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Now it's time to talk about primary and secondary action. Primary action is the main movement in a scene. And it's often driven by the character, by a person or an actor. In this case, it's going to be this little metal ball that I've colored white on one side, black on the other. And I just attached a little cloth knot to the top of it. So the primary action in this case would be the ball falling, hitting the ground, and bouncing a couple of times. And the secondary action will be the cloth just following along for the ride.
So let's see what happens. I'm going to play it first. Bounce, bounce, bounce, flop. So about one, two, three bounces. And then the, the cloth, like I said, just follows along. And let's go through this a little more slowly. So, the thing to remember is that the cloth or whatever object is dragging behind really doesn't have a say in the matter. It's obeying the primary mover, which in this case is the ball. And from frame to frame, the cloth remembers where it was on the previous frame.
And I just place the cursor here, and move, and you'll see it's constantly pointing to where it once was. Unless, you know, there's a wind, or a hurricane blowing, that's somehow fluttering the cloth in a different direction. The faster the ball moves, the more straightened the cloth is and then the impact. And at this point the ball bounces, and we have a very nice opposing action, where the ball bounces up while the cloth moves down. And this kind of thing, opposing action, is a very nice effect to have. Because in nature, not all things move in the same direction at the same time.
We even see it on this frame, from here to here the ball is moving up, but the end of the cloth is moving down. Before finally, it all catches up for the final couple of bounces. And at this point, bam, the ball hits the ground. Now it stops. The cloth, however, keeps moving. And the cloth follows through. This is follow through when we hit the ground, and then the cloth comes to an end. It's pretty rough as you can see I sketched this on paper and scanned it in, but it's more than enough to give you a feel for a very nice example of primary and secondary action. So now let's take a look at what this looks like on a character.
And, short of cloth and fabrics, which you've already covered, hair would be another good example of secondary action, one that you'll encounter a lot. So this is the familiar scene we've already seen earlier, where the big man goes into a little squish, over shoots and settles. And to make this really obvious and extra difficult to animate, I decided to make the hair very soft and very prone to secondary action. So as we move down, the point to watch actually is right here.
As we move down, that point catches the air. And it wants to go in the other direction or not move at all. Until finally it has no choice and it catches up after about, say, six or seven frames, the hair begins to fall. And then gravity takes over. And even as the head moves up, now the end of the hair is trying to move down. Until it catches up again at the top. Now we have the head at the top of the action right here, and when the head begins to move down the hair still wants to move up.
So the hair has its own momentum, or at the very least, the tip of the hair has its own momentum independent of the head. And that gives us the nice floppy action. And another thing to watch out for is this line here is a nice c shape. You can see it highlit there, and as we move through the scene, it converts into a little s curve. And then a reversal happens here where we see a c curve. And yet another reversal to another s curve before it settles back into a c. So when you do hair and soft objects like this it's a very good idea to favor s curves and c curves and to have them move from one into another.
That'll give the flexibility that you see here and it'll stop the hair and clothing and other soft objects from looking stiff and wooden. So that's it, that's your primary and secondary action.
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