Join David Andrade for an in-depth discussion in this video How to effectively apply the concept of timing, part of Creating a Finished Character Animation in Blender.
- Timing defines you as an animator. In this movie, we will explore how long it takes for actions to take place. Now, in order to time everything, I want you to move your playhead to Frame One, use the Dope Sheet, and make sure you have all the keys selected. You can do that by hitting A twice. Now, hit S with your mouse towards the end here, and just drag to the right a little bit. We know our animation goes until about Frame 250, so let's put it right about here.
Now, without doing anything else, just play it and see what we get. - Well I'd like to see you try. You wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking, okay? I'm out there on the front lines, liberating people with my music. Rockin' ain't no walk in the park, lady. - As you can see, everything is kind of floaty, or swimming. Poses are melting into each other, and they don't really have any tooth to them. We're going to fix that, using the technique called Copy Pairs, and using a Blender tool called the Breakdowner. Let's focus on this first section.
- Well I'd like to see you try. You wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking, okay? - All right, so now we want to make sure that this pose, "dude", happens right on the word "dude", and that this pose happens right on the word "rocking". Here's a little trick that might help. Go to Playback, and turn on Audio Scrubbing. Now you'll hear something like this every time you move your playhead. (fast, choppy pieces of talking audio) You can hear that and listen for the words, and adjust your keys as necessary. So let's listen for "dude". (choppy pieces of talking audio) Happens right about here.
So let's move these poses down, until it sits right on "dude". (choppy pieces of talking audio, followed by "dude") Cool. Now, here's the Copy Pairs part. Go to this first frame, and hit Shift + D, and duplicate it. Move it down some. We're going to want to do this for the word "dude" as well, so let's duplicate it and move it down as well.
Now let's play it. - Well I'd like to see you try. You wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking. - Cool. Same thing with "rocking". Let's duplicate this, move this guy down a little bit, and let's see what we get. - Well I'd like to see you try. You wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking, okay? I'm out there on the-- - Great. (pieces of choppy audio) Now one more tool we're going to use, and it's called the Breakdown. (pieces of choppy audio) Between this pose, and this pose, I really want it to snap out there, because he's super energetic.
So put our playhead right in the middle, and with your mouse in the 3D View, hit Shift and E, and move your mouse to the right. Now if you look on the bottom left of your monitor, you'll see a little percent and the word "Breakdown". The more I go to the right, the more I favor the next key. The more I move my mouse to the left, the more that I favor the previous key. Because I want him snapping out there, I want to move it more over here. You can also access this tool by hitting T, going to Tools, and clicking on Breakdowner.
Let's see what we get. - Well I'd like to see you try. You wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking, okay? I'm out there-- (choppy pieces of audio) - I think we should move this over a little bit, and maybe this one, too. For good measure, maybe this. - Like to see you try. You wouldn't last one day. - Dude, I service society by rocking, okay? I'm out there on-- - Great. Now, as you can see, timing takes just that: time to complete.
By using techniques like Copy Pairs and the Breakdowner tool, we can effectively control how our timing can refine our character animation.
- Listening to the dialog clip
- Sketching out the animation framework
- Learning how character and facial rig works
- Blocking key character poses
- Getting feedback
- Adjusting appendages
- Matching dialog to the animation
- Cleaning up frames with the Graph Editor
- Lighting and rendering the animation