Animation Bonanza

Here are my two animations from class today. I am happy with how they turned out – I spent quite a bit of time on both of them. My notes today were to slow down the secondary action on my character’s hair, and to push the exaggeration of my eel’s movements. My teacher also recommended that I cut out some of the frames of the first few seconds of the eel’s swim so that I have more frames for the later actions. That way everything will read better.

Walk to Run Cycle Animation

Here is the third version of my walk to run cycle. This is a vast improvement from the one I turned in last week to class and better than the one I worked on yesterday. It still needs some work – there are two frames that need to be added to the transition, but overall it is a far cry from last week’s walk cycle madness.

Animation is quite a mechanical process. Before I came to school I read several books and watched several tutorials on the process. Now that I am in my second animation class, the material I researched before I arrived at school is beginning to make more sense. Once you begin working on animation itself, the tips and tricks in the books become applicable to your everyday experience.

The toughest thing about animation is that it is a one step forward, two steps back process. We animated a walk cycle last semester, which was not nearly as difficult as this walk cycle, which is weird to me. You would think that having done this before, it would not be as difficult. I have a great teacher this semester who explains the concepts better, and I believe that the reason that all of my assignments are harder than last semester is because he is teaching us a better way to plan out our shots on the X-sheet and is focusing heavily on how we can improve our timing and spacing.

I am indebted to the other students in the grad lab for helping me figure out how to properly use an X-sheet and plan out my keys and breakdowns. Thanks also to the Animation Club for inspiring me to animate a ball with legs and to add the torso, head and arms last. It’s all about working in layers – if the legs move properly, then you go on to the next thing.

Walk Run First Pass

Here is the first pass of my Walk/Run cycle for Animation II.

I discovered that frames 2 – 6 were not scanned and added to Toon Boom, which is why the walk seems out of place. I find it amusing that I can never just do the assignment as is. It’s not because I want to make things harder for myself by adding tons of secondary action, it’s that I want my character to be interesting. I was going for a “woman with no name” character a la Clint Eastwood in “For A Few Dollars More.” Hence, the hat, boots and poncho. As I began the project I realized I did not know how to animate hair, a hat and a poncho as someone walked then ran.

My teacher gave me a lot of good ideas for fixing this, mainly he suggested that instead of trying to animate it in three quarter view to stick to the main principles and save the fancy stuff for later. The next pass is going to be WAY simpler and the body mechanics will make sense. And more arcs!

Cubby Jumps!

Here is my first animation for Traditional Animation II. I really like this class. It is taught by Michael Vickner, the same guy who oversaw last semester’s animation workshop. He’s really good about explaining concepts and I know that I will do well this semester.

I received a great reaction for my first animation:

Michael pointed out two things that will dramatically help me improve. The first is to make sure my arcs are followed correctly. The three frames before Cubby lands are a little strange – the poses are not in the best direction so it looks odd. The second thing he recommended was to add variety by changing up the timing. I shot everything on 2s in ToonBoom, he recommended using 1s, 2s, and even 3s when animating to add texture.

Next week: a dog walking!

Lucky Lenny


Here is my first animated short from Animation I class. I am super excited about this. After years of researching schools, taking drawing classes, reading books, attending seminars, and watching cartoons, I have animated something. Huzzah.

700 sheets of paper later:

The first of many, MANY cartoons.