Blender 3D: Your First 3D Animation | Remington Markham | Skillshare
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11 Lessons (1h 42m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Blender Interface

    • 3. Animation Interface

    • 4. Animation Process

    • 5. Bouncing Ball

    • 6. Character Rig Overview

    • 7. Character Animation Part 1

    • 8. Character Animation Part 2

    • 9. Character Animation Part 3

    • 10. Rendering

    • 11. Outro

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About This Class

Learn to bring your 3D characters to life with animation! In this Skillshare class, you will learn animation basics in Blender 3D and animate a character! Your project will be creating an animation with the course character or any that you choose to use. We will be using Blender 3D, a free open source software to create our character in 3D. You will be guided through the basics of the interface and the animation process.

This course will cover skills traditionally used in animation, motion design, and video game design.

We will be optimizing workflow for speed and efficiency. No prior knowledge is necessary, but the course will move quickly through Blender’s interface. Some familiarity with Blender’s interface will be helpful. If you're brand new to Blender or need a refresher, I'd recommend checking out the class in the class resources before getting started. The course will talk through some animation basics, but this course assumes you are aware of animation basics. I’ve linked to a principles of animation course in the resources if you need help.

Meet Your Teacher

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Remington Markham

Motion: Design, Direction, & Animation

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I’m a motion design: art director, animator, and illustrator with a love for all things 2D and 3D. I'm work as a animator in silicon valley at a social media giant. I am also a creative director at MoGraph Mentor. It’s a blessing to be part of the motion design community. I enjoy teaching others in MoGraph Mentor, Skillshare, and Youtube courses with a focus on character design and animation.

If you catch me away from my computer, I’m probably hiking, volunteering, or traveling with my lovely wife and spoiled dogs.

