Animating a Run | John Pomeroy | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Lesson 1 & Assignment

    • 3. Lesson 2

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Once you know how to Animate a Walk sequence, the next step is to learn how to animate a run. While similar to a walk, animating a run has it’s own challenges. John Pomeroy takes you through the steps to animate a run in this online course.

John Pomeroy, animator and directing animator, has animated, supervised or directed many beloved characters including Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit & Christopher Robin in “Winnie-the-Pooh & Tigger Too”, Feivel in “An American Tail”, Littlefoot in “The Land Before Time”, “The Firebird” in “Fantasia 2000″ and many others.

John begins the lessons by talking about animation principles, references and shows a sequence he had done for the video game Space Ace. In the first lesson, he demonstrates creating a run sequence and describes the assignment. In the final lesson, John shows the results of his run sequence and how different timing impacts.

It is highly recommended that you complete Animate a Walk before beginning Animate a Run.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

John Pomeroy

Animator & Directing Animator


John Pomeroy, animator and directing animator, started work at The Walt Disney Company in 1973 as a background artist, and became a full animator in 1974 to work on Winnie the Pooh and Tigger Too. While working at Disney, he met fellow animators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, and began working with them on an independent short film project, Banjo the Woodpile Cat.

In 1979 John Pomeroy, Bluth, Goldman and several other Disney animators left the studio to form the independent studio Don Bluth Productions (later to become Bluth Group), which produced the film Secret of NIMH and the animation for laserdisc video games Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. The independent studio later reformed as Sullivan-Bluth Studios and opened a major animation facility in Dublin, Ireland.

