Sketchbook: Mr. Ebony's Black & White Animation
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    Mr. Ebony's Black & White Animation

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    Hey guys! This is my second sketchbook dedicated entirely to animation. I will be starting from the basics and building myself up to more complex studies such as flour sacks and funny animals, but seeing how I'm teaching myself this stuff, I want to really home and grasp the principals on basic things that don't require a lot of time to draw.

    Getting the timing and spaces between frames is my main challange! So to you animators out there, feel free to critique and give me pointers. I'm here to learn! So for the first few months I will just focus on balls, as boring as that is. But will hopefully get into more complex things by the end of this year! Thank for stopping by!

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    Photoshop
    12 frames : .08 sec each

    Trying to hone my understanding of placing keyframes, breakdowns, inbetweens. I confused myself on what my breakdowns and inbetweens were so I stopped marking them. But I hope my keys are apparent.

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    first of all: did you already read the "animators survival kit"?
    that s the best book you can get if you re into animation!

    it s hard to critique a bouncing ball, i guess that s why nobody replied so far.
    you used squash and stretch, which is great, but i think you either exaggerated the deformation or your ball moves too slowly. because if it gets that squashed at the bottom i assume that it s really soft and/or there s a massive force involved. in either way, the ball needs to reach the highest point much faster.
    either that or you have to reduce the squash/stretch effect.

    and seriously, don t spend months on animating bouncing balls! Oo
    i looked at your other sketchbook and you ve got some really nice drawings in there. so you do have the skills to take your animation a step further.
    you said that getting the timing and spacing between frames is your main challenge...why? that s not what animation is about. of course these are things you need to consider but there are much more important things to focus on!

    so my critique/ advice:
    - animate one more ball and let it move across the page, bouncing off the walls, the floor etc.
    - animate some stick figures, start with a simple walk across the page
    - try some simple character animation, for example a head turn

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    @GUNNM_nana

    Understandable. I wonder what kind of things I could animate to have people critique my use of keyframes, passes, extremes, and in-betweens. The ones I get the confused the most on in terms of terminology are keyframes and extremes. What's the difference? I do have that book but I think I need more visuals or descriptions to really understand some of the terms he's using, but that's just me!

    As for the bouncing ball, I can see what you mean! I was wondering that myself. If I was being too exaggerated with the squash or stretch. I'll mess around with both elements and have two different bouncing balls just to see what kind of effects I can get, and would love your input on it again once I get them done today.

    I've done a lot of walk cycles. The more simple ones, not struts or ones that really distort the body in exaggeration. The reason I say timing throws me off is because the distance the head, arms, torso, and legs move. Some elements such as the head are more subtle and require more frames (?) for such a short distance to match the bounce of momentum of the legs.

    I tried a strut a while back but this was before I understood what was meant by keys, passes, extremes, and as I said before, the terms still confuse me a little... And because of that the strut, unlike the basic walk, became jacked. XD;;; I'll upload it here so you see what I mean. And it's why I'm trying to hone my understanding of the principals on basics before doing more complex things like this.



    Thanks for stopping by! Your critique was awesome. Hope to hear more from you!

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    Keyframes--extremes.. pretty much the same thing.

    The bouncing ball would look more convincing if you slowed out of the drop (downward animation) and slowed in to the rise (upward animation).... it looks a little odd because the ball stretches right before contact and right after contact, but the speed is constant.

    In the bottom one, the straightening back line seems odd. It straightens on one stride and bends on the other another.

    Tony White's "How to make animated films" is a really good resource that kind of fills in a lot of gaps that the animator's survival kit has.

    Animation is challenging for sure. Good luck!

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    i m glad you found my comment useful

    if you want people to critique your use of the fundamentals i d suggest that you upload some still frames of your animation. or even better, a very slow animation.
    (for example one frame per second, i.e. 12 frames = 12 seconds)
    because it s really difficult to judge a single frame if everything moves so fast.

    i know it s confusing at first, but don t get lost in terminology.
    there is no difference between a keyframe and an extreme, it s exactly the same thing.

    if you want to animate another bouncing ball, try to show the weight and material of the ball just by its movement. try to animate a very heavy and solid rubber ball for example. does it squash? how fast is it moving? does it bounce at all? think about it!


    The reason I say timing throws me off is because the distance the head, arms, torso, and legs move. Some elements such as the head are more subtle and require more frames (?) for such a short distance to match the bounce of momentum of the legs.
    ...
    And it's why I'm trying to hone my understanding of the principals on basics before doing more complex things like this.
    what you re talking about - and what seems to have confused you - is called follow through and overlapping action.
    that s why i encouraged you to animate more complex things than just a ball. there is no secondary action on a bouncing ball so you won t learn how to apply these principles if you re just animating simple objects. that s like trying to practice anatomy by drawing stick figures.
    take a look at this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_basi...s_of_animation

    the walk cycle looks great! that s what i wanted to see!
    talking about secondary action, there s a lot of follow-through in this animation:

    the active primary action is the walk - the legs, the feet and the head.
    the passive secondary action (follow through and overlapping action) reacts to that - in this case the ears and the tail.

    you ve done a great job animating the ears. they go back and forth according to the head movement.
    but watch out for the tail. the tail itself moves nicely but it doesn t support the movement of the whole body.
    if you animate a character with a lot of secondary action you have to plan out everything very carefully. otherwise it gets confusing and hard to read.
    animate the primary action first. if you got that right you can add the secondary objects.

    i hope that helps
    keep posting!

    Last edited by GUNNM_nana; October 8th, 2012 at 01:56 PM.
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    @ p sage

    You mentioned that the ball was: "it looks a little odd because the ball stretches right before contact and right after contact, but the speed is constant." What about the speed is constant? Do you mean that it's consistent on both the fall and upward motion? That the motion should be timed differently at those two points so that it looks more natural?

    Seems as though you're saying to keep the speeds relatively the same at the ball's highest (air) and lowest (touching ground) points. Visually that seems odd to me. Wouldn't it make more sense for the ball to have more frames showing it suspended in the air and less of it on the ground since the buildup and release of energy would be relatively quick for something mean to be bouncy? Although My ball squishes a lot, maybe too much, and if that's the mass I should be fixing then it would make more sense for the ball to spend more equal time on the ground and the air?

    Or maybe I'm making this more confusing than it really is. XD

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    I haven't edited the ball yet because I'm not entirely sure what is wrong with it speed, or frame distance wise. But here's a still off all the frames together if that would help clarify your point and for me to understand it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Ebony View Post
    @ p sage

    You mentioned that the ball was: "it looks a little odd because the ball stretches right before contact and right after contact, but the speed is constant." What about the speed is constant?
    When the pencil test plays back, the actual motion looks very constant. It's as if there's no gravity. There's no slow in on the way to the apex... the distance the ball 'travels' from one frame to the next should get smaller and smaller. Likewise, as the ball drops, it shouldn't do its stretch right in the center of the space. As it is now, the ball turns into a weird stretched shape in the middle, and returns to nearly round before impact. It should be at its 'most stretched' right before the impact--it should not be round again, because that means it slowed down before it hit the ground. So the shape gradually stretches as the drawings get 'further apart'.

    If you added more inbetweens near the top (apex) and took away inbetweens at the bottom... you could get the thing feeling a bit more natural... but it might be worth it to just give it another go.

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