Block Man animation

This is my first character animation.
it is based on the Block Dude animations
the rig is from the Final Test Rig by JA-forreal
here is mine.
it comprises of a bow, a punch, a strange turn, and a lift.
BlockMan.avi 811kb requires Divx to play.

Plz tell me what you think.

EDIT:moved from animation forum

Does the fact nobody has replied mean that:
A - it is a good animation
B - it is a bad animation
C - nobody has been intrested enough to look at it
D - the mesh is to simple
E - none of the above.

Plz reply cause i need all the help i can get to make good animations, and models.

It’s probably a very good animation, but that format isn’t accepted on my computer.

It’s an avi how can the format not be acepted? Your computer might not acept the CODEC which he states as divx.

I no, i just couldn’t think of the word “codec” so I typed the first thing that popped in my head. The codec isn’t accepted on my computer.

hi, just had a look.

thats pretty good for a first animation :slight_smile:
there are a lot of the same problems here that I had when I started animating (I still have a couple of them). Most are pretty basic but they can still be pretty hard to see when starting out so don’t feel dicouraaged or anything. It took me a pretty long time to weed out most of them.

the bow is pretty good, i just think the head should til forward a bit more when he’s all the way down.

first is that the hips are moving along straight line paths, which looks a little strange. when you take a step forward, the hips/body shifts closer to the leg thats on the ground (to maintain balance). This also makes the animation look more fluid.

the step forward and punch looks a little awkward. The step forward should be quicker and more forceful, since most of the force behind a punch comes from the hips. The slow step also makes you quick punch look more like a jab. the hips should rotate a bit both before and just as he punches. Also, it isn’t necessary, but if you stick the guys other arm forward before the punch and pull it back as he is punching, it will make the punch look more forceful. If you do go with a faster hip movement, make sure that there’s a little bit of recovery right after he hits.

the main problem with the turn is that the hips rotate in place while the legs move. It would look more natural if he lifted the front leg and shifted his weight to the back leg (turn the hips during this motion). now he’s standing on one lef facing the new direction. put down the front leg. now lift the back leg a bit while shifting weight to the front (no turn). then put down the back leg facing the new direction. the hips also have to rise a little bit when ever a leg is lifted or wieght is shifted.

the box lifting looks pretty good. nice how you had the box rotate along with his arms. I would suggest that you keep his front leg on the ground for a tad longer as he is lifting the box though.

the guy’s head remains completely vertical for the entire anim, which looks a little strange, have it move a bit. you can also use it to build anticipation to your movements, like turning the head before he turns and looking at the box before he lifts it.

heh, I know that was a mouthful but I ran into all of these problems before and I know it would’ve helped me if someone had pointed them out instead of me spending weeks trying to figure out “why does this look weird?”

keep at it, a few improvements and this could look much better. You’ll only get better with practice. also, something I’ve been told and that i’ve found really useful is to go through some basic motions in front of a mirror. look closely at how parts of your body move relative to each other, how the hip moves, etc.

Good luck and enjoy animating, its one of the greatest feelings to bring a character to life .

Thanks for all the tips, I have animated the punch with some suggestions you said and here is what it looks like now.

BlockManPunch 216kb Divx avi.
It is just the punch at the moment.

Please tell me what else i can do to improve it.

ok, its a little bit better, still doesn’t really fell like a punch though. I think this probably has more to do with not knowing what a punch really looks like as opposed to lack of animation skills. this is where the mirror starts helping alot.

a good punch should come from the hips. having the hand pulled back up near his shoulder before the strike looks awkward. instead, why don’t you try having him hold his hand down at the hip “palm” upwards. As it comes up to strike the arm should rotate so that the “palm” side is facing downwards.

for the offhand, i think you misinterpreted my suggestion a bit. it shouldn’t be pulled back to his chest but rather to his side by his hips (about the same place the other hand started). there should be a twisting motion on this arm as well.

also, though not necessary you might want to have him extend the leg on the same side that he’s punching with. IMO the same side punch is probably a little easier to get looking right than the opposite side (I’m pretty sure its stronger too. besides it makes it easier to continue with a backfist to the face heh).

