Category Archives: Class 02

Class 02 – Weeks 07 to 13

Task: Animate a shot that shows someone pulling on a door.

I decided to really push myself on this to see how far my skills can go and also to gauge how fast I can work, good info to know for class 03. My shot went over the time frame and has 2 characters, but with a few late nights and countless coffees + beers I was surprisingly able to finish it a week early.

I’ve included all the stages of the shot in the video below, creating an animatic in the first week really set me on course for the remainder of the shot. In the first week I already had all my poses, breakdowns and timing figured out. From there it was simply a case of chucking it into Maya and pushing it further.

Class 02 – Week 03

Task: Spline & polish the walk cycle. Pose Stella in a way that shows movement.

Damn you knee pops! *shakes angry fist*
In the end I do wish I had gone for a personality walk, just so I’m stepping away from rote exercises. Fairly happy with how it turned out though.
The poses I’m not so pleased with, was a busy week at work so was a little short on time.

pose01 pose02

Animating a quadruped

For the next 4 weeks we’ll be animating a dog walk cycle. I spent today doing a bit of research and found some things I thought were worth sharing.

Eadwaerd Muybridge‘s Animals In Motion has been (legally) scanned and uploaded by Cornell University:


Animationmeat also has some (presumably) Glen Keane notes on animating & drawing quadrupeds:


Presentation slides by Dr Stuart Sumida.04_sumida

Animating Animals: Tips and Tricks to Animating Believable Animal Characters in a Live Action Feature by William Groebe

Richard Williams talks about animating a horse walk cycle

Animating a dog walk from Richard Williams’ Survival Kit (now also an iPad app)

Compare that with Preston Blair’s dog walk from his book Cartoon Animation

Some pencil studies for 101 Dalmations by Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnson, Milt Kahl and Marc Davis via Andreas Deja’s blog.

Dog skeleton running by Glassworks

Interactive dog skeleton in 3D view

Tutorial: How to Key a Dog’s Walk by Josh Wedlake

101 Dalmatians walk cycle
Research: Quadruped Locomotion – Musings About Running Dogs

An article on dog walks: 41% of museums don’t know how dogs actually walk

Pose tips

For this class I’ve become a peer buddy for a student in class 1. I sent her an email with my general advice when doing pose assignments and thought I would post it here.

1. Use references. I like to spend a bit of time and download about 20 pictures and sketch each one. If you have that kind of variety in research you’re basically learning how the body moves and reacts in real life, rather than just what you think it might be doing.

2. is a pretty good resource, I definitely found it more useful that google images. Only downside is a lot of the poses feel unnatural.

3. Use Using different words with similar meanings when searching will garner different images.

4. Start with the line of action first and then start laying body parts over that.

5. Watch this Keith Lango tutorial on posing:

6. Walt Stanchfield’s book is also a great read if you’re interested in getting poses nailed on paper:

7. If you make a camera, tear off a copy and then click Lighting > Turn Off All Lights, it gives you a great instant silhouette.