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1. Intro: Hi, I'm Remington from SouthernShotty 3D and today we're going to be learning how to animate your first character. If you're like me, you love creating characters and imagine them in your own little worlds. With animation, you can finally bring your characters to life. 3D is difficult. Aside from the fact that there is another entire dimension to worry about, we also have all these intimidating programs we have to learn. In this course, we'll cover the basics of Blender's user interface, and be moving at a pace that should be comfortable for beginners. This course will provide a character rig for you to use and animate. I will also walk you through places you can grab other character rigs, if you want to follow along with a different character. We'll be creating this animation by the end of the course. 3D has a high demand right now. Since I've added it to my skill set, I found better, higher-paying clients. I think this course is great for anybody who wants to explore 3D, 3D artists, game devs, or even animators looking to add 3D to their skill set. A little bit about me. I started as a motion graphics artist working at small studios and agencies and eventually worked my way up to larger brands and tech companies. Now, I work at a social media giant out here in Silicon Valley, and I get to do character animation every day. I really love my job and I believe that the skills in this course could help you find your dream creative job as well. We'll not be covering rigging in this course because rigging is the process of adding animation controls to your 3D modeled characters. It's a highly technical process that would demand an entire course on its own. If this is something that interests you, I'll link to some free and paid resources in the resources section. I've also included a full recording of my modeling and rigging process, if you're interested in watching that as well. I'm really excited to share this project with you and I'm looking forward to see what animations you create from this course. Let's get started together. 2. Blender Interface: First things first. Let's look at the Blender interface for people that have never opened the program before. Now the goal of this course is that anybody can fall along, I planned to move slowly and I'll have the keystrokes recording on the screen. That being said, it can be confusing to follow along in Blender for the first time. Before you find yourself getting too confused or frustrated, just pause and check out some of the resources I've posted in the description below. There, I've posted some basic overviews of Blender that are great for absolute beginners if you're having a hard time following along. That being said, let's get started and look at Blender together. Here we are in Blender, and I will be having the shortcuts down here at the bottom right for you to follow along with. I'll be using version 2.91 as it's the most recent of this recording. However, you should be able to follow along with pretty much any version unless you're using a very old version. First, let's go over navigation. Of course, moving around the 3D viewport, it's going to be a big part of what we're doing. Let's look at how we can do that. Most simply, up here we have View, we can go to Viewport, and we can change the different views here, so we can snap to our front view, right view, or left view, so we'll go ahead and click that. You'll see that it'll snap there. You'll also see that there is the keyboard shortcuts next to it. If you have a numpad, you can see that you have control numpad 7 for bottom, numpad 7 for top. Seven will take you to the top and Ctrl take you to the bottom. You can also use the numpad to navigate. That's what I like to use the most. If you're a beginner, the most easy maybe up here, you can take this gizmo here and you can drag this gizmo around, rotate around your view, and then you can click these to snap in the views. If you're not sure which view you're in, or if you get yourself turned around, you can see up here that we have the view that we're in. Here we're in the bottom. If I go ahead and click here, it'll take us to the front, and if I click here, it'll take us to the top. So that might be the simplest way to navigate. Now it's highly recommended that you have a three-button mouse to navigate around. If you hold Shift middle, you'll be able to pan around your view. If you hold just middle, you will rotate around the center of whatever you are viewing, and then if you hold Ctrl middle, you can zoom in and out. Alternatively, you can use a mouse wheel to zoom in and out. That's the basics of moving around the viewport. Now with our animation, we'll mostly be snapped into the front view. I wouldn't worry too much, but this does take some time getting used to. Next, let's take a look at how we can move objects, specifically with our position, rotation, and scale. The simplest way is that if we select an object here, and we come up here, we have these gizmos. Up top here with the select box and that just gives us a selection cursor that we can drag a box and select multiple objects with. I'm just going go ahead and click this object to select this one. Then here, we have the move gizmo. What that does is it pops up a little gizmo here. You can see we have these arrows, the squares, and the circle, and that's uniform across all of these gizmos here. If you grab one of these, you'll move only on that axis. Because we're in 3D, we have three axes: x, y, and z, and you can see that they're color-coordinated. If you can't remember what's which, it says up here, x, y, and z for our red, green, and blue. We can see, we can move this here on the x-axis. If we grab these squares, it'll do both. If we grab the square here, it'll move it only on the x and the y-axis. Then this white circle here, if we grab it, it will move it in whatever view we're looking. So if move over here, you can see that it moves there. Now that's the move gizmo. If we come here to the rotation gizmo, we get a similar thing. If we grab here on the white, we can rotate it from whatever view we're at. If we grab here on the red, we can move it on the x-axis and so on. Then, of course, you can grab in between and move those as well. Here we have the scale, just like the move gizmo, works the same way, we can scale on each of those axes, or we can scale it up uniform if we crab in the circle. That's how you can go about moving and adjusting your objects and that's how we'll be using our bones when we go to control our character later. Next, let's talk about view modes. Right now we're in what is called solid mode, and we had these different views up here. Now if you go to viewport shading wireframe up here, you'll see that we have a wireframe. If we click here in Solid, you'll see that we have a solid view of our objects, which is what we'll be the animating in most. Here we have a material view where it will preview the materials, and then here we have rendered mode, where it will show what it looks like rendered. It'll give you a preview of your render, but this take longer to load. Most of the time we'll be animating here in the solid view. Another way you can switch those is if you tap the Z key, you can go ahead and open a wheel and you can hover over those and pick that. Now, to show you how to get that wheel and the tab wheel that I have here, let's first look at some of my preferences I have, they're a little bit different than I feel make it a little bit easier to navigate around Blender. If you go to preferences and you go to keymap, I have select with left mouse button on, my spacebar action is search, and then I have select all toggles, and then I also have tab for pie menu checked. So go ahead and mimic those settings, and what those do is make sure that when you click with the left button, that's how you're going to select objects. Then when you hit Spacebar, it'll give you this search bar, which you can use the search anything in Blender, which can be pretty handy and we may use that later. Then select all as if you tap the A on the keyboard, it will select all the items in the scene, which we'll be using quite a bit. Tab for pie menu means that when you press tab on your keyboard, these different things will show up here, which will be using later when we enter pose mode, but we don't need to worry about that right now. If you were going to edit your objects, you could tab into edit mode here and then you can begin editing or object. However, we won't be doing that in this course because we'll be focusing on how to animate our characters. Now there's quite a few other things we can do here in the viewport, specifically with edit mode, however, we'll be focusing on animation. You're curious about learning about some of these other aspects of the program. I recommend you check out making your first 3D character and where I dive into how to edit the model and some of the tools to do that, and how to add and delete objects and other things such as that. But right now, we'll just focus on what we need for animation. Let's go up here and we have our little collection view up here. If you've ever used an Adobe program, it's like your layer system, and that you can toggle these and you can turn on and off the visibility of objects or turn them off entirely so they don't even render. We'll be diving into this a bit more when we do the rendering video. But also you need to know is that, up here, you have your collections and you can select your objects up here. If I grab the cube, you see that it grabs the cube, and if I grab the camera, you see that it grabs the camera, and you need to know about this little eye that will toggle on and off the visibility of your objects, we'll be using that later to turn off some of our background elements. Then here, we have this checkmark here which we'll turn it off, not just visible in the viewport but also when we click render it will turn that off. If that doesn't make sense, it will more when we get into the rendering section. Now you'll notice that there's a lot going on here. We have the timeline down here. We're going to dive more into the timeline and the dope sheet editor and the graph editor when we dive into the animation interface. We'll see that we have all these tabs up here and we have all these tabs over here. Now, these aren't going to be necessary for us to animate, so we're not going to do much in here, we'll dive into some of the render settings that are over here, but I'll give you a quick brief overview of the interface. Up here, we have our layout, which is default, which allows us to make our own custom layout. But if you click through these, you can see that they have different presets for each. Here we have a modeling layout, sculpting layout, a UV editing layout, texture painting, and we have a shading layout, which you can use to create materials, we have an animation layout, we have a rendering layout, we have a compositing layout, and a scripting layout. Now we're just going to be working in here and making our own layout, and you can change any window you're in by coming up here and clicking this little button here, and then you can change what your viewport is. Now, a lot of these might not make sense and we're only going to be using a couple, so don't worry if you get a bit lost. But what you can do is you can click on any corner here and you can drag to open a new window. Let's go ahead here. We'll click to drag a window there, and you can see now we have two windows. If we wanted, we could animate with one in the top view and one in the front view, or we can go ahead here and we can click "Dope Sheet Editor," and that'll open all of our keyframes so that more over here animating our character. We could go ahead and animate here in the front view and editor keyframes there. We'll dive into the dope sheet editor a bit more in the next video. If you accidentally create a window and want to get rid of it, you can come down here, you can click this button here, and then you can drag over, and you'll see that little arrow, and you can make that snap back together in the window. Now over here, we have quite a bit options. Here we have the render tab, which is where we can set our render settings for when we want to turn it into a video. Here we have our scene settings, that'll be like the resolution of your video or color management, things like that, where your files are going to go. Here we have layers. This is for when you're doing complex compositing. This is something we will not be covering in the series. Here, we have our scene settings. That's where you can set your units and your gravity, your audio, and all those things if you're doing simulations. Here's the world properties, so there's a lot of settings there that have to do with rendering as well. Here's the object properties. This is based on whatever objects you have and it'll tell you what it's parented to, instances, motion paths, visibility, quite a bit of complex things there. Here we have the modifier panel. This is where you can add effects to your modifier if you're familiar with After Effects, it's similar to that. You could go ahead and add a subdivision surface and we'll see it subdivides that, but we can delete it. Anything we do here is not permanent unless if we apply it. Here's the particle tab if you're going to use particles, so you could use that for hair adding particles to an object. Here we have physics, so if you're doing things like collision or cloth. Here we have the object constraint and this is complicated rigs and things that we won't be covering in this series. We have object data and there's quite a bit in here, including the vertex group, shaped keys, normals, and a lot of other things. Here we have material tabs and this is more of a simple one where we can go ahead and add our materials here. Then if we go over to the shading, for example, we can go ahead, grab our materials down and we could edit all of our shading down there. Again, if this is overwhelming, don't worry, we won't be using a lot of these in the course, it's going to be pretty simple. Down here we have the texture properties where we can add textures to our objects. I cover a lot more of these in my other course if you're interested in diving into those more. But like I said, in this course, we're going to dive into the animation more. In the next video, let's take a look at the animation interface and what we'll be using mostly during our course. One other thing to take note of is, if you don't see your tools here, or if you see this popping out here and you don't see that appearing on your screen, which gives you a lot of tools there and the tabs that we may use later, is you can actually open those by pressing N and T. So T will close and open your toolbar and N will open and close your properties over here, and that's something that we may do throughout the course. One more way we can move our objects around, which can be quite helpful when you're doing the posing with the characters later, is through using keyboard shortcuts. Now, this may be hard if it's your first time, but if you're comfortable, they're actually a lot easier to use. If you press R, you can rotate. Again, it'll rotate from the view however you want. If you press X, it'll do it on the x-axis. If you press Y, it'll do it on the y-axis and so on, and the same thing goes for move and scale, but scale is S and G is for move, but you can think of it as G for Grab and that will also do the same thing. A great thing about that is you can actually input numbers, and this is where it gets complicated for beginners, but I highly recommend trying to work towards this. Let's say we want to rotate this cube 45 degrees on the x-axis, you can actually just type that in. If I press R, you see it pops up and that we can rotate there. If I type 45, it's going to do it from whatever view we have, but I can then press X in order to do it on the x-axis, or y, or z. If I tap Z, again, it'll get rid of it and turn it back to the orientation, and you can do that for all of them. You can move them on the y-axis, you can scale them on the x-axis. I could do scale, so I press S. Then if I do five, it'll make it five times bigger. You can also even do math in there. If I do S, and then do an asterisk, and then I do by 0.25, you can see there that it'll scale it down to one-fourth of what it was before. That's one thing to work up to. We'll try not to use that too much in this course because I know it's hard to fall along with, but I highly recommend getting familiar with those controls. 