Learning

Lesson: Biomechanics and Balance

This is part of a series I have started of lessons from my class lectures. I will choose a topic from time to time to expand on. If you have ideas for a topic please contact me with topics.

Dancer

86ee44796df1e3663dfc28a73e80e3b3****One of the biggest issues I find with newbie animators to CG is understanding balance in their poses.  Balance is the only way to illustrate weight.  if your character looks like they are going to fall over in their pose, you have not done your job as an animator to illustrate weight.  before describing weight and it's relation to balance, I need to explain a few more facets of biomechanics.

af020eb6dc5e0d701d49ddb71f34fc68

Understanding Kinematics: You must ask yourself these questions to understand how far to push a pose and find the balance line within the pose.

  • How limber is the individual?
  • How long are limbs?
  • Stamina?
  • Weight and Balance?

There is an invisible line that runs from your character's head and neck to the feet.  This plumb line defines the balance in your poses. To check this line in CG you must look at your poses from all angles.TIP5

b32c18043671651a155350d812afa16d standing-postures

Gravity:

  • Gravity is constantly affecting the body in both static and dynamic movement.
  • Gravitational downward pull on an object.
  • Understanding gravity, the COG (Center of Gravity) will help you create solid poses.

20120708-001859 Cirque-Du-Soleil gravity-with-hip-flexion

COG and Balance:

  • The COG is the point of a body at which all the mass may be concentrated.
  • The force of gravity acts vertically downwards from this point.
  • Basically, the body balances around this point.
  • The COG of a body is at its geometrical center.

b9dc3ad312899ee1b2f2ac9d4d6ac911

Etienne-Jules-Marey-Examples

muybridge jump

NancyOutside
skanna0001

Chronophoto-Tennis-Series-for-BKRW-Magazine_1-640x387

tumblr_m6arkjsq7p1qe31lco4_r1_500

Some tips for posing:

  • Don’t move anything unless it’s for a purpose.
  • Don’t move anything unless it’s for a purpose.
  • Don’t create a pose without knowing why.
  • Do get the best animation poses by exploring all avenues.
  • Do picture in your head what it is you’re animating.
  • Do think in terms of creating an entire pose, not just the head or eyes, etc.
  • Do keep a balanced relation of one part of the character's pose to the other.
  • Do stage the camera for the most effective poses.

How to Draw Sci-Fi Utopias and Dystopias By Prentis Rollins

For all those clear-eyed artists, ages 12 and up, engaging in and reimagining this world, How to Draw Sci-Fi Utopias and Dystopias (Monacelli Studio; September 2016) gives an in-depth look at the process of completing sci-fi illustrations—from the thought behind them to constructing basic forms and objects on paper, converting roughs into finished pencil drawings, inking them in, and coloring them in Photoshop. The book is organized around the perennial distinction between two ways of representing the future in science fiction: the pessimistic and the hopeful, or dystopian an­d utopian. A long-time contributor to DC Comics, on projects including Green Lantern: Rebirth, Supergirl, and Batman: The Ultimate Evil, Prentis Rollins teaches that the only way to create authenticity in a science fictional world is to root the imagined in the real, becoming the sole authority on its narrative and rationales. He demonstrates the astounding power of storytelling with 32 step-by-step case studies created and imagined just for this book.

 

HOW TO DRAW SCI-FI

UTOPIAS AND DYSTOPIAS

Create the Futuristic Humans, Aliens,

Robots, Vehicles, and Cities of Your

Dreams and Nightmares

Prentis Rollins

Monacelli Studio

September 27, 2016 • trade paperback

$25 • 208 pages

8½ x 10 inches • 250 illustrations

ISBN 978-1-58093-446-6

 

 


Oooo

Nice test with the Malcolm Rig!


Timing For Animation Gif

showing weight through timing


Artella Cloud-Based Animation Platform

My friend Bobby has started another enterprise in addition to his Animation Mentor School.
Now there is nothing to hold back your creativity when it comes to making your own short films!
Press Release Below.

