Into Animation: Character Animation Fundamentals in Blender 3D | John Knowles | Skillshare

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Into Animation: Character Animation Fundamentals in Blender 3D

teacher avatar John Knowles, Animation Director

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

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

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Class Overview


    • 3.

      Class Updates


    • 4.

      Animation Terminology


    • 5.

      The 12 Principles Of Animation


    • 6.

      Class Update: Keyframe Menu


    • 7.

      Ball Bounce: Simple Loop


    • 8.

      Ball Bounce: Settling


    • 9.

      Ball Bounce: Arcs


    • 10.

      Ball Bounce: Squash & Stretch


    • 11.

      Ball Bounce: Rotation


    • 12.

      Ball Bounce: Output


    • 13.

      Bird Bounce: Scene Setup


    • 14.

      Bird Bounce: Body


    • 15.

      Bird Bounce: Head


    • 16.

      Bird Bounce: Multiple Birds


    • 17.

      Class Update: Library Overrides


    • 18.

      Character Jump: Scene Setup


    • 19.

      Character Jump: Layout


    • 20.

      Character Jump: The First Pose


    • 21.

      Character Jump: Auto Key


    • 22.

      Character Jump: Anticipation


    • 23.

      Character Jump: Launch


    • 24.

      Character Jump: In Air Pose


    • 25.

      Character Jump: Refining Poses


    • 26.

      Character Jump: Landing


    • 27.

      Character Jump: Timing


    • 28.

      Character Jump: Fixing the Eyes


    • 29.

      Character Jump: Breakdowns


    • 30.

      Character Jump: The Graph Editor


    • 31.

      Character Jump: The Arms


    • 32.

      Character Jump: Fixing Glitches


    • 33.

      Character Jump: Soften the Turn


    • 34.

      Character Jump: Moving Hold


    • 35.

      Character Jump: Eyes & Brows


    • 36.

      Character Jump: Mouth


    • 37.

      Character Jump: Hair on Jump


    • 38.

      Character Jump: Hair on Turn


    • 39.

      Character Jump: Hat Animation


    • 40.

      Character Jump: Material Preview


    • 41.

      Class Update: Rendering in Cycles


    • 42.

      Character Jump: Lighting & Render


    • 43.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Character animation can be a fun hobby or an exciting and rewarding career. Whichever path you wish to follow, this class will teach you the essential skills you need to get started.

Animation combines many aspects of art, design, and filmmaking into one exciting medium. This complexity can make it both time consuming and difficult to learn.

This class aims to demystify the fundamental principles on which quality character animation is based, enabling you to create believable characters, and giving you a solid foundation on which to continue to learn and grow.


What you will learn:

  • By the end of this class, you will have gained a solid understanding of the 12 Principles of Animation and how to apply them to your own character animation.


What you will create:

  • Once you are familiar with the 12 Principles of Animation, you will apply your freshly gained knowledge to the classic animation exercise, the bouncing ball.
  • Building upon what we learn with the bouncing ball, our second exercise starts to introduce some character with a fun and simple, looping, bouncy bird animation.
  • With these initial exercises complete, you will go on to create your first true character animation. A fun, animation of a character jump using the provided character.


Good to know:

  • Throughout this class we shall be using the 3D software application Blender which can be downloaded for free from
  • If you are not already familiar with Blender then I would highly recommend that you start out with my Blender Essentials for Animators class, which will teach you everything you need to follow along.
  • This class has been updated to be fully compatible with Blender 4.1 or higher.
  • This class is all about bringing characters to life so you will be working with a prebuilt character rig which can be found on the class Projects & Resources page. This class does not cover character modelling or rigging since these are complex topics which require in depth classes of their own.


Learning the 12 Principles of Animation will provide the fundamental knowledge that you need to go on and create anything you can imagine!

Let’s get started!


Once you have finished this class, don't forget to check out the other animation classes here on Skillshare.



Meet Your Teacher

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John Knowles

Animation Director

Top Teacher

I love animation and the feeling of bringing characters to life but, when I was first starting out, it was hard to know where to begin.

That is why I decided to create a high-quality series of classes based upon my many years of professional experience.

If you dream of learning character creation or animation, I hope these classes will show you the way!

To discover more about me, check out my full bio below.

For weekly doses of animation knowledge and inspiration, sign up for my newsletter.

