Character Animation Tests

Hey Guys

here are some WIP animation tests

I did some of the

[Jason Ryan tutorials](

There is still more to come as I did the same actions for some of my favourite rigs

This is the Mancandy WIP

2d is done with pencil
3d is of course Blender

still to come is Pantin, Frankie and the Rabbit from BBB

Very, very good. My favorite is the big diving.
Can’t wait to see Pantin make the big diving too !

Thanks Kioppa

Pantin should be going up sometime today or tommorrow
I just have to finish editing it all together

(I used the 2.49 version of Pantin so far - but the next load of animation will be the 2.5)


just posted the Pantin WIP

I know that some timing is slow, so he floats a little in the jump and run cycle - I will get around to fixing that when I do some more work

EDIT: crap I just realised that I spelt your name wrong Kiopaa
I will fix it and re-upload


Edit: fixed

this is the Frankie WIP

and Big Buck is on his way

feel free to leave C&C

and here is the last one

Buck WIP

I will post again when I update the videos but that won’t be until early next year

Hi Waylow, nice tests and it seems that you’ve learned a lot from Jason Ryan. I have to dive soon too feet first into character animation. I bought a couple of VTS’es from Keith Lango, I have a couple of books too. But there is a thing that you won’t find in books (well the animator survival kit mentioned it, but not in so many words), which is something I read a couple of years ago concerning the animation style of Don Bloth. Your Mancandy run cycle is totally stiff as if he has a adamtium rod for a spine. What Don bloth figured out is that you should ’ wave’ your character’s motion. It is very apparent in lots of Don Bloth animations. The spine should bend back and forth for added realism. I will check if I can find an perfect example to show you.

Is there nothing that can’t be found on the internet?
this is also interesting

edit: I find it hard to track the site I mentioned first down. But if you watch young Dirk’s from Space Ace run cycle you’ll see what I mean. On the lowest extreme you bend the spine, and on the highest extreme you bend the spine inward thrusting the chest forward. I guess this technique is better suited for certain slender builds, but I’ve just seen a video footage on another animation forum of a hippo running, the spine wobbles up and down too.

The site that I heard it from first, the animator there made a CG animation of a big dumb pelican or vulture. When the tip of wings are all the way up, the spine is bend downwards, and when the tip of the wings are all the way down, the spine is bend upward. I believe the long neck was involved too in a counter balance wave motion for the body. In any case, sorry for the long rambling, I just thought it would give your character a better sense of weight.

thanks toontje

yeah the mancandy was always the first character I animated for these tests (so they usually get better with the other characters)
I will probably do all the cycles again in a couple of months to see how much I can improve them
(I will check out the wave)

I will also check out the Keith Lango and Don Bluth tutorials
(I already have the Animator’s Survival Kit which is awesome)

thanks for your comments

Hey Wayne!
Good to see more people getting into character animation. It’s way too neglected in the blender community. (Just check the number of threads in each forum category… it seems people just aren’t into it… or it’s too difficult)

Great stuff you’ve got there. There’s a lot of great character and appeal there.
As far as constuctive crits go…
I would say in general you should work on weight. In most of your pieces the characters seem very light. This is one of the toughest things to get right, and is one of the main things that people look for in a showreel.
Most of the work needed to sell the weight of a character is in the up and down movement of the hips (the ol’ bouncing ball principle) and the overlapping rotation from the hips up the spine and kneck. It’s obviously more complex than that, but that’s a good place to start.

Great work though buddy, keep it up!

i think people are her to learn how to model, rig and apply material, once you’ve past this stage and get into the real animating stuff, there’s no more time to spend on surfing fora like this?

regards, hewi

That is a logic fallacy: Ad populum. Just because there more of that than this doesn’t put weight in your argument. Animation is a time consuming proces, even more so than modeling. Many still has a genuine need to learn animation. It is better to learn from others that followed courses like animation mentor or like this one from Jason Ryan. That way we can learn from each other, especially how to animate in Blender.

