View Full Version : Kajenx's Learning Thread

04 April 2008, 07:39 AM
Hey everyone! I'm trying to teach myself animation, and I'd like to get as much feedback as I can along the way. So, I figured instead of making a new thread for each exercise I do and cluttering up the forum, I'll just post them all in here.


Here's a link to my second exercise: A walk


For the first exercise, I found a setup for a bouncing ball (I'm using Blender by the way) so I thought I'd give it a try, as it seems to be the first step in everything I've been reading.

Here's a YouTube link:

Feel free to tear it apart!

04 April 2008, 05:48 PM
I don't know much about good animation but you've achieved a somewhat "physically accurate" animation here. Try to explore more characature-type animation (toon style). Try squash and stretch on the ball and play with the curves on your keyframes to exaggerate the movement.

More like how these eyeballs bounce:

04 April 2008, 08:43 PM
Alright, I'll try that next. Thanks!

04 April 2008, 03:06 AM
Good start on the ball mate. I think the eyeball's fighting is
a pretty involved type of project to pull off at the moment.

Maybe try the following.
Use your existing scene and animate different types of balls rolling off.
Try a bowling, basket, tennis, beach, golf, etc all just rolling off the edge
of your platform. I would texture them just to increase the thinking process.

You'd be surprised how much more you tend to focus on the actual physics of
the type of ball your animating when it actually resembles the object, not a grey
sphere :)

Either trawl youtube or film your own reference footage of the above mentioned
balls, and pick it apart. Note the timing and spacing, these are the most important
areas to focus on. Also the rolling of the balls.

That should keep you busy for a while. Don't settle for okay, do em spot on you will
be better for it.

04 April 2008, 01:06 AM
I decided to do a walk for my second exercise. I'll probably go back to the ball again, but I wanted to do something a little more complex.

This is still a work in progress, but let me know what you guys think! Feel free to tear it apart, too.

04 April 2008, 08:41 AM
Ok, first off, a rule of 3d animation is that you never make a leg or arm go completely straight, becuse when it bends again, it "pops" into the new position and always looks wrong, so if you want a straight limb, you position the foot at an almost straight angle, with about 5 degrees bent so it doesnt pop.

Secondly, on this walk, the character is always stretching his leg forward for the next step rather than naturally taking a step. Think about walking as a controlled fall. Walk around your room yourself and study what positions you take.

04 April 2008, 11:08 AM
I think that's pretty good for a first attempt.

Think of walking in terms of weight transference from the hips outward to the rest of the body. Do it yourself and feel the weight changes. So you get a slight left to right movement in the hips as well as a forwad movement when taking a step. there could also be a slight pelvic rotation along with that.

04 April 2008, 01:01 PM
first off, it's been about 5 years since i last animated anything, so take this with a grain of salt (but i'll be animating again in about 3 months time, and chomping at the bit!)

i agree with aesir on the reaching out comment. the steps appear to be pulling the character forwards, not supporting the character as it walks around. it's almost as though it's avoiding gaps in the ground and stepping over them.

there's a really good hand drawn walk cycle here ( (no, it's not mine). it's a really great example because the character is so exaggerated and kinda slouching a bit (so don't take it this far unless you want your character to look lazy - the dip is a bit much for a normal walk). notice how the leading leg moves in each step - the upper leg comes out to about a 45 degree angle, but the lower leg never really advances beyond an invisible vertical line in line with the knee, almost as though it's hanging from the knee (which it more or less is). the momentum of the character in turn pulls the trailing leg from the ground, and which then pretty much swings underneath the character.

note that you don't have to stick to that as a rule - in certain situations you may want your character too look like it's stepping over something or avoiding something, but understanding the mechanics of what's going on will help you to know when to do one thing or another.

i love animation, because it gives me a chance to get out and have a really close look at lots of things in heaps of detail. high-speed camera footage is especially useful for this sort of stuff, and casio is actually about to release a high speed camera aimed at consumers, which i'm sure many animators will be waiting eagerly for.

04 April 2008, 02:33 AM
Thanks guys! I was wondering about that popping in the knees, but I thought I just made a bad rig. I'll try again with those suggestions and see if I can't get something more natural.

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