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Basic animation exercises

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Basic animation exercises

Hi all,

I could use your help. I'm trying to put together a list of animation exercises that most people have common in contact with. So far I've got:

-Ball bouncing/rolling
-Walk cycle
-Run cycle
-Character lifting/pushing weight
-The flour sack
-Simple lip synch

I'm primarily looking for simple things like the ball bouncing, but I'd love to compile a basic "animation course" list. They don't have to be as simple as the ball bouncing, but I'd love more examples of very simple exercises (the character stuff is good but a little more comples than what I was thinking).

Anyway, anything and everything you can come up with or have come in contact with would really be appreciated. I'll be sure to post a compiled list for everyone.


kdiddy13's picture
Producing solidily ok animation since 2001. Now with more doodling!

Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.

Now with more doodling!

How's about these:

-Head turns
-Jumping and landing
-Eye blinks
-Animating change of facial expression
-Hand, pointing
-Coming to a stop from a walk
-Coming to a stop from a run

Oh, and dynamic posing. I believe learning how to create strong poses helps sell animation.



one of the assignments in my first animation class was to show a character with definite emotion that wasn't human and didn't have a face... ex. luxo the desk lamp. You have to do this all through body language.

Don't do nothing because you can't do everything.


What I do for practice:
1. - animate the fingers on a hand. transition from open hand to fist. sometimes rotating 180 degrees or so.
2. - eyes, make interactive eyes that follow the mouse and have lighting effects.
3. - draw stick characters practicing with swords, lances, rocket launchers, and other weaponry.

What my friends do:
1. - draw a line, each frame, well, the line morphs into other shapes and objects, frame-by-frame animation.
2. - animate flames. (I don't find this very helpful, because flames just wave around and cause smoke, but hey, one of my buddies can create awesome torchs.)
3. - draw circles, turn them into objects in flash, form them into a humanoid figure, make them move around, looking like the figure is animated.

In my principles class we started with a lateral headturn, then an arced headturn. We'll be working with things like a pitch, a sword lunge and walk cycles too.

Sticking overlap/follow-through elements like tails, feathers, floppy ears, etc. on a simple shape is useful as well.