Join Dermot O' Connor for an in-depth discussion in this video Hair: Basic, part of Animating in 2D: Hair and Clothing.
- [Instructor] In this movie we'll take a look at hair and how to apply secondary action, or drag, to some basic hair design. Notice that the hair in this example is I said made of very simple forms. So it's a good idea to think of hair as groupings of larger shapes. So, in this case, we have hair made out of strands. But I've broken it down into three basic areas. The yellow for the triangular kind of wedge at the front. And the two big blocks, the green and blue at the right and the left.
And, this doesn't mean that we have to draw them as these crude shapes. But it's a good idea when you're beginning to conceive of the character's hair as some variation of this principle. Also, again, note the numbers between these drawings. These are our key frame numbers for timing the animation. And once again, these are 24 frame-per-second numbers. So, if you animate on 30, you might want to add a couple of frames between them to get a closer match. So here's the final animation with all of the in-betweens added.
Now the drag only happens on the front part of the hair. I didn't really bother doing anything fancy with the stuff on the side because I reckoned it just wasn't long enough to really do anything too interesting with the motion at this speed. So you can see that the little front area pulls slightly at the start, then overshoots and settles. So it's a very simple action. But just enough to keep it from looking like it's starch. So, we'll take a look at this now, frame by frame, and you can see just how little drag I used. Because the animation looked like a lot.
But it's really tiny. So here's the start frame. And I'm going to overlay frame five, the breakdown frame in red. That's where the drag begins. And you'll see already how difficult it is to see how much is being applied. It's very subtle. So if I go from here to here, you know, maybe the hair should have been here if it was going to be truly stiff. So, it didn't take a lot to create that initial drag effect. Frame nine in blue. It's more of a simple in-between frame. There's nothing magical happening here. Into frame 12.
This is our overshoot. In green. And then finally we settle back into the end pose. So frame 12 goes slightly beyond. And then back into 15, the black drawing. So we have your settle slow in from here to there. Very minor. So now let's cycle though the frames without overlaying them. It might be a bit easier to see. Drag. And then catches up. Overshoots. And settles. And again. The final animation.
So as you can see, a little goes a long way. So here's a female head with longer hair. And in this case I simplified the animation even further, using just four key frames. Because if you remember, the blue frame, the fifth, the one in the center on the previous animation, really wasn't doing very much. So, I wanted to see if we could simplify it one more step. Now, in this example she has long hair. The man had really short hair. She has shoulder-length hair. So all three groups, the front, the left, the right, will drag.
So this is the final animation that results from those four drawing. So let's look at these drawings in overlay mode so that you can see just how little or how much movement was needed for this nice effect. So, on frame five, that's the second key where the drag begins for the first time, notice how the edge of the hair on the trailing side, on the side here, it drags so much that it moves very slightly in the opposite direction of the head turn.
And so does the point of the hair on the leading side that's right here. So if I go from this to this, you'll see that we have the head moving from left to right. But we have the hair down here opposing that action and going from right to left. You can do this in some instances where you have these more subtle constrained emotions. If she was moving from here to there, you probably wouldn't be able to get away with this. But this opposing action creates a very nice effect. Notice also, I didn't apply it to the point on the top.
I could have. I decided not too because it's nice to have some variation. So not everything opposes. Not everything is mechanical and moves in the same way. I reckon too that the hair on top might be a bit stiffer than the points down here. On frame nine we have the overshoot. And this is all the hair catching up and going past its final position. And then it settles. So we go from the five, the drag, the blue in nine is the overshoot, and then we settle back into 15.
So the frames without being overlaid. The drag. Overshoot. Settle. Four frames. So there's a final touch if you want to add just a little more complexity. And this may depend on whether you're working in a digital system like Flash or Harmony. Or an easy to use CGI rig, where these kind of changes can be done very quickly. If you delay the drag of the hair by one or two frames, it creates a really subtle delay.
This makes the animation more realistic. So you can for example offset these various timings so you can have the drag on the left side happen one frame before or after the drag on the right side. So, it's an extremely subtle alteration. It can really be difficult to do if you're drawing on paper. And this was the hardest part for those of us who trained in the old days when we were working on paper because you would end up with key actions on in-between frames. And it could be quite a chore.
So like I said, depending on whether or not you're drawing each frame laboriously by hand, which I've done and I know how much work it is, or if you have an easier way of offsetting the timing in a digital animation program, you may want to experiment with this. And even if you're drawing you may want to experiment with it just to see the difference it makes. And it can be hard to visualize this. So what I've done is I've overlaid the two versions. The one without this timing offset. And the one with it.
So you can see how subtle the change is. Let me slow it down really slowly. And you can see that I have delayed the hair on one side very slightly by a frame or two. And you get a much more natural overlapping animation as we move into the final resting place. So it's definitely an advanced technique. But it's one that will pay off dividends if you can master it. So don't be afraid to try it. And see how it works out for you.
- Basic to advanced hair modeling
- Moving holds
- Fabric creases for clothing