AM - Class 1 / Week 7 - Lecture

This week's lecture was short, more technical / Maya centric, focusing on the Graph editor and how to edit your spline
curves in Maya..

Nothing much really to say about this one..


AM - Class 1 / Week 6 - Lecture

This weeks lecture was about Overlapping Action.

Overlapping Action is braking off the movement to add flexibility to your characters so it will not look mechanical & stiff.
It consists of several sections: Follow Through, Successive braking of joints, Drag, Lead & Follow.

In a chain, the root (parent) driving force always moves first, then the lower sections (child) will gradually flow with a slight delay.  For instance, in human body an arm is moving to reach out for a glass of water, you might think that the driving force
is the hand, but that is wrong, the initial source of the movement comes from the shoulder, it will start to move first, then the arm will follow, then the hand.

The principle of Overlapping Action is based on real life laws of physics, we just need to observe & comprehend these
laws to be able to apply them to animation, but just be aware of over using it too much.


AM - Class 1 / Week 5 - Lecture

This weeks lecture was about Anticipation and Squash & Stretch.

Anticipation : Without Anticipation the movement will look unnatural.  Now, to be able understand anticipation we have to
go through Squash & Stretch first.

Squash & Stretch : Squash & Stretch is what gives life to a character, you can apply it to something as simple as a ball, or
as complex as a dinosaur.   For example, if a ball (that has character) is trying to jump up in the air, first it squashes on the ground (this is the anticipation) then it stretches as its jumping up in the air..
In this case, the more the ball squashes (anticipates) into the ground, the higher its jump will be.. and the less it anticipates (squashes), the lower the jump will be.

So this leads us to Anticipation..  well, Anticipation is a build up of force, its the setting up for an action, a small Anticipation should be followed by a small action, on the other hand.. a larger Anticipation would be followed by a stronger action, and
this is where most people get it wrong, you ALWAYS have to tune your anticipation to match with the action that follows.

As you can see by now, Anticipation and Squash & Stretch goes hand in hand together, and this principle applies not only
to cartoon animation but realistic animation as well, but the more you add it the more cartoony your animation will be.