2D Animation Principles
Illustration by John Hersey

Using complementary shapes


From:

2D Animation Principles

with Dermot O' Connor

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Using complementary shapes

In the previous section, I showed you how to create a library of six mouth shapes, and then to blend between them. And using a system like that, it's kind of hard to go wrong. Where you can get into a little more trouble is when you start creating custom shapes on top of that, and then really interchanging between radically different shapes. So one way to stay out of trouble is to group your mouth shapes into roughly similar graphical families. So at the top level, you see happy mouth shapes. And if you notice the outline, the silhouettes of these shapes, you'll see that they actually make a reasonably clean transition, one into the other.
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

please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course 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
Subject:
3D + Animation
Software:
Flash Professional
Author:
Dermot O' Connor

Using complementary shapes

In the previous section, I showed you how to create a library of six mouth shapes, and then to blend between them. And using a system like that, it's kind of hard to go wrong. Where you can get into a little more trouble is when you start creating custom shapes on top of that, and then really interchanging between radically different shapes. So one way to stay out of trouble is to group your mouth shapes into roughly similar graphical families. So at the top level, you see happy mouth shapes. And if you notice the outline, the silhouettes of these shapes, you'll see that they actually make a reasonably clean transition, one into the other.

Look at the second row, the same principle applies, the angry shapes. They all, more or less, have the same abstract shape. Let's look at them just in outline mode. So, again, on the top, it's very hard to imagine any transition from any one of these six shapes. Now I could make 20 shapes if I wanted to, but six for purposes of demonstration. It's very hard to see any bad transitions between these. I could move from this shape, to this shape, to this shape. And I think that would all look reasonably smooth. And the same for the second row. What happens if we mix and match? What happens if we go from this kind of mouth shape to this kind of mouth shape, to this one, to that one? We get something like you see on the bottom row.

Look at the corner of the mouth in particular, and the curvature of the upper lip. It's really all over the place. So let me lay down some of these on the timeline, and let's see what this looks like when you actually begin to move these. So here we have a happy sequence of static mouths. And I've just taken that upper row of happy mouths and just put them down at random. It's animating about a, every key frame is held for one, two, three, four frames. So obviously it's not smooth, not smooth at the in-betweens. So what I did was I just made some basic shape tweens so we can see.

Imagine that, that's like a fully 30 frame per second or 24 frame per second animation. Looks all right. And here's the angry sequence. Same principle. Now were I to hand draw tweens between these, they would smooth it out. But we can deal with, just with simple shape tweens and see what that would feel like. I think that's pretty decent. Now let's show what happens when you mix and match. It doesn't even look real anymore. The, the corner of the mouth, follow that. There's no way any character's mouth should be doing that. That would, that would break your jaw. So this is something to watch out for. Not to say that you can't go from a happy sequence into an angry sequence but it'll probably only happen occasionally.

If I'm speaking happily and then I switch to an angry voice like that then of course you go from the happy mouth shape to the angry mouth shape. But you don't go back and forth every four frames because that's just not going to be believable. And now a quick word on eye blinks. And they're usually fairly straightforward. Here we have the typical eye blink pattern from the traditional era. What we would do would be wide open mouth, and then for two frames you would see the 1 3rd closed. Two frames on the closed position, and again if you held that for one you probably wouldn't even see them as being closed, so hold them for at least two frames maybe even three if you're on 30 frames per second.

1/3 open and open that's the classic golden era eye blink pattern. So let's see what that looks like with the generic flash character. Now I have actually shaped between this so he is moving on one. So you still see that's a very nice little natural eye blink. And of course in actual performance you can push this a little more and in this case I have actually moved the head to follow with the blink, bringing the eye brows down and the entire eye mask area compresses. So it's a little more dramatic. This is more of a reaction-take shot where the character's looking at us, very briefly, and then he's looking at the top screen right.

So I really wanted to flag it. Don't have to do this with every eye blink. It would probably look a little awkward, but certainly keep this in mind when you want to a little bit of extra business to it. So it's good to have little muscular eye blinks, but also if you're doing a lot of it, then there's nothing wrong either with a static one like this.

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.


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 Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

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 ?

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 preferences from 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.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

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.