View Full Version : anticipation animation (the punch)

06 June 2008, 09:55 AM
Hey everybody, I just started my blocking on my anticipation animation in maya. Let me know what you think. c&c be harsh if you want.


06 June 2008, 02:43 PM
Hey man, this looks like a good start. First of all you need to a breakdown between frame 1 and 6, then another between 6 and 12. You've broken down the punch pretty well, but you should speed it up a bit because right now it feels like a very weak, tired, punch. Also keep better track of what his left arm is doing, right now it feels a little jumpy and a bit like he doesn't know what to do with it. Just cleaning up the arc on the fist and elbow will help a lot. Lastly, I think you should keep going after frame 20 and have his body settle a bit instead of stopping so harshly. It would even be pretty funny if you had him settle, then look up and gesture (to the person he is attacking), and make a pose that says "...What?"

Then post again and get more critiques.

Keep going!

~ Kent

06 June 2008, 06:29 PM
So, on the third pose his foot slides forward. For a punch to have impact, you don't want to be losing some of the forward energy in the foot - in fact you want the foot to be anchored against the ground so you have something to push back against. The difference between the second and third poses suggests that all of the energy is coming from the character's right toes. That doesn't make for a very solid punch.

Is this character actually going to hit anything, or is he just punching the air? Dick Williams notes that the most forceful punch would be all anticipation and follow through - don't even show the contact. Of course that's a lot easier when you can draw a blur, but perhaps this rig allows for stretching to help accomodate that? It's been a while since I've used it. It might help to just put something there as a target for him to hit.

A very major thing to be thinking about is silhouette and contrasting curves. Your anticipation should starkly contrast your starting pose, and should have opposite curves to the follow through. Right now, I don't see any of that. The limbs are rather straight throughout and all we get is a little leaning at the hip. There isn't a lot of flexibility in the knees in particular, and I think that is because your character is too high off the ground. When you want to put your force into something, you have to get lower to the ground for better balance. You'll notice this will give you a chance to have a better arc for the head motion, as right now if you follow the top of the position of the head, you barely notice anything at all. The first pose where the back foot leaves the ground illustrates this problem - there isn't at all enough body momentum to justify this foot leaving the ground, and that pose in fact leaves him unbalanced and liable to fall backward.

Overall I think you are being far too reserved - don't be afraid to push extremes well beyond what you think is acceptable. You can tone it down later and that would be the opposite problem you're having now.

06 June 2008, 08:37 AM
joseph + Kalfred = Thank you for your critiques helped me a lot. I like what you guys had to say.

Here's the update

let me know, and again thank you.


06 June 2008, 02:20 PM
Just a quick comment, lower the hips a little bit in the anticipation, a good punch comes from the entire body, not just the fist. Try to get the hip into a nice curve, lowering and swinging, the rest will build itself pretty automatically from there

06 June 2008, 08:44 AM
It's improved greatly since your first post. Although , after seeing how far that fist flys after he releases it, I would like to see even more anticipation. I would have him really pull his fist back prior to throwing the punch. Also, could you fix the feet after the punch? the right foot slides a little and it should stick.

06 June 2008, 06:32 PM
Hey man nice work till now try to break it even more at this stage, add breakdowns between frame 1-9. I would favor the anticipation pose a lot so it reads better. Check poses in frames 18-20 there is little change in the hand that is punching, work on your line of action in those poses really exagerrate them.

Check the arcs of the hand that is hitting and try leading with the shoulder or the chest to see if it works better, now it looks like he is leading with the hips and really push those poses. Really drag that hand!

Also work a bit more on your anticipation pose, really push it give it some movement in hips now i think it only rotates and fix your last few poses he looks completly out of balance.

Nice work good luck.

06 June 2008, 11:37 PM
Here's an update, I feel like there's something not working here and I can't find it. Tell me what you guys think.

06 June 2008, 10:56 PM
frames 20-22

the "contact" of the punch isn't a very strong pose. the head seems to be moving with the fist like he's punching with his head instead of his arm. do you have reference?

06 June 2008, 08:07 AM
UPDATE again!!
and yes, I do have reference of myself doing the punch.

06 June 2008, 07:49 AM
Alright, I have started to animate the root and the foot.

What do you guys think?