Also, if you'd like to be notified whenever I publish new classes, then just hit the Follow button.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Character animation can be a really fun hobby or an exciting and rewarding career. Whichever path you choose to follow, this class will teach you the essential skills that you need to get started. Hello, my name is John Knowles, I'm a character animator and animation director, and I've been lucky enough to work in children's television for the last 15 years. In this second class of mine into animation series, we're going to be covering the fundamentals of character animation. We're going to be starting out with a theory of the 12 principles of animation. These are principles that were developed at Disney back in the 1930s. When new animator is just starting out, it's very common for them to want to jump ahead into full acting shots, often with multiple characters. Unfortunately, if you do that without a good grounding in the principles of animation, it only leads to confusion and frustration down the line when you can't really achieve exactly what you're been to. Once we've discussed the principles, we're going to put them into practice because it's only through practice that you can really start to learn and understand them. Now the first thing we're going to be animating is a bouncing ball. It may not seem the most exciting place to start out, but it really does a good job of teaching you those fundamental principles that you need and will apply to every piece of animation you do from that point forwards. But we're quickly going to move on beyond that and do something a little bit more interesting. I've designed and built this character exclusively for this class. We're going to be going through and creating an example animation within the class that you'll be able to follow along with and you'll have your own piece of character animation by the very end. Now this class makes use of a piece of 3D animation software called Blender. Software is free and really powerful. If you're not familiar with it already, then don't worry because I've already got a class here on Skillshare, which will teach you the essentials that you need to get going. Whether your goal is create your own animated short film or start out in the path to becoming a professional character animator, learning the principles of animation will give you the solid foundation that you need. Whatever your goal, I hope you'll join me in this class and begin your journey into the exciting world of character animation. Let's get started. 2. Class Overview: Hello and welcome to this class. When it comes to learning animation, one of the most important things to do is to actually animate. It's all very well to read books and listen to people like me talking. But it's only once you actually start putting those skills into practice that you really start to understand them. Also I'm going to be talking about some theory in this class. We're going to be very quickly getting into some actual practical exercises. We're going to be animating that bouncing ball that I've already mentioned, and then moving on to animate a full character. Now within an animation studio, you would never actually be expected to design and model and rig and animate and light your full scene. As a character animator, you are usually given a character already set up for you. They've been modeled. They've had the textures added, and they have had a character rig added, which is all the controls that you need to start moving it. What you're really concerned with as an animator is just the performance. It's trying to bring that character to life. Then once you've actually animated it, you'll hand it off to the lighting department where they can make the shot look beautiful and produce the end result. That's the way we're going to be working in this class. I've already built this character and rigged it for you, so you can download that asset and make use of it within your shot. I'll be walking you through exactly how to do that within this class. For your class project, it would be great to see your example of the bouncing ball and as you're working through the actual character animation part of the class, feel free to upload work in progress as well as the final result. I love to see you and give you feedback along the way. Before we get started on learning about these 12 principles of animation, I think it's important we understand a little bit of animation terminology, and that's what we're going to be covering in the next lesson. 3. Class Updates: Blender is a powerful and rapidly developing piece of software. Typically, there are three main updates of the application each year, coming with new features and performance improvements. This is fantastic for those of us using the software, but it can be problematic when searching for training. Rapid updates mean that training can quickly become out of date and hard to follow. To provide you with the confidence to follow my classes, I will always check new releases of the software and update my classes where necessary. This class was originally made using Blender 2.9 and can easily be followed using Blender three or 41. Thing that you are likely to notice is a minor update to the styling of the interface. You can see here in version 2.9 that these menus hover over the viewport, whereas they moved up slightly in version three, swapping places with some of the other icons. You'll also notice that the properties panel on the right here has a slightly different look and feel functionally. However, all of these elements remain exactly the same. One slight downside to this change of the interface is that when you have multiple viewports open, sometimes not all of the options are visible up at the top. If some of the options are missing for you, you can simply place your mouse over the top and scroll the mouse wheel to reveal the missing items. Alternatively, holding down the middle mouse button allow you to slide it and do exactly the same thing. One nice cosmetic change which affects animation occurs with the Breakdown tool, which we'll be covering later in this class briefly. This tool helps us to create a new pose between two existing poses on a character. Previously. When using the tool to create the new pose, the feedback was simply a small written percentage value in the top left of the viewport. In more recent versions of Blender, we now have a scale appear above the viewport, which provides far better visual feedback. There are a few other updates which were introduced in versions three or four. The most significant of which was a modification to the cycles rendering engine. I've included lessons later in the class to cover each of these changes. The final thing to be aware of is that Blender Four introduced some changes which required a new version of the Pogo character rig. I've updated the class resources to include two versions of the rig. If you're using a version of blender prior to version four, then make use of Pogo version one. Otherwise, make use of version two for blender four or higher. If you do find yourself struggling to follow the class for any reason, please do leave a question in the class discussion section and I'll aim to respond as quickly as possible. If you're ready, let's jump into the first lesson. 4. Animation Terminology: Animation is not a form with its own unique terminology. Now much of that can be picked up as you go along, but it's useful to learn a few key terms before we really get started. The first important fact to be aware of is that a single image in animation is called a frame. This is term which relates the individual frames of film which are exposed by a traditional movie camera. The rate at which these images are captured and then played back is known as the frame rate. For film, the standard frame rate is 24 frames per second. This means that 24 images are displayed for every second or film. Then through a process known as persistence of vision, our eyes are able to perceive those individual images as smooth motion. Now there are different frame rates used within animation for different purposes. Most common are 24 frames per second for film, 25 frames per second for broadcast PAL, and 29.97 frames per second for broadcast NTSC. Other frame rates, such as higher frame rates, can be used for smooth motion within games and also slow frame rates often used for simplest styles of animation. For the purpose of this class, we'll be sticking to the 24 frames per second film frame rate. Now I've briefly mentioned the concept of character rig already. A character rig is a 3D model with controls added in order to enable it to be moved around, very much like 3D puppet. In fact, it's very similar to the controls that are added to stop motion animation puppet, which in that case known as an armature. As we start working with characters, you'll hear me talk about poses lot. This is really the 3D equivalent of what would have been an individual drawing and hand-drawn animation. By moving around the controls within the character rig, we're able to pose our character. One common term within animation, which can be quite confusing for new animators is the term key. In hand-drawn animation, a key drawing was one of the most important drawings within the shot. Taken together, all of the key drawings defined the essential elements of a performance or typically the 1st drawings to be made. The term still used within 3D animation for the same purpose and may be further clarified by talking about key poses or sometimes golden poses. The reason we actually clarify it slightly further within 3D animation is the fact that within animation software, when you record the position of any control at a point in time, that is known as setting a key. Since you may end up setting keys to define your characters motion on almost every frame, the two terms can become confused. We can clarify things further by using the term key frame when recording the location of a control, then that helps to distinguish it from our key poses. But in real-world use, you'll often find that both terms are simply abbreviated to just key anyway. Once our key poses have been defined, the next most important drawings or poses are known as our extremes. The extremes define the extremes of the range of motion within a shot. So how high or low something is or how far something travels. Once those extreme poses have been defined, we can then add in breakdowns. A breakdown is a drawing or a pose that's created between those extreme poses. It helps to define the path that motion should follow. Finally, once the key poses, the extremes, and breakdowns have been defined, the remaining frames within the shot are known as inbetweens. In hand-drawn animation, the animator would create the main drawings for a shot, defining how the character should move between those drawings. Then the inbetween drawings were often completed by an assistant or what was known as inbetweener. In computer animation, these inbetweens can be created automatically for us, but as you'll find out, it's often better to control those frames manually ourselves and we'll get far better result. Now I know we've covered those key terms very quickly, but don't worry because we'll be coming back to them throughout this class. But it gives you enough information for us to get started and begin discussing the 12 principles of animation in the next lesson. 