For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Sunday, November 8, 2015

No. 79, Drawing Problem 2: Breakdown Challenge—“Pulling the Switch”, Part 2

Last time I presented a drawing problem as another exercise in finding a meaningful breakdown drawing between two extreme drawings where the solution was not immediately obvious.

Here again are the extremes:

Extreme Pose 1

Extreme Pose 2

The issue is that if the king pulls down the knife switch, he will have to get out of the way of the arc of the switch handle.  In such a case as this, one might be tempted to re-stage the extremes so that no such problem exists and there is an unobstructed path for the switch, but I chose to persist in trying to come up with a plausible and workable solution. (In post No. 78, I encouraged readers to try their hand at a solution, but there were no takers.)

The Solution

Here is my solution to the problem:

The Breakdown Pose

As you can now see, what happens is that the king has to dodge out of the way of the switch in mid action, which is something we all naturally do in real life.  Approaching a door, for example, we do not always calculate in advance the arc that it needs to pivot on its hinges, and we have to back up a little or otherwise adjust our stance in order to get the door open.

Here is the very brief animation as it was done for the video game I have been working on. Unfortunately, I believe that this scene has been cut from the final game. Nevertheless:

This is just one more illustration of the truism that in animation, there can be multiple ways of doing something, each one arguably as valid as the others.


  1. I'm actually sorry I didn't take it on!
    I'll do in the next one.

    1. Thank you, Rafael. And there WILL be a next one!