Hello! I'm 18 years old and love animation and illustration! I decided to push myself more and try to do some animations! I hope one day, I'll be able to make shorts. I have no formal animation training and I'm just starting college this year. My college doesn't have an animation course, so I'm trying to teach myself. I hope for some helpful critique and advice!
I made this animation a year ago. I referenced Don Bluth's Fievel walk cycle sheet. I'm hoping to work on more animations this week.
Hey! You look like you are on the right track : ) For self teaching I would definitely recommend Richard Williams The Animator's Survival Kit, it has great great basics in it. Looks like you have done well from checking out the Fievel walkcycles- they are great practice, if you want to challenge yourself further I would suggest trying some walkcycles from different angles.
My main criticism for this would be to watch your volumes - the head is shrinking and the legs and arms change a bit in size as well. You should also draw a solid ground plane - the closest foot slips down quite low. The movement looks quite good in terms of the timing, I think if you nail down the ground and volumes it will look great.
wallflower: So sorry for the late reply! I haven't been doing much animation since I posted this sketchbook! Thank you for your critique and I agree! I did not have a peg holder back when I did that animation, so everything is out of proportion.
A ball animation! Sorry for not updating this sketchbook! I'm finally doing animation again and since I went digital for the time being, I think I can crank out a bit more.
rumpenstiltzkin: Thanks so much for the critique! I see it now. The ball does look a little to even when it falls down/bounce back up. I did another this morning, adding more stretch and making it fall abit faster. What do you think?
I'm actually doing various ball bounces but deleting as I go, haha. I should probably save them.
Vertical: Great critique! Thank you! I tried to do so in my latest attempt, but it still looks off. Bleh. :/
Alice Herring: Thanks so much for the suggestion! I just created a quick animation to see if it works. It does!
EDIT: Actually, I deleted the link because I'd rather put my all into the next exercise than half-assing it.
Yeah! So, I'll try and update as often as I can and the dropbox suggestion does work! I'll be linking to that from now on as well. Thanks so much for the critiques everyone! They are much appreciated!
Last edited by Aresa; May 25th, 2012 at 09:40 PM.
I understand and I still have the link. I'm having some problems though. When I convert my .gif files into .mov files, some of the frames disappear, making it choppy. Is it because of the frame-rate or...?
I converted the ball exercise I posted today, so I did not get the chance to write in the frames.
Yeah, unfortunately it not only screwed your timing but you're missing at least a frame. So I tried to rebuild it (on twos). I included it in order to refer to specific frame numbers.
The ball bounce is a deceptively simple exercise; teaching ease in, ease out, and squash and stretch. It also is the beginning of students learning to understand how to use those principles to indicate weight and speed.
The 'ease out' is the spacing gradually increasing between drawings, which makes the ball look like it's speeding up until it hits the ground and rebounds. As the ball rebounds it slows down into the last position as the ball fights with gravity - 'easing in' to the final drawing, so to speak. Between 1 and 3, and 21 and 1 (the loop) there aren't any drawings - so instead of feeling like a gradual drop and a gradual change of direction, the ball feels like it's hitting a wall at the top.
How quickly the ball speeds up can indicate mass - in the three ball bounce I did (a while ago) the assignment was to animate a bowling ball, a regular bouncing ball, and a beach ball. (there was a frame limit, so I didn't finish the beach ball!) You can study animation by picking a spot and paying attention to the spacing the spacing.
In the case of your animation, I was studying the bottom edge of the ball Oh, also - you might want to experiment with frame 15 - you might not need that drawing! The ball is going to rebound very quickly if it's bouncy, so you won't 'ease out' of drawing 13. (Looks like a timing chart, right? It's supposed to.)
Squash and Stretch can help indicate speed and impact - it can also indicate the rigidity of the object. A bowling ball, no matter how animated, may not need a squash and stretch. (The same for a brick.) The squash and stretch is supposed to help us feel the change, but you don't want to overdo it (too much) and destroy the form unless you're breaking the model intentionally. For the ball bounce, you should probably only have one stretch drawing in each direction. (Although for a fun application of smears you should watch the Dover Boys.) You'll notice in my animation I don't squash and stretch as much - part of it is a personal preference, and part of it is the 3d environment animating on 1's instead of 2's.
Anyway, I understand if you don't have time to redo this - but it's so simple you might want to give it a shot. The more you understand using basic exercises, the easier it'll be to approach something more complex.
You might have more success using a program like monkeyjam (which is free for PC) to put together animation than a gif. One of the reasons I asked for a .mov is that format allows people to scrub back and forth from frame to frame, looking at the spacing, arcs, etc. You can't do that with a gif.
If I can thank your post more than once, Alice, I would. Thank you so very much for the in depth critique and information! Wow! I tried a new ball exercise, trying to think about all that you said.
I'm probably going to do ball exercises until I get the hang of it. Oh, and thanks so much for actually reconstructing my animation! That was an awesome thing to do and I actually see where I messed up. Thanks so much, again!
Ahhhh. it's interlaced! I should have warned you about that. (It's not something you'd be aware of unless you'd been told about it.) It looks like you're exporting at 29.97 FPS, or standard NTSC. You SHOULD be selecting 24FPS. (also, does anyone know what the deal is with 23.973FPS? Where did that come from?) Is an mpeg or .avi easier for you, btw? I'm noticing you're having to convert it to .mov, and something funky is going on because quicktime won't give me the frame rate. What program are you using?
Ahhh, now I have entirely new notes for you! (Sort of In your previous version, the stretch before the squash was still pretty much touching the ground - I'm not a fan of that in 3D, but it really works for me in 2D - sort of re-inforces the squash. However, here (frame 5) you moved it up farther; so instead we now slow into the squash, which you don't want.
You also still need more inbetweens between 10 and 1 for the loop to work, and more inbetweens between 1 and 2.
Also, a little bit about the numbering - the general accepted shorthand is that the numbers aren't for the drawing, but the frame. Did you notice on the .mov I made that all of my numbers were odd? 1, 3, 5, 7, etc? That's because each drawing was held for two frames; so the second drawing was 'exposed' on the 3rd frame. Hence it's labeled as '3'. If I had a unique drawing for each frame, then it would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. (which is animating on 1's - which is not necessary for most actions.)
I want to point out that even though I'm giving you critique, you're doing an amazing job trying to learn this on your own. "Messing up" is all part of the learning process here. Expect to learn more from your mistakes than from your successes.
Oh, and you're welcome.
Not bad, I see a bit of potential from you. By the way, you should look up the book "Cartoon Animation" by Preston Blair.
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Alice Herring is giving some rock-star advice, so I'll just point at that stuff ^_^
I'm a fan of your reg skethbook, so I can only assume I'll enjoy fallowing this one too!!
I just hopped in here to geek out about this comment:
You can't draw 23.depends on the computer - so animation just naturally fell on 24's
None the less- most shows are animated at whole numbers- then the editors compile the scenes in post and export it at 23.*** or 29.*** before sending it to the broadcasters.
Luckily that's the editor's problems- we animators just get to draw the pretty pictures ^_^
Keep up the magic Aresa - I'll be skulking around in the bushes like a creepy stalker