Art: Learning to Animate (Critiques encouraged)

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  1. #1
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    Learning to Animate (Critiques encouraged)

    So for the longest time I've wanted to start animating but was never willing to sit down and do it because I was always too intimidated.
    What I'm hoping to do now is get over that.
    I've never animated before this, and these are a month old now, but they're what I have now. They were more just to see if I was willing to sit down and do it than actual practice. I'm still not too eager, but I think if I do it enough, it'll be more fun. Because I'd really like to get into animating videos for music I really like. If just for fun.

    At this point, I really am not sure what to do. All I know to do now is to draw bouncy or swinging balls and walk cycles. So do you guys have any advice for what I have so far? I'm going to try and post more (I'd like to get a couple seconds of stuff out every few days), so any advice, critiques, or whatever else is appreciated.

    I've also really never gotten involved with forums, artistic or otherwise, so if I'm a pain in any way, please be forgiving.

    Thanks.

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  3. #2
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    This is going to be a quick and dirty review, I'm pressed for time at the moment - in animation, things are either speeding up or slowing down.

    To speed something up, the space between the drawings should be larger. To slow down, the space should get smaller.

    Right now you have what's called "even" timing; the drawings are spaced evenly. (it's hard to tell exactly since I can't view the file frame by frame) Right now you have too many drawings when the ball should be fast, and not enough when it should be slow. What that means for the first ball bounce is you need more drawings closer together at the top; for the pendulum, you need more drawings closer together on either side (basically where the ball is changing direction)

    I also JUST went over this on another thread, here: http://conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=223909

    Just keep in mind animation is a process; so it's okay if you don't get it right the first few times.

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  5. #3
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    Have you looked into using Adobe Flash? How did you do this? Looks liek you drew it with Paint or Photoshop and then made an animated gif?
    Flash would look miles better

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    Alice:
    Yeah. Timing. Always slowing down or speeding up eh? I never thought of it like that. I'd always thought it was just the spacing between the drawings. I didn't think to just add more drawings. I think I just need to reference more. I'm trying to do that now by recreating gifs I like and using them for reference. Mainly for key poses and some timing. The rest will be on my own. I'm not sure if that's wrong in some way though?
    Thanks for the link too! Lots of helpful tips. I just have to read through it. I'm still not used to being new to something and having to work for a change. Heh.
    By the way, what does uploading it as a .mov do? View the animation frame by frame right? I'm going to add the frame numbers in to my most recent piece soon enough.
    Thanks for your time.

    jbanks:
    Yeah, heh. I actually am doing this in Flash. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong though so any idea? Because it might actually just be me.

    Last edited by OiM8; June 6th, 2012 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Wanted to ask another question.
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    Like Alice Herring suggested: it is all about the timing and spacing.

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    Hi, I am new too, and I do suggest Flash, it made my animating much easier.
    In order to get better, what I am doing is just keep animating (getting used to the workload is half the battle I think), just trying to enjoy it, and on the side watch a lot of animations from both established and independent artists!

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  9. #7
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    The bouncing ball is actually the perfect exercise to learn the fundamentals of animation.
    One of the most difficult things in animation is just the sheer volume of drawings involved in an exercise - so drawing a ball is great!
    The bouncing ball seems simple- but you can take it a long way. How does a wooden ball bounce? a ping pong ball, a bowling ball, or a ball that's half full of water?

    Another great exercise is the jumping sack - you should be able to find lots of reference online- but it's basically just a flour sack. This little guy can do all kinds of stuff, and he's much easier to draw than a full figure - but he's still got weight, and volume to think about.

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  10. #8
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    I see a nice use of squash/stretch, but would recommend that you post the .swf files on some type of file storage site that would allow it.

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    Okay, so I've completely fallen in love with Gravity Falls, and I'm working on this Mabel walk cycle for practice and fun and I think I finished the extremes today. I want to do one more with her and something else later.
    I had pretty much every piece of her (face, arms and legs, torso and head, etc) on its own layer. Whiiiich was troublesome moving from part to part. Still kinda fun though.
    The arms and legs are a sort of flipped version from the Animation Survival Guide in that the blacked out part is the one closer to us.

