Sintel shows an icosphere who's boss! Big sword swing WIP

Hi all,

Wanted to have a go at a big sword swing, and thought Sintel lite would be perfect for the job.

This is basically on '2’s, with no interpolation as yet - basically a blocking pass, but keen for feedback and comments before I go much further.

I really wanted to get weight into this with plenty of hip drive and snap in the wrist/fingers/sword.

Please let me know what you think!

And please check out my older YouTube videos if you’ve got a spare 2minutes :wink: A few more character animations and a camera tracking test…


I don’t get why your animating on '2’s. Isn’t that what 2D animators do when they’re on a budget? Anyway, I like it, and I thought the anticipation was good, I think the head should stay locked to the target as much as possible.

Are you animating with the hand or with the sword?

Thanks Steve, Yeah my budget’s not so great :wink: No I was just doing keyframes and breakdowns, and for timing they’ve ended up about 2 frames apart. Next step would be setting interpolation to linear or bezier and fine tuning from there I guess.

And yeah I was considering whether the head move is a bit much. Might tone back and lock it to the target a bit more.

The sword is a child of the thumb, with its pivot set at the point I wanted it to rotate, so I’ve mostly animated with the arm and hand, with a few tweaks to the sword as well though.


First off sorry for the bump… Thread’s old but I’ve not been here in a while. Just saw the stuff on 1s vs 2s which is an interesting topic.

Yes, sort of… But for animators on a “budget” even 2s are quite extravagent! Part of it is also has a lot to do with spacing.

Obviously it’s much quicker (and yes, therefore also cheaper) to create half the number of frames for a given movement. But in general, unless the character is moving quickly, 2s do a perfectly acceptable job as the spacing between drawings is small enough that losing an inbetween won’t detract that much from the impression of movement. It’s the gap between images that has the potential to make the animation jumpy, and obviously this gap is greater (and requires more inbetweens) when the action is faster.

Generally speaking, traditional hand drawn animation is mostly done on 2s, and the animators will switch to 1s as and when required. (Pocahontas was drawn on 2s, and that wasn’t exactly a budget production. The CG was then also done on 2s to match…)

CG is slightly different in that the computer can interpolate poses, so you get your inbetweens for “free”. However, this brings new problems as this inbetweening is not intelligent, and can often even out the spacing too much (making the animation floaty). So that’s your tradeoff.

As Hammers has already pointed out, this isn’t really on 2s - it’s just his keys and breakdowns. But yes, it’s a fast action so will benefit from the extra inbetweens regardless of medium. However even without the extra frames you can see the depiction of movement is pretty good.

As for the animation yeah, the big change to make is to make sure Sintel is looking where she’s swinging that sword… I’d also suggest (i.e. this is personal preference not major criticism, so ignore freely) pushing her hip more into the swing, to get her weight moving forward behind the blow.

It’s good work though. Must be time for an update?

Hey thanks for the reply Blender007, and well informed info on 2s and 1s :smiley:

Finishing a big CD mixing project, and been distracted by Tomato tracking recently. I’ll do an update real soon now.

The hip was mostly my focus for this animation by the way. Really trying to drive her rotation from the hip. I used to do some SCA swordfighting, and hip rotation really is the key to swinging fast and hitting hard :smiley: But I’ll try to go even further yet.

My last test was trying the fracture tools on that sphere, but had nothing but crashes unfortunately (no pun intended). Anyway back to the animation soon, and ignore the exciting, pretty blender updates :slight_smile: