View Full Version : How can i develop good timing for animation?

02 February 2003, 02:53 AM
is there a formula that you animators work with?? I've tryed to time myself doing several motions, and when i try to animate my character to do these motions i always Screw it up.. Can any of you give me some pointers.. I just downloaded a animators stop watch but i have yet to try it out.

02 February 2003, 04:08 AM
Well there is no one "formula", but one resource to learn techniques of animation (including timing) is the excellent book:
The Animator's Survival Kit (

This book gives tips on timing and how to break character animation down. Other than techniquies like those listed in this book (and many similar ones like T. Albee's book) It's observation, acting and good old trial and error.

02 February 2003, 07:38 AM
I just downloaded a animators stop watch but i have yet to try it out. [/B][/QUOTE]

Which animation stop watch did you download and from where?...

There's a book called Timing for Animation by John Halas which will show the principles of animation timing but there is no one secret formula because I am looking for it too.

02 February 2003, 08:56 AM
Or there is the hard way.. Sit down and try everything.
That is the best way to learn in my opinion.
Experience is the key..

Try making a 24 frame walk cycle.. Then a 32 frame cycle.. then 28 frames etc.. After a while you know the amount of frames you want for a walk cycle..

02 February 2003, 09:34 AM
There is no set answer. Whatever looks right to you. Try this:

02 February 2003, 03:11 PM
try to "rotoscope" some motions from a movies scenes or animations ...

02 February 2003, 03:36 PM
Also lookinto Lost Pencils training CD's

02 February 2003, 05:27 PM
My suggestions:

Richard Williams book is *great* (The Animator's Survival Kit (
Also look into "The Illusion of Life (" - very nice insight.
Timing for Animation ( - Good info, somewhat redundant if you have Richard Williams book.

Spicy Cricket ( - lot of great general animation tutorials and tips here.
Principles of Animation ( - John Lasseter's text is all over the web in various forms. Good overview of the high level stuff.
Lost Pencil ( Paul's CD's are some of the best learning materials available. Very reasonably priced AND you can get *very* good advice and critques from him in his forum.
Motek ( Hit the "Stock Moves" link at the top. Free mocap data - But they have examples of each file so you can study the timing without even downloading the data.

02 February 2003, 05:32 PM
One thing you can do is this. Figure out how to set keys to the whole rig in one fell swoop.. then Set keys at all the KEY POSES. and in graph editor slide the keys around until your happy with the timing. Only after you think your satisfied with your timing you can go in and lock the feet down and polish it up.. if you just jump into polishing your animation with the finite details and things before the overall timing is solid then you are probably going to be "Polishing a Turd" (from my animation teacher) hehe.

02 February 2003, 06:13 PM
"The Animator's Survival Kit" is a great book. I borrowed a friend's copy and am going through it. It's just beautiful.

02 February 2003, 06:47 PM
I'm a self-taught animator and the trick I used...back in the day of vcr's...was to pause certain frames on an animation I was watching, and advance one frame at a time and take notes on timing, body positions and such. Of course, with dvd, this process is much cleaner and simpler. Definitely a great way to learn.

02 February 2003, 07:24 PM
I'd have to recommend Animaotrs Survivla Kit and Illusion of Life as well.

02 February 2003, 08:00 PM
i downloaded the timer from HERE ( i will try all the things you guys suggested... thanks.

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