3. Animation Interface: Blender is such a big program that each section can have its own interface video, and we're going to deep dive into the animation interface and some of the tools that we'll be using throughout this course, specifically the Dope Sheet editor, which allows us to move the keyframes of our object, and the Graph Editor, which allows us to affect the easing between those keyframes. Now if you don't know what that means, there's a section of this course where we learn how to animate a ball bounce before diving into our character, and we'll go through some of the basics there. Here we are in the chicken walk cycle animation project file, and we'll use this for our animation deep dive. I've included a couple of animations I did with this character rig. After finishing the chicken jump animation, if you want to go ahead and see how I created the other animations, you can reference these project files. Here we'll see that it is playing. If yours is playing slower, you may not be able to run the animation at full speed, just if you're on a lower-end machine, you can look up here and see what frame rate it's playing at. It should be around 24 cause that's what we'll be animating at. I'm going to go ahead and pause here, and that's where you can play and stop. You can also play and reverse, and that can help you identify animation problems. Here this is snappy to the front and back of your timeline. You can adjust the length of that timeline over here with the "Start" and the "End" property fields there. If we go ahead and do 22, you can see that now the animation will stop at frame 22. This will also determine what's going to render out when you click "Render", and we'll be covering that more in the render video. Down here, you'll see that I have these markers here, and I use these as references. You can create markers by just hovering down here and pressing "M". Those can be helpful for marking where you're at in an animation and using that as a reference, so that's down here in the timeline. We also have this "Auto Keying" option, and when we click that, what it will do is as we move forward in our animation, if I grab this leg and I rotate this leg forward here, you'll see that it automatically inserts a keyframe. That's how Auto Keying works. Now if you don't have Auto Keying on, so if I turn that off and I move it, and then I move forward, we'll see that it snaps back to whatever keyframe it's referencing before. If I wanted to move this forward and insert a keyframe, I would have that object selected and I will press "I", and it would let me choose what I wanted to insert a keyframe into. In that case, it was rotation. I could go ahead and insert a rotation keyframe and you'll see that now that leg stays there. I'm just going to undo that for now. Now, if I turn back on Auto Keying, whenever we move, it's going to insert a keyframe. Let me go over here to the graph editor so you can see how messy this gets really quickly. You can see that it inserts a keyframe on everything, the location, the rotation, and the scale. But all we did is rotate it. You can see how this turns into just a giant spaghetti monster and becomes really messy. One thing you can do is you can come over here to this Keying tab. You can click "Keying" here and they have Keying sets. If we click this "Set", you can have all these different options here. If I choose rotation, and I have rotation there, and then I come over here to the "Auto Keying", and I turn on "Only Active Keying Set" and making sure that's checked on. Then when I do an animation change, it will only add that keyframe into the Keying set, in this case, rotation. We could go around and animate and it would only insert rotation keyframes. Now I know that may seem confusing right now, but I promise that as we use it later in practice, it will make sense, especially when we get into our simple animation with the ball bounce. That's how the timeline works down here. Let's talk about the Viewport here. So you see that I'm grabbing all of these bones and moving my character. How am I doing that? You can see here that I can't select the object, and that's cause we're in a mode called Pose Mode. If you followed along with me earlier, you can hold tab and switch between "Object Mode", and "Pose Mode", and I'll explain those differences in a moment. Right now we are on Pose Mode. You can tell what mode we are in by this top left field up here, you can also change it up here as well if you don't want to use the tab key. Let's go over to "Object Mode". In Blender, let me rotate out here into the view. An object is like any object in the Viewport, so here these walls in object, but if we click this chicken, we can see that almost the entire chicken is put inside of one object. If I tab in "Edit Mode", you can see I have several pieces in there. If you've ever used Adobe Animate or really old school Adobe Flash, or if you've used Adobe Illustrator or After Effects and object's almost like a composition or a movie symbol or like a group. You can put a bunch of things in it. That's how you select different objects in "Object Mode". But you'll notice that if we've grabbed this, which is called the armature, which are the bones of our character, which is what we use to animate our character, you can see that it grabs it as one. We can't grab the arm and animate just the arm. To adjust all these bones inside of our armature, we have to tap into "Pose Mode", or you can come up here so we can go to "Object" and select "Pose Mode". Now we can grab all these bones and animate our character. Now I know that may seem a bit overwhelming at the moment, but we're going to have a video where we go through this entire character rig and how to play with all the bones. Just stick with it and we'll definitely dive into that a bit more later. Let's take a look at this window over here. When I had it open, I had it open with a Dope Sheet here. If you've never animated before or never heard of animating before, and how they work with keyframes, every one of these is a keyframe. A keyframe is a stored point of data along the timeline where it will then take from this keyframe and whatever keyframes next, and we'll try and animate next to that. Let's go ahead tap here into "Pose Mode" here, and let's grab something that doesn't have as many keyframes, so this arm right here. Let's look at this arm. We can see here that we have this keyframe here, and we can see the position of the arm there is down. Then if we go all the way forward here to eight, we can see that the position of the arm is up. We can see that it animates from down to up, and the way I did that is by inserting a keyframe. If I go here and I change this keyframe, so I'm going to turn on Auto Keying. If I change this keyframe to be up, we'll now see that it stays up the whole time. If we go ahead and we animate this keyframe down, and maybe forward, we'll see that it will animate from that position to up. You can see here that I have one keyframe before it, and because there's no room to animate in between, since it just goes one-two, it just snaps from one to the next. That's the basics of how a keyframe works. The speed of how it goes from 2-8 is dependent on the graph, and we'll dive into that a bit later. That's called easing, so just keep that term in mind. So you can see here that we have all the keyframes down in here in the timeline, and only the keyframes that are appearing or of the selected objects. If I go ahead and select another object or another object here we'll see more keyframes appearing. So if I select one object, I can grab those keyframes down here, and you can just click and drag that to move that around or you can press the G key to grab and move that around, just like we learned with the objects in the viewport. You can see how we can move an editor keyframes there. We can also delete them down here by just pressing the Delete key and it'll give us this option here and we can click "Delete Keyframes," so we can remove keyframes down there as well. Any time we move with auto key on or press I, you'll see that we get a new keyframe. I'm just going to go ahead and undo that. You may be wondering why we need this dope sheet when we had this timeline down here that we can move the keys. Truth be told with our animation and keeping it simple, we'll mostly be working down here. But up here at the dope sheet, you can see that I can see all the keyframes for every object in the scene and that's where this can be really useful. There's also the option up here, Only Show Selected. So if we click that, it'll clean up that view and only show you the selected object like down here. Let's go back and turn that off so we can see all the objects. The other reason this is useful is that we can see all the different properties. If I turn on only selected and we can see that I have this bone selected here, which is arm left, and I twirl that down, we can see that we can see the location keyframes, the rotation keyframes, and the scale keyframes. You can see all of that down here. If I go ahead and if you pay attention to this keyframe here so that it correlates to this one, if I grab this one and move it, you can see it moves all of those. Here, you can see that if I want it, I could move just the rotation keyframes, or it could even offset those rotation keyframes. That can be really useful when you start getting into really detailed animation. Now for this course, we're going to be keeping it simple and we'll mostly be just moving the high-level stuff. You can click the top keyframe there, so the one above the Arm L there. If I click that one, you'll see that it will select everything in, and then you can click and drag those to move them, or if you want, you can box select. You can box select and grab a bunch, and you can move those around that way too. That's how selection moves there. Again, I know some of this can seem overwhelming, but I promise we're going to keep it simple in this course and we won't necessarily need to do all of these little intricacies. That's how we can work with the dope sheet up here. If we go back, we can see that we can see all of our keyframes, so we could box select multiple objects at once if we wanted. So if we wanted to grab everything in the hip and the body and move those, we could do that. Likewise earlier how I clicked everything in the body. If I click there, it's going to select all the keyframes beneath, but I can also click another level up. So if I click up here, it'll grab every keyframe from every object on whatever frame number we're at and likewise, we can click up here and it will grab everything in the scene that has a keyframe on it there. Now this is getting very complicated and if you find yourself getting overwhelmed, it's okay. I'm going a tiny bit deeper than necessary for those people that want to explore deeper animation after taking this course. For now though, let's go take a look at the Graph Editor. We're going to come up here and we're going to go under the Animation tab there and we're going to go to the Graph Editor here. You see that nothing's appearing because we have this only show selected. So if I click this, you can see the animation curves for everything in the scene, you can see that it gets quite messy very quickly. We're going to go Only Show Selected to make that a little bit simpler and let's look at this arm. We have this arm here and if I press A, I'll select everything, or you can click and drag to select everything, and if I press "Period" on my number pad, it'll zoom in to whatever we have there. I'm going to go ahead and drag this window over a bit so we can see it more. If I twirl this down, we know that we're not necessarily affecting the location or the scale of the arms and you can see all those flat curves there. That basically tells us that those don't have any animation on it. Whereas we see all these curves moving wildly, those are actually the rotation. If we click that, you can see which one is selected. So what if we want to hide these things? This also works on the dope sheet. So if you twirl this down, you can actually toggle the visibility. If we go ahead, we can click and drag and we can turn off the scale and we can turn off the location, and then we'll be left with only the rotation keyframes to see. You can see here that it's the easing between keyframes. The easing doesn't make sense now. We're going to cover this more in the ball bouncing, but it basically controls the speed from moving from one frame to the next. For example, if we look at this little arm right here, and I'm just going to do a quick example here, if we grab all three of these, and I come up here and I scale this, you'll see that it's broadening. What it's going to do is snap really quickly up to this number and then slowly go down, and you can see if I do that here how it starts to slow down the arm, but if I scale it all the way in, you'll see that the arm just snaps. The arms are very quick example. It's hard to see here. This will make a lot more sense when I show it on the ball example. That's how you can adjust the easing of keyframes and that's where we can really start to polish our animation. Again, don't get too overwhelmed now, we'll only be doing this a little bit with one or two bones and we'll keep it pretty simple. Now what I did up here is a bounding box and individual centers. Here, bounding box will grab the bounding box around all of this so that if I scale, it will scale everything like that. Individual origins will only scale at each point. So if you see that, it scales the handles in and out. Again, we'll be using that later, and hopefully once using it in context, it will make a bit more sense. I can go ahead and I can turn all these back on. I can also turn visibility of everything on, and then you can toggle the visibility of each object with these eyeballs if you prefer doing it that way. I find that the Graph Editor gets too messy, so I tend to just use the only selected option. With that, that gives us a basic overview of the animation interface in Blender. Now if this is your first time opening Blender, you're probably feeling pretty overwhelmed or confused by now, but just be patient. Next, we're going to cover the animation process, we're going to break down the order that we're going to do things in animation. Then after that, we're going to dive into the bouncing-ball animation, which is where we're going to take a lot of these complex things and we're going to use them in a very simple way to teach you how to use them before moving on to our character. 