2D Animation Lesson 3 – Animating your Character

Animating your character.

Now that you have a finished model sheet and construction drawings (character broken down into basic shapes) as well as some personality drawings, you are ready to plan your first animation with the character.

Walk cycles are a good thing to start with, but I find that people usually copy walk cycles instead of really animating it for themselves. Instead, let’s animate our characters walking, avoiding an obstacle and continuing to walk.

Your obstacle could be a box, a giant circle in the path, or hanging from above. Just keep the object as a simple shape, so it is easy to draw.

Class Work
1. Put down the computer or pencil and act out some ideas. Walk, and then avoid objects by ducking, or stepping to the side. Keep doing this until you get something you like.

2. Act out the sequence you like. Stop at key poses and draw thumbnail sketches (small, stick figures or simple sketches) to plan out the poses you want to animate.

3. Start drawing your keyframes based off the thumbnail sketches you drew.

Homework
1. Finish drawing your rough keyframes and draw half of your in betweens. These drawings should be simple shapes that represent your character. No need to draw in completed bodies yet, just shapes.

Take a look at this beautiful video of pencil tests by Glen Keane to see how rough pencil tests can be before cleanup:

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