve into that S shape. And then into the opposite C, and most of these are just basic in-betweens from one into the other. So you have four essential shapes, and a bunch of intermediate forms between them. So as long as you think, you know, basic simplicity, you know, around a C to that C, or an S, to this, you can make all kinds of variations built around that model. So that is your reversals and line curves.

And let me show you how you can apply some of the same principles to a character because it only gets you so far if you're drawing shapes like that. So here is their familiar man with a pick axe. Now, when I draw these characters with these very dramatic poses and actions It helps if you build the action around a line of action, which is uncannily similar to some of these S curves and C shapes. So, he starts with what looks like the letter S, and I build into that until he reverses into a reverse of the letter C.

And that's a fantastic transition if you go from this to that, you're really going to feel that when you get to the animation. And, then I just slow him out of that very slightly, like that's an overshoot, and then we settle into this shape, but it's still a C shape. So, this is our reversal from here, pop to there. And then you hold that through a few frames to really let it read, and then we pull him back, he's still in the C shape, still in the C shape, and then bam, I hit that S, or reverse S shape, and that's a fantastic transition. I've built the entire character pose deliberately around that shape.

And then we just slowly work him out of that, and you get him back into the original. End result. You feel that. It really shows up, there's nothing stiff about that at all. It's a nice simple, but effective scene. So this is a thumbnail of a much more complex scene, and it shows some other similar principles. And right now I'm just showing you the character, so hopefully you can make a guess as to what kind of shapes are underlying this and if I show you the next frame, ta da. You can see that we're looking at a similar process. We have the same line of action on the beginning character and we just push that, we haven't reversed it yet, and even this pose is still within that same basic shape.

And even this pose and this one. We haven't reversed yet. The reversal happens here and that's when this curve, which we followed on the character's spine and skull, has flipped horizontally. And that's going to give a nice strong transition from the turn from frame 21 to 23. And then once we're into frame 23, the same curve is maintained up the spine until we settle into frame 33 and beyond. And since this is a 24 frame per second scene as I timed it out, you know, it looks much longer than it actually is.

This entire turn gets us from frame one to frame 23 in about a second. So, you don't want to be reversing all over the place or your figures will look like they're made of jelly, or jello. That's not a good thing, so know when to apply the reversal and use it when it's needed, and you'll come to your own tastes depending on the style of the project that you're working on. And in this particular scene, this reversal was just about perfect. That is line of action and reversal and S curves.

There are currently no FAQs about 2D Animation Principles.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed 2D Animation Principles.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.