Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using overlap and follow-through

From: 2D Animation Principles

Video: Using overlap and follow-through

Now it's time for some concepts that I know Couldn't be simpler.

Using overlap and follow-through

Now it's time for some concepts that I know can be a little bit confusing because they're a little gray, overlap and follow through, with a little bit of opposing actions thrown in and a bit of drag. So, let's look at this and how you build up a scene, because if you go in with a finished product you'll go, I don't know how he did that. So what I've done is created a very simple character; this little egg-shaped robot. He has little free-floating arms, so we don't have to worry too much about how they join to the body, and the hat is also a little, you know, helmet that’s floating on his head, so nothing too hideously difficult to actually animate.

So the first scene is super simple. The egg robot just floats in. Overshoots a little bit. And does a bounce. So, let's look at that. And as you can see, let's take a look at the full timeline here. He enters, overshoots, settles. And then from this point he goes into a little anticipation, overshoots, settle. Couldn't be simpler. And you will actually see stuff at about that level of animation on many a kids tv show. But there are some tricks that we can do to really, really improve on that and let's see how.

So, first thing to do is to add a little bit of drag. So simple to do. So already, you may notice, wait a minute, there's something extra going on. So let's take a look. So what I did was I drag these arms. So when he moved to this point, I pull the arms out this way. Because they should go a little bit counter to that movement. And then on this frame, he overshoots, so I moved the arms drastically in the opposite direction. And then they settle in to the hold. Now on this one when he goes down, I flared the arms out and I tilted the helmet just a little bit so it doesn't seem like it’s bolted to the body.

It seems like it has its own little existence, and then the helmet pops up a little. It has a slightly faster slow out on that, and the arms get stuck in, and then he settles. Already a drastic improvement. And now, the final problem that we have to solve on the next one, you'll notice that on this one, all the frames happen on the same time, and reality just doesn't work like that. Not everything happens at the same time. Different things happen at different timings. So for example, I would not expect the helmet to arrive at the very same point as the body.

That's just not realistic. So let's switch that off and look at the final version, where I've offset these timings. Now you have an object that really feels like it's coming to life. And let's look inside the timeline and compare it. And now you'll see all the key frames that used to be stacked into these beautiful vertical columns. Are now offset. Some move first, so for example the body moves first. Well you would expect that, you would expect the body to be the primary action on this and the last thing to settle in would be the left arm here.

And the arm right there. I've actually had the hat settle sooner. There is nothing stopping me from taking these hat frames, and having them end last, so let's move them way up, see what happens. It might look bad, I don't know. Now, the hat's feeling a little bit weightless, so let's move it back a little bit, couple of frames. Maybe just move that back a little, too. I'm just playing around, I just want to see what happens. Different feel already. It's making the hat feel like it's made of a slightly lighter material. As you can see, what we have now is so far removed from version one and the process of getting there was so simple as to be ridiculous.

And I can even do it live now. So we have, that was the original scene. I can go into here, drag the arms. Remember on this frame here and here, they overshoot. From here to here, they flare out. From here to here they move in, and then we simply figure out, what's going to move first, what's going to drag? The hat I want to go a little slower, there's an upper hat level and a lower hat level, so I'll just drag them. That's not working. Let me see if I can drag that arm. It might not work here, actually, because he's moving in too fast, that's just going to look bizarre.

So that's, just offset the arm there, and the arm left, we can move that out by two, see if we can get away with that. Yep. And then we can do things like just randomly move. Of course you can plan this out, but for the purposes of this demonstration, I'm just going to randomly move things. I'm going to have the left arm move slower than the right, and I'm going to have the hat levels just move a little slower, too. See what that does. And I want to sync up both hat layers, there's an upper one and a lower one like I said.

Let's see what this looks like. It's not exactly the same as what I was showing you earlier, I spent more time on that. But you see how easy it is. So there's the process. You start with something quite simple, and basic. You create the second version that has more complexity. And then you completed the final version where you completely offset the timing. This is the beauty of working in Flash or a CGI project as opposed to doing this on paper. When we were doing this on paper, it involved a lot of rubbing out and a lot of redrawing. And the great aspect of working on the computer is that you can manipulate and change these things much more dynamically, and it's a great way to learn.

So in either case, start your scenes in a structured way: do the primary action first, and then add the drag, and then add the overlap. So, that's it.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for 2D Animation Principles
2D Animation Principles

35 video lessons · 7988 viewers

Dermot O' Connor

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  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

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
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

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


You have completed 2D Animation Principles.

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

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 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.

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.