Animated Walk & Run Cycles

Wikipedia on Walk Cycles: In animation, a walk cycle is a series of frames or illustrations drawn in sequence that loop to create an animation of a walking character. The walk cycle is looped over and over, thus having to avoid animating each step again.

There exist many techniques to create walk cycles. Traditionally walk-cycles are hand drawn but over time with the introduction of new technologies for new mediums, walk cycles can be made in pixel art, 2d computer graphics, 3D computer graphics, stop motion method, cut-out animation or using techniques like rotoscoping.

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Layers of Animation Process

Dana Terrace is an animation director on the upcoming new iteration of Ducktales for Disney. Veteran students might remember that we watched her 3rd year student film, Kickball, last year. As we begin our animation project this week, here is a very nice example of a run cycle by Terrace that illustrates the various layers of process an animator will work through from rough to final animation.

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Cento Lodigiani and the 12 Principles of Animation

Animator Cento Lodigiani made a short film that serves as a concise overview of the 12 principles of animation:

The 12 basic principles of animation were developed by the ‘old men’ of Walt Disney Studios, amongst them Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, during the 1930s. Of course they weren’t old men at the time, but young men who were at the forefront of exciting discoveries that were contributing to the development of a new art form. These principles came as a result of reflection about their practice and through Disney’s desire to use animation to express character and personality.
This movie is my personal take on those principles, applied to simple shapes. Like a cube.

Click below the fold to see the film.

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Digital Drawing & Painting: A Brief History

There has never been so many ways to draw and paint digitally as there are today. Whether you’re drawing on an industry standard pen display tablet like the Wacom Cintiq, inking your comic using Manga Studio on a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet, or using the Procreate app on an iPad Pro the last few years have seen an explosion in potential applications and hardware geared towards direct manipulation of your art with a stylus on a screen.

How did we get here? What was it like for the digital arts pioneers in the earliest days as these tools and technologies were being developed? Let’s take a brief look at some of the highlights of digital drawing and painting history.

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Fleischer Animation Studio in the 1930s

The Miami studio in 1939 to be exact. We’re still in the 1920s in our journey through the history of animation, but I saw these gifs on twostriptechnicolor and had to share them here. We’ll learn a great deal more about the Fleischer Studio over the next few months. Koko the Clown will eventually be joined by Bimbo the Dog and Betty (the) Boop, followed by the biggest success at the studio: Popeye the Sailor. Make sure to read the full post below to see all the images.

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DIY Cardboard Box Animation Stand Ver. 3

I’ve had some students ask me to post construction pictures of our DIY Cardboard Box Animation Stand. I don’t have time at the moment to do a detailed, step-by-step walk through post on building these high tech wonders, but if you take a close look at these photos you’ll probably be able to craft your own box. Head below for more photos and basic information.

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Animation Exercises by Artist Sasha Mutch

Artist Sasha Mutch conducts exercises in Animation based on the article here. These short pieces of animation serve as skill building exercises and allow her to explore a variety of ways to approach a given animation prompt. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: just as an athlete trains and exercises in preparation for a competition, an artists spends time in their sketchbook to prepare for larger projects. It’s all about pencil miles.

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