Artella

EMERYVILLE, CA -- Artella, the global collaboration platform that enables artists to make animated films, video games, and virtual reality content, has officially launched. Founded by animation veterans Bobby Beck (formerly Pixar), Carlos Baena (formerly Pixar and Paramount) and Shawn Kelly (Industrial Light & Magic), Artella’s end-to-end online production platform empowers artists to assemble teams from anywhere in the world to tackle projects of any size and scope -- all through a web browser.

The cloud-based Artella platform allows creative teams to establish their own virtual studios and present their projects, however large or small, to a global network of collaborators that includes writers, directors, storyboarders, voice talent, animators, composers, software engineers, and other creative professionals working at every level of the industry. The platform boasts integrated communication, file management and review tools that allow for straightforward production, while also providing template-based workflows tailored to films, video games and virtual reality content. In addition, the platform seamlessly integrates with the most widely used production software, such as Autodesk Maya, Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, and The Foundry’s NUKE, to name a few -- and enables either online or offline work so collaborators can operate however they are most comfortable.

“The world is full of talented creative people who have the tools in their home to make great content, but lack the professional network. We simply wanted to find a way to bring them together from anywhere in the world and to give way to a new form of collaborative production studio,” said Bobby Beck, co-founder of Artella. “By taking care of the technical production pipeline and communication challenges, Artella allows artists to focus on being their full creative selves so they can make incredible content.”

“Artella will unlock a multitude of untapped talent,” said Maxwell Planck, technical co-founder at Oculus Story Studio. “I’m excited for what Artella brings to the future of remote collaboration in the creative space.”

Artella was created by Beck, Baena, and Kelly, a trio of animators with decades of experience including work on the Toy Story andStar Wars franchises, Wall-E, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Transformers, and more. The trio founded Animation Mentor in 2005, an online school that blends animation production coursework with a mentorship program to give students the real-world skills they need to compete in an increasingly competitive animation industry. Artella was born out of the need to provide a virtual space for graduating students to collaborate with others, while also offering a destination for established professionals and studios to launch and complete projects they wouldn’t otherwise be able to manage without the larger studio infrastructure and workflow.

Creating collaborative animated content remotely can be very challenging, and in some cases you end up using four to five different tools that aren’t quite designed for the kind of work we do. We wanted to create a platform that allowed artists and filmmakers to focus on the creative,” said Carlos Baena, a co-founder of Artella, who spent a few years along with Bobby Beck testing and refining the Artella platform. “We’re providing a place for animators, filmmakers, and producers to bring their visions to life, without requiring a huge upfront financial and technical investment.”

“Artella embodies the promise of cloud-based workflow,” said Shawn Kelly, a co-founder of Artella. “We’ve eliminated the barriers to entry by offering a comprehensive suite of tools that anyone can use to launch their own virtual studio.”

Artella will always be free for anyone to sign up and connect with other artists and projects. 90-days post launch, a nominal monthly fee will be charged to creators per member of their team: $10-30, depending on the role. Artella does not take a cut of collaborator compensation or in the equity or IP of the projects created on the platform.


Lesson: Biomechanics and Balance

This is part of a series I have started of lessons from my class lectures. I will choose a topic from time to time to expand on. If you have ideas for a topic please use the Ask me anything widget on the right. 

*** these are not my images. Copyright on these images belong to their respective owners. I just use them for educational purposes.

Dancer

86ee44796df1e3663dfc28a73e80e3b3****One of the biggest issues I find with newbie animators to CG is understanding balance in their poses.  Balance is the only way to illustrate weight.  if your character looks like they are going to fall over in their pose, you have not done your job as an animator to illustrate weight.  before describing weight and it's relation to balance, I need to explain a few more facets of biomechanics.

af020eb6dc5e0d701d49ddb71f34fc68

Understanding Kinematics: You must ask yourself these questions to understand how far to push a pose and find the balance line within the pose.

  • How limber is the individual?
  • How long are limbs?
  • Stamina?
  • Weight and Balance?

There is an invisible line that runs from your character's head and neck to the feet.  This plumb line defines the balance in your poses. To check this line in CG you must look at your poses from all angles.TIP5

b32c18043671651a155350d812afa16d standing-postures

Gravity:

  • Gravity is constantly affecting the body in both static and dynamic movement.
  • Gravitational downward pull on an object.
  • Understanding gravity, the COG (Center of Gravity) will help you create solid poses.