5. The 12 Principles Of Animation: Animation has been around in one form or another since the earliest days of cinema. But the results were often created in nature. The studio which really started to raise the bar on the quality of animation was Disney. As the animators at Disney were refining their craft back in the 1930s, they gradually settled on a set of principles which enabled them to post the quality of their work. Now, those so-called 12 principles of animation are things that they taught within the studio to the other animators over time. But then in 1981, two famous Disney animators called Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston set down those principles in a book which they called The Illusion of Life, which has been used now by animators ever since. The principles as defined in the book are squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight ahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arcs, second reaction, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, and appeal. Now the first thing to be aware of is that a lot of these principles are very closely related and it's often difficult to talk about them in isolation. When it comes to that list of principles is defined within the Illusion of Life. The order of them doesn't make a lot of sense when it comes to new animations that are just starting out. What I've decided to do is to reorder that list of principles so that each of the principles roughly builds upon the one that comes before. The other benefit of reordering the principles in this way is that we can group them into two sets of six principles. The first six principles really apply to technical aspects of animation, how to actually get something to move properly. But then the second six really relate to aspects of design and performance and workflow. Animation is time-based medium, so obviously timing is going to be important. But what do we really mean when we talk about timing within terms of these principles? When we talk about timing, we're talking about when things happen, how long it takes for something to move from Point A to Point B. In the case of this bouncing ball, for example, we have its top position and we have its bottom position and the ball moves between the two in a very even manner at the moment. But when we talk about its timing, we're simply referring to the frames that it hits the two extreme positions, the top and the bottom in this case. By adjusting the timing, we can change the meaning of an action or can create different sense of character within that movement. An older character might move more slowly than a younger character, or it might relate to that particular personality. By taking the two same exact poses here with this head-turn, we can actually adjust our timing and create a very different end result. In the first example, the head turns quickly as if reacting to something, and in the second example, the head turns far more slowly. This may simply be turning in response to a thought or turning to look at something but with less urgency. When we look at the movement here of our head-turn, you can see that it's very mechanical and linear in nature. Each of the image is evenly spaced out across the screen, which is not very natural. That brings us to our second principle of animation, slow in and slow out. Second principle, slow in and slow out, which may also be referred to as ease in and ease out. Really elements of a broader concept known as spacing. Timing and spacing are very difficult to talk about independently. When we talk about timing, we're really talking about when things happen in a shot. For example, with these balls on screen here, we have Point A and we have Point B. The timing is the same in all of these examples, takes the same number of frames to move across from one side to the other. But what is different in all of the examples is the spacing. If timing is thought of as when things move, spacing really refers to how they move. The further apart the images are, the faster the ball will travel, the closer they are together, the slower it will travel. By adjusting exactly how we space those drawings, we can make something faster or slower within a given space of time. If we return to our bouncing ball, you can see that both of these balls have the exact same timing. But by adjusting the spacing to slow in and out of that top position, we're able to suggest the effective gravity overcoming momentum. The ball slows as it rises and then accelerates as it begins to fall again. Looking again at our head turn in our original example, all of the images were evenly spaced from one post to the other. Now by adding some slow in and slow out, some acceleration into the movement and deceleration as we get to the second pose, we can actually create a more believable, more natural movement. In the Illusion of Life, Frank can only state that squash and stretch was by far the most important discovery that was made by those early pioneering animators. Before its use, drawings would be rigid and stiff, but by adding squash and stretch, a sense of flexibility was added, which gave the drawings a greater sense of life. Squash and stretch may often be seen as an irrelevant to a certain style of broad, cartoony squashy animation. But in reality, squash and stretch can be used to varying degrees depending upon the style of animation and help to add a sense of weight and pliability to objects, as well as adding a greater sense of life and appeal. Returning to our example of the bouncing ball. As the ball accelerates, we can stretch it out slightly before squashing it upon impact. This shape change can help give a greater sense of weight on impact, but we must always try to stay true to the material of the object that we're animating or the result can quickly become rubbery. One other important point to be aware of is that as we squash and stretch an object, we always need to try to maintain the volume of the object, so as the ball squashes in one direction, it always needs to stretch in the other direction. One thing that the computer likes to do is to move things in a mathematically perfect straight line. Life, however, is not like that, most things follow arcs as they move from swinging pendulum to an arm or a falling leaf. Using arcs as believability, life and appeal. If we bounce a ball across the screen, a linear path is very unnatural. By making use of arcs, instead, we can create something that's more believable. If we then add in a bit of squash and stretch, what's important to note is that the ball will stretch in the direction of travel along the arc of motion. If we now apply an arc to the path, the head follows in these examples, we're able to create a more flexible and natural result. There are two aspects to consider when it comes to discussing anticipation. The first is technical, and it concerns natural need to build up energy before something begins to move. We bend down before jumping up, and a golfer moves the club backwards to build up the energy that's required for the swing. Anticipation is essential for believable physical motion, but it is also an important tool to cue the audience into what is about to happen on screen. If we move something quickly, the more time that we spend building up the energy for that move, the faster it can be without the audience being caught off guard and missing what has just happened. Looking once again at your head-turn examples, by adding a small move in the opposite direction, we're able to build momentum ahead of the main move. In the first example, our anticipation is also very fast. It's not actually obvious, but it's really something that's just felt by the audience. Whereas in the slow example, the anticipation is held for far longer and adds to the believability of the movement. Technically follow through and overlapping action could be considered as separate principles. Although they're closely related and both concern the creation of fluid believable motion. Follow through occurs when one thing drags behind another. Common examples are hair and clothing. As the head moves, the head drags behind and when the head stops, the hair will keep moving beyond the head. This is known as follow through and can be clearly seen here in the examples of the head turn. With the faster move the hair will drag behind more and then there'll be more follow through than with the slower action. Overlapping action is the notion that things rarely start and stop moving together exactly the same time. In this example, the body, face, arms, heart, and the individual clumps of hair all start and stop at different frames so that movement overlaps with each other. This creates a far more natural result in the version without the overlapping action. Obviously in this case, part of the overlapping action is actually the movement of the hair and the hat rim, which are also examples of follow through. Secondary actions are related to the acting performance and they add believability to a character. In this example, our primary action is hitting the ball with a golf club. But we can add in secondary actions such as that the little preparatory wiggle, which add personality to performance. The secondary action should never distract or overpower the problem reaction or the story point of the shot, but can be used to add appeal personality and believability to a performance. Straight ahead action and pose to pose, two ways of working when animating. In a straight ahead workflow, you create drawing or pose on Frame 1 and continue frame by frame through until the end of