4. Animation Process: This video is for people that haven't ever done animation before. We're going to cover some of the basics. For example, how we'll be blocking, what a keyframe is, what in-between keyframes are, and then how we can polish that by adjusting the easing between our keyframes. If not that makes sense to you, it will by the end of this video. Let's get started and look at the basics. There's no doubt that animation is a complicated process. What I'm going to do now is walk you through the basics of the animation process, and what we'll be doing in what order. Now, I'm going to cut future pieces of this course over this explanation so that when you arrive there, hopefully, it makes more sense. First things first, when we start an animation, we first need to block out our character. What that means is we're going to determine where the character is going to land in the scene. For an example of our chicken bouncing, we need to determine how high we want him to bounce, and when he hits the ground. We're starting to work on the timing here. What will do is show his contact on the ground and how high we want him go in the air. After we've done that and we've decided where we have unblocked on the scene, we're going to focus on keyframes. The term keyframes comes from key poses. That's because back when Disney was animating, they would first draw the most extreme poses of their characters, and where they're going to land. Then other artists would come in, the interns, and things, where they would draw all the frames in between those key poses. That's where that term comes from. What we're going to do is go through our animation, pick the most important parts of the animation and the most exaggerated poses that we're going to have for our character, and we're going to insert keyframes for those particular poses. For example, when he smashes into the ground, when he's stretching as he bounces off the ground, when he lands at the high point in the air, when he stretches on his way back down. Those would be our key poses in the scene. After that, once we have those, we can adjust the timing, make sure we're happy, then we can focus on our in-between keyframes. The computer is going to automatically animate from one keyframe to the next. But if we do an extreme rotation in as leg, the computer may not know what we want the rotation of that leg to look like on its way up. Then what we'll do is we'll go ahead and insert in between keyframe. After we have our mainframes, we're going to go through and start inserting keyframes in between those mainframes to adjust the animation to get it to look a bit more natural. This is where, as an animator, we really start to introduce our control and our personality into the animation. After we've done that, we should have all the keyframes that we need for our animation. But you'll notice that it's looking pretty bland. What we'll do then is we're going to begin the polishing phase. If you remember in the animation interface overview, I showed you how we could adjust the easing between keyframes. Here's where we're really going to start easing. What we'll do is we'll play with our graph to get a more natural motion. For example, when we hit the ground, we're going to want them to snap off the ground very quickly, but when they reach the top of the jump, we want them to linger. I'll show you how to do that in the next video. Lastly, we'll do secondary motion. Secondary motion is exactly what it sounds like. It's a secondary emotion to the primary motion. In this example, the turkey's primary motion is the body bouncing up and down, and the legs are a secondary emotion. As the body hits the ground, the legs are going to react to the body and then act in a secondary motion. Secondary motion is really a fancy way of saying that we're going to go through and offset some of the other things. For example, when the body hits the ground, then the leg would move maybe your frame later, and then the foot wouldn't move maybe a frame later. You'll see that as we add secondary motion, it's going to add a lot of character and likability to our object. If you're a fan of any animations out there and you ever see a character that you think's really cute, pay attention to them. For example, if it's a little character of the big backpack and notice that the little character may be running, and the backpack maybe bouncing around like crazy, bouncing off with our motion, that's how we can add a lot of character to our animation. With that little brief overview, we're going to now walk through the basic animation process and how to use some of these tools on a basic manner while doing a very simple ball bouncing animation. After that, we're going to dive into how to animate the character itself and things will get a bit more complicated. Let's get started. 5. Bouncing Ball: So we've looked at the basic tools and we've looked at the basic process, and now we're going to go ahead and apply those to our first animation. We're going to start with the classic ball bounce, which I know is very boring, but I promise we'll get to the cool characters later. I added a little face to it to hopefully make it a little more interesting, and it's a great way to learn on something simple before diving into something more complex. So let's get started with our first animation on Blender. Here we are in the ball bouncing animation project files, so if you're following along, make sure to open that project file. We're going to start by applying the basics that we've learned to this ball bounce. So here we have our Dope sheet, here we have our timeline, here we have our camera view, here we have our render settings, and then here we have the ball. I'm viewing it in the front view here. So what we're going to do is animate this character bouncing. We're also going to talk about squash and stretch in this video. So squash and stretch is one of the 12 principles of animation. They're invented by the Disney animators way back when they first begin animating and they've long since been studied. This course will cover squash and stretch, and it will also cover secondary emotion. If you'd like to learn all 12 principles of animation, I've included a link in the resources. Squash and stretch basically says that we will squash and stretch portions of our character to exaggerate the motion and to communicate character in motion through our in-between frames. So in this case, we'll make the ball squish when it hits the ground, and then when it launches up, we'll make it stretch to add more character. Let's go ahead and first focus on blocking out our character, but first, we need to actually go ahead and turn on auto keying and set up the keying set. Let's go ahead, turn on auto keying, let's come over here to keying, grab this list here and click "Location & Scale", because we only plan to use location and scale. We'll go to the drop-down menu, we'll make sure only active keying set is turned on. Now, what we need to do is insert some key frames. So we want this to loop as an animation. Let's go ahead, let's insert a key frame on frame 28. So grab your ball and press "I", and you'll see that it inserts key frames there. Let's go ahead up here to 1, let's press "I", and that'll insert key frames there. Then we can come over here to 14 and insert a key frame there. Now, we have three key frames that we can work with. So let's go ahead on 28, let's grab the Move tool, then let's grab this little blue arrow and we're going to move our character up. So let's make them bounce pretty high. I'm going to move them up to there. Then what we'll see if we play our animation is that it stays still and then snaps up, and that's because these two key frames have no change, so it's not going to change in between them, but then we have a change there, and we want this to loop. So one thing we can actually do is click here, at the top of our Summary, which will grab all the key frames there, and then what if we hit shift D? We can duplicate those key frames and take them over until they cover that first key frame, and now that same data will be there, and we'll actually have a bouncing animation. Let's go ahead and play there. So this is part of the blocking phase, and what we're doing is trying to figure out where the character is going to be in the scene. So we know we want our character to go that high and we know them to land on this red line here as a ground plane. So that's blocking out our character's motion there. Next, we're going to move forward on doing some key frame poses. We want to introduce squash and stretch. So when they hit the ground, we want them to squish and when they go up in the air, we want them to stretch. Let's go ahead and first, we'll add some squash. So on frame 14, we're going to grab the Scale tool here, we're going to grab this blue icon here, and we're going to squish that down. But you see that doesn't look realistic because we have to think about our character's volume and we just got rid of a lot of our character's volume. So what we can do is actually go to top view. So I'm going to click this little "Z" here, and what we can do is drag out on the Y of it, and we're going to drag out on the X of it. Then we can click this little green dot here and it'll take us back to our front view, and we can see that it looks a lot more realistic. So let's see what that looks like. We can see that it's scaling down our character the whole time, which is not what we want. So what we're going to do is we're going to go to frame 8 here, and we're going to press "Alt S". What that's going to do is remove any scaling we have here. So if we press "Alt S", you see that it pops our character back to its normal scale. If we come up here to frame 20, we'll hit "Alt S" again, and again, it's put our character back to the normal scale. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" now. We can see that that's starting to look better, but that the easing is still off, the timing's good though. So we can fix the easing in last phase and really polish off the timing to make that work. So what we'll do here, we'll come to frame 8 and now we're going to introduce stretch. At this point, we want the ball to begin stretching. We're going to go ahead and grab this ball, and we'll grab the little blue there, and on frame 8, we're going to bring this up so that it looks like it's stretching, so almost like it's smearing straight up. Then to save ourselves some time, we can actually grab this key frame here by box selecting it, duplicate it, and bring it over to 20, and that'll give us the same key frame there. So we can see that it's starting to look a little bit more natural and like it has some movement. This of course doesn't look great, but we do have the timing down and the blocking down. So now it's time to take a look at how we can adjust the easing to make this feel much more natural. Let's come up here and we're going to go over to the Graph Editor. We can see that we have a spaghetti noodle mess of options here. So what we're going to do is twirl this down here and we see we have location and scale. First things first, let's work on the location at first. I'm not actually going to use the eyeball here to toggle off the scale so that we can focus on the location. We can see that we only have this one graph here with all the motion. So if I grab X, I can see there's no motion and if I grab Y, I can see there's no motion because in this case, we're moving up and down on the z-axis. So I'm actually going to grab Y and press "Delete" to get rid of that, and then I'm going to select X and then I'm going to delete that. This gives me one thing to focus on. Now, if you can't really see it in your view, and you're zoomed in too far or too close, you can actually box select everything or press "A" to select everything. If you press period on your NUM pad, it'll zoom in, making it a little bit easier. Let's begin editing this to give it a more natural flow. So right now when we're playing, the problem we're having is that it's just bouncing up and down at the same speed, making it look like it's floating. Whereas what we want to do, is we want the ball to hit the ground, to hold, and then pop back up quickly, hang in the air to lose its momentum, and then slowly dropped down and before gaining momentum and smashing into the ground again. So what this does on the Graph Editor, it shows us the speed from one key frame to the next, and right now we can see that's pretty much the same speed throughout, it slows down a tiny bit here and pops right back up at the same speed. So what we would want that to look like more is more like this, where it's going to hit the ground and hold. So what we're going to do is come up here to Bounding Box, change this to individual centers, and first, let's affect how it holds in the air. So with individual centers on, it will scale it each one independently. So if I grab these, you can see that it'll scale at those independently. If it's on bounding box and I scale, we'll see that it just moves those out and get bigger, so that's the difference there. Turn on the individual centers, and what we're going to do is press "S", then "X", and then that'll allow us to scale this way. We're just going to scale that up so that those come in. Now we hit "Play", we'll see that it's holding in the air much longer, maybe a little bit too much. So I'm going to release that scale, and you can see now it's got a little bit more of a natural float in the air. Now, the scaling is throwing off our perspective, making it difficult to really see how the float, but it will look a bit better once we adjust the scaling. Now, we need to make it look like it's snapping into the ground. We actually want him to hit the ground almost around here. So if we go ahead and we grab this and we scale it up, we can make it so that he's almost snapped into the ground by frame 10. Now, let's go ahead, go back and hit "Play". You can see that's starting to look a lot more natural, but we need to adjust the scale for it to really fit. Now that the location's looking