Pomeroy... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. Introduction: Hi, everybody, and welcome to talk by a pro. I'm your instructor, John Pomeroy. And welcome. Today we're going to talk about how to make a character run now. In a previous lesson, we talked about how to make characters walk. You know, all of the ingredients that were involved in making a riel live personality walk. Elements of inertia, gravity up and down, overlapping action. All these ingredients that captivate the viewer, making believe that you are watching something or a person walk. Now in running, it takes a little bit different dynamics. It's the same ingredients, but in a different placement. So we hope you enjoy this lesson and please come back with us shortly. Thank you. 2. Lesson 1 & Assignment: so in thinking in terms of runs like the walk, it involves locomotion of the legs and the arms encounter action to each other. Runs have kind of, ah, like, look, emotion mechanism like the walks that we did previously. In the other lesson three only differences there Airborne a little bit longer and you could see with this particular mannequin. I placed him in the up position, which is making him airborne. He is bringing this foot down on placing in time so that he doesn't fall over, but it's got the opposing arm. The leg action has got a lot of the, um, shoulder action hip action that walks have three. Only difference is you're moving at a greater velocity and you are airborne in transition A Z, you're placing one step in front of the other. Ah, good reference. Couple of references is if you go to you know, if you're in high school, are you going to college? You can go to your one of your football games, varsity football games or any athletic events that engage in running track and field. It's a good place to just observe and watch what happens with the body as it's going through its run cycles. Another good reference is, and I mentioned this in the previous lessons on walks is Edward my bridges collection of walks and runs in humans, Human motion in action and animals in action gives a great photo thesis of a variety of different walks and runs cycles that you can reference to. Okay, so anyway, um, we get to use the character that we design from the last left lesson on walks. So we use this very simplistic ball and sphere and kidney being designed for our run cycle that we're going to dio. So let's get started. Um, like, walks, runs also have up and down action. So it's important that the first drawings I'm gonna attempt to sketch out are the down positions. And here we'll call this drawing one. This will be our first drawing. Will, uh, i'll put an indication of a horizon that this character will be walking or running on. He's writing this time. Yes. Um, so we start with a rough kidney, bean shaped. This is our down position. Drawing number one. I'm going to rough out some leg foot position, and then they had indication but I lying here, maybe an idea for a nose and a mouth just kind of get me up. More completed, hit the far left foot and leg are in back. So he's leaning forward at a diagonal to the ground plane. And if he were, if the velocity of the run were greater, he might even leave even further than that. To give you the idea of speed and energy, Um, encounter action. I'm going to sketch out the right arm here, and placement would be right there. Waistline would be right there. So we have the right lay going forward. We have right arm our king backwards. Encounter action. Here's thief far and left arm and hand coming forward. So there's coming forward in art encounter, too, the right arm and hand going backwards. So there is position. That's our down position for the first part of our foot stride on our run, we'll call that drawing one. Next. I want to get the mirror position of this with the left foot down and the right foot up, so I'll sketch that out. We can call that drying 17 and once again, these numbers air kind of placeholders because I may be putting in extra drawings here. And there were, I think, in betweens or needed. But all these drawing too easily be numbered. 123456 Just to make it simpler for you, for the viewers. So we'll have a mirror position head roughly here, almost basically over the same head of the reverse. Stride my position. Next, torso placement ways. But we're going to reverse the position of the arm. So, um, the right foot and leg are being brought up. They have lifted off. We have the characters torso there. So this is the right foot. Parking and the far left leg is down, planted on the ground. So there's right foot left foot. Now Counter that with the arm. The right arm has now been swung forward in front of the character in the left arm that's furthest away from us, this one in back of the character en counteraction to the legs. So here we have the arm swing forward, the right arm and hand swinging forward. We have left arm and hand swinging backwards. We have the right leg and foot swinging in back of the character and the left far leg and foot planted in front of the character. So now we have our two down positions, drawing one and drawing 17. Okay, now, for up positions, we'll start with going from drawing 1 to 17 and we'll call this drawing number nine ground plane head position up here. Now, as far as the height goes, I don't try to get the the high point, the head position too much higher than the down position, I would say maybe by about 1/2 a head's worth. So from that line to that line measures about half a cranium size that we have our torso kidney being shaped and we're coming off of drawing one. Which means the right leg and foot have slipped back on are now being propelled backwards as its thrusting the character forward in its running. So our leg position are right leg position and foot would be way back here. Drop something in here swinging back. It's lifted off the ground. It's now swung up behind the body. Now, when you look at this in running time as a film cycle, the illusion against gives is that this foot has just pushed the body off the ground. So it is now airborne rough in the position of the left foot and leg. The left foot leg is parked around and is coming down. Has reached its highest point before it begins to descend forward in an arc. The arm is the right arm is forward on the body. Where's the waste? So encounter to the legs. The leg bottom Right leg is moving back while the are is moving forward Apart. The far left arm farthest away from us is now our king forward towards the front of the body. No, I take that back. Sorry. Right. Our visit is barking forward to the body. Left arm is our king backwards. So that is moving backwards. And each of these are encountered to right leg and left leg. So there we have our first up position. In between these two positions of the strike, there's one complete running stride right there. It's your up and down basic positions on our breakdowns. In between, that will further articulate the legs. You can see a complete running stride, a complete articulation of the legs. So next is we want to do a mirror drawing of number nine, which will go in between 17 and one. We'll call that drawing 25. And once again that will mirror the up position that we just completed. Withdrawing nine. So rough in the head, head shape, open it a rough mouth position here position. And so there's are rough placement of our head right there. Body position. Pretty much the same as number nine. The kidney being shaped now well, mirror though the the leg positions the right leg will be instead of away from us. Will be facing us will be at us Get something underside of shoe but X And then the left leg , furthest away from us has just kicked off. Give myself a ground plane. It has just kicked off the ground. So on this tried this position he is airborne. That foot is lifting off. Now the arms, the right arm is going swinging back since the right foot and leg or swinging forward, the arm is an opposing action to that. So it is swinging back towards the back of the bus and the far left arm and hand would be swinging forward. Barely see that, but it'll be right there swinging forward So now we have the basis for two complete running strides left and right drawing back. No. So we have our for this left foot raising up, then stepping down as the right foot raises up and it completes its stride in number one. So we have to complete strides bucking down actions. Now we can get started on articulating the breakdowns. So between drawing one and nine, we need a drawing there that has lift off. The foot is sliding back on the ground plane, the head is rising up will do a rough head placement right there. Now, like we talked about in the previous lesson with the head, as it's lifting up, it may be it would be nice if it dragged a little bit to give it a little bit more. I don't know looseness in the animation. So as the body is propelling itself forward and up, the head is in opposition to