View Full Version : Animation!!!! Tips!!!

09 September 2002, 11:42 PM
Hey guys, i have some modeling questions, or better yet, can anyone point me to some link that talk about modeling, rigging, and stuff like that.

In school, we are starting this project called PRIMITIVE THEATER, and we take basic primitives, and give them life.

My idea, is a light blub, so, the light blub will be the main character. How would you guys go about animating, and setting up a light blub??? I really appreciate all your help. I will post some stuff as i get is avaliable to show you some progress...i really appreciate it. thanx


09 September 2002, 01:32 AM
Something that simple, you might be better off animating with lattices or wrap deformers rather than trying to build a skeletal rig. Is a light bulb a primitive though? Are you sure the instructor isn't expecting you to use boxes spheres and cylinders, etc. for the project? Usually a primitive means a simple geometric shape, not a simple household object. I wouldn't want you to get the project wrong.

09 September 2002, 01:42 AM
you're better off doing something that squashes and stretches like a ball..a simple sphere...perhaps a ball and box animation?

a light bulb is hard, therefore how would you really bring it to life without giving it legs, arms, mouth, eyes, etc?

best of luck!

09 September 2002, 07:02 AM
My teacher loved the light bulb idea, its pretty simple. And, i thought about deformers, and i think that a bend deformer would work great! thanx alot.

But, you can make anything feel "alive" and that is what i want to do. I want to take a REAL object, and make it "ALIVE" like, Pixar's lamp...i am not copying that, but, they took a hard object, and gave it life..i want to do something like that.

if anyone has any tips on how to go about setting it up...let me know..thanx :)

09 September 2002, 11:08 AM
Can you add a face and some limbs?

09 September 2002, 04:50 PM
i cant add limbs. it has to be a simple shape. like just a PLAIN light bulb. this is the idea that i am going with, b/c, its challenging...and i need that, and i think it will help me learn more.

So, does everyone think that deformers is the best way to animate this guy?Should he keep his volume when he jumps and stuff? He wont squash much, but he will bend alot.

R.S.A.S.- C.A.

09 September 2002, 05:27 PM
The idea of using a lightbulb is great, but a little limiting. (hence my quick design idea)

I think that you must keep the shape intact. Luxo for example, doesn't squash and stretch at all. He's a real lamp, not a piece of bendy metal...Check out these tests:

In fact Lasseter often talks of the 'integrity-of-the-object' meaning I think, that because the object is in this case a bulb, if it deformed too much it would shatter, otherwise the illusion of life is taken away.

I agree with one of the posts above. Maybe try making some characters out of primatives. (The possibilities are endless!)



(there were some brilliant animations done a year or so ago, that were characters made from boxes, pyramids and spheres. I'll try and find the link)

09 September 2002, 09:51 PM
Hoops has some great animation information here:

It is mainly traditional animation, but the theory is still the same, especially for a simple character.

09 September 2002, 10:32 PM
Great link Beaker! :thumbsup:

This one goes to the top of my favorites list

09 September 2002, 03:51 AM
I think you can bend, squash and stretch, whatever you'd like to do with it...just make sure it is consistant throughout your animation. If you decide to go cartoony with alot of squash and stretch, make sure you keep it that way throughout the spot. If you decide to keep it within some reasonable physical boundary, keep it that way consistantly.

Personally, I'd go for a cartoony feel. It's almost all you've got for a lightbulb. This way you can focus on the basics...squash and stretch, anticipation, overshoot, takes, etc, and keep it interesting and fun.

As for a setup...use whatever method you're most comfortable with. If a skeletal setup gives you the most comfortable control, then go for it. If a lattice deformation works, then go for it. Do what's easiest for you to setup, so that you can focus on animating as opposed to technical issues.

P.S. Thanks for that link beaker.

09 September 2002, 06:20 PM
I did a lightbulp character about a year ago, his name was
"Ford Forward" should have become our company mascot, but
ended in nowhereland on my harddisk instead.
reading through this thread he jumped right into my mind...

the strange goggles he is wearing is our company logo
(the two fastforward arrows)

Best thing is his cloak, moving in the wind when he moves...
( done with simcloth on 3DSMax ) 250KB avi

short cloakswing (


09 September 2002, 06:26 PM
forgot the images - sorry

10 October 2002, 01:31 PM
finally here's those cool primative animations I was trying to find:

ps - nice bulbs spacefrog!

10 October 2002, 12:10 AM
That primitives animation page is awesome.

On the subject of the setup and construction of the lightbulb, I think the best way to stage him as a character is upside-down. My senior thesis was centered around a bagpipe, when the flute was a type of nose and he was shaped like a teardrop. Having the wide base and the small head lends itself to a lot of good squash and stretch.

The way that I set the character up, and this is definately not the only way, just the way that I did it back then, was to set the root of the skeleton at the very bottom of the character. Then I built up a couple of bones and made a long joint to the head. The head joint could either be translated to the joint above it rotated to give him a sort of spine. The advantage of translating the head joint is, is you set up some expressions, you can get great squash and stretch with almost no hastle.

I enclosed a pic in case I was competely incoherent.

Cood luck on the project, hope all goes well.

10 October 2002, 12:12 AM
Sorry, here's the pic.

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