natural, let's focus on the scale to really sell the effect. So what we can do is come up here, turn off visibility of Z location, turn on visibility of Z scale, and we can see our scale graph here. We can see that the scale is just not necessarily matching the timing of the ground. What we want to do is that as it hits the ground, we want it to snap down quickly. So we know that he hits the ground around frame 10-11, so it's in between there. Let's come up here to frame 10, let's grab this on the bottom, this key frame here, and let's scale this up until this value almost reaches there. So what that's going to do is make it look that soon as he hits the ground, it snaps down, slowly squishes, and then begins to pop back out before going out. Right now this still doesn't look super natural because we actually have some unnecessary easing right here where it converts from one to the other, and we're going to get rid of that. So what you would want to do is grab this handle and rotate it, but you can see that that adjust both sides. So what we're going to do, we're going to grab both of these and we're going to change the handle type. Now, it's buried up here in the menus, under Handle Type, and you can go down Defector. You'll see that now we can grab these handles and move them independently of one another. Unfortunately, we can see it's also screwed up our graph shape. So let's just go ahead and bring that back a bit. So we'll grab that handle, and I'm going to use the G key just to move it. You can also just grab and drag it. So we'll move that up a bit. We'll go over here and we'll grab this handle and move this up a bit, and that should already begin looking more natural. Let's again go to frame 10 and make sure that it's not really fully scaled down until then. Now, if we play it back, we can see it's already looking a bit more natural. Now, I think we can grab both of these handles here. We can scale those up ever so slightly to make this animation a bit snappier. So what it's going to do is hold natural up here and then snap into that stretch a little quicker. We can even scale that up a bit more. Let me click out so you can get a good view of my F curve here. So now if we play, we can see that it hits the ground, squishes, and then stretches on its snap up and on its drag down. Now here, I can see that the squash is actually coming in too soon. So we can go ahead and we can grab this bottom frame and we can scale that in to remedy that a bit. Let's go ahead and hit "Play", and that feels much more natural. Now, it looks great in the front view, but if we come out and we'll see that because we haven't adjusted the other scales yet, that those aren't matching as naturally. So what we're going to do, let's come back into front view. We'll grab our ball and then we're going to turn on the X and Y scale, and we want to just make sure that these match a little bit better. So we can grab both of these here and we can adjust multiple curves at once. We're going to hit "R", we're going to rotate that there, we can grab these and rotate that there. It's okay if there's a little bit of movement here. In this case, that might make it look a little bit more natural. Now, if you don't remember and you're having a hard time following along, remember that I'm just grabbing everything and pressing "S" to scale, and that's how I'm doing that. Let's go ahead and leave the curve right around there and see how that looks. That looks pretty natural, and with that, we have our first ball bounce and we're ready to dive into a more complicated example with our character. 6. Character Rig Overview: In this video, we're going to do a basic overview of the character rig. Now that may seem odd, you feel like you've learned the basics and ready to dive in, but you wouldn't dive into a new vehicle without first learning how to drive it. That's the exact same thing when we're including with characters. Each one has a little bit different controls. We're just going to walk through the controls of this character so that we have a better understanding of how to animate them in future videos. Here we are in the project file included with the course. We're going to be using the chicken rig. Over here we have our dope sheet. Down here, we have our timeline. Over here, we have our Render Settings, which we'll cover later. Here we have a camera view. With this camera view, we can make sure that we don't accidentally fall out of the camera view. Up here, we have our collections. We have our chicken collection here. We have controls, which is for rig controls that you don't need to worry about. That can remain hidden. Here we have our camera that includes our camera and our lights, which we'll cover in the render section. Let's focus on our object here. We can grab our character and we can grab our armature in the object mode, but we want to pose our character. Let's grab the armature and make sure only the armature is selected. Go up to object and switch to pose mode. Let's look at what all these controls do. When you select a control here, it'll actually say what that bone is up here and they're all labeled to make it easier. Here we have Arm.L, which stands for arm left and here we can see that we have the beak. Now you can see the bones through the characters so that you can grab them on any side of the character. Let's go through what each bone does. Down here we have the control of our entire character. We can actually move our entire character around with this control. This is great for things like a walk cycle. For example, if we animated our legs walking in place, we could then animate the character moving forward with this control here. Now, you'll notice that not all of the colors here match the global colors up here and that's because there's two types of orientation. There's global, meaning that all of these objects will match the global coordinates of X, Y, and Z. Then there's local, meaning that it will be local to that object and that object's orientation. Now that's a bit complicated and that could dive into that much more. But also you need to know is that a lot of times when you're animating character bones, you're going to be animating local because as you see as we move on in the course, it's a bit simpler. You don't need to worry about it. It's on by default and as long as you're following along with me, you don't need to mess with that. That's our bone down here. Here we have the feet bone where we can animate our feet. Here we have the leg where we can animate our legs. Here we have the arms where it can animate our arms. Back here we have a tail, so we can animate our tail, although that will be out of sight. Here we have a beak so that we can move the beak around if we want. Then up here we have the little goblets. Let's go ahead and throw a few of these unopposed here. I'm just going to grab a few things and move them around. Let's go ahead and scale this beak up a bit. We'll move that up and then we'll actually scale one foot up and make that foot bigger. That just gives us a few things. Let's say that we want to reset all of our bones. Well, we can drag and select all of them or you can tap A to select all as we've done before. Then we can hit Alt S to reset scale, Alt R to reset rotation, and Alt G to reset move. That's a way you can quickly get all of your bones back into position. Again, that's Alt S for scale, Alt R for rotation, and Alt G for grab. We'll be doing that later so you can just follow along with me. That's how you go about moving all the bones. But you notice that we can't select the eyes. I'm going to tap back out in the object mode. That's because with this rig, it was simpler to use the eyes without using a bone for technical reasons. But also you need to know is that to animate the eyes, you need to be in object mode and you can grab these eyes and they will slide all over the eyes there and stay on the surface of the eye so that you can move the eyes around for animation. With that, that's a pretty simple look at our chicken rig and we're ready to begin our character animation. Lastly, my YouTube channel actually has several tutorials on how to create characters from beginning to end and rig them. If you're interested in learning how to read your own characters, check out some of these. 7. Character Animation Part 1: Now that we've learned to rig, we're ready to actually start beginning animating our character. We're going to get started first with Keyframing and timing, making sure that we have our correct keyframes and then we have good timing before we work on all the intricacies of character animation. Let's get started with that. Here we are with the rig file included with this course. Just to recap, we have our dope sheet over here, our character here, our timeline down here, our camera over here, and over here we have our scene collection. But first things first, I'm going to go ahead and shorten this animation a bit. I'm going to make it the same length as the ball bounce. I'm going to take this n number that says 72. I'm going to take that down to 28 and you'll see that that shortens up here as well. Next, I'm going to turn on only show selected and if you remember, this means it will only show the keyframes for the selected objects, and that'll just keep this a bit cleaner. We may need to go back and forth on that. Now I'm going to turn on auto keying here. Over here, I'm going to go to the keying sets, going to grab active keying sets, going to turn on location rotation, and scale for now. Then I'm going to come over here, I'm going to turn on only active keying set with this drop-down. Now just like the ball, I'm going to go ahead and insert a keyframe at the beginning, middle, and end of this animation. I'm also going to go ahead and zoom out here a bit. First, let's go ahead and insert some keyframes on our eyes because we'll probably animate those eyes bouncing up and down. Let's grab both of these pupils here and let's press i, and we'll see that it gives us our keyframes there. We can click here at the top, which will select everything, hit shift D, duplicate this, and drag it down to the end. Let's go to the 14 mark. Let's go ahead and insert another keyframe there as well. Perfect. Now let's go to pose mode. With everything deselected which I deselected by pressing A or you can just click off to the side, I'm going to grab the armature and make sure just the armature is selected. Going to come up here to object mode, I'm going to switch this to pose mode. I'm going to press A to make sure all my bones are selected. Going to click down here so that we can jump to the endpoint at the beginning. Then we're going to press i to insert a keyframe. Again I'll grab this top frame here and I'll hit shift D, and then drag that over to the end there. Then we'll go ahead here to frame 14 and we will again press i and with that, we're ready to begin animating our character. Next, I'm just going to click up the side here to deselect everything. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and grab this bone down here, which is called hip control. We're going to use this to adjust the vertical height of our chicken. I'm going to zoom out here and we're going to go here on frame 1. Let's just go ahead and drag that up with the move tool. We'll grab the move gizmo here, and we'll go ahead and drag that up. I'm paying attention to my camera over here because I don't ever want him to go out of frame of the camera. I'm going to drag them about up to there, to the top of the frame of the camera. Let's go ahead and play that. We'll see that it drops down and of course, we need to duplicate that frame at the end. Let's go ahead here. Let's grab this frame here, hit shift D, and duplicate that so that we start to get what looks like a bouncing motion. Just like the ball, we'll go ahead and refine this in a moment. Now that we've blocked out the height and the landing point for our chicken, let's go ahead and start inserting some keyframes. We're going to insert some frames for all the body parts and what it will look like at the top and the bottom of the impact. Let's start with the top first. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to deselect that bone there. I'm going to grab the leg bone here and turn on the rotation gizmo. Then I'm going to grab the leg and I'm going to rotate that here a bit on the green axis. Then I'm going to rotate that up on the blue axis. I'm going to do the same over here a bit on the green axis and then a bit on the blue axis. I'm going to rotate that a bit more that way. You don't have to get the same exact positions as me. Great. Now I want this little goblet up here to move a bit. I'm going to grab each one and we're going to rotate those just ever so slightly. With that, we can see they're jetting out random directions for which is I'm going for. I'm going to snap back to the front view here. I'm using the Numpad, one does not buy up to the front view, but remember you can access those up here on the viewport or you can use this little tool up here. I'm actually happy with that keyframe pose. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to press A to select everything. Then I'm going to grab this top one here at the summary, which will select all those keyframes, going hit shift D, I'm going to drag it over here to the end. Now let's go ahead and hit "Play" to see what that looks like. Great. Let's go ahead and work on this bottom keyframe here. I actually think the chicken could be a bit lower so that we can make us legs look like they're bouncing out. What I'm going to do is going to grab this bone here, going to turn on the move gizmo. Then I'm going to drag that down until the butt of the chicken is touching that ground plane there. I'm actually going to make it go a tiny bit beneath so that when we squish it down, it'll look like it's squishing into the ground. Now I want these legs to rotate up. I'm actually going to grab these legs. Again, just like the top frame, I'm going to rotate these legs up and out. This time I'm going to grab the foot and move the foot as well so that the foot it's not sticking so far through the ground. We'll go ahead and do that with this leg as well. Again, there's no right or wrong way to pose this character as long as it looks natural in the end. Don't feel like you have to pose exactly like mine, and in fact, you may be able to come up with an even better animation. With that, I'm pretty happy with the landing pose. Again, I want to add a bit more attention here to the goblet. I'm going to go ahead, I'm going to rotate these ever so slightly and I'm going to try and rotate them the opposite direction I did at the top. If you notice when it come to the top of the animation, that front goblet is on the left, and when it lands it's on the bottom and that's just so that we get some contrast and emotion. Let's go ahead and hit "Play." Right now it looks pretty unnatural when we play it back because the chickens not really changing motion at all in between. We're going to start with these legs and adding some keyframes to those legs, so it looks that their pulling and falling back down with the bird to add some motion. First, what's come here to around frame 10. What we're going to do is in this case, the bird is falling. We're going to make it look like the legs are being pulled up even further. Let's go ahead. Let's grab this here. Let's further rotate that up. Also rotate the foot down a bit, and we'll do that over here as well. We'll pull that up. Then we'll grab the foot and rotate that a tiny bit as well. We'll see here that the bird legs start to pull up, we'll exaggerate that with some scale in a moment. Let's go ahead here, up to frame 20. Now we want to make the bird's legs look like they're snapping back down as they're being yanked up. Let's go ahead and grab the leg and this leg and both feet. I'm just holding Shift click to collect all those which you can see down here. Then I'm going to press Alt R, and that's going to reset the position. Now I'm going to click up here to go into a side view. I'm going to grab this foot and I'm going to rotate that down on the blue there. I'm going to grab the other foot and also rotate it down on the blue. Now if I click on this little green dot, I'll go back to the front view. We'll see that it looks like the legs are being pulled up. