Animation – Week 4


In the fourth lesson of Animation, the class had an overview of how to animate a bouncing ball. However, this time we used an advanced rig of the ball to animate. It was far quicker and easier to animate the ball and I found that the results with my ball were far greater. Jacqui also gave us some advice on what we should start animating first and what we should animate last of all. When animating a ball, start with the translates, then move onto the rotations and finally add the squash and stretch. This allows the flow of animating the ball move along more smoothly.

Next, the class started learning blocking animations. Blocking animation is posing the character out before animating it. Think of it as a practice before the final performance in front of the camera. Animators block out to give the animation a foundation (a starting point). The poses that are blocked out are always the “key” poses for an animation. These poses need to be defined to be animated.

There are several steps to animation;

1. foundation

  • Inspiration
  • Imagination
  • Planning

2. Structure

  • Extreme poses
  • Inbetweens
  • Flattening out your poses
  • Squash and Stretch
  • Clear emotions so the audience can appeal

3. Secondary Pass

  • Overlap
  • Follow Through

4. Polish

  • Offsetting Keyframes
  • Extra Detail

For the final part of the lesson, the class to turns observing different was to pick up heavy objects. This was then proceeded by searching for references and drawing thumbnails of a character picking up a heavy object. 

I found great examples of both good and bad examples of animated characters picking up objects.   This animation doesn’t seem to work properly. The animation is too smooth and even though the animator is attempting to convey that the animation is struggling to pick up the object, it just leaves the audience confused.   This animation is a far better example of a character picking up a heavy object. Weight is brilliantly presented in both the character and the object and appeals to the audience.   Finally, this is a great example of the different stages of animation. The video shows how it goes from the blocking stages to the final polished version.


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