another slight problem i’m noticing is that there doesn’t seem to be much “impact,” just the jabbing motion of the hand. The body feels a bit as if its just slowly moving forwards and backwards. The whole body should really be a part of the strike. the hip motion and hand motion should coincide pretty tightly, in your case i think the hips need to be going down much faster. perhaps have them not drift forwards so much during the prep. in fact, you could have him rock back a bit before the strike to build anticipation. right now it looks as if the front leg is slowing down just as it hits the ground. at the time of impact it should still be speeding up. you can probably alter this with the IPO curve (although I suggest rekeying everything to strike with the other leg like i mentioned above). also have his hips go a little more forward so there’s a bit more weight on his front foot than his back.

Since the punching motion is rapid, there should be a little “feedback” motion right after the strike, even if he’s not hitting anything. maybe 5-8 frames after the strike add a keyframe with body + hand pulled back slightly. not too much. Before he gets up again he should lean forwards and down slightly. Both the feedback and the little lean before he gets back up should be pretty subtle, but they do a lot in making the motion look more natural.

ok, well that was getting pretty nitpicky. sorry if I sounded a bit harsh, its definitely not bad or anything. keep on going, you’re almost there. its just the extra little touches that’ll really sell the motion :slight_smile:

Is this a bit better.
I rekeyed everything this time and switched it to a linear interpolation.
The leading leg is now the same leg as the punching hand, and there are many other slight changes.
I still can’t get it to look like there is much impact with the leg or the hand, any1 got any tips about that?

Also the punching hand looks like it is folding out, instead of a direct movement. Is there a simple way to change that with IKs?


zdk1 i really appreciate the time and detail you are taking to help. :smiley: Thx alot.

Keep the suggestions coming.

go back to you original opposite leg punch. Try yourself to punch and step with the same side of your body. It is very awkward.

yeah i thought that aswell. i also thought zdk1 said to swap the legs round but i read it wrong. I should really read more carefully :expressionless: and think less.
It still needs more impact.

Here it is with the legs swapped round.
BlockManPunch3 249kb
All the other files should still work so you can compare. (you must be so pleased.) :smiley:

Is the punch ok now?
should i move onto improving the rest?

well, i beg to differ on that point, i find it much easier to punch with the same side, but i guess that doesn’t really matter. maybe its just me.


ok thats looking alot better. there’s a lot more anticipation before the strike which is good. I think just speed up the actualy punch/move forward to only take 4-6 frames and you’ve probably got it. also, the front leg should go down in one motion, it looks like its stopping for a second before it touches the ground.

i would go back to bezier interpol. you can tweak the IPO’s if it gets too floaty. thats not a biggy though. just speed up that last part when he’s punching and I think it’ll look great.

I finally updated the punch!
The punch is now 5 frames and the stamp has been tweaked.

BlockManPunch4.avi 345kb divx

Is this better? should i move onto the rest?

Hey, I’m just starting out on blender, only been working with it a couple of days, but watching your animation I can tell you that what you need is to imagine the block-guy punching something - if you need to go through the motion yourself…find a firm surface to actually punch, or get someone to model it. You’ll notice that the way the physics works through the punch, if he’s going to roundhouse it (or even punch from the shoulder) is that as soon as the kinetic energy of his punch connects and transfers to the object he’s punching, it also causes impact vibrations in him (generally the arm and shoulder region). No huge vibrations but the energy reversal /will/ affect him some as well…I think that’s where you’re getting the falloff in realism…currently there is no ‘impact’ there.

 If you need to....think about it like a rubber ball....when you drop the ball and it hits the floor, it transfers some of its energy to the floor....the reversal in energy causes it to bounce back up, but not quite as high... Now, if you hold the ball in your fist and hit it on the floor/desk/whatever the reversal is still there, and it still bounces, but the energy transfers into your hand/arm.  Same way with a punch...less bouncy, but still there.  Hope this helps


I found some pages that show katas so you can see how the hips and shoulders rotate when punching and the coordination of the body.


the block guy might be doing kata, or some other form of practice and thus there is not neccessarily an impact.