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Recently they made an anime Dragonlance film. i wish it had looked a bit more like the Tod Lockwood illustrations. Anyway just finishing up a sword swinging study from the bodybuilder photo. Gonna do some more with it but here is a rough draft.
Some 3D:helmet, sword and BG
2D in the body movement...
Needs a bit more post!
Ok, I'd probably worry bit less about the muscle anatomy of the fighter to start with, and focus on getting believable motion. He's swinging in slow motion at the moment, I'd suggest some anticipation at the top of the swing, a fast slice/attack, and then some follow through slowing down to the end. Don't be afraid to squash and stretch the body a bit through the motion, you don't need to be 100% anatomically correct as long as the body keeps the same volume.
Another suggestion would be to stick to one medium to start with; so either 2d or 3d. Once your happy with the animation, you can comp on effects and whatnot; but something as integral as the head and sword should really be animated with the body as one element.
If you get a chance, check out Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams, or do a Google search on the principles of animation. They are some great guidelines to get started with.
Here is an update to this animation which follows better arcs. The sword is still wobbly but I will add effects. Also it is in reverse and untimed...
let me know if you have some samples white shadow, you must lead my example, until then I'll be sitting down watching Rachael Maddow...