Welcome to my Animation Exercises page!
This page shows some animation projects that I work on to keep my skills sharp and learn new animation techniques. Each exercise serves its own purpose, whether I am trying to improve in body mechanics, acting, lip-syncing, or just trying to develop a better workflow, I'm always improving in my craft.
For this exercise, I primarily wanted to focus on the body mechanics of the spine. Even with a simple action like getting up from a chair, an animator has to know how exactly the body and head move. Not everything moves at once. That just doesn't look right.
In this animation, I focused on follow-through and overlap for the body and head by creating C-curve and S-curve spine shapes. To give him some personality, I got creative with the legs and the timing and spacing of the overall animation.
Even simple exercises like this can teach an animator so much. It taught me a lot about spine mechanics and how to make body movements look natural.
I hope you enjoy it!
In this exercise, I decided to take things up a notch. I still wanted to practice my spine overlap, but I also wanted to give the feet and the weight of the character some attention. When having a character jump forward, it's important to pay attention to the spacing and timing of everything, especially the legs. It's also important to make the character seem like they have weight in their movements.
With this animation, I practiced my spine overlap with an entirely different action. The spine was a bit more active in this animation, from his initial jump to when he landed and settled. I was careful not to hit any walls that would make the movement clunky. It's important that in an animation, the character is always going somewhere.
Since he is jumping up in the air, I also focused on giving the character some weight as he jumps and lands. The best way to do this was to favor the high points of the jump. By doing so, the spacing of the character gave the sense that he reached his high point faster and fell faster, thus giving him weight.
The legs also had time in the spotlight. This was a bit tricky because I was switching between IK and FK controls. In doing so, I had to make sure that during that one frame swap of the controls, the feet peeled off the ground and the legs were straight to give a sense that he was pushing himself off the ground. I also paid close attention to the arcs and spacing of the feet to ensure everything moved naturally with his momentum. The same principles applied with the landing.
Jumping forward may seem like a simple animation, but there's a lot that goes into it. You have to pay close attention to the weight of the character so he doesn't seem like a piece of paper floating in the air. You also have to focus on the feet, making them look natural when they leave and land on the ground. This animation taught me a lot more about the weight and leg mechanics of a character.