Thursday, November 08, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Obama and Romney: Body Language and Gestures

I found this on Spline doctors, this shows an amazing study of gestures used by Obama and Romney in their debate. Click the image above and see the relevance of these gestures. Amazing Link!  

I would strongly recommend PEOPLE WATCHING by Desmond Morris. Its an amazing book to understand gestures.


Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Disney's Wreck It Ralph: All new Bonus Extended Clip

This is Awesome! Loved this part...
"Y are your hands so freakishly big..., I dont know, hey, Y are you so freakishly annoying.." hahahahaha.

Watch it, now

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dreamworks Me and My Shadow: Hybrid Animation 2d n 3d

Above is the poster of Me & My Shadow, Dreamworks upcoming animated film. While reading about this, I found an interesting term 'Hybrid Animation'. More like the hybrid cars, Run on gas and electricity, In this case its 3d Anim with 2d tradition animation. It would be great to watch this one. While 2d around the world is getting an amazing reboot. It would be fun to watch how Dreamworks does the character above in 3d and his shadow in traditional 2d. 

Awesome! Give way to Hybrid.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Animating Four-Legged Beasts

Tutorial & Article found Gamasutra on  by Cathy Feraday Miller


[Animator Cathy Feraday Miller, who has worked on major feature films and video games, shares her techniques for animating quadrapeds in walk and run states, presenting both reference materials and her own animations in various states of completion.]
Animating animals is usually fun, but can often be complicated and technical. Figuring out what to do with all those legs can really trip up an animator. We can animate human-shaped characters a lot easier than multi-legged beasts because we have an intuitive knowledge of the way bipeds move.

It is easy for an animator to act out a motion when the character moves like us; feeling the action 'in the body' helps us understand how to animate it. So what happens when the character is a quadruped and you don't have that intuitive feel at your disposal? How do you make that movement believable? Suitable reference and a sophisticated media player is the place to start.
Luckily for the animation community, there is a wealth of reference material that can help. I'll walk you through my process for animating quadruped locomotion and share classic references that will help you deconstruct the fundamentals of the four gaits: walk, run, trot and gallop. I'll also share an example of my own 3D walk animation and offer technical tips for creating believable quadruped locomotion cycles.

Getting Started

With a media viewer that can scrub single-frame backwards and forwards, like QuickTime, you can watch the movement frame by frame. Drawing thumbnail images with directional notes helps you synthesize the information.
There are now lots of websites out there that put up live-action animal footage, such as the Rhino House human and animal locomotion website, which has a built-in player that can scrub their video reference material (click the image below to check out their website and viewer). Thanks to the internet, finding reference and getting into it to see what is going on is the easy part. The hard part is converting that information into something that makes sense to the animator and for the character that is to be animated.
Following a process speeds up your workflow. Before I get into the creative part of animating, I usually have all of my research done. Gathering and absorbing all of the technical details and reference material beforehand frees me up to get into the creative flow of animating, with easy access to my reference material. My process is something like this:
1. Consider what animal most closely resembles the beast I need to animate.
    2. Search for reference material. Here are the sources I find useful:
      3. Analyze the reference material and find the section of the footage that is most useful
      4. Create thumbnail drawings to assist with my animation, including notes on direction and any unusual qualities I can see in footage.
      5. Animate

      The Four Gaits

      In the course of my career, I've learned that there is a surprising similarity in how quadrupeds move, from species to species. Eadweard Muybridge's photographic works may be a century old, but they are still relevant and extremely useful.
      In his introduction to Animal Locomotion, he maintains that most quadrupeds -- be they dogs, cats, horses or rhinoceroses -- follow the same footfall pattern. This is the order in which the hooves or paws strike the ground while moving through the various gaits. Where they differ is in the flexibility of the spine. Visualize a rhino running, as opposed to a cheetah. The exceptions, according to Muybridge, are elephants, and animals like kangaroos.