the shot. This can be very fluid way of working, but can be difficult to control exactly when certain actions will happen within a shot or where exactly you will end up. In a pose to pose workflow, key poses are defined and timed out before extreme poses and breakdowns are added in between them. Once these are defined, the in-between frames are added. This approach enables a shot to be planned carefully so that everything happens when and where it should or the results can sometimes be less fluid than using a straight ahead workflow. The ideal scenario is actually to combine elements of both approaches. Start with the pose to pose pose before adjusting things with a straight ahead pose. We'll be making use of both of these approaches later on in the class. When we're talking about 3D computer animation, it's easy to imagine that the principle of solid drawing no longer applies after we have a 3D model to move around so I prefer instead to think of this principle as solid posing. When we pose our character, we should think not of how it looks in three-dimensions, but instead, look at how it's going to appear on the 2D plane of the screen on which it's being viewed. When seen like this, we can apply drawing and design principles to our character pose to improve its clarity and appeal. Some key points to think about here are silhouette. A pose with a clear silhouette is far easier to read and understand. Asymmetry; symmetrical poses are less dynamic and appealing than asymmetric poses. Finally, line of action. A strong line of action creates a far more dynamic and appealing pose. At its best, animation is a caricature of life. Much as a talented caricature artist is able to capture someone's likeness through the exaggeration of certain features. The exaggeration of motion helps to add life and appeal. Believable motion doesn't have to be exactly life-like, but can instead be an exaggerated version of what happens in life. Even when you have a piece of animation which you believe is working well, it can be worth revisiting it to see if you can exaggerate the poses, the timing, or the spacing to achieve a more entertaining and appealing result. Staging is broad topic, which relates to many things. But above all, it's about clarity. How can we clearly present our animation to the audience so that they can see what we want them to, exactly when we want them to see it? Staging incorporates the use of the camera where we place the character within the shot, and the already discussed principles of solid posing. Whilst we discussing staging is one of the final principles in this list, it's usually one of the first things that we would think about when planning out a shot. What's the clearest way to present the story point to the audience? It's important to lock down the camera angle of the shot ahead of animating. Because whilst it can be moved after we've completed the animation, to do that will actually end up breaking any poses which had been carefully designed to work just for that particular camera angle. One word that you've heard me mention the most throughout this overview of the principles is appeal. This is an elusive quality that we strive for in our work. This is what helps an audience to connect with and be entertained by a character. Appealing characters don't need to be cute or the hero of the story. A villain can and should be appealing. Instead, appeal is really a combination of the elements that are pleasing to an audience. Through the careful application of the animation principles, together with a solid acting performance, we have the potential to create an appealing result. We'll be elaborating further on the 12 principles of animation. We put them into use throughout the rest of this class. With all of that theory out of the way, it's now time to jump into Blender and start to make something move. 6. Class Update: Keyframe Menu: In Blender 4.1 a change was introduced to the behavior of one of the shortcuts. In previous versions of Blender, the IK opened a menu which allowed you to select exactly what you were setting a keyframe on. You could choose to record the location, rotation, scale, or any combination of these. As soon as you select an option from the menu, you can see exactly what's been key framed up here in the transform panel. Whilst this allowed you to be very specific, it did slow the process of animation, which often requires the setting of hundreds of key frames. The decision was therefore made to change the behavior of the shortcut from Blender 4.1 onwards. The default behavior of the key is to record a keyframe for an object or bones, location, rotation, scale, and any custom properties without popping up any menus. As soon as you press the key, everything in the transform panel changes to show that it's all being keyframed. When the cursor is positioned over entry fields within the interface, the original behavior of the IK still remains a key frame, will only be set on the values which are underneath the cursor. This new behavior is comparable to other major three D applications such as Maya, and can be modified within the animation tab of the preferences if required. In addition, if you require more specific control over what you're setting a keyframe on, the original menu is still available using the shortcut K. Therefore, if you're following along with the lessons and wish to replicate the same behavior, simply make use of the K shortcut Whenever I use the short cut over the main three D Viewport in order to bring up the key frame menu. 7. Ball Bounce: Simple Loop: Here we are within Blender and we're ready to start creating our first bouncing ball animation. The first thing we need to do is select our default cube and Shift select our light hit "X" to delete them. I'm going to hit "Shift A" to add in a new mesh and we're going to use a UV Sphere. I'm going to leave that at the default scale, and that's absolutely fine for this example. I'm going to right-click and "Shade Smooth". Now also we could actually animate the sphere itself. I'm going to add in a separate object to act as a controller object. So I'm going to hit Shift A again, go down to "Empty", and add in a Cube. Again, I'm just going to leave that at the default scale, and obviously, if we move that cube, nothing's going to happen, so what we need to do is parent the ball to the cube. To do that, we need to select the ball, then Shift select the cube, hit "Control P", and then hit "Object". Now, if we just select that cube again, you can see the ball will follow with it. I'm just going to select the ball and hit "F2", which will enable me to rename it. I'm going to do the same with this control cube, hit "F2" and call that Ball Control. Now I'm going to jump over into the Animation tab. For now, what we're going to do is actually use the front view, so I'm going to hit one on my num pad over this right viewport, and I'm going to get rid of this camera view for now. We'll bring it back again later. I'm going to right-click on this border, hit "Join Areas", and then just click over this arrow. Now we're all ready to start animating. I'm actually going to start out with this ball up in the air a little bit. I'm just going to zoom out from my viewport a little bit and select the control object and I'm just going to move that up in air a little bit, just along the z-axis, I'm going to hit the "N" key which will open this side panel that lets me see all of my transform values here. I'll just move that down just a little bit for now, maybe around, [inaudible]. Now what we want to do is set a key on these values so we want to record that location. To do that, we hit the "I" key that brings up this menu, which then allows us to key either Location, Rotation, Scale, or any combination of those. I'm actually going to key Location, Rotation, and Scale all in one go. You can see here that our values have now changed color to show that we have a keyframe on frame 1, and you can see that down in the Dope Sheet down at the bottom here. I'm now going to jump forward to frame 11, I going to take this ball and move it back down to the ground. So I'm going to hit "G" again, constrain this to the z-axis, I'm just using my middle mouse button to do that, but you can hit the Z key on the keyboard, which will allow you to constrain to one axis. I'm going to drop that back down on the ground. Now, if I was to move the timeline here, you can see it's just going to pop back up to the top because we've not actually recorded that position. I'm going to go back to frame 11, I'm going to move this down and you can actually just enter a value here as well, so I can just enter to one meter and I will drop it back down to the ground. But you can see here that that value is orange to show that it's changed but it hasn't been recorded, so we need to remember to set a key on this. Again, I'm going to hit "I", Location, Rotation, and Scale, and you can see because these values have changed to yellow. You can see down here in the Dope Sheet, we've recorded that position. Now as we move through the timeline, you can see where I'm moving up and down. What I can now do is I can just select this first keyframe here to make sure that nothing else is selected. Just drag select to deselect everything, select that first keyframe and we can hit "Shift D", and drag that across, and that will duplicate that keyframe. I'm going to drop that on frame 21 here. We'll take our first position, move down to the ground, and then we'll move back again into that first position again. Now, if I change my n frame of my timeline to 20, and if I hit the spacebar to play, you can see we now have the ball moving up and down, but it's not very convincing at the moment. If I just stopped that, we can have a look at why. By default in Blender, when we set keyframes, it creates what are called bezier curves between those keyframes. I'm going to jump over into the Graph Editor so we can see exactly what's happening. To do that, if you roll your mouse over the Dope Sheet, you can hit "Control Tap" and that would jump as into the Graph Editor here. Now if I click on this little triangle icon, I can see all of my individual channels here so I can see my Location, my Rotation, and Scale. If you roll over the viewport, you can actually hit the home key on your keyboard and that will frame up everything. At the moment, the only thing that we're actually animating is our z location. To make things simpler, I'm just going to isolate that z location channel so I can do that by just clicking