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" there. We'll see that, that's starting to look a tiny bit more natural. Of course, it still needs a lot of work, but we're still just blocking out the keyframes right now. Let's go ahead and pause that. Let's look at our top frame here. Our top frame pose could use a little bit of improvement. Let's go ahead, grab these little arms here. Let's grab the blue, and we're just going to move those up. Let's grab this arm here, and let's move that up as well. That'll make it look like you saying, "Wee in the air." There we go. We'll see that it snaps back down to here and lands. Then here at 20, we'll make the arms pull down. We'll grab that arm and pull down and arm and pull it down. It looks like he's really launching up. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" there. We can see that, that's starting to look better. You'll notice that the arms are snapping when it gets to the end of the animation, and that's because we didn't duplicate the first frame. Let's go ahead and press A to select everything. Grab this summary frame up here, hit Shift key and duplicate that to the end. Now let's go ahead and hit "Play." We'll see that the arms look a little bit better there. Now let's look at the Gobble next. When the Gobble hits here around 10, I want to reset the position on the Gobble so that they're pointing up straight as well. Let's go ahead and we can just box select these three Gobbles here, and then we can hit Alt R, and that'll make those straight again. Then what we can do is, we can take this keyframe here. We can box select that so that only that keyframe selected, and then we can hit Shift D, and we can actually duplicate that down here so that in frame 20, they begin to straight and back up before splitting at the top again. Let's go ahead and hit "Play." Now things are still looking pretty stiff, but they're finally starting to come together. Now I think that the timing's off here a bit at frame 20. What I'm going to do is press A to select everything. I'm going to grab the summary keyframe of 20, and I'm going to bring that back to about 18. I think that'll give us a slightly more natural motion. Let's go ahead and see what that looks like. That's starting to give us a little bit more of a natural motion. There's still a lot of work to be done here, but things are starting to come together. We can see that as we're getting our keyframes together, things are looking good in their landing poses. However, I think that could still be more exaggerated. We're going to focus on doing some more scaling on our keyframes. Let's go ahead, come up here to the top, and I think we'll leave this as is. Let's come down here to 10. Let's make it look as if these legs are actually stretching as they're being pulled down. Let's go ahead, grab this leg here. We'll click the scale gizmo up here and we'll grab the green one and we can stretch that out a bit. We can grab this one and we can stretch that out a bit as well. Now because we stretched out the leg, we have more room here. What we can actually do is grab those, click the blue and we can even rotate that up a bit more. Grab this one and rotate that up a bit more. That'll just make that a bit more extreme. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and we can see that it's starting to look like it's falling a bit more. Of course, we'll need to adjust our easing, which we'll do later in the end. Now let's come down here to frame 14. This is where we want things to be more extreme with our legs as well. When we snap down, we're going to want our legs to push out. Let's go back to the scale gizmo here. We'll grab this leg here on the right and we'll grab the green and we'll drag there and stretch that out a bit. We'll do that on this side as well and stretch that out. We can see there that it's giving us a smeared look with our legs. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and see what that looks like. You can see how that's already creating more of a snappy emotion when it pulls up and to the legs. Let's go to frame 18 and exaggerate that even more. Again, we're still just working on our keyframes here. We've blocked out our timing and our spacing, and now we're just working on the keyframes. After that, we'll begin to polish and then add secondary motion. I really want these legs to feel like they're being pulled down as the bird launches up. Let's grab this left leg here. With the scale gizmo still activated, we're going to grab the screen. We're going to drag this down a bit here and we'll go over here, and we'll drag this one down too. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and see what that looks like. I'm going to zoom out here. That's starting to look much better. Now it'll look a lot more polished once we change our easing. Next, let's focus on the body. Let's go ahead and change the scale of the body. I'm going to come up here and we're going to use this bottom bone here for the hip to adjust the scaling. First, let's go here and insert a keyframe on frame 10 here. Let's press I with that bone selected, and then let's come up here to 18 and press I with that bone selected again. Now what we're going to do is, on frame 14, we're going to show the most extreme pose we have of that bird being quashed. We're going to go ahead and grab the green here, and we're going to pull that down. Then if you remember, we want to make sure that we maintain some volume with our body. Now we didn't worry about this with the legs, and that's just because they're secondary and it's not quite as important. But let's make sure that we do that on our body because there'll be much more noticeable. Let's click the Z here to go to the top view, and we'll grab the blue here, and we'll pull that out a bit that direction. We'll pull the X here, which is the red, and we'll pull that out a bit in that direction as well. Now if we click the green dot we'll come back to our front view and can see that we're getting in more realistic squish. Now let's come up here to 18. Now we want to make sure that our bird is stretching up as they snap back up. We'll grab the green here and we'll stretch that up just a bit. Let's come here to the 10, as they're falling, we want them to stretch down. We'll go ahead, grab that green again, and we'll stretch there. Now let's go ahead and hit "Play." We should get a much more natural looking motion. You can see that things are starting to look a lot better. Now what we're going to do is we're going to adjust the timing of the body with this control here. We're going to adjust the timing of when it lands, then after that we'll go through and we'll adjust the easing of the scale here until we get a more realistic motion. Now I know that gets a bit out of order of what we discussed before of doing blocking, keyframes, in-between frames and so on, but I feel like at this point it's getting a bit difficult to really tell what the final animation might look like. What I like to do is sometimes go ahead and get the primary motion of the body down and then I'll go through and I'll finish polishing up all the ligaments. The legs, the feet and the arms, and the Gobble at the top. 8. Character Animation Part 2: Let's go ahead and refine this body first to get a better idea of how things are looking and how we want the other ligaments to react. So we'll go into the Graph Editor. We'll first start with this button, down here, the hip control. We're going to do the same exact thing we did as the ball bounce. Now we know that we don't need all of these keyframes. Let's twirl this down. If you remember before, it was the blue, the Z location that was changing. That has to do with the global and local coordinates that I mentioned earlier. You don't need to worry about that too much, but locally, we're stretching the Y. That means it's the green, which you can see right here. We can actually go ahead and delete the Z location and the X location, and then we can Box Select up here, and we can delete all of those keyframes as well. Let's go ahead, and if you have the mouse hovered over here and delete, it'll get rid of those layers. Now we have just the graph. We're welcome to go ahead and adjust this graph to get a similar graph to what we had before. Let's go ahead and grab these points and make some adjustments. We'll grab these here. We know that this is when it's in the air, so we'll come up here, change this to individual origins. With these two selected and again, you can just Box Select to select those, we're going to press "S" to scale. We're going to scale that up so that they float on the air more. But we know that they land around 10, just like last time. We're going to go ahead, grab this here and scale that up so that they'll snap into the ground around 10 there a bit more quickly. Now our scale doesn't match. This is going to look a bit off, but let's take a look and see if the ball bounce is looking okay. The ball bounce is looking decent, but I think it's sticking a little too much. We're going to go ahead and scale this one down a tiny bit and scale these down a tiny bit to give us a little bit more of a natural motion. Great, so the motion is looking pretty great, but we need to go ahead and improve the scaling to get that to match. After that, we should have a pretty good idea of what the bounce looks like. Let's go ahead and we'll grab this hip bone here, which is what we're using for scaling. Again, we're not animating all these rotation or all these hips. We're going to go ahead and clean up this graph. In the case of this, we're not animating any of these locations. I'm going to grab all three of those by "Shift" clicking and "Delete". I'm going to go ahead and grab the rotation and delete those as well. Now I'm going to select everything, and I'm going to press "Period" to zoom in. If that doesn't work for you, you can also just zoom in with the mouse wheel. I'm going to hit "Period", and that'll zoom in. You can also zoom in using the Frame All up here or Frames Selected. Now we could go look at a view of our graph. The blue and the red ones here are the ones that we animated to give them more volume. This green one here is the one that we're animating to stretch them up and down. We're going to focus on those first. Let's go ahead and turn off the red and the blue, which is the X and the Z. We're going to focus on this green scale here. You'll see here that we have a discrepancy in the value here. We can actually for uniformity, go ahead and grab this by pressing "G" or just clicking and dragging it. We can move that up so that those are about the same value. Now that'll just give us a bit more uniform when animating. Let's go ahead and click that to take a look. Great. Now we're going to go ahead and mimic the movement that we have of the location. We know that they snap two locations around there. We actually want them to be reaching this point around there as well. We'll go ahead, grab this keyframe, press "S" to scale. We're going to scale that out until they start to squish down there. We're going to grab both of these, go up to Key, then we're going to go to Handle Type, and then we're going to go to Vector. You see that that gives us that sharp angles so that we can snap there. Unfortunately, we have too extreme of a pause. If I zoom out here, you can see that the handles are snapping down there and ruining our curve. I'm going to go ahead, grab this, and just drag this up. Then I'll do the same for this. I'll grab this keyframe and grab this handle and drag this up. Now let's go ahead and zoom in here so that we know around 10, we want this to start scaling down as it's crashing into the ground. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and see how that's looking. That's starting to look a bit more natural, but it looks a bit snappy. Let's go ahead and take a look at what's happening here. We can see there that at Frame 10 it looks fine. Then it snaps in the place there before it actually hits. Let's go ahead, grab this here and drag this over to the right ever so slightly and see how that looks. As we move down, see that it hits the ground, and then snaps. It's not snapping before it hits the ground. It holds for a second and then it pops back up. But it pops back up a little too quickly. Let's go ahead, grab this, grab this handle here. Move this ever so slightly to the left. Let's look on Frame 17 to see what that looks like. That looks a little more natural as well. Maybe bring that in a little bit more. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and see what that looks like. We can see that we're getting a much more natural scale. However, it still feels a bit snappy, and I think that's because we might have a easing down here too extreme. Let's go ahead, grab this keyframe. Let's press "S" to scale, and we'll scale that in ever so slightly to soften that. Now let's hit "Play" and see what that looks like. If we watch this playing back, it's still looking a little bit poppy. It looks like it hits the ground and just pops a little too hard. We're actually going to go ahead and move these scale keyframes to accommodate. Let's grab this frame here on T 10, and we'll go ahead back to eight. Let's drag this over and that'll just give us a bit more room to work with. Let's grab this one here on 18 and bring that over to 20. We'll go ahead, bring that over the 20. Then we'll go ahead and grab this handle here and drag that up. We'll go ahead and grab this handle here and drag that up. You can see now that we're getting a much more normal arc. We want more of a circular arcs. We'll go ahead, grab that up a bit, and let's hit "Play" and see how that looks. We can see that that's looking a lot more natural when it squishes down. However, when I change this here and I drag up and down, you can see that changes the value. Let's go ahead and actually drag that down just a tiny bit more. Here I have mine set to 0.4, and I'm going to scale that up by pressing "S", and moving that just slightly. Let's hit "Play" and see how that looks. I can see that that's looking a lot more natural. Let's take a look at what it looks like when it's smearing up. We can see here that it smears as it goes down and then snaps quickly as it lands, and then pops back up. This is starting to feel a lot more natural, but I'm actually going to go back to the location and adjust that a bit as well. But first, let's adjust the scale. Let's go ahead take this Z and X scale here. We're going to grab these keyframes here, and we're going to move those over to Frame 8. Likewise, we are going to do these and move those over to the frame. That's just so that they match the scale a bit more. I'm going to grab these up here and then I'm going to press "S" and scale those out to make those a bit more. Let's go ahead and see what that looks like. You can see we're getting a much more natural squish, but the timing is still off. You can see here that as we land, it begins to squish completely before the bird lands. Let's go ahead, click this bone here, which will switch us over to our location. Let's go ahead, press "A" to select everything and go to View, and then you go Frame Selected or Numpad 1. Here we are on the location. To make this look a bit more natural, you need to make sure that he's actually slamming into the ground at 10. What we can do is actually grab this Y location, hit "Shift", "D", and then we can drag that over and bring it here to Frame 10. That will match our scale. This is just the polishing phase. You can see there that that's starting to look more natural. But here, as it goes up, he remains squished too long when he should start to smear, straight like that as he snaps up. Let's go ahead, grab this. Let's duplicate this again and drag this over to 17. Then what we're going to do is grab this keyframe here. We're going to go to Key, Handle Type, and then we'll go to Vector, we'll make that snap quicker. Let's go ahead grab this handle way down here, with that key selected. We should come up with something like this. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and see how this looks. We can see that that's starting to look a lot more natural. What we have here is that as we fall down, hit the ground, we snap-down suddenly, which holds. Then as it begins to get ready to snap back up, it then suddenly changes back into the scaled version here. But we can see here that it could actually even snap into more. Maybe he could be elongated here. Again, let's click our hip bone, go back to our scale. We could actually bring this in a frame or two early. Let's go ahead, grab this frame here, and then drag that in, just one or two framed early and see how that looks. That should feel a bit more natural. I'm going to grab this and adjust the curve there so that I have a bit more of a rounded curve. So I'm going to grab this here, scale this down a tiny bit, and give me more of a rounded curve. Let's go ahead and hit "Play" and see how that looks. That's starting to feel much more natural. Now, I do feel like they could hang in the air a bit longer. Now that I have such an extreme smash here, I want it to float a bit longer as well. We can grab this location here. We can come down here to the bottom, we can grab the two keyframes at the end, and we can press "S", then we can scale, which we'll make that a little more extreme. Let's go ahead and hit "Play". I'm pretty happy with how the bounce is looking now. It does stick on the ground a bit long so we could soften that if we'd like, but I think this is good enough to move forward with. Now you'll notice that we went back and forth between the scale and the positioning, and adjusting the easing back and forth until we got something that we liked. That's a very normal part of polishing. It's very unlikely that you will polish off one bone or one aspect such as rotation, scale, or location, and then just be done with that bone. You're most likely going to have to go back and forth 3-5 times on every bone. That's a very normal part of the process. Now that we have the body in a decent spot, let's go ahead and start working on the next biggest body part. We're going to focus on the legs. Let's go ahead and pause our video here. We're going to go up to the top view, and we're happy with the leg positions here. Let's scroll forward and see what's wrong with them. We see here that they begin to stretch down, but they could probably snap into that stretch a little quicker. Here they hit the ground and they delay before smacking down. Then they fly straight through the ground, which is something we'll need to fix, and then they launch off there. I feel like they don't hang in the air as long as they could either. We're actually going to make that a little snappier as well. Let's go over to the Dope sheet. Let's begin adjusting those keyframes. What we're going to do is we're going to deselect everything by clicking out here. Then we're going to collect both legs here and both feet. I'm just "Shift" clicking those, and you'll see that they appear over here. I see that here it begins turning back into normal legs. I want them to stay stretched a bit longer. With all these selected, I'm going to grab this summary keyframe here of this frame right here, which is on Frame 18. I'm going to give them two frames more time. I'm going to click and drag those to 20. Now when it snaps, we'll see that they hang a bit longer before turning up, maybe even a bit more. Let's go ahead and drag those all the way to 22. We'll see here that they snap up before coming there. That to me feels much more natural. Let's go ahead and play that. Now the legs feel like they're pulling up a bit more. Let's see if that solved their problem with them going to the ground. Not quite yet, but we can fix that when we adjust the easing. Let's go ahead here, and let's look at when things land. We'll see here that the legs actually don't begin rotating out very high until around Frame 10. I want that to happen much sooner. Let's actually go ahead, come up here to Frame 8, we'll grab the summary keyframe here. Again, make sure that you have both legs and both feet connected. We'll go ahead, click here at the Summary keyframe, and move this over. Let's see how that looks. We see that they start to go into an extreme pause there, hit the ground, and then snap down. That's a little bit better, but I feel like I want those legs to really start around here at Frame 5. I'm going to go ahead and grab that here. We'll see that there that gives us a bit more force as the legs are being pulled down. Then they hit the ground and go down. Now that's a bit of a soft landing. We'll go ahead and adjust that in the easing next, but let's hit "Play", and see how that's looking. That's looking better, but we can still do a little bit more. 9. Character Animation Part 3: Now we're going to switch over to the graph editor, and I'm going to show you a little shortcut. Hold "Control Tab", and that will actually take you over to the graph editor. We can see here that we have a lot to look at. Let's go ahead and twirl all of these down and clean this up. We know that we're using scale, and we know that we are using the rotation, but we're not using the location keyframes on any of these. Let's go ahead, box select these, and delete, and we'll go ahead and do that on all of them because we're not using the location. That'll give a slightly less keyframes to look at. Let's go ahead and play from there. Great. Our keyframes didn't mess anything up. We're just making sure we didn't have any location keyframes there. Now what we're going to do is we're going to hide all of the scale. Just click these little eyes, and drag down, and you can hide the scale. We're going to focus on the rotation of the legs first. Now what we can do is press "A" to de-select everything, then press "A" to select everything, then you can go to View, then we can do Frame Selected. That'll give us a better view of our animation. You can see here that we hit at five, and then it goes down, and back up. We just want that to be a bit snappier. If you've been following along, it should be, but make sure that you're set to individual centers here because we're going to use that here. Let's go to Frame 5 here, and we see that what it does is it slowly turns into this movement down here. We want that to snap a bit more. You can see here about how it's slowly moving. To fix that, what we're going to do is box select here, select all of our keyframes on five, then we're going to press "S". We're going to scale up a bit, and that's going to make that snap down a bit quicker. We're also going to grab 14 here and we'll scale that up as well, which should also help. Now, let's hit "Play". We can see that it's snapping into the ground a bit more naturally. Let's go ahead and look at this here, and if we can do the same here. I feel like this looks pretty natural pulling up, and we can see that we've eliminated it going to the ground for the most part. We'll leave that, but let's come up here and grab all these frames here at the end. What we'll do is we'll scale that up. What that's going to do is make a transition from here to here a bit softer. Let's go ahead and hit "Play". Great. Now you can see that the legs are softly landing there. Next, we need to do the scales. Let's go ahead. We'll just click all these eyes and drag down, and turn everything off. Then we're going to go back up and turn on the scale. We can see here that we can't see much, so what we're going to do is press "A" to de-select everything, if you have anything selected, and press "A" to select again. Then we're going to go to View, Frame Selected, and we can see that almost everything here is on our Y. Let's clean this graph up further. Let's go ahead and delete everything except for the y-scale. I'm just going to go through all these and delete all of this. Now, if you want to go ahead and add x and y movement, you can, but I feel like that makes things a bit more complicated than we need them to be. Let's go ahead. We'll grab these frames here, and we'll scale that out a bit. We can actually delete the scales on the footprints because we're not using the foot bonds, so we'll just focus on the leg scale. Let's go ahead and grab these down here, and then press "X" to scale, and tighten that up a bit as well. Now, let's hit "Play" and see how that looks. Great. Our legs are looking a lot more natural. Now let's go ahead and focus on the goblet and the arms. Let's go ahead and grab these arms. Let's twirl this down. We're going to delete everything except for the rotation. We should only need the z-rotation because we're only rotating up and down on the z. We can delete all of these other keyframes and make it a lot easier to look at. Let's go ahead, delete all these layers. Again, you're only leaving the z-rotation. Now, what we're going to do is click here and make sure everything is de-selected. We're going to press "A", and you'll see that things are becoming selected. Then we're going to go to View and Frame Selected. If you're having trouble, you can do Frame All, and that should have the same result in this scenario. Let's go ahead and take a focus look at our arms. You can see here that they're up and they're hanging up there as we'd like, then as they smash into the ground, they start to reset and go. First, let's go ahead and adjust our keyframes. We want our arms to be fully up at this frame, so with both of those selected, we're going to press "I" to insert a keyframe, but we don't want to insert a bunch of keyframes. Again, if I press "I" now, you'll see that it'll create all those channels. I'm going to hit "Control Z". I'm going to come down here to the Keying Set, going to click "Active Keying Set". I'm going to change this to Available. That means that I'll only insert a keyframe on things that we already have a keyframe on. Let's click "Available". Let's press "I" there. Let's take a look up here. At around Frame 20, there is a snap there. Let's go ahead and press "I", because we want them to snap down like that. Then let's move forward a bit. We can see that they're pulled down there before going back up. What I'm actually going to do, with these two selected on the last frame, I'm going to press "Alt R", and reset their position. I'm going to go to the first frame and press "Alt R", and reset their position. Let's see what we get here. As we drag down, they pull up completely before snapping down, and being yanked completely, and returning to reset. I think that looks a little bit more natural, but I'm actually going to go ahead, grab everything here, and make sure that you still have individual centers turned on. I'm going to press "S". We're going to scale out a bit and just turn those curves so that they hang a bit. Great. That's looking much better. However, I do feel like the arms could snap down like this quicker, so that the arms look like they're being pulled up. I'm actually going to grab these two keyframes here, and then I'm going to drag these over so that that happens sooner. See that the arm snap up sooner, land, reset their position, then get pulled on the way up. Let's hit "Play" and see how that works. Great. The arms are looking a lot more natural. Next, let's focus on the goblets up here. We're going to go ahead and grab all of these, and you need to make sure that you don't select your body. Go ahead, click here to the x, and it's very easy to select the body. If you accidentally select a bone, and you don't want to click and reset, you can actually shift-click a bone twice to get rid of it. I'm just going to go ahead, drag over these three so that I have those goblet grabbed there, and then I'm going to click here on the green and go to the front. Then we're going to look at the graph. Again, let's do a bit of clean up. For this one, we only need the z-rotation, so we're going to go ahead and delete all these other keyframes. Now, this is the polishing phase, which can definitely be the most tedious because of moments like this. But this is also where a character begins to truly come alive, and the animation becomes to look professional. Great. Now we just have the rotation keyframes to worry about. I'm going to box select everything on my screen, and then I'm going to go to View, Frame selected. Great. Now we can see this. Let's go ahead and take a look at our goblet up here and how that's working. What I wanted to do, so I wanted to spread when it's in the air and when it hits the ground, I want it to slam and open and then spread softly as it gets back there. So we can see our timing's off a bit. I actually want it to become straight right around there, as this is main forces it's pulling down, almost making it look like they're all snapping down as the wind pulls them together. So let's go ahead, make sure you have all four selected, we're going to grab the keyframe down here, just drag that over to frame five. We see that those begin