20120708-001859 Cirque-Du-Soleil gravity-with-hip-flexion

COG and Balance:

  • The COG is the point of a body at which all the mass may be concentrated.
  • The force of gravity acts vertically downwards from this point.
  • Basically, the body balances around this point.
  • The COG of a body is at its geometrical center.

b9dc3ad312899ee1b2f2ac9d4d6ac911

Etienne-Jules-Marey-Examples

muybridge jump

NancyOutside
skanna0001

Chronophoto-Tennis-Series-for-BKRW-Magazine_1-640x387

tumblr_m6arkjsq7p1qe31lco4_r1_500

Some tips for posing:

  • Don’t move anything unless it’s for a purpose.
  • Don’t move anything unless it’s for a purpose.
  • Don’t create a pose without knowing why.
  • Do get the best animation poses by exploring all avenues.
  • Do picture in your head what it is you’re animating.
  • Do think in terms of creating an entire pose, not just the head or eyes, etc.
  • Do keep a balanced relation of one part of the character's pose to the other.
  • Do stage the camera for the most effective poses.

Finding Your Character

A student sent me this and it is a fantastic source of information for posing and understanding personality and character.  Every writer, designer and animator should watch this entire video.

Some Rules Dan Offers: What Makes a Good Pose?

1 – A good pose is clear and instantly readable.

  • Good silhouette
  • Clarity

2 – A good pose demonstrates proper physicality.

  • Body Mechanics
  • Weight

3 – A good pose is visually interesting.

  • Appeal
  • Line of Action
  • Asymmetry
  • Negative Space
  • Contrast

4 – A good pose conveys character.

  • Avoid cliches
  • Personality
  • The Mind is the Pilot

will-murai-tracer

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maxresdefault

 

 


Andrew Silke - Full 3d Training Courses

Andrew Silke, has set up some great courses on his website.

I encourage anyone studying with me at USC to sign up for a memebership and check out these sourses over the summer if you are at all interested in modeling, rigging or getting better at animation for next year!
Full 3d Training Courses By Andrew…
create3dcharacters.com/


OpenToonz

Animation software OpenToonz, which is used by many studios, most notably Japanese Studio Ghibli has been made open source and available for absolutely FREE! And you can also download the same tools that Studio Ghibli used for their process!

“With one announcement, the animation software game may have changed forever. Toonz, the software used by Studio Ghibli to produce films like The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises, will be made free and open source to the animation community beginning March 26, 2016. The deal, which could have a potentially profound impact on the animation industry, was made possible after Japanese publisher Dwango acquired the Toonz software from Italian tech company Digital Video, which has been producing the animation package since 1993. Ghibli has been using Toonz since the production of Princess Mononoke, and the new OpenToonz is dubbed “Toonz Ghibli Edition” because of all the custom-features that Toonz has developed over the years for the legendary Japanese studio.  Atsushi Okui, executive imaging director at Studio Ghibli, explained that they initially chose Toonz back in 1995 “in order to continue producing theater-quality animation without additional stress,” and a desire for software that had “the ability to combine the hand-drawn animation with the digitally painted ones seamlessly.” 

However, Toonz is not exclusive to Ghibli and is used by plenty of other studios, including Rough Draft, which produced Matt Groening’s Futurama with it, and Folimage, which used it for its recent feature, Phantom Boy.

Simon Hayes provides a peak into using Studio Ghibli’s OpenToonz Plastic software feature to create cutout 2D characters animated using bones and joints. OptenToonz plastic feature is similar to After Effects’ puppet pin tools, however, OptenToonz is a bones or joint based system that surpasses Ae’s rudimentary puppet pins. For one, a bone and joint system will inherently have a hierarchy to them, making them ideal for character rigging and animation. A skeletal system is also the foundation for more advanced systems such as constraints and IK (Inverse Kinematics). Here, Simon Hayes lays out the basics and steps for easily creating a 2D cutout character using the Plastic tool.