Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Animation Week 2 Bouncing Ball and Bouncing Character

In this project ye shall make the acquaintance of some of the fundamental principles of animation. Mark well my words, they are of your eternal salvation.

Bird Bounce from Jill AB on Vimeo.

Ye shall createth three (3) separate animations.
Animation The First shall be a simple cycle of a ball bouncing in perpetuity. Said ball should behave in accordance with the sacred tenets of:

1. Timing. Ball should hit its extremes (ground and apex) at convincing points in time. Neither too slow nor too fast lest the humours of the unfortunate Viewer be unbalanced.
2. Spacing. Ball should accelerate as it approacheth and leaveth the ground. It should decelerate as it reacheth the apex of its bounce.
3. Squash and Stretch (German: Squash unt Stretch, French: Squash et Stretch). Ball should squasheth upon contact with the ground and stretcheth as it leaveth the ground. Said effect may offer the opportunity for subtle comedic exaggeration which may trigger a peaceful grin or quiet, contended laughter in the viewer.
Our Noble Animators shall not resort to the sloth and idiocy of copying and pasting for this exercise, nor shall they commit the heresies of "tweening" or using the abominable "circle" tool which is a crime against all of our better natures. Rather, each frame shall be lovingly and attentively crafted by hand in honor of our ancestral traditions. 

Animation The Second shall be of a ball bouncing across the stage in a series of realistic smooth arcs. The arc of the bounces must not be angular or irregular. Noble Animators should not yet endeavor to bring the ball to a stop or provide slapstick comedic hi-jinks in this exercise as it is highly likely to result in what is known as Crap Animation consisting of an overlong catalog of doltish timing and embarrassingly poor spacing with each mistake building upon and compounding the last. It is expected that the Noble Animator shall have his/her hands full with this apparently simple exercise though it not be the source of excessive merriment. It is warmly suggested that the Noble Animator make ample use of the "edit multiple frames" function to bring the motion arcs and spacing into a pleasing semblance of naturalistic behavior.

Animation The Third shall be of a character of each Noble Animator's own unique design engaged in a Sysyphean cycle of bouncing and/or jumping. This character must needs be of the Noble Animator's own unique design and shall not rippeth off pre-extant commercial intellectual properties. Animation the second shall incorporate and buildeth upon the principles expounded in Animation The First, those being variously Timing, Spacing, and Squash and Stretch. In addition, each Noble Animator should incorporate the principle of Overlapping Action which follows.

Given a character of some complexity consisting of multiple body parts, it is observed that each of these parts shall not hit their extremes upon the same frame, but that, by contrast each should hit upon subsequent frames mimicking the properties of a "kinetic chain." 

We shall review the first pass of these animation cycles on Thursday, October 7, at which time, Noble Animators will be invited to take additional passes through their work so as to improve them for the final critique of this project which shall take place on Tuesday, October 12. So say we all.

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