      The four speeds of movement, or the four "gaits", are shared amongst most four-legged animals. Almost every quadruped walks, trots, canters and gallops, and their legs move in the same manner when they do it.
      As you can see in the image below, adapted from Muybridge's Animal Locomotion, the gaits have been broken down into symbols illustrating which leg strikes the ground in which order, assuming the animal is facing north with the right legs on the right and the left legs on the left.
      For example, with the rotary gallop gait, if you start your cycle with the left rear foot striking the ground first, the next in sequence to hit the ground would be the right rear foot, then the right fore foot, followed by the left fore foot.
      As for the transverse and rotary gallops, I've found the rotary gallop more often in reference material than the transverse, which I've mainly seen in horse footage. The canter is the roughest gait, with a lot of up-and-down movement. Elephants don't seem to follow these rules, and should be considered separately.

      image adapted from:
       Animal Locomotion, Eadweard Muybridge, 1887
      Once you get the legs moving roughly in the order that is appropriate, you can be creative with the rest of the body.
      To save time, you could animate a "vanilla" gait cycle for each gait with the leg movements blocked in on keys and breakdowns only and the body and head having the rough up-and-down motion laid in on those keys. If using a universal rig, this file could then be exported onto any beast (with minimal adjustments, depending on the disparities of beast shape) and be used as a starting point for the animations.
      Several different types or speeds of walks could also be created from this base file simply by playing with the amount of frames in the animation and the distance between the legs in the stride position or the distance the beast travels in the 'leap' part of the gallop.

      The Walk

      In the case of the walk gait, the rear left foot strikes first, followed by the left foreleg. The rear right leg strikes third, with the right foreleg falling last. The walk is the slowest gait, and is shared by all quadrupeds. Muybridge breaks down this information into a chart for the walk, trot, canter and gallop gaits in the introduction of Animal Locomotion. Converted into a graphic table, a walk cycle would look like this:

      image adapted from: Animal Locomotion, Eadweard Muybridge, 1887
      Horses are great animals to study because their legs are so long and slender, creating an easily legible silhouette. Below is an example of a walk cycle broken down into 8 phases:

      Image adapted from Horse Locomotion Walk 01, courtesy of (Click for larger image)
      Once you understand what the feet are doing, it becomes easier to understand what to animate next. Think of the quadruped walk as two offset human walk cycles. I wonder how often studios have used two people in a horse costume for motion capture? Preston Blair's iconic walk cycle with the "stride" and "passing" key positions is a great illustration of the basics of a biped walk demonstrating the following: fall into the stride and recover and rise up into the passing position.

      Adapted from Preston Blair, Animation, 1948
      For the quadruped, the hips and chest become two offset "bouncing balls" in the same manner as the hips in a bipedal walk. Consider circled image 23 from the horse walk cycle (below), which shows the forelegs in the "stride" position and the hind legs in the "passing" position. I've added circles to show the up and down motion of the hips and chest in that phase of the movement. The head could then be animated as yet another bouncing ball, offset from the hips and chest (follow-through! overlap!)

      Image adapted from Horse Locomotion Walk 01, courtesy of

      Animating A Walk

      To illustrate this locomotion in 3D animation, I've roughed in a slow 40-frame walk cycle. Cycles must be symmetrical, or there will be a visible hitch in the walk, like a limp, or a hit in the animation.

      JoJo character, courtesy of Rocket 5 Studios. Watch the animation by clicking here.

      There are almost as many methods of animating as there are animators, but I prefer to approach posing as I would with 2D, or classical, animation. Posing out the whole character, rather than starting with the hips or isolating the lower body, and working on the entire character at once when creating the four major poses.
      Details like toes and tails can be ignored or turned off at this stage. I create the four major keys or poses of the walk: two stride and two passing. I make them as symmetrical as possible, but they don't have to be mathematically the same.
      There is an advantage to keying all major elements on the same frame. At this point, the keys can be slid around easily to change the timing of the walk. It is quick and easy to adapt and manipulate your cycle by figuring out your basic timing to the point where you start to add finishing details like overlap and follow-through. Keys arranged in an orderly fashion are really easy to manipulate in your 3D software package (here I am using the dope sheet in Maya 2011).

      Four key poses, JoJo walk, property of Rocket 5 Studios (Click for larger image)
      This is also the break off point where different kinds of walk cycles can be created now that the feet have been appropriately positioned. Variety can be added, like floppy overlap or stealthy sneak. The four basic poses can also be used as a starting point for other walks. You don't have to recreate the four basic key poses; you only have to adapt them to your specific purposes. Use the graph editor or tweak by hand, but remember to have each opposite pose match each other.