on "Z Location", which highlights this curve. Then I can hit "Shift H" on the keyboard, and that will disable the visibility of all of these other channels. You can always enable and disable them here on the side with these eye icons as well. Now we can just see our Z curve. What we can see here within the Graph Editor is our time mapped across the top and a value mapped vertically. At the moment, as we move forward through time, our value slowly starts changing. It increases in speed and as we get towards the bottom position, our value slowly changes again. So we're slowing out of this first position, we're slowing into this second position. Again we're slowing out again and we're going into slow into the top position. That's why the ball movement feels unnatural when we play this back because at the moment, whilst it's accelerating as the ball falls, it's decelerating as it gets towards the ground, which is not what happens in reality. To fix that, we need to change the way this curve is shaped as it gets towards this bottom position. To do that, we can select just this one keyframe here. You can see these handles, if we try to move one of them, you can see it moves the one on the other side, which is not what we want. We can change the handle type and to do that, you can hit the "V" key and that will give you a list of different options. We have free handles which would allow us to manipulate either handle individually. Aligned; which is the two linked together. Vector; which will force each of the handles to point at the previous keyframe. We have Automatic options as well, which will flatten out the handles or create a smooth motion between keyframes. What I'm going to do is change this to the Vector type to break these handles here, and point them up in the direction of the previous keyframes. If I play this back, you can see already we have a slightly more natural movement. As we hit the ground, we're coming in fast and we're bouncing out again fast. We can actually manipulate that even further, so we can adjust these handles. If I click on one of these handles, I can adjust it and I can actually create a steeper curve coming into this keyframe, and I can create a steeper curve coming out again, and that will mean as I play it back, we get even more of bounce. 8. Ball Bounce: Settling: Now, obviously in reality, a ball wouldn't bounce forever on the spot like this. What we actually want to do is create an animation where the bounce decreases in height until the ball is settled on the floor. To do that I'm going to extend out my timeline here from 20 frames to 72 frames, which is three seconds longer. For now I'm going to jump back into my Adobe sheet by hitting "Control" tab. I can hold down Control in the middle mouse, and that will enable me to scale this timeline. Just the middle mouse will let me drag it around so that we get better view. Now, because we want this ball to decrease in height, after this first bounce, it shouldn't get back up to its original position. I'm going to take this height down just a little bit. I'm just going to hit "G" and then constrain it to the Z-axis, just middle mouse button again, and move it down somewhere around here. Now, because we're decreasing height for each of the bounces, we're actually going to want to decrease the amount of time that it takes to bounce, for each of those bounces as well. If we don't, as it goes on the ball is going to feel like it has less weight and it floatier. I'm actually going to move this keyframe back a little bit, back a couple of frames, frame 19. Now I can select this position where we were down on the ground. Again, I can hit "Shift D" and I can move this cross, drop it somewhere around there, so frame 27. We're going to move forward a little bit, and then we're going to move the ball up in the air again. I'm going to hit "G" constrained to the Z-axis and move it up a little. We have to remember to record this position again. I'm going to hit "I" Location, Rotation & Scale. Again, I'm going to duplicate these keyframes to select it, Shift D, and move that along, Frame 39, move along a few frames. Frame 43, G constrain it to z. Move it up a little bit. Again hit "I," Location, Rotation & Scale. Set the previous keyframe, Shift D to duplicate and move that along. Sets on some 47. Give it another little bounce, so I'll move it up just a little bit this time. I to select key. Duplicate that previous one. That's about that. We get 53. Then we'll just do one more tiny little bounce. Somewhere there, very little bit up in the air, I to select key. Again, duplicate that previous keyframe. If I play this back again, see the end result is actually very strange, is not what we're expecting at all. If we jump into the graph editor, we can find out why. If I hit "Control" tab to jump over you can see initially, Z curve here is showing that we're doing exactly the right thing. If I hit the "Home" key to frame this up, then you see that we're getting these strange extra bumps in the curve here, which is not what we want at all. The reason for that is that we selected this key and we manually manipulate these handles. If we move forward we can see each of these keys that we copied has the same handles which is actually pushing this curve up above where it should be, and that's the same as we go along the timeline. What I can do to fix that is if I just select these lowercase here, I can just shift select each of them. Then what we're going to do is hit" V" to change this. I'll initially just change it to Auto Clamped to flatten them out again. We've again got that slowing at the bottom here, which we don't want. But if I change it back to Vector again, you can see it's fixed these handles. We might go in and manually tweak this a little bit more to get, again, a bit more of a bounce. If I play this back now by hitting the space bar, you can see we now have a bouncing ball, it's bouncing, dropping down and settling. I'm going to stop that. I'm going to select each of these keys and just go in and adjust these handles little bit to get a better arc here. So we got a faster movement as we're coming into this bottom position, and we're bouncing out nicely. Just hold down the "Shift" key and middle mouse to move around, just hold on the middle mouse to move around and Control the middle mouse will enable us to adjust the scale of the V pole as well. It looks like I didn't key that one correctly at the top there, so I'm actually going to move this down a little bit. Within this viewport here, you can actually just click and drag on one of these keys to move it down a little bit. Again, I'm going to adjust these handles down a little bit, because we want this height to steadily decrease over time. I'm going to play that back now. You can see that ball gradually loses momentum and settles at the bottom. This would be a good point to save your work so you don't lose anything. I just hit up to "File," "Save As," you can pick a location, and then go on and give your file name. 9. Ball Bounce: Arcs: So far, we've been simply bouncing a ball on the spot. I like to move it across the screen. You can see here we've been bouncing along the z-axis, and I'd like to move it along the x-axis as well. If we go back to our first frame with our ball control selected, we hit G and move this across in the x-axis and then remember to hit I to again set key. What you'll find if we start scrubbing the timeline is we very quickly end up back at our origin. That's because we've already set keys on this x location value right away through the timeline. To resolve that, I'm going to select my x location curve here. Turn off the z location. If I hit the Home key, frame up everything. You can see here our values through 10-0. What I'm actually going to do is select all of those values. There are zero. Then I'm going to hit X and do the key-frames. Now we're bouncing on the spot over to the left-hand. I'm now going to go to my final frame. Once my ball bounce finishes around here, frame 57. She's going to key this at frame 72. What I'm going to do, is I'm going to hit the G key constrain this to x and move across to the right somewhere around here. Again, I have to remember to hit I to set a key. This may seem tedious. Hitting I to set a key all the time and we'll go through using auto key a little bit later in our other example. So again, I can just hit the Home key down here to frame this up. Now you can see we just have a first and a last position on this x curve. We are easing out, slowing out this first position was slowing into this second position. If I just play this back, you'll see the end result of that. It actually feels like we're accelerating as we go across the screen and then we are decelerating as we come to the end. Obviously, we don't want that, needs to feel more like the bowl has momentum at the start, which is losing as it goes on. To fix that, we can select this first key and I could change the handle tone but because we're not doing anything before this point, I can simply grab this handle and move it up. If I do this, it's going to accelerate out of this first position and it's going to decelerate as it gets towards the end. If I play this back now and see it feels a bit more like he's being thrown across the screen. Then it's gradually losing momentum. So it might be a little bit too fast at the start. We can just adjust this down a little bit till it feels a bit more natural. There we go. 10. Ball Bounce: Squash & Stretch: Now, one thing that we've not added so far is any squash and stretch, so let's add a little bit of that now. The moment we've keyed our scale up at the top and at the bottom. If I just jump back into the Dope Sheet, we'll be able to see that. If I roll this down, you can see our scale value has been keyed at the top and bottom. What we want is as we're accelerating down, our ball would feel like it's stretching out towards that final position here. What I'm going to do is just go back a single frame, and I'm going to scale this ball. With this ball control selected, I'm going to hit "S" and "Z", to just constrain this to the z-axis, and I'm going to stretch it out a little bit. What we need to remember is that whenever we stretch something, we need to maintain its volume. I can hit "S" and then "Shift+Z" which will constrain to everything apart from the z-axis. This is actually going to allow us to squash it on both the x and y-axis at the same time. I'm going to squash it in a little bit to try and maintain that volume