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

Friday, March 4, 2016

No. 91, Woody Woodpecker Model Revealed

The twenty-year-old 3D walk cycle of Woody Woodpecker that I showed you in my last post, number 90, was not only done with early 3D software; it was also done without the benefit of many tools and tricks that the 3D animators of the present day take for granted.

A frame capture from my Woody walk cycle in 3D.
First of all, there wasn't much that was flexible. The hands, the feet, the topknot of feathers, remain rigid all through the cycle. Most obvious, if you look for it, is that the feet do not bend or flex at all. As stiff as a pair of wooden shoes, when Woody rolls forward on them, they just stand up on their toes until he lifts them and brings them forward. Then they slap suddenly down as the forward foot takes the weight.

Neither do the hips move. The torso is just a cartoon pear-shape with the legs stuck inside.  In fact, there are no bones or attempt at any skeletal structure at all.  The arms and legs do bend, but the hands only look good because I made use of secondary and follow through action simply by rotating them appropriately at the wrists. To make him look jaunty I also nodded the head a bit from side to side as he walked.

In short, I made up for limitations in the model's structure by using a few items from my bag of animator's tools. With good posing and timing, together with the follow-through and secondary action of the hands, I was able to get a fairly attractive walk, despite its admitted shortcomings.

1 comment:

  1. very cool..