that, coming down at the nose and pivoting on its neck. So the head is dipping a little bit as the body is pushing it up during its stride. The arm, the right arm, is moving forward, rough in the hand and the left arm is moving backwards in that direction. In art. Now the at the ground plane, we have the right foot that is slipping behind as the character is running. So we'll do a replacement of the foot the right foot right about there. So it moves from here to there, and then it lifts off. I'm drawing nine, and then the far left leg is all tucked up underneath the body and coming forward in an Arc ing movement. It goes from here to there, and that has brought out forward. So it's being tucked up and moving forward in an art call that drawing number five. So there's your articulation that we see the foot sliding back. We see the hit lifting up and dragging just a little bit and the body lifting up as it's being propelled by the force of his foot pushing off. Okay, I will go to our next break down our cycle and extraordinary have a 17 so we need it drawing in between nine and 17. That will be like the land, the landing for the left, foot and leg. We'll call that drawing teen. We have a ground plane of the head. Now we're gonna tilt the head back a little bit because we want to complete the overlapping and the drag action that we had introduced on drawing over five. Where we drag the head, the body is going upwards, thrusting upwards counter that we drag the nose of the head down. That will, as the body is coming down. On the other side of that stride, we want to drag the head back the nose up just a little bit, countered that be a little bit less, but should have little dragon there and this. This gives the wonderful feeling of looseness in the body, so it's not stiff and robotic. Rough in the torso. Rough in some arms will do the right arm here. Forward finishing that are around. We have the farthest see. We have the for others. Part of the art of the right leg has art up and around after its push off. There's a place for the right right leg and foot, and then we have a piece of the left arm as it completes its part back to the back of body . Then finally, we have the left leg coming out front and preparing for the landing. And it's like like we did in our previous lesson with walks, we're gonna have the leg straighten out and snapped forward to catch itself. There's the placement of the left leg, and foot straightens out to prepare itself for the catch. It makes for a nice shape change to going from a stretch leg, toe, a squash leg. It gives it a nice fluidity and flexibility. So there we have a complete stride. Character is articulating for a left wing forward, from drawing one up and over and the articulating calendar action in the arms, in opposition to the legs and drag over. Laugh off. Okay, now we'll go on to the next position on the new stride, where the right leg has been lifted up and it's being carried over forward. So we have drawing 25 here. I think our next position between their between drawing 17 and 25 will be a drawing 21 ground plane. We'll do an indication of the head, and like the corresponding drawing on the other side, we're gonna tilt that head down and drag the knows. Just a little of your place. We got torso waste. Okay, we're slipping the foot from here back there. So the in between with position will be right about here, slipping that foot back and the right leg and foot that are being brought forward or going to get tucked way up underneath the characters. Hip, nice little squash. As it prepares to that, leg and foot are brought up in an art forward encounter that the right arm is now being art down and back to the back of the body in the arm. And and and then the far left farm barely see it, but it would be it would be part of an elbow there. Maybe it is because it's being brought down an ark and forward to the front part of the body encounter action. You were drawing 21. Now to complete the cycle we need are coming down for the land. Bring drawing one forward to break down in between that because that's gonna be our land. Drawing for the second stride, completing stride of the right leg from drawing 25 drawing one. This drawing will call this 29 give ourselves a grand line on the head placement, right about there drawing access line inside and we're gonna choke the hit up because it's dragging behind because gravity is bringing the body down and it's dragging the head in the opposing direction. Or so rough arm placement right arm is being. It's traveling back in a art to the back of the body and counteraction to the legs. Foot, far left, foot and leg are being brought up and propelled forward, and the right leg and foot are snapping straight as they prepare for land it's kicking out at, and the far left arm and hand are finishing their art forward en counteraction to the legs . There we have are completed run cycle of to complete strides. What do you see? What this looks like? We'll run down there it is. So we see to complete articulating strides, opposing action of the legs to the arms dragging of the head, the up and down action leaning forward and the propulsion of the body is a okay, now that you've seen how to put together a run cycle on your own, I like to give you that as your first assignment. Go and do it. Take your simple character design and make that character run with all of the components and ingredients and instruction that you just just hurt. One of things I'd like to remind you also is when you shoot your test, make sure that you record the number of drawings in the order that you want to shoot them or else it gets very easy to get lost and forget what's drawing your shop. As I showed you in a previous episode when we were doing dialogue, I showed you how to fill on an exposure sheet. But you can dio there on either binder paper, typing paper, Whatever way you'd like to do it is fine as long as you keep a recorded um uh, list of the drawings that you want in the order that you want to shoot them here I've got drawing 159 13 17 2121 25 29 then back to drawing one. And that keeps me reminded that this is an ongoing cycle. And so I'm reminded how I'm supposed to shoot the drawings and what order there's to be shot in. So just a reminder to make sure you do that, you know, we're pretty. I was previously talking about using the market as a reference and books by Edward my bridge as a reference on humans and animals and motion. Another good reference that I'd like to show you is that this is a run I did years ago. Production called Spaces for an arcade game. And it was the character Dexter running on a cycle. So we're going to take a look at that just so you can see what it's like to articulate limbs and legs and the head overlapping and all that. Okay, so take a look at this. So go and give that a shot. Go and take your simple character and go and do a test. Run on it and shoot it, and then we'll come right back. Thank you. 3. Lesson 2: I welcome back. I hope you enjoyed crafting your run cycle on your character. I'd like to show you my version of the run cycle that I just finished. I shot it in three different timings. Three different versions. One was the medium version that shot just the way I drew it for you. And the other one had a little more spice to it. And I tweaked the third version also. So we'll take a look at those right now in this first version. This is the literal timing transition that that I had mapped out when I do did the drawings for you. It basically shows the arcs that the, uh, transitional steps the timing seem kind of, um I don't know, kind of same to me. It needed, like, a little bit of a timing adjustment as far as getting a little more spunk in the each of the strides. So let me show you version number two. This one has a little more snappy nous in it. Uh, it's the same drawings, but I've exposed them instead of four frames per drawing. It's exposed to drawings, two frames for drawing, and it just has a little bit snappier, feeling a little bit more personality to it. Now. This third edition, I adjusted the timing once again. It's more of a loping run where the timing on the landing is about the same. It's on twos, but I exposed the drawings at the top like on sixes, and we spend more time at the top of the strike and less time on the bottom. Just a za variation to see you know you want to try and test out things which, you know, try out things to get more personality into it. A little more snappy nous into it. I think my preferences drawing is a variation number two, where it's a quick little John of a run. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the lesson and please do us a favor and post your run cycles. We'd love to see them, and, uh, and I hope you come back for future lessons. Maybe it will do some more lessons on, uh, different types of walks, different types of runs. And we thank you for being with us and joining us on top by a pro. Thank you