of the ball, and then I'm going to hit "I" to set a key. I'm just going to set a key on Scale in this instance. Now you can see as our ball moves down, it's gradually stretching out and returns to its normal shape at the bottom. Then as we take off again, we want to stretch this ball out again. Again, I'm going to hit "S", "Z" to stretch this up a little bit, and "Shift+Z" to squash it in on the sides. Then "I" to set key on the Scale. Now if I move back to this position on the ground, we actually want to squash it down when it hits the ground. Again, "S" and "Z" to scale this in Z down a little bit, and "S", "Shift+Z" to scale it out. We actually might want to move this down a little bit as well, so I'm going to hit "G" and "Z" to constrain it and move it back down till it's touching the ground. Again, we need to hit "I" to remember to set a key. I'm just going to hit "Location, Rotation, & Scale" again here. Now you'll see as we move down, we're stretching out, we squash; and then as we take off, we stretch out again because we're accelerating, and we decelerate into that top position, so we're returning back to original shape. But what we also need to remember is that this ball needs to stretch in the direction of travel. On this frame here, I also want to add in a little bit of rotation. I'm going to hit "R", and I'm going to rotate that control object a little bit, so it's aiming towards that final position. Then I'm going to hit "I" and set a key on Rotation. You can see here, it's rotating in that direction of where it's going to hit. I want to do the same coming out again, rotate it in the other direction. I'm going to "I", set a key on rotation. We're going to do the same for the next couple of bounces. As it's losing momentum, it's not going to be stretching quite as much, but we're going to add a little bit of stretch here. "S" and "Z" to stretch it out, and "Shift+Z" to squash it in on the sides. We'll add in that little bit of rotation, and then I'm going to hit "I", and I won't set a key now on both the Rotation & Scale. I'm going to move forward two frames and do the same on the other side. I'm going to hit "S", "Z", get it up a little bit, and "Shift+Z", squash it in, and then a little bit of rotation as well. "I", key the rotation and the scale. Go back to our squash position, scale it down a little bit in Z and out on the other axes. Again, remember to move it down a little bit as well on Z. Then again, we'll hit "I and key Location, Rotation, & Scale in this instance. Again, we're stretching, squashing at the bottom, stretching out again. As we come down, we'll add just in a little bit of stretch on this one. Not too much. I just want it to be a bit more subtle this time. A little bit of rotation. Key that Rotation & Scale. I think because we're losing momentum, I'm just going to add a little bit of squash there. First, I'm going to my key my scale and rotation here as they are. I'm just going to add a little bit of squash on this frame without affecting the following frames. I'm going to scale it down in Z ever so slightly. "Shift+Z" out a little bit and "G". Again, move it back down, so it touch the ground. Hit "I", and set a key on everything. Here we also got that little bit of stretch. Now for those final bounces, we're not going to have any squash and stretch at all. Let's play that back and see what we've got. Now you can see at the moment, with this cube in here, it looks like the bounce is actually quite motivated, but if I go up to this icon up at the top here, Show Overlays, and turn that off and play this back. Now, it feels a little bit more natural without that control object visible. 11. Ball Bounce: Rotation: Now continue the movement of the ball along the x-axis after our final bounce to make it feel as if the ball is rolling. But at the moment, we've not added in any rotation, and we wouldn't be able to see it with a solid gray ball anyway. What I'm going to do is move over into the Shading tab now and we're going to add some color to the ball. I'm going to stop that there, go back to my first frame, and remember save, hit "Control S" to save. We'll get into the shading workspace. I can hit the period key on the numpad to frame up my ball, and I'm actually going to hit the one key on the numpad as well, just to go into front view. Select the ball itself rather than the control, and open the Material tab in the Property Editor. Hit "New" to add a material, just pick a base color here, whatever you like. Then I'm going to hit the plus icon up at the top here to add a second material slot. Now let's just add in another material as well. I'm going to hit "New" and pick a second color in here in contrast with the first. Now what we need to do is go into edit mode. We need to hit "Tab" to go into edit mode, deselect all of those points. Now I need to make sure that I've got X-ray mode on so that I can see through the ball and select the points on the other side. I'm actually going to drag select to cross some sets of these points to select stripes on the ball. I can just hold down my "Shift" key and drag select over a couple of extra stripes on the ball. That will do. Now with this second material selected, I can hit "Assign", and that will assign that material to those vertices. Hit "Tab" to exit edit mode. We now have our stripey ball. If we jump back into the animation tab, you see we can't see our stripes at the moment. If go up to the top here, I can turn on the material preview mode, and now we can see our stripes visible. Obviously, if I play this back, our ball isn't rotating at all at the moment. If I select the ball itself, make sure that we turn those overlays back on so we can see what we're doing. The ball itself doesn't have any keyframes on it. But so far we've been keying the actual control object for the ball. If we were to add rotation to the controller object of the ball, it would interfere with what we're doing to rotate the ball for this scale. By actually rotating the ball itself, we can rotate it within that squashed and stretch shape. What we're going to do is go back to the first frame, and to start with, we're going to rotate that ball since it's not perfectly horizontally aligned. I'm just going to rotate that around the y-axis a little bit. Something like that. Just so it's not perfect to start with, and hit "I", we just need to key the rotation in this instance. I'm going to move to the very end of the timeline here, frame 72, and I'm going to rotate that ball again, and I'm going to rotate it around a couple of times too. Somewhere around there. That's fine. Again, hit "I" to key that rotation. Now if we jump over into the graph editor, hit "Control Tab" over the top of the dope sheet. Roll this down, we want to select our y-axis here, and I'm going to hit "Shift H" to hide everything else, and then I'm going to hit the "Home" key to frame everything up. So as with our other curves, what we want to do is adjust this so we're accelerating out so our ball is rotating a lot at the start and it's slowly coming to a rest at frame 72. Deselect everything to start with, just like that first key and this first handle, and I can move that up a bit. Then you can see as we're scrubbing through, our ball is rotating and we're going to roll into place at the end there and slowly settle. What we want to do is try to make it feel as if this ball is actually rolling correctly along the floor here at the end. That can take a little bit of trial and error, just adjusting these handles less a bit so it feels like we're not rolling too much or too little, so we're not sliding along the floor. We actually have a movement that feels natural as we roll into place. Again, if I turn off the overlays, we can see that little bit of rotation. What am I actually do is extend this timeline out a little bit. I'm going to add an extra second onto this. We'll go up to frame 96 and turn my overlays back on. Because at the moment, we're rolling perfectly to rest, and quite often what you'll see with the ball is it might roll into position and then slowly roll backwards. What we're going to do is just move forwards, maybe around 15 frames, something like that. I can select the ball control object. I'm going to hit I I'm going to select a key on that; location, rotation, and scale. Just jump back into the Dope Sheet and then frame this up a little bit better. What we actually want to do having come into position here is then move slightly backwards on the x-axis. I'm going to just hit "G" and "X". Move this [inaudible] so slightly backwards by frame 87. Then we want to select a ball here, and then we want to actually rotate this backwards as well. Ever so slightly. Let's do that for now, and I select here on the rotation of frame 87, make sure that we've actually keyed the X position on frame 87 before we do anything. I'm going to key the location there. So we do, we roll into place and then we slowly roll backwards as well. If I turn those overlays off, we would see it moves forwards and then it rolls backwards. But at the moment, that roll backwards is just a little bit too far and too fast, so it feels to motivated. So I'm going to turn on my overlays, select that ball control, and I'm going to jump into the Graph Editor, my x location is selected, [inaudible] frame that all up, and have a look at what we've got on this curve here. So I'm actually going to select this point here. I'm just going to move it up a little bit. We just want a very small movement here. What I'm actually going to do with this key selected, I'm going to hit the "S" key to scale it and that will allow us to really slow the ball down into that final position here. Then I want to do the same with my rotation. So I'm going to select the ball now. I'm going to hit again "Home" to frame everything up, and let's go in and add just this final key. As we look back, we need to make sure that we scale that to a similar way to the movement of the ball so that Our rotation is decreasing as we move into place there, the moment it feels like it was slipping a little bit. So I'm going to actually just move this up a touch. We don't want too much rotation there. Take a little bit of trial and error to get this feeling natural. I think we're moving too much at the moment so I'm just going to nudge this up a bit back to here, and can frame up my x-axis. There we go. We just want the slightest movement backwards, so let's turn off our overlays and see what we've got. Select our ball again. Frame up that curve. There