Lifting a heavy stone


Still just working on my fundamentals. This is vidar3d btw. I changed my email address on my account and can’t get it to reactivate so I created this new account so I can post while I wait for cgtalk to get everything sorted out.

Thanks to those who helped me out on my walk cycle.

Lifting the heavy stone


I must say, I really like the first half of that animation, you can really tell how much it weighs but then by the end of the second half the animation went kinda floaty. Maybe you can speed it up? Also I’m not quite sure what the last pose means, is he waving to a crowd? Looks good though, keep it up!



thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I will try speeding up the end to see if that helps the “floatiness” that you are sensing.


Hi thunderball,

Nice efforts… Its a great start… Really like the timing of the lifting of the stone… Overall timing is good, however when the stone falls, and later, it can be faster… Just noticed foot slides… it can be in locked positions unless while taking steps… Then after half of the lift, the character seems to lift the stone using chest which would be really diffucult to do considering the weight of the stone that was establised during preparation to lift and the actual lift… And then a few breakdowns and inbetween poses would certainly help…

Really appreciate all the hard work… :slight_smile:
Keep animating…


you have the right idea but you goin at it too fast act it out, your ins an outs are not spaced out to give u good timing its all goin at once, us step flat an block it out.

  1. key poses (what u want him to do at certin times)
  2. break downs( how he gets to the key poses)
  3. passing
  4. timing & spacing


I use to work with paper (Shipping and Receiving) and spent most of that time lifting 50-80lb boxes of office paper. After a while I started to realize the way Ive animated people lifting, was never how I really lift things. When acting it out you’re doing it while thinking about it you’re tying to portray it being heavy.

In reality you want to lift it like its the lightest thing possible and make it easy to do by; shifting your weight, leverage, body position. Theres also other things to take into consideration when putting this into animation; anticipation, squash and stretch, timing…etc

One thing that i noticed is when lifting something thats: heavy, low to the ground and wide or awkward. I would be on one knee in a squat. Then shift the weight of the object onto my thy, this brings the weight instantly to my center of gravity and now I have the strength of my thy supporting the weight and providing leverage for when i stand up.

Now if i were to lift this any higher than my midsection, my center of gravity would rise and even extend outside my body, causing me to stumble while trying to regain control.
Your character lifts it straight up and has no struggle. which is why it appears to loose its weight.

Now i gather hes trying to “shot put” it and it doesn’t go far. Once he removes support of the ball, it will drop straight to the ground with little or no bounce, Something of that mass would have high momentum, meaning it would require more energy to move. he might take a few steps back to give it some thrust. but if its REALLY heavy it will be just a dead thud as it dents the ground.

The moment he loses the ball will also will change his center of gravity suddenly. You could ad some comical elements, such as him falling forward onto the ball and giving a little grin or thumbs up. Or not falling over but being extremely exhausted and tries to raise his hand for a “fist pump of victory” but cant raise it above his head.

I know i might have thrown a lot at you, but take it in pieces, just like the animation, time it all out, break it down to key poses, then work it into motion. Get goofy and film yourself as reference. Being an animator often means you have no shame…

i remember when my girlfriend found the “reference” tape i made. “Are you Dancing? you never dance!? Oh now what are you doing?”


Great advice, especially about using reference and watching how people really do things, such as resting heavy things on the thigh sometimes, or stumbling once you get to your feet. You’d be surprised what little things you spot when you really observe.


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