Twelve Principles Of Animation

Maya Animation


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This is an old page and not really useful.


12 Principles of Animation
Watching videos and looking for the princliples
Loading the Morpheus rig
Stepped Keys with the Morpheus Rig

1. Download the Presto Animation for Reference
2. Unzip the Project directory for Morpheus to a local location
3. Open maya and set your project to the Morpheus location

We will be using a slightly modified version of the Morpheus rig. The rig was created by Josh Burton. To download the original Morpheus with all the scripts and files go here…

Presto Short Film Without Sound
*Please note some frames have been dropped, file has slightly stuttering playback
Presto Download

Morpheus Rig Project files
Morpheus Project Week 02 – Download Zip

Video 1.1: Morpheus Jump (0:09 mins)


Video Notes


Video 1.2: Wildebeest From Birdbox Studio (1:00 mins)


Video Notes

Quotes from “The Illusion of Life”

1. Squash and Stretch
Anything composed of living flesh no matter how boney will show considerable movement within it’s shape in progressing through an action.

2. Anticipation
Anticipation is achieved by preceding each major action with a specific move that anticipates for the audience what is about to happen. This anticipation can be as small as a change of expression or as large as the broadest Physical action.

3. Staging
Staging is the presentation of an idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear. The most important consideration is story point.

Only do one thing at a time. Look for the strongest and simplest way before going onto the next action.

An example of perfect staging.

4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
Straight Ahead
– Working from the starting point forward.
– Good for action sequences where one pose leads into another.
– Action looks fresh and zany as the process is very creative

Pose to Pose
– Planning his action
– The relationships are carefully considered.
– Time is spent exploring the key poses.

Both Methods
– can be combined where appropriate.

5. Follow Through and Overlap
“Things don’t stop all at once guys; first there’s one part and then another. ” Walt Disney

Follow through and overlap, no one knew where one ended and the other began.

– Appendages continue after the character has stopped, big coat, long ears etc.
– The body itself does not move all at once. Head might move first or the feet or the hips.
– Loose flesh on a figure will move at slower speeds
– The way an action is completed tells us more about how the drawings are completed than the action itself.
– The Moving Hold. Employs all the other parts to create a sense of life in the held poses.

6. Slow in and Slow Out
He timed the drawings quickly from one pose to the next, but spaced the in-betweens mostly close to the key poses with only one frame in between.

7. Arcs
Very few organisms are capable of moves that have a mechanical in and out or up and down precision…. whatever the reason most movements will describe an arc of some kind.

8. Secondary Action
Often the one idea being put over in a scene can be fortified by subsidiary actions. A sad figure wipes a tear awya. Some one stunned shakes his head as he gets to his feet. When this extra action supports the main action it’s called the Secondary Action.

9. Timing
The varying speed of those movements determined whether the character was lethargic, excited, nervous, relaxed.

Just two drawings of a head the first showing it leaning toward the right shoulder and the second with it over the left slightly raised.

0 inbetweens – Hit with tremendous force
1 inbetweens – Hit by a brick or frying pan
2 inbetweens – Uncontrollable twitch
3 inbetweens – Dodging the brick
4 inbetweens – Shouts get going!
5 inbetweens – Shouts over here!
6 inbetweens – Sees a good looking girl
7 inbetweens – Tries to get a better look at something
8 inbetweens – Searches for peanut butter on the shelf
9 inbetweens – appraises considering thoughtfully
10 inbetweens – stretches a sore muscle

10. Exaggeration
If a character was to be sad, make him sadder, bright make him brighter.

When Walt asked for realism he wanted a caricature of realism.

When I was directing I used to say to the animators, will you do something for me? Will you make it so extreme that I get mad.

11. Solid Drawing
Does your drawing have weight depth and balance?

Video 1.3: Principales of Animation From Ice Age2 (3:01 mins)


Video Notes

12. Appeal
Appeal is often misinterpreted to suggest cuddly bunnies and soft kittens. To us it meant anything that a person likes to see, a quality of charm. pleasing design, simplicity, communication and magnetism.

Appeal is the pleasing and fascinating quality that makes a person enjoy looking at any drawing.

Principles of Animation from Ice Age 2

YouTube / Juan Diaz VFX – via Iframely

Video 1.4: Presto (0:01 mins)



Video Notes

Looks for the 12 Principles in this Pixar Short Film

Video 1.5: Animation by halil Mehmet(cafa Grad)using 3 variations of the Morpheus rig (0:13 mins)


Video Notes

Morpheus is a free rig by Josh Burton. we’ll be using it for this semester’s animation. In this class we’re using a slightly simplified version with a lot of controls disabled and hidden.

Animation by Halil Mehmet (Cofa Grad) using 3 variations of the Morpheus rig

Video 1.6: Creating Quick Select Sets In Maya (3:54 mins)


Video Notes

How to create Quick Select Sets in Maya and make Shelf Buttons

Video 1.7: Select All morpheus Shelf Icon (2:17 mins)


Video Notes

Hotkey or Shelf Icon (.mel)

New Code
select -replace m1:_AnimationAll_COFA

Old Code
select -r -ne m1:_AnimationAll_COFA ;
selectAllSetMembers outlinerPanel1;

Video 1.8: Toggle Curves Shelf Icon (2:33 mins)


Video Notes

Hotkey or Shelf Icon (.mel)
***Note please change back all the quotes ” as this webpage changes it to a format maya doesn’t recognise. 🙁

int $curvesOnOrOff;
string $activeWindow;
$activeWindow=`getPanel -underPointer`;
if ( $curvesOnOrOff == “1”) {
string $myPanels[] = `getPanel -type “modelPanel”`;
for ($panel in $myPanels) {
modelEditor -e -nurbsCurves 1 $panel;
$curvesOnOrOff = 0;
else {
string $myPanels[] = `getPanel -type “modelPanel”`;
for ($panel in $myPanels) {
modelEditor -e -nurbsCurves 0 $panel;
$curvesOnOrOff = 1;

Video 1.9: Animating Morpheus With Stepped Keys (3:56 mins)


Video Notes

To make your keys default go to your preferences
Preferences Window > Animation > Default Out Tangent > Stepped

Here’s some notes regarding the rig and posing the character…

The Eleven Second Club is a fantastic website which features a dialog piece at the start of each month. Animators are given a month to complete. Have a browse through the entries. I say usually the top 10 are employable animators.

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