      JoJo walk cycle, four keys only, with smooth spline interpolation. Watch the animation by clicking here.
      It is important that your software has a great graph editor. When animating cycles, I spend a fair amount of time cleaning up the graph to get symmetrical movement. Don't forget to check all channels! The above video has been carefully tweaked to remove all hits and holds. The stage just prior to this revealed a few errors with the arms:

      JoJo with wonky arm movement. Watch the animation by clicking here.
      There are several ways to fix errors like this but the easiest for me at this stage is to look at the graph editor and find out where there is a problem with the curve.

      Note: flat tangents causing slowdown at apex of movement. (Click for larger image)
      The highlighted motion trail shows other problems that can be solved by the graph editor, such as the linear movement of the arm in the air. Arcs always look more natural than linear paths of action. The solution for the slowdown in the forward progression of the arm is to fix the curve so that it can cycle smoothly, as seen below.

      Grab spline handles and move them so that curve looks like it can cycle or repeat. (Click for larger image)
      The next step is to flesh in the walk, adding overlap and follow-through, offsetting the head and making sure there is enough weight in the up and down movements of the hips and chest. When you are pretty sure the cycle is working the way you want it to, animate the feet, hands, fingers and toes. I usually animate the tail last, one rotational axis at a time.

      JoJo walk from side view, tail and toes added. Watch the animation by clicking here.

      Walks and Runs: In Brief

      Walks and runs can be considered a controlled fall with a little acceleration happening right after the passing position, which is similar to a push-off. As with all movement cycles, the forward or Z-translation would be non-linear.
      The speed of the walk is dictated by the length of the legs and how far apart the feet are planted in the stride position. There isn't really a moment where all four legs are off the ground, as in the other gaits, and the legs can only move so fast without looking "sped up". Conversely, the speed of gallop is largely determined by the shape and unique qualities of the beast. The faster you need the beast to go, the more flexible the spine will have to be, and the greater the squash and stretch. Look for this when watching reference. As the legs bunch up under the beast (the squash) energy is gathered, preparing for a "leap" or "stretch" where the animal can cover as much ground as its form, weight and strength allow. The tighter the squash, the more extended the stretch and the faster the beast can travel.

      Gallop cycle
       animated by Paul Capon on Nico
      Variety in the weight or "attitude" of the walk, trot, or gallop can be achieved through the shape and movement in the spine and the amount of overlap and follow-through. The amount of flexibility and motion in the spine is key to defining the differences between a horse, a rhino, and a jungle cat.
      Personality, the key ingredient in any good animation, comes not only from the shape of the key poses but also from what is happening in between the poses. How the character gets from stride to passing can define the character. Are they high-stepping? Straight forward and no-nonsense? Whimsical? Are they flopping around like a puppy or are they hard and densely muscled like a pit bull? The overlapping elements that you've added to the animation and their follow-through shows the audience who the character is and what it is made of.

      Image adapted from Tiger Locomotion Gallop 01, courtesy of

      Image adapted from Horse Locomotion Gallop 05, courtesy of

      Saturday, April 14, 2012

      Animated Andaz Apna Apna

      The super famous comedy may just end up becoming an Animated Feature. As per the "reports" The producer is seeking permission from Aamir Khan (The Perfectionist). Lets hope this one happens.

      Click for more detail  LINK

      Tuesday, April 03, 2012

      Aardman does DC. This is so soo CUTE. MUSTT WATCH

      Meet China's TOFU BOY, China's Animated Feature Film, coming 2014

      Magic Dumpling Entertainment
      The mischievous, consistency-shifting Tofu Boy, coming to theaters in 2014.

      I really loved the character design, its simple yet looks appealing. Cant wait to see what the Chinese are upto. We are also aware of DreamWorks has choosen China to setup thr full fledged 
      Studio. Well this may be just the start, with this film, china may grab attention of other studios like Pixar and become the central hub of Animation Talent in Asia.

      For more detail reach the link below:

      Friday, March 23, 2012

      Character Eye Blink Tip

      Eyes can be a tricky topic. But some basic tips would not harm. Amazing tip from a Blue Sky Animator.