we go. I'm going to hit "Control S" to save. 12. Ball Bounce: Output: Now, up until this point, we've been working simply in the front view. I'll turn my overlies back on. Now we can reintroduce the camera view. It's going to go up to the corner of the window here and drag across to create a new viewport. In this viewport, I'm going to jump this into the camera view and hit this icon here or use, and hit ''N'' to hide that side panel, and ''Home'' to frame up the camera properly. Now at the moment we can't see our ball so I'm actually going to reopen that side panel, go to View and click on this camera to view option. That will enable us to use our regular controls to move around within this viewport. Hit ''N'' to hide that again. We can zoom out a little bit to see our ball. Now it's up to you exactly where you position the camera. This is where staging comes into play. We can actually have the ball bouncing like this toward us a little bit. We can get in closer to that ball when it lands so that we have something that feels a bit different with the ball coming towards us. Move around to the other side let the ball bouncing pass us in a way. Really is up to you. Maybe having the ball starting out of shot and bouncing into place. I think I'm going to do that. I'm just going to move our camera just a little bit so the ball is starting just out of frame, and it bounces across so it rolls to a stop. I do you want to keep it in the shot a little bit so I'm going to just adjust that slightly so it's still out of shot at the start. That's actually going a little bit tighter, I'm going to raise the camera up a little bit so it's coming just past the camera two times. I think that will do. I'm going to turn those overlies off and see what we've got. There we are. One other thing that we can do with this bowl to make it feel slightly more natural was we rotate it on the y-axis, it's still aligned perfectly on the other axis. What I'd like to do is just select that ball again. I'm actually going to go into the graph editor and select the x-axis here. I'll just hit ''Home'' to frame everything up. Delete those keys to the end there, you see x, and delete keyframes. We just have this one keyframe here at the start. Now what we're going to do is just rotate this on the x, obviously slightly. Just a few degrees off-axis and then I hit ''I'' and say, ''Okay'' on rotation again. Now as we play this back, you can see we've got our ball rotated on more than one axis, which again just makes it feel that a little bit more natural again. Control S to save. Now before we save out our animation, what I'm going to do is add in a ground plane so we can actually see it interacting with the ground. I'm just going to hit ''Shift A'', go to Mesh, and hit ''Plane''. It's very small by default. I'm just going to select this and maybe up to 200 meters. There we are, much bigger. In order to see this ball on the ground, what we can actually do is go into the Render Settings here on the EV. We're going to get down to Ambient Occlusion and turn that on. Now what you might find is that you need to increase the distance value to be able to see that. You see now we've got this little contact shadow on the ground here. We move back through automaton. As the ball gets down to the ground, we can see that point of contact. That just helps ground the ball nicely. Now, rather than actually rendering this animation out, which would require setting up lighting in the scene, what we're going to do is create a viewport capture. We can use this material preview. Before we do that, we need to set up exactly where we're going to output this capture two. If we go over into Properties panel, we can click on the second icon, that gives us our output options. Our scene is set up to 24 frames per second, which is correct and our start and end frame are what we define down at the bottom here. What we need to do is change our output directory and have a look at our file formats as well. I'm going to click here and I'm going to create a new folder. It's going to be called Capture. Open that up and we'll just call this Ball Bounce, except now by default we're set up to save out as PNG files, which would be great if we were actually rendering. But since we're just creating a viewport capture we can change this to be a movie film. If we click on that drop-down, we can go down into the movie options and choose FFmpeg video. We wrote down this encoding section, changed the container to be an MPEG-4, and we can leave the other options as their default values. Now rather than heading up to the Render Menu and picking ''Render Animation'', what we want to do instead is go to a camera viewport, click on 'View'' and we want ''Viewport Render Animation'' Click on that. It'll get through and render all of those frames out into a movie film. Once that viewport capture is complete, you can actually go out to the Render Menu, go down to View Animation. That will open up Blenders Internal Player, and enable you to see your animation playing back. Now the quality might not be as good as if we'd actually rendered this out properly with the render engine, but it's saved us a lot of time in terms of the speed of the capture and we also don't need to set up any lighting. This is exactly what you do in a production environment. You create viewport renders of your animation and that would enable you directed to review your work. We close down this player. You should also, within your file system, have a copy of the file that you can open up and playback in any view. There you have it, your completed bouncing ball animation. It's enabled us to go through and review a number of different principles. It's worth experimenting with this further trying out some different bouncing balls. Try to give the ball more weight, maybe treat it as a bowling ball or a smaller bouncier rubber ball. Just by adjusting the timing, the spacing, the height of those bounces, will enable you to create an entirely different field with your animation. 13. Bird Bounce: Scene Setup: Now that we've completed the bouncing ball exercise, you're now a bit more familiar with the principles of animation. I thought that it would be fun to put those principles into practice using a simple character. So what we're going to do is make use of the character that we built during the Blender Essentials class. Now if you didn't take that class, it's not a problem. I've added [inaudible] to the resources section which you can download, and that will give you everything you need to complete this exercise. Once you've done that [inaudible] , feel free to skip ahead to the next lesson and get started. If, however, you want to make use of the character that you built yourself within the Blender Essentials class, then follow along. Within this lesson, I'll show you how to prepare the file ready for animation. So if you open up the last version of the file that you saved at the end of the Blender Essentials class, there are few things that we need to do to tidy up and prepare for this lesson. The first thing to do is make sure that you're on the Video Editing tab. We're going to go in and select all of these sequences on the timeline and hit "X" to delete them. Now I'm going to jump up to the Layout tab and we're going to do a little bit of tidy up of our scene file. So for now, I'm just going to hide the collection that contains the lights. I'm going to select my bird character. Hit the period key on the numpad just to frame that up. Then I'm going to do right-click. Go down to the Parent menu and hit Clear Parent. That detaches it from the swing. Next thing I'm going to do is go up to the Outliner. I'm going to do right-click on the Frame and hit Select Hierarchy. Now, select all of the elements that make up our swing. I'm going to hit the "M" key to create a new collection. I'm going to call that Swing and hit "OK". That way, we can now click on this checkbox and that will remove the swing from the view. I'm going to go to this filters drop-down at the top here and click on the selection icon. That means we can now turn off the selectability of the environment so we're not picking it accidentally. Select my bird and hit the "N" key so I can see my transformed values. I'm just going to reset the location of the bird. I can do that just by hitting the Backspace key when I'm road over the location. Hit the Period key on the numpad to just frame that bird up again. Now if we drag along the timeline, you can see at the moment, our bird nods its head. We're going to want to remove all of these keyframes here. So I can just hit "A" on the timeline and then hit "X", and then select Delete key. Now, animation has been removed. Go back to frame 1. I'm just going to change the end frame of my timeline as well, just that to 60 frames long. Now with the bird selected, I'm going to go over to the modifiers tab and you can see that we have these simple default modifiers that we've added in here, the one that allows the head to turn. I'm going to go in and rename that from SimpleDeform to HeadTurn. The other one nods the head up and down, so we'll just rename that as well to HeadNod. That would just make things a little bit easier when it comes to animating, we'll know exactly which control does what. The final thing I'd like to do is just adjust my camera. So I'm just going to hit the "N" key here. Go to the View menu and select Camera to View. Again, that will allow us to adjust our camera within this view board. I'm just going to re-frame this slightly so that our bird is more or less centered up and we've got a little bit of space above it for it to jump up and down. Now in order to control the bird, as we did with the bouncing ball, what I'd like to do is add in a control object. So to do that, I'm going to hit "Shift-A". Go down to Empty and select Cube. Now that's a lot larger than our bird, so I'm just going to scale it down. "S" to scale. It's just slightly larger than the bird. Then I'm going to move that up a little bit as well until it sits just above the floor there. Maybe adjust that to 0.3, and that looks all right. Then in order to control the bird, we need to parent it to this cube. So I'm going to select the bird, "Shift-Select" our empty object, and then hit "Control-P" and select Object. Now if you look up in the outliner, you can see that our bird was within this collection, whereas our empty is being created out in Scene collection. So what we actually need to do here is select our bird object and drag that up to the scene