My First Animation: Buddy Block Wakes Up

Here’s the first stage of my first attempt ever at doing an animation. I’ll update here and on my Youtube channel as I progress.

Pleae check further down for my progress…

I spent some time animating the movements of a simple cube. This helped me to understand how to use the Graph editor as well as how to coordinate movements along the axes to make them appear realistic (in a cartoony sort of way). There’s more to it than just placing an object in a desired position and letting Blender work out the rest, as I’ve discovered.

Here’s my test animation:


This is an updated video showing my progress in animating the movements of Buddy Block. I spent two full days working on them. I noticed a few mistakes only after rendering.

After fixing the mistakes I spotted, I’ll start working on giving Buddy his hands and feet. The mouth needs to be redone as well, since I’m not happy with it right now. But at least he’s got a mouth. I don’t know why though. Blocks don’t eat or talk.

Buddy Block got a face lift…

I wanted to improve Buddy’s mouth, since that rounded trapezoid I was using looked more like a Midas Muffler sign and was only temporary anyway. My 3D modelling skills are still lacking at this point, so I decided to use shape keys to make a 2D mesh into his mouth. I think it worked out well, although the edges could be smoothed more. I also added some textures to the surroundings, although I had problems with texturing Buddy because I applied the shape keys first, and this messed up the UV mapping, so I went without texturing him at all, for now. I also tweaked some of his facial movements and fixed some frames where he could be seen passing through the floor when he jumped around.

Here’s the latest render:

I still need to somehow make the eyes and mouth appear to POP out better when they come out… Any ideas how to do this would be appreciated.

This is very nice work and I like it a lot.

The latest ones are a bit long winded in my opinion. That’s a matter of taste, perhaps, but I feel more pace could add to it. I also think that the mouth in #3 fits better and please incorporate the legs again :slight_smile: That was so cute. And arms would make him more complete.

To show his efforts when he pops out his features you could perhaps transform the cube to something more sphere like temporarily. As if he is holding his breath and does some hard pressing.

Keep up the good work and I’m curious what you will come up next with :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input and support, minoribus! I’ll be reintroducing the legs (and giving him arms/hands) once I get to modelling them a little better. The latest animation is longer than necessary only because it gives me a chance to see how the eye movements look in a render. They still need a lot of work!

To show his efforts when he pops out his features you could perhaps transform the cube to something more sphere like temporarily. As if he is holding his breath and does some hard pressing.

I was thinking the same thing. I want to be able to have that sort of effect for his arms and legs coming out, anyway. I’ll see what I can do.

I spent yesterday trying to improve the ‘poppiness’ of the features coming out of Buddy. I took minoribus’ idea by applying a shape key to transform the cube into a swollen shape, and it works really well, except that it should have been applied before all the work I’ve already done to Buddy, including all the keyframes for all the movements, etc… Basically, I would have to start all over from step one. This wouldn’t the first time… and probably won’t be the last. Planning ahead is CRUCIAL to creating an animated character!

In the end, I decided to give up on the swelling of Buddy’s body (for now) and instead just manipulated the scaling of the appropriate facial features to get more of a ‘pop’ feel to them when they appear.

I want to copy the methods that Warner Bros. artists used in their Loony Tunes animations to get those exaggerated effects, so maybe I should get some and study them frame by frame…

Where’s Daffy Duck? He always cracked me up. Maybe he can help me…

Some more small improvements on my animation.

And here’s the results of my first (or second or third… or fourth) attempt at rigging.


Nice, I like the idea with the swelling eyes to show his effort. I wonder if you can work out more on his thoughts like “wait a moment, something is missing” and show him thinking hard. Open brows and the irises in the upper left corner of the eye could express that, perhaps.

I’m very sure that kids will enjoy very much what you have so far and that you will achieve a good laughter.

Thanks for the input. I’ll use your ideas.

i now have my rig working properly, so it’s time to start animating again!

Lovely animations! For your first ones, those are really nice :wink:
Great idea, to learn by starting with a very simple rig and then adding more and more parts

Thank you very much, Triastase!

Yes, I decided to work this way while I struggle to learn the more advanced aspects of Blender. It gives other newbies a way to see what can be done even without much experience in Blender.

A quick rundown…

I started out with the simplest shapes and only using the basic transform values to give my character some basic facial expressions.

Then I learned how to apply shape keys to create a simple mouth that I could manipulate. I will make it more 3D later on.

Most recently (after a few weeks of hair-pulling), I created the armature for my character.

At the moment I’m just playing around with some character animation, tweaking things and trying to create some realistic-looking actions. This is the slow part, waiting for the scenes to render so I can see how they look before I tweak things some more.

Thanks again for your support!

These are some test animations of my character.