AM - Class 2 / Week 5 - Lecture

Weight and Balance

Weight & Balance are crucial elements in animation, sometimes it feels wrong even when watching a high budget animated movie from major studios.
To create a solid character animation we need to understand weight & balance in real life before we start applying it into animation.

In order for a character to be balanced; its weight needs to be evenly distributed a long its center line of gravity, (the center line is the vertical line that connects the supporting foot on the ground with the base of the neck)

In real life, a fat person requires more time and power to move forward as well as to stop, same in animation, a character with a big mass requires more time & energy to propel it self to obtain locomotion than a smaller character would.
Balance wise, the faster the person is moving, the less balanced he is, the slower he moves the more balanced he is,
But if the person is completely balanced he can't move anywhere, therefor we need to break off that balance in order for us
to move around.

If you don't follow the rules of real life weight & balance while animating a shot it will simply look lifeless, there is a fine line between exaggerating the rules of weight and breaking them, you can exaggerate the rules of weight but the one thing that you Can Not exaggerate is balance, you can only break the balance of a character during locomotion & that is about the
only time that your character is off balanced, like walk, run, jump, or what kind of locomotion you have for the character.

Quick notes:
- A well balanced character is the one that all its parts are working with each other to balance itself.
- Extreme reversal action helps selling the idea of weight (for something like a pull, a push, or a jump)
- In order to sell the weight!! exaggerate!!
- Exaggerate the squash & stretch by compressing its body clusters closer together, or stretching them a part.
- When you're animating a character throwing a heavy object; make sure to utilize the entire body to make that object go far... same principle applies to a jump.


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