    So any thoughts?

    And here it is as a .mov. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/66983672/6-...bel%20walk.mov

    Quote Originally Posted by CLANLESS View Post
    In order to get better, what I am doing is just keep animating (getting used to the workload is half the battle I think), just trying to enjoy it, and on the side watch a lot of animations from both established and independent artists!
    Yeah. I do love drawing though. I just need to stay dedicated is all. I'm very unfocused.
    And I've been checking out some animations and live action movements that I really really liked. I've got some gifs saved, and I'd like to reference those later.

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    Okay, I played around with the timing a lot before finally seeing this and liking it.
    I think I spent the last hour just adding and removing frames. I changed the perspective of her face on frame 21 which messed up her nose, but I can fix that later. Changed the frame count too to 24 fps.

    Dropbox link to .mov https://dl.dropbox.com/u/66983672/6-...bel%20walk.mov

    Also, what are all the categories, subcategories, etc. that I should be putting for these images? I'm not sure if I'm seeing one that really fits.

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  13. #11
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    That's pretty good. Feels a bit stiff though. I think even with these few extremes, there should be a feeling of looseness to it. Maybe some overlapping action would help with that. Or maybe just an extra frame or two.

    Crits? Yes, please!

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  14. #12
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    Overlapping action? Alright. Well right now I'm trying to slow the hair down.
    And I'm thinking of doing something with the sleeves too, but here's what I've got so far.

    OH! I played with it a little more with the hair before I finished typing this. I've been messing with the shape, arc, and timing of the hair, and I think I've got something.
    I also added some frames to the body to help smooth it out some.

    So here's really what I've got so far.

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    Okay worked on it some more.
    I'm really loving this whole process. Even the more frustrating bits were still a joy.
    I don't even think I'm going to use the whole cycle for what I plan on doing. Haha!
    Though now that I think about it I might have to change some things later. But at least this is fun practice. I feel like I'm really really learning and getting into this.

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    Last edited by OiM8; June 19th, 2012 at 08:55 PM.
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  16. #14
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    You got the hang of that fairly quickly. I'm jealous. It took me years after I first started to put out anything halfway decent. What's your art background, if you don't mind my asking?

    Crits? Yes, please!

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  17. #15
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    Animating itself, not long. This is about it. I've been involved in animation for a long while though. I've been reading, studying, and watching animation seriously for the past few months now since early fall, but most of my life was cartoons.

    Drawing wise, I've been drawing for four years and seriously got involved last summer.

    This is also based on a My Little Pony gif I saw once and really liked.

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  18. #16
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    You have a good progression in your work. Keep at it!

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    Clapping Mabel for fun.
    Is there an animation equivalent of doodling?

    I'm also beginning to realize that I probably won't ever be producing much work that isn't fan work of some kind. (I'm pretty okay with that though. I'm having fun.)

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    So I had this theory today. If I understand it right, a walk cycle is composed of contact positions, passing positions, ups, and downs, one per step. The contact is where one step ends and the other begins, up is where the body is highest and starts to fall, the down is where the body catches itself and is at its lowest, and the passing is the midpoint I guess?

    And since I'm a Spider-Man fan, I was wondering if this applied to swinging as well. The contact position would be where he shoots a web and grabs it (switching hands instead of feet), and the passing position would be halfway through the swing. I think the up would be that split second where he might have released the web but hasn't switched hands yet. Or it might just be the contact position if he's switches immediately. And the down position would be negated since he's lowest at the passing position.

    This is just thinking out loud right now and I quickly doodled this before I forgot. I want to change it later so he moves more like in The Amazing Spider-Man where he's moving back and forth diagonally with him facing away from us at frame 22 and switching back by 38.

    And the dropbox .mov link.

    If there are any thoughts, please let me know. I feel like I'm onto something, so if there are any suggestions I'd love to hear them.

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