May: Animation Mini Challenge


Hello everybody it’s May 2nd and time to begin a whole new challenge. This months topic is a Ball Kick.

Use your time wisely everyone. We have a whole month ahead of us, so start planning your setup. I hope to see something soon from everyone.

There is no audio planned for this month, but don’t be discouraged because that particular portion of the Challenge will be up running again next month.


Stuartb - GREAT start!!!



Here’s my final planning. Still extremely rough, and the back arm needs work, but I’ll work those details out once I get into Maya. The timing feels alright as does to spacing, which is more than half the battle!


Rig, Scene and Lighting are all setup, time to get animating! Hopefully, a few others join in soon :smiley:


Here’s a little animation I did in blender of a field goal kicker I referenced on youtube… Keep in mind this is the first animation that I’ve ever planned out before going through with (just read the animator’s survival guide haha)…

here’s the link

I’m not as good as most of you dudes yet… but I try :smiley:


Hey Jon, nice job! Everyone starts somewhere, so I wouldn’t be too worried. I downloaded the youtube vid so I could frame by frame and offer some feedback. Here’s what I’ve got for ya.

Side Note: I think the camera angle you have is working against you. It's harder to see what's really going on. Starting out, I would highly recommend using a SIDE view to animate from at first and show us that. We'll be able to pinpoint any issues much more easily this way.

FIRST step:
- Anticipation! It's missing :D Every movement has even the slightest bit of anticipation before the move itself. Instead of starting from a dead still maybe do a slight foot shuffle or weight change before the step to anticipate the step forward.
- I think the starting pose waist line is too high. Notice that both of the legs are nearly straight, leaving very little Y-axis to work with. Crouch him down just a bit more perhaps and spread the feet slightly. This would allow you to step UP into the passing pose then back down into the contact pose.
- Every body part is moving fairly evenly here. Both hands, the front foot and the waist/torso are all moving forward staticly. Try and break this movement up a bit. Put the back hand behind him perhaps at the start or delay one of the arms before it comes up.
- Your contact pose the back leg pops into a straight because it's hyper-extended. Adjust the waist so this pop doesn't detract from the fluidity.

SECOND step:
- I think the forward translation on the hips is too much, but its more likely a spacing issue over all. Remember that that as things speed up in animation or "ease out" the spacing becomes further and further apart. The same applies for the vis versa. I would highly recommend tracking the spacing of the hips and see if there is any irregular spacing. I use an arc tracker in Maya, but not sure if Blender has a similar feature. You can always use a magic marker in a side viewport on your monitor if all else fails. (ps. don't do this to LCD's though!)
- Also on the second step, the back hand feels very rigid, probably because its the same pose. Try and break this up a bit by giving it a bit more movement, even if very slight.

THIRD step:
- The hips here don't make sense. As he's pushing off with his back leg he dips down instead of pushing up and landing onto the forward leg. Watch the arc there.
- At one point both feet are off the ground making the character appear to float a bit. Make sure the front foot plants before pulling the back one off the ground.
- Front leg hyper-extends and pops. Like before, try and adjust the spacing of the waist to prevent this, assuming the Rig has FK feet.

- I think this part of the animation is working the best right now. Although I would smooth out the part where the legs reaches the top of it's movement. Notice that the pose occuring right after is nearly a held pose with only a slight bend.  What's happening is that it "feels" like he's hitting a brick wall at the top. Maybe put the previous frame with the leg lower so theres more cushion into the ease-out.
- I think the kick is happening too fast as well.
- Get the planted leg up on his toes perhaps as he follows through. This will portray the illusion of weight a bit more convincingly.
- Finally, lets see some recovery! Right now the foot just comes down and it's over. I'd really love to see him come back down the perhaps look back up to see if he made the kick he wanted!

In any case, hopefully this helped a bit :] Doing a full body run-kick is a very complex motion to tackle. I'm still tackling my blocking in stepped keys and getting it all feeling right is definiately proving a challenge. 

Keep up the good work and look forward to any revisions if you continue on with the animation!

ps. Definitely check out for uploading your videos to. It’s much better than youtube and allows anyone to download the file to frame-by-frame more easily.


Wow thanks so much bro! It definitely means alot to me that you actually took time from your day to help a brotha out!! haha…

As far as the animation goes… I will definitely be re-uploading the animation here soon… but first I am going to take every bit of critique into consideration and apply it to what I have thus far…

Again, thanks so much for helpin man! :slight_smile:


Np bud, it’s what these forums are for! :smiley: Look forward to your next pass.


This will be my first go at the animation challenge. Looking forward to a kicking good time


Hi all,
I’m not sure if I’ll have time to participate this month, but I’d definitely like to try a ball kick, and I like the fact there’s no dialogue.
So I’m not sure how this works, are there any requirements for the rig? Does it have to be a standard biped with upper body and arms?
Do we post all our progress here?


So I’m not sure how this works, are there any requirements for the rig? Does it have to be a standard biped with upper body and arms?

Haha, as far as I know, as long as your character is kicking a ball, it shouldn’t matter what it looks like. If you want to animate a Dr.Pepper can and give it personality while kicking a ball… That right there is the beauty of animation! :smiley:

Do we post all our progress here?

Yup :smiley:



Thanks Jon :slight_smile:


Update on my animation for this month: Comments welcome! You can also follow along with my progress in my WIP thread:


damnit no one will co-osign for my AM student loan Im envious of your skills man. it’ll just take me a little longer.

great stuff so far you should just keep uploading so I can try and keep up.



Well the blocking PLUS is done pretty much. I still need to go over all the arcs, do a pass on the hands and head before splining, but the timing and poses are feeling pretty good methinks. I also rendered it out for a quicking lighting test to see how it looked.

Any comments/crits welcome!

ps. Sorry to hear about AM Micah. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find someone for the next term.


hey stuart,

great blockplus, love the kick…if you did the reference yourself, your pele:). I didn’t even know this mini animation challenge was happening…Maybe I’ll try to throw in my hat.
Which class are you in, I’m midway thru acting with Nick Bruno.


Wow, I’m happy to have stumbled on these animation sessions…definitely going to keep my eye on this thread :slight_smile:


do we need to use a full body rig…or can we use any rig of our choice…like say a ball with 2 legs ?



ya feel free to use whatever you would like. this is just fun practice. cool to see a lot of am students in here!!!