Monday, December 31, 2007

Stretchy and squashy

Well, first of, I wish you happy holidays, and happy New Year.

I've been rather busy with Christmas and holidays in general so I practiced a bit with squash and stretch.

As you can see in the example with bouncing ball, there is no sense of weight and ball seems to float up and down.

In this example I introduced squash effect and motion is more believable, IMHO

Now, to summarise squash and stretch is an exaggeration effect, used in animation to describe mass of an object. Light object don't stretch too much. Also, since it describes mass, it is used to describe all properties of mass, primarily inertia.

Inertia is a property of a body to continue in state it is in, until force is introduced to the body.

Squash and stretch are used to describe inertia when speeding-up (stretch) a body or slowing-down (squash).

When body is still and there is no speed to the body, S&S effect is not needed.

Well this is all for today. Now I'm off to welcome a New Year! All best!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Different dimension?

When I started this blog I intended to do series of examples in principles of animation.
These examples are aimed to improving my skills and developing new that I don't have.

I wanted to do it old school: 2D animation and 3D as an upgrade of skills.
I from start in my animation, used 3D, and never tried doing 2D animation, since I found scanning lot of drawings tedious.

But, with tablet in hand, I dared explore animation from its foundations up. At the very start I'm at a theoretical question:

What is the difference in process between 2D and 3D animation?

Yesterday I watched Jason Ryan's video and seen 2D process.

Cells are drawn in, on one's, two's or with any timing you see fit. Spacing of objects gives the speed to animation, as well as spacing between in-betweens :)

Ease-in/out is done by placing in-betweens, without changing the exposure time of each cell. If need be, you can adjust exposure later.

So, can this be copied to 3D as is?

In 3D, Ease-in/out is done by changing property of objects' curves (keys). Computer does in-betweens.

So only timing decision is where to put the keys and what frame rate it will be. There is no question, will animation be on one's, two's or three's.. Or is there?

Well I think its interesting question, I will try and find the answer to. As always any help is appreciated.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

How to ease-in the animation?

This week I thought a lot about stretch and squash, ease-in and out, timing. All this thought s were pointed toward exercise I should do first in order to get things right.

I thought to do this by 2D and 3D, but my Genius tablet is acting up, so I didn't do much 2D as I planned.

At the end I read through some books, and done few animations.

Ease-in and Ease-out

In following example I tried to put linear cycle of the falling ball and eased in cycle together so I could see what impact difference it makes.

My initial observations, as well as prior knowledge were that to every organic motion there is a rhythm, slow-ins and slow-outs if you will. We don't walk linear, and our joints can't stop in place. So easing-in and out of motion is what makes motion believable.

In this example, first two motions are linear, while other two are eased. First ball would be appropriate for a elevator or some mechanical contraption, but it certainly is not a real ball.

Linear motion, in this case fall, disregards gravity, so that is a further fact that makes motion less believable.

Other two balls I tried to display mass quality as well. If ball has a great mass, then it would take more time for it to pass extreme position (in this case, highest or lowest position). Inertia would bind it and hold it for a while.

I tried to do it by flattening out the y position curves in peak spots.

To summarize:

  • Easing-in and out of motion is a process in which speed of a motion is either increased toward the finish of the motion or decreased. This is done by in/decreasing number of different in-betweens or by adjusting the type of curve in more of an S shape in 3D software.

  • It helps convey natural motion, mass of the object or external forces that act on an object (gravity)

  • Lack of ease-in or ease-out can convey mechanical nature of the motion, when appropriate.

My next post will deal probably with stretch/squash and timing

Sunday, December 09, 2007

My little public animation school

After a long time I'm finally concentrating on my animation skills.

Frankly I'm not satisfy and I'm determined to develop them from the ground up.

This is my Lesson plan, that I'm going to try and fill in next few years, publicly, on this blog.

I'm going to use this blog to force myself to find the time and do the exercises, although my time is divided between my work and my family life.

So, this is the plan:

Lesson plan

12 principles of animation

Squash & Stretch



Straight ahead and Pose-to-pose

Follow through and overlapping action

Slow in and Slow out


Secondary motion



Solid drawing


Simple animation



Physical excurses

Complex motion



Various emotional states

Analysis of silent movies

Facial animation

Emotional expressions without sound


Complex acting

11 second club

I'm hoping that some of you who find yourself on this page find the time and kindness to suggest types of excursuses or modifications to the plan that could be helpful on my path of learning.

Also, I hope that you will frequent my blog and comment on the excursuses.

I'll try and do 2D and 3D excursuses as much as possible, at least for 12 principles. But if it gets time consuming I'll orient toward 3D.

Ok. I guess this is it, no turning back now. Wish me luck :)