Principles of Animation. First lessons

and here is the final black and white rough

This is primarily for my students in Moscow, and is a collection of recent notes

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The first lesson is all about

1) ARCS, (the ball follows an elliptical arc- this is PHYSICS: see my lecture on the physics of animation)

2)TIMING/SPACING,(timing is the bounce or accent, but spacing is where you draw the balls on the paper. They are NOT the same thing)

3)SQUASH & STRETCH (as the ball falls it stretches. as the ball falls it speeds up.)

4) preserving Volume (The ball may change shape but the overall volume remains the same throughout)

All writers seem to agree that this is a slightly dull lesson, but there is an interesting kink revealed by RICHARD WILLIAMS which is rarely taught and is the main focus of this lesson and handout. That is the location of the stretched ball immediately before the squash.

Here is a rough sequence for a film I am just working on. Note how loose everything is, but also note the practical value of the “balls” lesson… I shall add updates to this, and try to add some footage of inbetweening etc…

and a few days later this is how it looks:

and here is the final black and white rough:

Here is the finished sequence:

Here is a recent example of some walk cycles…


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Here is a new song and character for the Music Hall film.

here is the finished sequence from Music hall history, part 2:




More Burlington Bertie

Some progress this week in animating a walk cycle for the Burlington Bertie film.




bert walk cycle


side view theatre1 SMALLa

Much of the walk is hidden behind stage scenery, but the process of getting that movement right is still necessary. Two things emerged in the week- firstly trying to get a walk working makes some very odd shapes in a 2d drawing that perhaps would look very wrong in 3d, and secondly, drawing up background scenery, I realise how important it is to draw a building to fully understand it. So I have now spent 3 days struggling with Big Ben and the house of Parliament. One thing I should add is that animation is genuinely easier with Toonboom/ Harmony, but these big tracking shots remain tough.


Pugin provides such complexity. Next week we are off to Ratcliffe to sketch the new prep school that is being built there. Oddly, the architect is a distant relative of the original Pugin. It is some sort of poetic justice. Here is an image of the cloisters at Ratcliffe and of the Pugin facade. I will post images of the new Prep school shortly of course.

ratcliffe cloisters

3 ratcliffe