In this video, Dermot O' Connor demonstrates adding personality or individual quirks to a run.
- [Instructor] In addition to the classic, universal animal walk, always be on the lookout for the unique or the quirky. Something that's individual to a particular animal. And so, for example, I have a cat with a pretty funny trot. Sure her walk is normal, but when she trots when it's dinner time, she has this weird little up down motion. It's kind of unique to her. So, she moves past the walk into this motion. She has this cartoony hop or a bounce. So what happens with her is that the front legs move up and down as though they're on springs.
So it's really cute and quirky. So when I try to animate that, I have to take that basic action peculiar to her and then exaggerate it and try to capture that quality. I wasn't going to be able to use my bridge or any existing animation to help me with this. So this animation was my first pass and I didn't bother to do any fancy circular arcs on the legs 'cause I was trying to get that springy up down motion like she's like a wind up toy. So here's what it looks like when moved across the screen, and it still felt a little too mechanical for my tastes but, you know, if you want to animate like a wind-up toy or a robot, you know like one of those little cheap, plastic toys, this is definitely a winner.
But I wanted it to look like her. So that involved another pass. So what I had done on the first pass was I had offset the front and the back contact poses by 50%, not by much. It's a very simple way to animate, but that's what was making it feel artificial or mechanical. So to get away from that, to get to a more natural trot I just played with that offset. I offset the front and the back legs to a more realistic pattern. Notice how on frame seven or eight, the back leg is moving down now as the front leg moves up.
It's not strictly realistic. I'll be honest with you, I was just playing with variations, I wasn't like thinking in my head that this is the way to do it. I would just try different combinations until I found one that got me closer and closer to what I was looking for. So I still wouldn't consider this like a final version, but it's definitely getting a little closer to that chippy, chippy, you know, I'm happy, happy, I'm going to have dinner, kind of mentality. So it's getting away from the mechanical feel. I'm feeling a nice little personality start to come through. So this is pass two.
I haven't done anymore passes on it. But this is the kind of thing that I'm including so that you can get an idea that we're not just in the business of making little machines move. I really hate that idea that we're all just little machines. So these creatures we have interior lives and so do the animals and we should be trying to get beyond brute motion, simple mechanics, that's a means to an end. The end, the thing that you're working toward, only slightly getting in these animations, is a personality. A character with some kind of soul.
So that's what I want you to take away from this is that we're using all the nuts and bolts to get us somewhere. Not just to move lines around the screen.
- Reviewing the basic walk poses
- Reviewing Muybridge's photos and the videos derived from them
- Understanding the basics of a quadruped walk
- Offsetting the legs to create a convincing gallop
- Animating a horse walking and trotting
- Adding personality or individual quirks to a run