      Thursday, January 12, 2012

      Principles Of Animation: Great Article

      Amazing Article, Source: Animation Podcast

      Principles of Animation – Planning

      From time to time between ‘casts (believe me, it’s a lot faster to write than to cut a show) I’ve decided to start posting some animation notes I’ve collected/written for myself over the years. I won’t commit to how often or in-depth this will be, but it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, right?
      I’ll start with some notes I put together for a talk I gave about the fundamentals of animation. They may not be the same as someone else’s list, but they are the things I wouldn’t animate without. Rather than just dump them all at once, I’d rather post one at a time and hopefully you’ll have a chance to read through them and add thoughts or ask questions.

      Here’s my list of the can’t-do-without Principles of Animation:
        Squash & Stretch
        Drag & Overlapping Action
        Secondary Action
      This list isn’t a how-to, and it’s certainly not all-inclusive. It’s more of a “how-I-think-about” these principles.
      It’s an outline for a talk, so, as you’ll see, the notes are fairly brief. I’d love to hear what you think about these things, and I’ll try to clarify whenever it’s not totally explained in the outline. Although I’m not posting the clips I showed to illustrate my points, I still think this outline is a worthwhile read. And, of course, I want to learn too, so if you have something to add or take away, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Eventually these principles will all be compiled on one page. For now, here’s…


    1. Ask yourself: "What would I like to see on the screen?"
      • Give people their money's worth: "If I were paying good money to see this, what would I expect?"
      • Imagine in your mind: "the ideal version of this shot" and aim for that
      • Entertainment
        • It's the relationship with the audience that makes entertainment work because:
          • They have an expectation and it's our job to give it to them in an unexpected way
            • Applies to all forms of storytelling and animation is a part of that
            • If you have a shot of someone picking up a box and it's done exactly like you'd expect, there's no entertainment
            • The movie Jaws (or any great movie) is an excellent example of this:
              • As the audience we know there's a shark and the expectation is obvious – the humans will win (at least we hope). Then why is it entertaining and why don't people just walk out before it's over when we know WHAT will happen? Because they want to see HOW it happens. That's the part they can't predict. That's where we have to be creative, surprising, inventive, and original. When's the last time you heard someone say "Oh you've got to see that movie, it's so predictable!" This is how we should approach every aspect of a film – from the story, to the indiviual acts, to the sequence, to the scene, all the way down to the individual shot.
      • Three types of reactions according to philosopher Arthur Koestler – HA! HA!, AHA!, & AAH!
        • HA! HA! (humor) we laugh when we unexpectedly see the same thing in two frames of reference (there's "the expected in an unexpected way" again)
          • In it's broadest sense – this is why jokes are funny
          • First frame of reference: “Last night I shot an elephant in my pajamas.”
            Second frame of reference: “What he was doing in my pajamas I have no idea.”
        • AHA! (insight, discovery) combining two different things so that the sum is greater than the parts
          • This is why mysteries are so popular – they provide built in insight
        • AAH! (self-transcending) lose yourself in an experience; when you find yourself transported to another frame of existence
          • Some movies get to this point, but not most. These are the moments that have the greatest effect on people.
          • Some animation moments I can think of where I lose myself in the movie:
            • The dwarfs crying in Snow White
            • The Beast's transformation in Beauty and the Beast
            • When the Iron Giant says, "Superman"
            • When Dumbo flies
            • Gollum arguing with himself
            • Mufasa's death in The Lion King
            • Moses discovering the burning bush in Prince of Egypt
            • The chase in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
            • For me, all of Peter Pan
        • To me, every moment should be one of these three
          • If a shot doesn’t accomplish one of these, or at least lead to one, I question whether it is worth anyone’s time.
          • What they all have in common is that they allow the audience to feel smart. This is one of the most powerful tools in making movies, when the audience feels like they've made a connection between two seemingly unrelated ideas. It happens all the time and if the filmmaker has laid in all the clues in a sneaky (not obvious) way, it engages the viewer and keeps them hooked. The audience is actually participating in the film instead of it being hand delivered to them.
      • If you can imagine what you want to see, half your work is done
        • Picture it in your head – close your eyes and see the edges of the screen, the set, and what the character is doing. It takes practice, but it's a skill that can be developed.
    2. Thumbnail – they don't have to be works of art, they are just a map
      • They are your storytelling poses (key poses of the shot)
      • Work out the best poses and, if needed, how to get from one pose to another (breakdowns