I agree toonje. Animation is a time consuming process. (I just finished class 2 at AM). I just reckon there aren’t as many here who are really trying it, or even watching this part of the forum. There seems to be a bigger focus on modeling, texturing and making games here at BA. Threads in this part of the forum seem to get much less attention than (I think) they deserve, especially since Blender’s animation features have recently become so much better.

Maybe this is a topic for another thread. I certainly don’t want to hijack this one, which should be about waylow’s animations.

meh, hijack away - if it gets people talking about animation then that is cool

I would like to see more character animation by the Blender users

and it would be good to learn from others
(especially the ones in who have been trained)

Hello again

I have managed to re-do most of the Mancandy stuff - in both 2d and 3d
the animation is getting better - but any constructive crits are welcome

I have redone the walk, Run and Jump so far (all in blender 2.5) and will do some more later on
still working on the other characters first then I will do new actions

fun fun fun

I agree that animation is the most difficult and time consuming. I can model fine, have been able to for years. But animation is something I am working at. AnimationMentor has been a great help spring boarding me into a better animator. I still find myself using blender most of the time though.

Waylow, you stuff is coming along nicely. I see you have your key poses down. Now you should start thinking about breakdowns. Make them interesting. You can completely change the mood of your character/scene with different breakdowns. I’m at work now, or I would give you some simple examples. Maybe I will remember when I get home. Your sketches are great, putting your ideas down on paper first is a great idea. Filming reference or using reference is also a good idea. I know at AM you have to film yourself acting out your shot multiple times. It’s always good to take the first day, or at least a few hours to at least sketch out your ideas and pick some nice poses. Filming reference helps with timing and the sketches your poses. Of course filming reference can’t always be accurate, but it can help you get the correct balance in your character’s posture. Keep on animating!
ps, I hope everyone joins the BAC, I know I need to.

thanks for the comments thedaemon

This update I was working mainly on MC’s weight (i haven’t finished the overlapping action yet)
but I know what you mean about interesting breakdowns
I find myself leaning towards a realistic looking breakdown which is probably being a bit safe

it’s funny that you mentioned filming some reference - because that’s exactly what I did for the Frankie and Buck Dance (but you won’t see that in the video)

I know some of the 2d stuff is very rough - but I’m getting better
It’s a whole lot of work but it’s easy to see how to fix it in the 3D
I didn’t realise how hard 2d would be (or how much fun)
it just takes ages to test something and then change it, it takes even longer

So you’re another AM mentor like freen
it would be interesting to find out how many Blender users have done the AM program

Like they tell you in school, your thumbnails are for you. As long as you get the information in them that you need, it doesn’t matter what they look like. Mine sure don’t look like Carlos’!!! I remember at least 1 other blenderhead in AM. It’s fine to keep with the realistic breakdowns, just adding interesting breakdowns can add lots of character to your lifeless puppet. And by character I mean acting. Your walk and runcycle seemed like they were just the poses of your drawings and no inbetweens, am I correct? Or is this PC @ work just slow and laggy? lol

you are close

it might seem a little laggy because somethings are on 2’s and somethings are on 1’s
(this will be more evident it the Pantin 2d stuff I will be posting in the next few days)
I drew all the 4 positions and 2 inbetweens (6 drawing cycle)and then messed with the speed to get the cycle looking at OK

So actually the walk is on 4’s because of the speed change(I will need to add another inbetween to make it on 2’s)
And the Run is on 2’s
(the run really should be on 1’s to make it look smooth - but by then I’m really itching to make it 3d)

I think Gianmichele was also am AM student. His work was included in the AM student reel showcase. He did acting,

I have a crit on you animations:
the movements feels weightless. Maybe you should put more attention to follow through and overlap.

Looking good waylow!
One thing that isn’t really covered extensively in Williams’ book is the importance of hip rotation for selling the weight of a character. It’s there in his drawings, but it’s subtle.
This is the main thing that I can see you have to work on.
Keep it up mate, your reel is really shaping up!