Animation Assignment #8

This is a two character/two scene assignment. One character is to be the pitcher and the other the batter. The designs are of your own creation. Follow the standard screen direction followed in televised baseball games. The pitcher is standing on screen right facing screen left. They will anticipate back and then throw the ball to screen left and then recover. In the second scene, show the batter on screen left ready to swing at the ball. Show the ball entering from screen right. The batter anticipates and then swings and contacts with the ball. The character then follows through and recovers.

Principles Involved
Expressing an attitude or emotional state
Working from your own character design
Showing a thought process
Slo in & Slo out
Stretch & Squash
Overlapping Action
Use of Arcs
Emotion & Attitude


3 weeks (12 - 16 hours)

Assignment is worth 30% of the second semester grade

Animation will be graded in the following areas:
• Strong Key Posing
• Appropriate, Realistic Timing
• Overlapping Action
• Weight
• Balance

The animation must show appropriate squash and stretch, realistic timing, proper slo-in and slo-out on the arms, leg movements, torque, tilt, and twist in the pelvis and shoulders as per in-class lecture demonstration. Character must appear to have realistic weight on a proper one or two point perspective plane with horizon line at chest level when the character is standing.

Pitching Action:

• Anticipation   ___/10
• Action (Primary) (Overall Body)   ___/10
• Successive breaking of body joints
(Overlapping Action)

(Legs, hips, shoulders, head,
• Torque   ___/20
• Arcs (Arms)   ___/5
• Path of Action (Head and body)   ___/5
• Recovery   ___/20
  Total ____/100

Batting Action:

• Anticipation   ___/10
• Action (Primary) (Overall Body)   ___/10
• Successive breaking of body joints
(Overlapping Action)

(Legs, hips, shoulders, head,
• Torque   ___/20
• Arcs (Arms)   ___/5
• Path of Action (Head and body)   ___/5
• Recovery   ___/20
  Total ____/100

Copy of the grade sheet

Work Schedule

Week 1
- Layout character positions
- Rough out primary keys to describe the basic action.
- Rough out secondary keys indicating anticipation and reactions throughout scene.
- Time out keys and pencil test to confirm timing.
- Make any adjustments necessary.

Week 2
- Show keys & breakdowns timed
- Begin revisions if necessary
- Start drawing inbetweens.

Week 3
- Show keys, breakdowns & as many inbetweens as possible timed
- Finish remaining inbetweens

Week 4
- Hand in on computer

Thought Process
This is a relatively quick assignment considering the fact that there are two characters and two separate actions.

I drew all the primary and secondary keys in about 2 hours total. I’m not suggesting that you need to be this fast, but it really doesn’t take a long time.

There were 18 keys and breakdowns for the pitch action and 15 for the batting. That’s about 4 minutes per drawing and me getting up and going through the actions myself to find the appropriate poses.

I treated this as a combination of pose-to-pose and straight ahead animation. The fast parts: the actual throwing action and the swing action, I just drew each of the drawings.

You’ll also notice in my drawings that I’ve used some strobes, the same as were used in the Take assignment.

This is one of the assignment where you need to go through the actions yourself. It really requires you to hyper-analyse the actions. These actions use a lot of overlapping action similar to the Seaweed assignment and the Arm Point in my other animation book.

For the pitch action, I began with the pitcher bent over looking for the signals from the back catcher (you don’t need to draw this character) (pose A).

The character then moves back to the upright ready position (pose B).

He then anticipates forward slightly (pose C)

and then rears back in anticipation for the throw (pose D).

From this point on, there’s a lot of successive breaking of joints and torque taking place so you really need to act it out to feel the different parts moving. The character pushes his right foot forward, not quite putting his heel down. The upper torso is moving back still and the C curve in the body action begins to reverse into an S curve (pose E).

The arm with the ball moves down to it’s lowest extreme position, while the forward arm is in mid action moving forward, more of an inbetween at this point than a key. (pose F)

At this point, I’m now drawing straight ahead. The forward leg plants down, the head is at it’s furthest back point, the forward arm is fully extended (key position) and the ball hand comes up slightly and into it’s extreme position (key as well) (pose F1).

Here’s where I start to use the strobe effect on the arm because it’s moving so fast. (pose F2 and F3).

Pose G is the extreme forward position for the arm. The rest of the poses are now part of the recovery action. The character takes two steps forward with a bobbing action in the head and an overlapping pendulum swing action in the arm.

Next are the key poses for the batting action:
?In this action, the character is in the ready position, upper torso torqued back with the bat held high (Pose A).

Pose B is more of an inbetween than a key.

Pose C is the key where the upper torso is completely torqued in anticipation and the left knee bends back.

In pose D, the leg contacts forward and the hips move down slightly.

In E, the hips now swivel forward creating a strong “S” curve from the ankle up to the shoulder.

In F, the shoulders twist as the bat is swung around and through to pose G.

H, I, J are the recovery out of the swing with the step forward.

K, he releases the bat.

L, M, N, and O are the little jump and recovery to the run off screen.

The roughs for these two scenes took me 2 hours total (or an hour each).

The clean-up and inbetweening took about 5 hours for the pitch action and 6 1/2 hours for the bat swing (due to the fact that the boy is a more complex character to draw than the dog).


Reading Assignment
Read pages 211 - 230 of the Character Animation and Lip Sync book.

Watch the pencil test of the inbetweened animation

Summer 2010 In Class Demo

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