to snap down quickly there. They hit the ground and splay. We want them to be straight right around here, so that's working pretty well. But I don't want them to split until around here, so I could insert another keyframe, or it can play with the scaling here. So if I grab this keyframes here, and scale, you can see that things start to get a bit wanky, and that's because we have a lot of keyframes going on there. I think in this case it might be simpler to actually just duplicate the keyframe. So with all four of these selected and this frame selected down here, we're going to duplicate that keyframe by hitting Shift D, track that over to frame 24. What that's going to do is keep it straight there with no change until it snaps here and begins to open. I think that looks a little bit better. Let's see how it looks on the way down. Snaps straight there, but it begins splitting before it hits the ground. I don't really want that split to start until here, so make sure you still have all four bones selected, and then down here we're going to grab this one in frame five, we're going to hit shift D and move it to frame 10. You don't always have to do fancy easing to get things to work, sometimes you can just duplicate a frame and get a hold. Now what we're going to do is we're going to grab everything on frame one, everything on the last frame, and I'm just holding Shift and drag clicking, I'm going to shift drag click here, then I'm going to press S, and then I'm going to scale just a bit to give this a tiny bit of easing. Let's start back at the beginning and play and see how that looks. That's looking a bit better, but it seems like it's still snapping a bit too quickly. It looks a little too unrealistic. What I'm actually going to do, is reduce the time in-between here. I'm going to grab this here, and then I'm going to drag this over a bit, I'm going to drag this one over here a bit. The nice thing is that since we have all these selected, we're selecting all their keyframes at the same time. If you find yourself struggling to place it here, you can actually press X, and that'll lock it in to the X of the graph. Let's go ahead and hit play. There we go. That's starting to look a lot better. Now we've done our legs, and we've done our body, and we've done our motion, so let's go ahead and take a look at the eyes. Now there are other parts on this body. For example, we could animate the beak and the goblet or we could animate the tail, but for the sake of time, we're just going to focus on doing the eyes and then we're going to focus on secondary motion. I highly encourage you to check out these other body parts if you'd like to add even more in motion. To animate the eyes, we're going to need to go out to object one. We're going to come up here upon pose mode, go into object mode, so that we can grab her eyes. If you remember, we inserted keyframes on these quite a long time ago. Let's twirl this down and see what we have. Grab this and twirl this down as well. I'm going to shift click to select both eyes. Now we only need the location for these, so we're going to go ahead, drag and select and delete the scale and the rotation of these. Now let's go ahead and hit play. We don't have any animation on the eyes right now, but we can do something simple. Let's just make it so that when we hit the ground, the eye's position slightly differently. Let's grab this eye here on the left, and we can go ahead and move that with the gizmo, but I'm going to go ahead and just press G. I'm going to press G, grab that eye and just move that up here, so it almost looks like the eyes getting pushed up. I'm going to go ahead and grab this eye, move that so it also looks like the eye is getting pushed up. Let's go ahead and hit play and see what that looks like. Just that little bit of motion helps quite a bit. Now with that, I think we're ready to begin adding secondary emotion. Secondary emotion will be us setting keyframes to offset the motion of our character and give it a more natural look. For example, the body will hit, then the legs will follow, then the feet will follow. Let's go ahead and take a look at what that looks like. We go to frame one here, and we're going to use the dope sheet, so let's come up here and switch to the dope sheet. Now what we're going to do is unclick this button so we can see all of our keyframes. I feel like this is a bit easier of a view. Let's go ahead and hit play and see what we have here. Let's offset the legs first. What we're going to do is find the legs over here on the list. If you're having a hard time finding them, let's switch to pause mode so you can see them easier. Go to pause mode, grab the legs, and you'll see that they become highlighted in here. I'm going to go ahead and grab the legs there and see that they're both highlighted here. I'm going to box select across that highlighted line, and shift click box select across that line there. I'm going to move these over one frame. Then we see that the feet are right under the legs. I'm going to deselect those keyframes. I'm going to grab the feet there, and I'm going to grab the feet there, and then I'm going to move those two frames. That's going to offset those all by two frames. Now what I'm going to do, is do the goblet and the eyes. Let's first do the goblet since we're in pause mode. Let's go ahead box select here and grab all the goblets, shift select to get rid of that body. We can see that the gobbles are down here. We're going to offset all of those by one. Let's go ahead, grab those, move those over by one, then we'll box select just the bottom three and move those over by one. Box select those and move those over by one. Box select here and move that over by one. Before we do the eyes, let's go ahead and adjust the arms. We'll offset the arms by one as well, maybe two. Let's go ahead, we see that we have arms here, so let's go ahead and box select both of those arms and move those off by two. Let's see how that looks. If we hit play, you'll see that things are looking much more natural, If you want you can make that offset more extreme. Lastly, let's offset the eyes. I'm going to start back here at the beginning. Then I'm going to come up here to pose mode, and I'm going to switch this to object mode so that we can grab our eyes. We can see that both of our eyes are down here. Now, I gave him wonky eyes, so I'm actually going to offset the eyes from one another. Let's go ahead and twirl these up so that we're only selecting these keyframes at the top to summarize all the keyframes beneath. We go ahead, drag both of those over by one, and we'll grab the bottom eye only, we'll drag that over by one, and that'll give him a bit more of a kooky look. Let's go ahead and hit play. With that I think we're actually ready to render our character. If you like you can go ahead and animate the beak and his chin and the tail for a little bit of added character, or you can even add a move, maybe maybe make him spin in the middle of the air. But for now, let's move forward and learn how to render this out to a video so that we can share it to Skillshare. 10. Rendering: Congratulations, you should have your first character animation and I'm excited to see what you created. But before you can upload that to Skillshare, to share with the class, I need to teach you how to render your animation into a video. Now, rendering can be a complicated process, but to simplify that process, I've included a lighting and camera setup in the project files. Make sure to have those project files downloaded so that you can go ahead and follow along with this video. Let's get started. Let's take a look at the Render Settings we need to create a video output, of our animation. Here we are in Blender and if you've been following along with the project file that I provided you with, most of the Render Settings will already be completed. If you decided to start your own project, I recommend you copy most of the settings I have in the Render tab. Let's go up to the Render tab now, it's right here we have the render properties. Up here, we'll see that we have the Render Engine. Blender comes with two render engines. We're going to be using the one called Eevee. Eevee is a real-time Render Engine, which is what video games use and it renders almost instantaneously as the goal is to render in real-time. It also has cycles which yields much more realistic results and if you want, you can take a peek in my animation project examples to see the settings I have there. However, it's much more complicated and requires a high-end machine. That's why we'll be using Eevee. So we'll keep Eevee selected there. Now down here, you'll see that we have various settings that I've checked on and tweaked the settings for. This can get quite complicated. That's why I did a lot of it for you already. Now the only thing you need to pay attention to is the sampling size. First of all, let's turn on our lighting setup. If we switch to render view now, we'll see that there's not much there to light the character. But I've included a lighting setup already and a camera. We've had the camera view down here the entire time, but until now we haven't seen the camera in the view. If we check this little Cam option, you'll see that our scene populates with all the lights, a background, and a camera. If you want to view the camera, you can press "Zero" on your Numpad or you can come up here to View, go to Cameras and do Active Camera. Now we're looking through our camera viewport and into our scene, and we're getting a preview of the lighting in our viewport. Let's look at what samples do. The lower the sample number, the quicker it will render. So if your computer's taking too long to render, you can lower this number. Let's go ahead and look at what it looks like at 1. If we set that to one and I render a frame, we can see that we're getting a lot of noise on our character here. Now the more samples we introduce, the more that noise will go away. The higher the sample, the higher quality an image you will get. So let me go ahead and turn this up to something like 64. Now when I render and zoom in, we can see that our shadows and everything are much smoother. But it does take a tiny bit longer to render, especially if you're on a lower-end machine. So that's one number that you can tweak there. If you're having a lag in the viewport, you can also adjust the viewport rendering to be lower. You can turn this down to one and it'll look worse in the Viewport Preview but it'll render much quicker. I'm going to turn mine up to 32 to give us a good idea of what it will look like. Next, what we want to do is choose the output resolution. So we're going to come here to the output properties. Here we can see the resolution. I have mine set to 1080-1080 because that looks great on most social media platforms. You can make those numbers higher or you can make those numbers lower. If you're struggling to render and it's moving slow, I recommend making them lower. If you want a higher quality image, I recommend making them higher. Next, let's look at the Output tab. Here in the Output tab, we can choose where we want to save our file. If you click here, you can choose a file path and name it. Let's go ahead and name this chicken jump. Then I'm going to put a dash after that name. Let's hit "Accept" and now we have chicken jump there as a name and it'll save in that temporary folder. You can save this wherever you want on your hard drive. Down here we have file format. This will determine what type of file we're going to output. By default, it says PNG, so we're going to click PNG and we're going to come down to FFmpeg video. Then we'll make sure that RGB is checked so that we get color. We're going to twirl down encoding and then for the container we're going to click that. Then we're going to click MPEG-4. Then we come down to video, and we can choose what video quality we want, just based with the preset. There's various options there, but you can focus on these three here; high quality, medium quality, and low quality, very low quality, and lowest quality. Of course, the quality of the video is going to drop as you go down, but the file size will get smaller and in some cases, it'll actually be quicker to render or playback if you're having issues there. With that, you have everything you need to render out your video. After that, you're ready to render your animation. Once it knows where to go, what type of file to make, and has your settings set up and your resolution, it's ready to create a video. What we can do is click "Render" here, and then we can click "Render Animation", and then you should see another window pop up and what it will do is slowly move through all the frames. You'll see the loading bar down here as it renders each frame. Once it reaches the end of your frame range, which is the number right here, it will stop rendering. So you'll see the playhead stop and you'll see this bar stop. Then you know that your video file is done and you can upload it to the Internet. There's one final rendering tip. Let's look at how to import the lighting setup that I provided into your own scene if you decided to follow along with your own character or a different character. If you go up here to File, Append, this will open up a browser navigation where you can navigate to the project files downloaded for the course, where you can choose the chicken rig file, and then when you double-click it, it will take you into all the objects that are inside the project. We can go to Collection here, and if we import cam, that stands for camera, and it also includes the lights, so we'll go ahead and do File, Append and that'll bring everything into the scene. Now if you want to see how the camera stands, go to View, Camera, Active Camera, and that'll take us into the camera view. Then what we can do is adjust the camera to better match our character. Let's go ahead and take these characters here and I'm going to scale them up to simulate that your character may be too tall for the camera and you want to fit them in. We can grab the camera and using the Move gizmo and the Rotate gizmo, we can adjust the camera view just like anything else. So we can adjust to account for the size of the characters. Now if you come over here with the camera selected, you'll see camera tabs here. We can also adjust the orthographic scale here, which will zoom in and out with the camera, and there we can see the ground's being revealed. So we'll go ahead and drag that up a bit. Now if I switch over to render view, I'll see that my lights are working in this scene, and it's ready to render with whatever character you chose. 11. Outro: You made it to the end, and I hope you had as much fun taking this course, as I had making the course. Now that being said, I know 3D can be difficult. If you have any questions along the way, please make sure to post in the comments below, so that I can try and help. I'm really excited to see what animations you made. Make sure to share them, and upload them on the Skillshare so everybody in the class can see. Thanks again for watching.