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

Adding secondary motion

From: Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

Video: Adding secondary motion

Now, that we have the character's weight distributing properly and we have his feet moving, we pretty much have the basic foundation of the animation. The next step is to add in the finer details, such as overlap, follow-through, secondary action-- those sorts of things. So we're going to go ahead and do a little bit of that. I'm not going to do all of it, but I'm going to show you some of the finer points of where to look for secondary action and how to refine that animation. So let's take a quick review as to where we are currently in the process.

Adding secondary motion

Now, that we have the character's weight distributing properly and we have his feet moving, we pretty much have the basic foundation of the animation. The next step is to add in the finer details, such as overlap, follow-through, secondary action-- those sorts of things. So we're going to go ahead and do a little bit of that. I'm not going to do all of it, but I'm going to show you some of the finer points of where to look for secondary action and how to refine that animation. So let's take a quick review as to where we are currently in the process.

(Character: Ha, it worked. Prepare to meet your doom!) Okay, so the animation is pretty well blocked out. It still needs more overlap, follow-through, that sort of thing. He still looks a little bit stiff. So in order to make this a little bit easier, I'm going to go ahead and turn off the sound, so that way I can talk over this. One of the first areas we want to look at is this really broad action here, where he says, "Prepare to meet your doom!" right there where he tosses his finger out. Let's go ahead and play through that.

You can see how this is really stiff. So if we take a look at this arm, there's really no secondary action. T here's no overlap. There is no follow-through. We can actually make this a lot better. So the first thing I'm going to do is let's go ahead to this pose here, right around frame 66. And if you notice here, we've got this arm. It's really kind of tucked up against the face here, and there's really no clarity of this pose, so let's go ahead and fix that.

What I'm going to do is I'm going to extend this a little bit more, so I'm going to rotate this shoulder up, and I'm going to extend the arm a little bit more. So what I want to do is get this hand in the clear. I want to make sure that this hand is pointing about as straight up as we can because this will give a much stronger motion when he moves down. So now he comes up. But as he comes up, remember, we're going to have drag on the way up as well, so I want to add in a little bit of that, so I'm going to go to the wrist here.

And between frame 60 and 66 is when this moves up, so I'm going to go ahead and just start to straighten this out a little bit. Now remember, with secondary action, the body is moving this way and the hand wants to stay here, so the overall result is that there's going to be a rotation in the elbow that allows the hand to stay where it is. So now as we do this, you can see how that hand kind of rises up a little bit more, and then as he comes down, this is where we really want to get a sense of action.

So what we want is we want this to be almost in a curve. We want this hand, again, to drag back, and bend the elbow right here. So let's go ahead and do that. So what I want to do is bend this elbow and also bend this wrist back. So I want to give kind of a nice arc here. So as this comes down, we have a stronger line of action. Then once he hits here, his weight just kind of stops.

If you scrub this, you see right there, he just kind of freezes. Well, again, we're going to have a little bit of overlap here because his weight is going this way. So it's going to overshoot this point, and then it's going to kind of settle back. The same is going to happen with his arm, and in order to make this a really strong pose, I want his arm to be as straight as possible. So let's go ahead and do that. So I'm going to go to frame 72, and let's go ahead and make this arm straight out, and make this arm pretty much as straight as possible.

I may have to rotate this wrist a little bit to get a really strong pose. Then I'm also going to take this hip and I'm going to move it forward. But before I do that, I'm actually going to go a few frames forward and set a keyframe so I know exactly where my resting place is. So what I'm doing is I'm just duplicating this key at 72 to 75, and now I'm going to adjust the one for that at 72, so that it overshoots. So basically, now he goes over and then he comes back.

Let's go ahead and overshoot him. He's actually going to be a little bit higher here. Then as he comes back into this pose, the arm is going to relax. So now I'm going to relax it into that final pose that I have with a little bit of bend in that arm.

Now what I've got here is I've got a nice little bit of an S shape here through the shoulders. And again, this is just a nice line of action that will kind of guide the eye towards that pointing finger. So now what I've got here is I've got this. You can see how it goes over, and then it settles back. Now one of the things I'm noticing is that it still kind of stops, so I'm actually going to take the shoulder and the wrist, and I'm actually going to move those back a little bit, maybe to frame 76, so that it doesn't all stop at the same time.

Then I'm going to create another moving hold. So what I'm going to do is on the hips, I'm just going to keep them, maybe move them back just a little bit, and sink them down just a little bit, so he has a little bit of motion. Again, we want to just kind of keep him alive, and actually, I can do that a little bit more, and maybe even a little bit of rotation there. This is just real subtle.

Again, just that little bit makes it look like he is breathing. Now, another thing that happens with an arm, particularly an arm that's extended, is that gravity will be pulling down. There's a big weight hanging out here which is called a hand, and its gravity is going to pull that down. So we have an effect called drift. What drift does is basically it says if something is out there, it's going to tend to drift down. So again, I'm going to go out to somewhere around frame 86 or so and I'm just going to rotate that hand down just a hair-- again, just to indicate that gravity is pulling it down.

You can see how that just gives it almost like he is breathing or something; it gives a nice sense of aliveness. So let's go ahead and play this. Okay, so that end part looks really good. Now, we can go through the rest of the animation. Now, another part here is where he comes up. So there is another place where we can have a lot of drag, and overlap, follow-through, a little bit of secondary motion.

Again, let's take a look at this wrist. So as this wrist comes up, we've got some forces working on this. We've got the shoulder is moving up, but again, this hand wants to stay where it is. So let's go ahead and add a little bit of drag here to give it a little bit more realism. So what I'm going to do here is let's go ahead and find, okay, let's find the wrist here. And then as he moves up-- Okay, so he's going to start moving up somewhere around frame 34, so I'm going to set a keyframe here.

Then as he moves up, I'm going to drag that wrist down. And then as he comes up, I'm actually going to bring that wrist into position a little bit later. So right now I have it at 38. I'm going to bring it back to 40, and this frame here at 36, let's bring it to 37. So now we've got, he is kind of almost rotating down and then that hand pops up after the shoulder stops, which gives, again, a little bit of overlap to that motion.

We can also do the same thing with the elbow. So what I'm going to do is pull that second keyframe for the elbow back to 40, and that gives a little bit more overlap. So let's go ahead and play that. Just that little trick will actually give it a little bit more realism. So we can go through the rest of the animation and add these little effects, understand where every joint is moving. So, as a joint moves, if it's moving fast, it's going to have a lot of drag.

If it's kind of falling down, like for example here, this hand, as it moves down, it's almost falling. So when it kind of moves down here, there's not going to be a lot of drag, because really, he is just relaxing. A lot of times you'll get drag when there is a lot of force applied, so when a character is moving quickly or when he is under the action of a force. So go ahead through the rest of the animation and add in secondary motion, and make sure that the character flows from pose to pose smoothly and easily.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya
Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya

65 video lessons · 9884 viewers

George Maestri
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 22m 18s
    1. Introduction
      1m 10s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 8s
    3. Character rig overview: Simple character
      6m 19s
    4. Character rig overview: Full character
      7m 30s
    5. Using other rigs
      48s
    6. Using screen drawing tools for Windows
      3m 9s
    7. Using screen drawing tools for the Mac
      2m 14s
  2. 23m 47s
    1. Creating strong poses
      3m 27s
    2. Creating custom MEL scripts to help pose characters
      4m 39s
    3. Using layers to select characters
      1m 10s
    4. Learning the basics of posing characters
      10m 7s
    5. Creating stock poses
      4m 24s
  3. 25m 11s
    1. Understanding forces and character motion
      2m 13s
    2. Understanding drag
      5m 51s
    3. Working with secondary motion
      5m 33s
    4. Bringing the character to life
      4m 21s
    5. Refining the animation
      7m 13s
  4. 39m 30s
    1. Keyframing initial poses
      4m 21s
    2. Creating the blocking pass
      7m 42s
    3. Moving holds
      5m 27s
    4. Animating weight shift
      4m 21s
    5. Animating pose to pose transitions
      7m 46s
    6. Animating a wave
      9m 53s
  5. 42m 15s
    1. Analyzing a walk
      5m 43s
    2. Setting up a character for a basic walk
      1m 22s
    3. Animating a walk: The feet
      5m 55s
    4. Animating a walk: The lower body
      8m 23s
    5. Animating a walk: Making the cycle symmetrical
      3m 10s
    6. Animating a walk: Working with the spine
      5m 59s
    7. Animating a walk: Arm motion
      7m 28s
    8. Animating a walk: The head
      4m 15s
  6. 24m 15s
    1. The importance of the passing position
      4m 52s
    2. Working with foot placement
      3m 50s
    3. Adding character to a walk: Contact position
      5m 10s
    4. Adding character to a walk: Passing position
      3m 20s
    5. Adding character to a walk: Finalizing
      7m 3s
  7. 52m 27s
    1. A run in four poses
      2m 39s
    2. Animating a run: The first pose
      4m 31s
    3. Animating a run: The second pose
      7m 17s
    4. Animating a run: Mirroring the basic poses
      10m 59s
    5. Animating a run: Hip and foot motion
      5m 12s
    6. Animating a run: The upper body
      5m 2s
    7. Animating a run: Left arm motion
      5m 31s
    8. Animating a run: Right arm motion
      4m 39s
    9. Animating a run: Cycling the animation
      6m 37s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Animating blinks
      7m 56s
    2. Animating changes in eye direction
      5m 6s
    3. Animating a head turn
      4m 35s
    4. Working with audio
      3m 38s
    5. Overview of mouth controls
      2m 44s
    6. Animating vowels
      15m 14s
    7. Animating consonants: B, D, and G
      7m 2s
    8. Animating consonants: F, M, and S
      8m 22s
    9. Animating lip sync: Assigning phonemes
      10m 43s
    10. Animating lip sync: The head
      9m 44s
    11. Animating lip sync: The body
      5m 10s
  9. 55m 55s
    1. Creating the main poses
      4m 18s
    2. Blocking poses to dialogue
      7m 1s
    3. In-between blocking pass
      3m 27s
    4. Animating moving holds
      5m 19s
    5. Creating weight
      6m 19s
    6. Adding secondary motion
      10m 0s
    7. Animating dialogue
      8m 12s
    8. Finalizing the animation
      11m 19s
  10. 24s
    1. Goodbye
      24s

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

Congratulations

You have completed Character Animation Fundamentals with Maya.

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

Your file was successfully uploaded.

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.