Animation Studies from Pierrick Picaut's ALIVE! Course


2022-05-09 16_13_06-Blender_ F__blender_p2academy_03-08-SQUIRREL-BASE.blend

From lesson 2, four iterations of the bouncing ball. This video only shows 2-4, not 1. 4 is the only one I consider a success, the rest are failures (not in a self-critical way, just that I know they can be better)

From lesson 3, 2 iterations of the light bouncing ball and 2 of the heavy bouncing ball. It took 3 total iterations of the heavy ball to get a success, iteration 1 is not shown in this video. Both iterations I consider successes are on the right.

I have a pen-and-paper journal where I’m making extremely detailed logs (2-3 pages per iteration) about these exercises and specifics of “success” and “failure”, so I won’t be diving into depth here. Rather, I’m using this thread as a way to help fight my severe imposter syndrome by forcing myself to share work that could be considered amateurish or low-quality.

I was talking to @sozap the other day about imposter syndrome, and they gave me some excellent straight-forward advice: the way to get over your fear of sharing your work is to share it :sweat_smile:

I make one to two iterations a day, allowing myself to sleep on my work between iterations. This is a slow way to progress but I find it extremely helpful. Of course, I’m also working on many other things in Blender, but I always make sure to do an iteration of whatever exercise I’m currently on


Hey super cool @josephhansen !
these animations exercises are pretty tough and you did a very good job.
There is probably little rooms for improvement here and there but that’s very promising ! Animation is a long road to take anyway !
I think in the rubbery balls, you can skip one contact frame on the ground were the ball is completely round without squash :

Because of this very frame that make the ball stay a bit too long on the ground before bouncing.
All that said, this gives an interesting effect by exaggerating that very moment, worth keeping in mind if you plan to add more style to your animations, but maybe that’s not what you wanted here in the first place !

And about our self-considerations on our work, well I think it’s something we always have to deal with as artists, especially given that good or bad is subjective and there is always better artists to refer to. To me focusing on progression is more valuable and more objective too.

I find that the way you’re working and improving methodically with regular exercises quite inspiring ! It’s great that you start sharing about these because you’ll be obviously making progress and that whole process could be very interesting for people on the same journey to look at !
To me, unless you’re really really good, I always value progression over time as equally to the quality of some work. Being good but learning/trying nothing new sounds boring to me. While keeping learning, trying new things is always exposing us to failure, but I found it much interesting, valuable and rewarding ! In that sense, learning from failure and failing in general is a good thing too !
Good luck on these exercises and I hope to see the next ones !


Ahhhh… yeah, now that you say that, I see it, you’re right :sweat_smile: already my thread is having results, I’ve learned a way I can improve :smiley: thank you for sharing that. I’m going to fight the urge to go back and redo all these animations to not have that frame, I need to be able to accept that even if something isn’t perfect, it’s good enough. I’m going to be doing some different exercises and then coming back to these, just to keep them fresh, and I’ll be sure to incorporate this feedback when I get to that point

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hahaha, yeah it’s great and more than ok to keep it like that for now !
That could be interesting to try it again in a few month after some other exercises.
From what I understand that bouncing animation is one of the basis that you find in many more complex motion, so it’s probably something you need to go back to once in a while to get a refresher !
It would be great to compare it with what you have now !

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Blocking a run cycle
2022-05-09 16_13_19-Blender_ F__blender_p2academy_03-08-SQUIRREL-BASE.blend
2022-05-09 16_13_15-Blender_ F__blender_p2academy_03-08-SQUIRREL-BASE.blend
2022-05-09 16_13_06-Blender_ F__blender_p2academy_03-08-SQUIRREL-BASE.blend
2022-05-09 16_13_02-Blender_ F__blender_p2academy_03-08-SQUIRREL-BASE.blend
2022-05-09 16_12_58-Blender_ F__blender_p2academy_03-08-SQUIRREL-BASE.blend

It’s not at all finished (blocked, not polished), but I’m going to a movie with my wife after work today so I doubt I’ll make more progress today, and I’d like to update this thread daily. It’s good for me :slight_smile:

After this run cycle is complete, I’m going to do another basic bouncing ball, heavy bouncing ball, and light bouncing ball, before moving on to the next step of this squirrel animation (idle)

BTW, the course I’m following, you can find here:

I would highly recommend it, it’s excellent

Polished the body, still need to polish everything else

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Polished the head, chest, and hips:

Tomorrow, I’ll polish the legs and tail, which means they’ll be visible again :slight_smile:

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I’ve polished the legs, and honestly… I don’t think I did a very good job. Still, though, I’ve put a lot of hours into this and I need to move on to the next stage. Practice makes perfect, and my next squirrel will look a lot better. It’s a lot easier to say that than to believe it, I’ve wanted to throw down my tablet pencil and give up entirely many times already. I’m posting this to keep myself accountable, if I “have” to update this thread, I can’t give up :slight_smile:

I don’t think anyone is actually reading this thread or these updates, but it honestly helps me keep moving forward if I pretend like someone is


If you look at these super-slow-mo types of videos you can actually see the effect of warping. Even the most solid object like a steel sword, warps like jello in reality, though unnoticeable with the common human perception. In some way everything works like jello physics, so only is a matter or controlling the effect.

Though in cartoon animation, this effect is deliberately needed, so it makes the results more surreal.

The best thing I learnt from these studies is to think of live animation sculpting in a more serious way, perhaps an essential part of the animation process.

There is actually a really good experimental addon for this called “Keymesh” made from master Dobarro, and more or less allows you to super impose extra animated sculpted mesh, on top of default keyframed objects or bones.

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It is good and does the job, though if you find a very good reference video you can go for it in more detail.

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