06 June 2008, 02:01 PM
hey man really nice work... some tip for you.. try to create a solid pose before move from bloking to spline
for me the anticipation don't have a strong silouette..
try to push more the pose...
and then look the punch trajectory..
try to create a reallyt solid arc in the animation.. and for a better critique add a frame counter
so will be more easy to help you

06 June 2008, 08:44 PM
^ Agreed.. imo this woulda progressed faster if you kept the arms visible, lol. I don't have a problem with splined curves, because that's how it ends up, so why not just start like that? Anyway, from the previous version (stepped), the left arm needs to go back more (frame 20 ish). More exaggeration on both! The windup with the right needs more body twist, and the arm should be further back (frame 12 ish). The right leg is still flippin out and being hyperextended, so fix that ;) but otherwise it's getting there. Good luck and keep updating!

06 June 2008, 09:37 PM
acamporota is say right push the pose a bit more while he is anticipating for the punch and make the siloutte clear..... be careful about ur acrs..

the last pose doesn't seems fit in the frame.....give him a very strong pose like he is looking towards to whom he gave punch (ie. he is saying don't bug with me next time....) that does make a sense.......

gud going keep it up...

07 July 2008, 06:04 AM
Alright it's been awhile and it shouldn't have taken me this long to finish this, which isn't finished yet. But, I have spent 4-6 hrs a day three times a week and squeezed in hours where i am free from work. I have tried to fix the things on my animation from the critiques that i have received from the post above. And all of them were very helpful, and I thank you. So, here is what I have.

Thank you and looking forward to your critiques.

07 July 2008, 06:43 AM
I think the punch is looking really nice and fluid. I only have a problem with the last 20 or so frames.
The movement goes from really nice and fluid to stiff and robotic. I think he could have a better pose as he turns to look at the camera, and when he rotates to look at the camera everything is rotating all at once and then he stops dead still for a few framsses at the end. If you keep his body in motion slightly, and offset the times that different parts of his body rotate, I think the last 20 frames will look a lot smoother.

Just throwing an idea out there... :
Maybe he could react to whatever he punched by grabing his punching hand in pain?

07 July 2008, 04:47 PM
I think most of it is there, but here's one thing that strikes me...

I sense a lack of force in the punching arm because the arm and the shoulder seem to be pretty much in synch in that gesture. They are both beginning and ending at the same time.

The shoulder is where the force starts and if it lead the arm into that action just a bit we might get a sense of weight and inertia and effort in the arm catching up and overtaking it. Overlapping action.

The punch may be a bit too quick over all.

I also think his right leg is not stepping into place soon enough after the punch to keep him from falling

07 July 2008, 03:55 AM
to me, it looks like the elbow needs to be raised a bit to make it semi parallel to the fist, right now it looks like he's getting ready to throw something that isn't a punch

that's the only thing that's bugging me about the animation.

otherwise it looks good

07 July 2008, 12:41 PM
Hi WiSe,

It is starting to look good. Just a few things I noticed:
If you change the two key positions you might give the punch more weight. I've made a quick paint over of the two to show it a bit better.

In the first, the elbow should be higher and the shoulders counter the hips, not totally but more than this. Right now it looks more like a throw than a punch. Also, the left arm should be more stretched to counter the weight of the body (which at this point is almost totaly on his right leg). You might want to push the pose a bit more.

The second stance should have his upper body turn more into the punch. It will read as a stronger pose couse the streched right leg goes over in the stretched body. Also, when animating, let the shoulder lead and the fist follow, when the shoulder is (almost) at its maximum position then the fist should swing out. A bit lowering of the head might help.

His left arm might need some love after the puch...

Hope this helps a bit, I think its a good puch already.

ps: It seems other people already said the same as me, thats what you get for not reading the second page of posts :D

07 July 2008, 03:33 PM
When it comes to creating force from torso, most of it comes from twisting the torso. I think it will help in generating more force and remove the stiffness from the torso.

07 July 2008, 03:33 PM
its lookin like you have decent timing , just act it out until its in grained in your mind of the key poses that need to land. watch fight scenes

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