Tim Duyzer - Animation Session 11 - Action Cut


Hello everyone! I’ve never really animated before, so this is kind of a first… I’m hoping it proves enjoyable.

Basically my idea is to be watching the character’s face front-on as he looks around. Then he looks at the camera, stares in disbelief, and the cut happens - you go to the side view, where he leans back to avoid a wrecking ball sailing towards him. As he straightens up and mops his forehead in relief, the wrecking ball flies back and hits him from behind, sending him flying off screen. I’m thinking a fisheye lense for the first shot may be the most effective, and then a wide-angle lens for the second. I may have a storyboard ready soon. I’m planning to use Daniel Martinez Lara’s Ciceto model & rig for 3ds max 4.2.

I won’t have a lot of time for this, because I’m leaving for a couple weeks in B.C. on Thursday, but I hope to get something together before I leave and after I come back. Best of luck, everyone :thumbsup:

[edit] Here’s the character. I added the helmet and cigar, he’ll lose both of them (the helmet will be knocked off when the wrecking ball first goes over, then the cigar flies out of his mouth when he gets hit).


Hey Timothy,

Very original idea!!

I’ll looking foward your entry.

Vitor Vilela


Thanks Vitor!
I interrupt your normal broadcasting just to say, man, this animating stuff is a lot of fun :love:


Okay, forget the storyboard. I like getting my hands dirty. Here’s the product of tonight’s endeavours, the raw animation almost up to the action cut.

Quicktime 2.4 MB

Pick it apart, please. Just keep in mind that I haven’t animated the eyes yet. I need to fix the back of the head wagging (it’s in time with a slower version of the head) and add some ambient motion too. And of course this is the first character animation I’ve ever done, so don’t be too harsh :slight_smile:


I’d be wary of keeping the torso so static and having the legs not influence his position.

Having the character shift his weight slightly when he lifts up his foot will give a lot to his life-full-ness-ness. Ok, I don’t know what word to put there.

I know I shouldn’t be so picky with a quick and dirty test-render. But it looked so nice, espescially for a first animate ever. The first time I ever used an IK model, amoung other problems, the character seemed to like to bend his knees the wrong way.



Yep, I need to swivel the hips a bit and shift some weight when he moves his feet. It doesn’t quite work at the moment. Thanks for the critique, I’ll have an update up in a bit.


Looks pretty good. You might want to think about doing a close shot…shoulders and up and then for the cut bring the camera out for medium shot. Maybe not. It’s up to you. As for the animation…there really isn’t any weight on anything right now…the cog stays in one spot even as the feet move. There’s some other fundamental errors as well…really pay attention to your arcs…as well as anticipation and overlap. It feels very rigid for such a cartoony character. The timing feels a bit off…slow shift of the feet to a really quick snap for the salute thing…work your timing a little better and it will work. Not really sure the head turn needs to be in there as well…or if it does…maybe as an anticipation for the salute…again you’d need to work the timing on that. This is good for a first animation…I just wanted to point out somethings. Hope it didn’t sound harsh…but you’re here to learn and I hope I helped just a smidgen:) Others may not agree…give it a bit and wait to see what others say. Keep it up man!!


Great stuff Remi, I’ll work all of that in when I get a chance. I’ve been trying to give it a bit more weight, which may be noticeable in this clip… I will probably have to exagerate things more to get a real cartoonish feel. I’m still figuring things out, I keep running into horrible problems where I just can’t figure out where the motion came from. Oh well, use 3ds Max long enough and you learn the serenity of a monk :wink:

Quicktime 2.3 MB

Still need to pack in everything else in the remaining 40 frames or so. Thanks for the solid critique, I really appreciate it :slight_smile:

Oh, and I’ve gotten the salute thing a couple times. He’s actually about to shade his eyes to look around, but that doesn’t seem to be coming across… I’m not sure what I’ll do about it. Perhaps he’ll reach up to adjust his helmet, or maybe I’ll just drop the movement altogether.


I noticed about three things.

  1. He is hugging his hips with his hands? The way he is doing that is a bit akward.

  2. The feet, they are swimming ever so slighty…but just enough to kill the weight. Plant those feet!

  3. If you are getting movement that you don’t know where it is coming from, try killing your smooth curves by changing everything in your graph editor to either step tangents or linear tangents. It will also make tweening a lot easier.

One more thing, how hard would it be to make his arms longer? I think shading his eyes when looking around is always a great pose and will generally give off a good silhouette.

Keep going!



first off, I like your idea. I think it has potential.

Second, I have a few thoughts about the animation so far.

  1. The first thing I noticed is that he has no weight. with the 2 foot steps, his hips barely move. The first foot step looks ok, but the second has none.

  2. As Jon said above, his feet swim. His left foot steps and then slides back to where it started. also, you might want to add a little foot flop to your feet. have the heel contact first, then the toes.

  3. having you head lead the action can be good for making a character look lazy. I didn’t get the impression that your character was lazy so, on the first look over to the right, have his eyes lead his head. You do that for the look to the left and it looks better.

  4. Let your character react to things. give him definable moments. so far the moments I can see are 1.look right, 2.look left, 3.look straight, 4.notice something, 5.then react to it. make sure you hit those moments clearly. the look right is fine. but numbers 2-5 all blend together. make sure you define each pose and moment. his eyes are constantly on the move at the end. also keep his hand down until he registers the suprise.

  5. watch the hand placement on the hips, they don’t really feel like they are touching them. but you might not be done.

  6. you probably could take the foot steps out all together. There doesn’t seem to be a reason for why he’s taking 2 steps. this could be even stronger if you took them out. or at least the second step.

  7. the eye blinks seem to be too fast. could be the difference of a few frames.

  8. the blink should be on the suprise, not in the middle of it. he blinks just after the moment of suprise.

In general, i think you just need to think about the reason for a movement. does it need to be there? does it help the audience to understand my character? does it communicate the idea in the best way possible? I, personally, spend most of my time thiking just about those things. Tweening and making stuff look fluid doesn’t come for much later.

Again, these are just my thoughts on what I see.



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