Jon Campbell - Animation Session 11 - Action Cut


Ok I am in. I acted out about 50 different versions of this in front of the mirror. I settled on this one:


Without doing a written description, does everyone understand what is going on? I am thinking about ditching the first pose and starting it out with him already waving, that way I have 10 more frames for thinking time later on.



That’s quite nice! I like the concept, though I had to watch it twice to udnerstand it, because I did not notice the first guy making a gun with his hand the first time I saw it. Maybe try to make that a bit more clear.


Ok, I guess I am gonna ditch that first pose after all, and have him already waving @ the start so I can give some more thinking time with the gun pose.

If anybody is curious…I am using Maya 6 and my characters are rigged using the Packageman rig.



hey jonno!

it was a little hard to follow, I didn’t get it until I saw it, read what you guys said, and then watched it again. Maybe either take out that wave or have him wave at the camera since the gun point looks like he’s pointing at you.

a side note as well, I don’t know if what you are doing fits the assignment. It could just simply be a “matching action” excersize. but Sheep wrote that the character should be idle at first. then hear or sense something, turn to see it, and then the reaction and the cut.

just a thought.



Here is version 2; taking out the first and third poses opened some precious frames up for more thinking time:

v2 (i am hoping it plays smoothly, there is a jerky frame in there that plays one pose @ the wrong speed)

Things I gotta do next:

  • Start the breakdowns
  • possibly fix the position of the cut-to camera. The eyes from cut to cut do not match up, resulting in the viewer’s eyes jumping. This could be because the poses are all on step tangents; maybe once I smooth the curves out the cameras will match up better.



And version 3:


Added some breakdowns. Does anyone else think that at the cut that the gun slinger character looks like he is scaring the shot character, rather than just being surprised?



Not until you mentioned it, no.

Actually no, I still don’t see it. I know what you’re talking about, his mouth wide open, maybe like he’s yelling at the shot character or something. Nope. All I see is utter shock that his hand was loaded.

When will we learn to buy gun safety locks?



Hey Jon boy:)

Here’s my thoughts (take em or leave em)…

[li]The second camera angle is working well for me because I’m not sure what’s happened to the second guy. It took me a few times of viewing to understand. Maybe you could have the guy spin/stagger around so you register pain on his face or something. Another issue with it is focus. In the first shot, the guy is looking at the camera, but then his finger points off to the side to “shoot”. In the next shot you don’t really establish a change of body direction so I’m not sure why his right foot goes back in his antic. [/li][li]I think the suprise might be more effective if you went with a more sheepish “Oh, crap, did I do that” kind of reaction to the more dramatic one you have. [/li][li]The last pose is a bit to symmetrical. Try something else. [/li][li]I like the general movement of the “shot” nice wrist stuff coming in [/li][li]Frame 54- In that suprise pose, I’d think that right hand would open at lease a little [/li][/ul] Hope this helps. Keep at it:thumbsup:


Hey Josh, thanx for the comments. Just one question: The second camera is or isn’t working for you? Cuz the next sentence u write sounds like you are contradicting yourself. Or rather it is good that you don’t know what is happening off screen? Confused…

I think the spin around and the “oh crap” ideas are both great. U think a “grabing the hair” type of pose might work for the “oh crap” pose?



Sorry,no, mixed up typing and thinking. I was thinking of ways to fix what you had as well as thinking of other ways to take a stab at it. Two different bunny trails.

I wasn’t sure if the looking at the camera pose was supposed to put us in the the guy that got shot’s point of view or something else. Without that, I couldn’t pick a trail.

Pull his hair out might work. Act that out to the mirror and also try something a bit more subdued and see what you think.


Good point about the point of view in the first camera shot. I never really thought about it too much, just more about getting a good silhouette and a good eye matching between the cuts.

However, was that your first impression that the point of view of the first shot was from that of the shot character and that is why you were confused?

I guess I should take that route, since the shooting character is shooting directly @ both the camera and the shot character. What do you think? And are there any ways to make that clearer?



Make sure you think about how one shot will cut to the next. Make sure actions and/or eye focus point the audience where you want them to look.

My points of confusion were:

[li]He’s pointing to the side a little but looking at the camera. Then in the next shot the guy may or may not be directly in front of him… [/li][li]Where his body is pointing isn’t clear yet because in shot two, the lead characters right foot is behind him as if he’s just turned or is turning as it is not a natural position for standing [/li][/ul] I’d work out clearing up the body language, then fix the camera if your’e going to make changes. Fixing body language might negate that.


Here is v4 :

Thanx Josh again for the input…more to do for v5!

Fixes in version 4…fixed the gun shoot a bit more, added the “oh crap” pose. What does everyone think? Work? Come across clear? And I added the “death spin.”



it’s communicating much better now. I think Josh is right on his last post there as well.

just have one thing so far:

the extremes on frames 30 and 60 seem too extreme to me. actually maybe it’s not that they feel too extreme, it’s more that they don’t make a lot of sense to me. the only thing I have with 30 is that his head back like that doesn’t feel natural. in frame 60, I like that you are going for an extreme there, but it just doesn’t seem to make sense with the pose before and after it. part of it is that it’s symmetrical and the other part is that it doesn’t feel like an inbetween that would be there. if you know what I mean.


Thanx Ben for the feedback. On frame 30 I should just tone it down a bit? Now that I think about it, the head should be forward rather than back because of leading and following action.

Do you have any ideas on a getting a clearer anticipation pose between the first shock pose and the “oh crap pose?” Also what do you think about the “oh crap” pose, work?


And here is v5

I added antics and cushions and fixed the foot for the shooting character in the cut shot. I also added a pose and changed the timing slightly on the shot character. One thing that is bugging me is the shot character; I need to make him leaning back, before he takes the step and keels over.

What does everyone think?




nice work! Like the timing and poses! I am just not sure about making him looking to the camera on the fisrt shot, right before the cut! I would keep him looking to his right side!

Nice job!

BTW: V5 link did not work for me!



Sorry the link didn’t work, I just tried it and it does work. Maybe the server was down? Try it again…



Here is v6

I smoothed out the shooting character by changing all of the curves to linear. Time for breakdowns…then smoothing out the linear curves, then final. Two days, its gonna be a lot of work!

The hands need a lot of work, such as leading and following action as they are very stiff. The feet slide from pose to pose in cut 2, so I need to add some “jumping” action in the feet.

Anybody see anything else?



Funny piece. The first version I didn’t understand what was happening, now it works.

One thing, the right arm at the beginning looks wrong. I would have the elbow down a bit so it look more natural. Same for the left arm at the end… it look all flat in one line… break it maybe?

break break break

Also, is he going to have a real gun at the end?

break break break