collection and then you'll see it's actually sitting nicely underneath this empty object. I'm going to select the Empty object, just hit "F2", and we can rename that to Bird Control. The other thing I'd like to do with this control because we have a scale value already on it is hit "Control-A" to apply that scale. That will reset everything to one. Now go up to the File menu, Save As, and then just rename this file birdbounce1 and hit Save As. 14. Bird Bounce: Body: We're now ready to animate. We're going to go up to the top and click on the Animation Workspace. Hit the N key to open up my transform panel and the first thing that we need to do is to record a keyframe on this first frame. With my bird control selected, I'm going to hit the I key, and then I'm going to hit Location, Rotation, and Scale. Now notice to get this bird to jump up into the air, we actually need to build up some energy, so we need some anticipation. What I'm going to do is I'm going to move forwards to run frame 10. Just going to hit Control tab of the graph editor just to jump me back into the dope sheet here. I'm just going to frame that up a little bit better. On frame 10, we want this bird to squash down. I'm going to hit S to scale and Z to constrain it to the z-axis. I'm going to squash this down a little bit. Then I'm going to hit S and shift Z to scale in out on the other two axis. Now if I hit the one key on my numpad, be easier to see how far up in the air we are. I'm going to hit the G key and Z. I'm going to translate this down so that we're sitting back on the floor here. Now that we've scaled it, untranslated it, I'm going to hit the I key and again insert a key. Now you should be able to see as we scrub through the timeline, our bird is squashing down into frame 10. Now I'm going to jump forward to frame 20. This is where we're going to want this bird to be up in the air. First thing, I want to do is reset the scale and I can do that just by hitting Alt S. Then I can hit G and Z. We can translate this up in the air. I'm going to run that. Again hit I and set a key. Now I'm going to pick the first keyframe and hit Shift D. I'm just going to drag this along to around frame 29. I want to drop back down and then we'll do another lesser bounce. It maybe frame 35. I'm just going to hit G and Z, and move this up in the air a little bit. Going to hit I, set a key, drop back down to frame 41. Again, I'm just going to take my frame 29 key-frame, shift D and move that across frame 41. Now if we hit the spacebar to play this back, you can see it's got the basic movement in there, but we're going to need to clean up the curves a little bit to make this look a little bit better. I'm just going to hit Control Tab and hit the little arrow to roll out all my different transform channels. What I'm interested in is the Z location. I'm going to select that and hit shift H to hide everything else and the home key to frame it all up. By now hopefully, you can see that we are slowing out of that 1st position, slowing into our anticipation. We're then slowing out of the anticipation. Slowing in again up at the top, slowing out, slowing in again down at the bottom, and so on. Obviously as with the bouncing ball, we don't want this slow out at the start and we don't want to slow in as we come back down. If I select this keyframe, I can hit the V key and I can change the handle type here to three. Now I can move this one handle to create this forced out and a slow enough at the top and did the same thing on the other side here. Hit V, change it to three and adjust these handles. We're getting a nice bit of a hang time up in the air there. I will do the same on this side as well. Again, hit V, three, and adjust that. Just make sure that we have a nice shape to this curve here. There we go. Now if I play it back, we've got a little bit more life there. At the moment, as we take off, we're still squashed. I want to change that. I want to stretch the bird out as we take off. On frame 11, we're going to 1st reset the scale so I'm going to hit Alt S to reset it, then I can stretch it out a little bit. So S and Z, just to increase that just a little bit. Then S shift Z, I'm going to squash it in a little bit as well. Then I'm going to hit the I key. In this case, I'm just going to key the scale. Then as we play back, we get a little bit more pop as the bird jumps up in the air. Now, I like having this 2nd bounce without the squash and stretch, but I think just to give us a little bit more life and settle at the end here, I do want to squash it down again just a little bit. I'm just going to get back to the dope sheet for a second. Just a couple of frames on here made behind frame 43, I'm just going to squash the bird down a little bit. Again, hit S and Z. Just a little and S shift Z, spill it out slightly. Again G and Z because we need to make sure it's contacting the floor here. Hit I and we'll set a key. Again, making sure that we've got both location and scale, selected there. Then after the bird has squashed down into place, we need it to recover back again. I'm going to on frame 50, just going to copy my first key. Hit Shift D, drag that along to frame 50. We've got little bit of a glitch in here. I'm just going to jump over to the graph editor to see what's going on and you can see here, the archives got a little bit broken here. I'm just going to select that one handle and just smooth that out. The bird will come down and smoothly move into that squashed position before recovering up. Just that much, a bit more. There we go. As if we play this back, we just got a nice little settle again there. Don't forget to save your scene. 15. Bird Bounce: Head: Now that the basic bounce is working, I'd like to add a little bit of rotation to the head of the bird. We can select its body now, and if we're over in the modifiers tab, we can start working with the head turn and head nod attributes. I'm just going to again jump back to my dope sheet, go back to frame one, and I'm going to roll over the head turn and head nod attributes, and with my mouse over each of them just going to hit the I key to set key key on both of them. I think I'm going to start with the bird's head rotated slightly one way. Again, just roll back over it and hit I to record that value. Then as we squash down and go to our anticipation frame, frame 10. Just going to reduce the head rotation here. A little bit more centered up. I'm going to duck the head down a little bit as well. Again, don't forget to set keys on both of those values, roll over them, hit I. As we duck down, we got that head rotating into place there. Really feels like it's squashing down, building up the energy for the jump. Then as we pop up in the air I think I want to pull this head even further down. It feels a bit like it's dragging behind as the bird jumps up in the air. Going to hit I on that value, and move forwards to my frame 20, and I'm going to lift that head back up again. Run that. Hit I to set a key. Now as we're dropping back down, it's going to go forwards a little bit around frame 27, and again it's just that head node value. In this case I want it to be dragging behind as we are falling down. Hit I. Then just after we've landed, we're starting to bounce up and drag that head back down again. Again, hitting I to set a key. Then as we land again, what I'm going to do is actually select my first key, hit Shift E, and drag that all the way along so that we recover back into place. If I play this back, turn one way, and then back here. Now if your playback seems slow at all, you go to the playback options, make sure that your sink is set to frame dropping, and make sure that we are playing at the correct speed, even if it means dropping some frames as we do so. The other thing that you can do is under the Render Settings, you can go down to the Simplify option here. If we check that on and change our Max Subdivision in the view port, adjust that down to one, and that should be plenty to make sure that things play back smoothly, but still look okay. There we are, and just hit Control S to save. 16. Bird Bounce: Multiple Birds: Now that we've got our one little bouncy birds animated, I thought it might be fun to add in a couple more. If you go up to the outliner, you can right-click on the Bird Control and hit Select Hierarchy, and then hit Shift D to duplicate, and right-click, just to leave it in place. That gives us a second bird here. We can do the same again. Shift D over the viewport, right-click, to leave that in place. Now if we select Bird Control 1, at the moment, our location values are all being keyed. But we don't actually need any keyframes on our X and Y values, only on the Z. I'm going to hit Control tab in the Graph Editor. I need to select my X and my Y location, and I'm going to hit Shift H to show both of those curves, and then the home key to frame everything up. Now I'm going to hit A, to select all of those keyframes, and X, Delete Keyframes. That means that now only our z-axis is animated. That way I can now select my x-axis and move this bird across a little bit. I'm just going to push it back a little bit on the y-axis as well, so it's sitting alongside the first bird, somewhere around there. I'm going to do the same with Bird 2. Select it up in the outline here, set the X and Y location, Shift H, and then I can hit A to select all of those keys, X, and Delete Keyframes. Now we can move it across on the x-axis. Again, maybe just shift it slightly on the y-axis as well. Now when we hit Play, we got three birds all bouncing together. Obviously, this looks a bit artificial with all three looking exactly the same. To vary this up, I'm going to select the control for my bird on the left here and hit Control tab to jump back to my dope sheet, A to select everything, and I'm just going to move this along a couple of frames on the timeline and do the same with the bird on the right. A in the dope sheet, I move everything along even further at frame five. Now the other thing we need to do is select the body of the first bird. A, again, shuffle that along a couple of frames, body of the last bird, A, select everything, and move that along to frame five. Now as we play back, the three birds are all offset from each other, which looks a bit more natural. To vary a little bit more, and to again make it feel even more natural, at the moment all the three birds are looking in the same direction, so I'm going to select that bird on the left here, and I'm going to jump over into the Graph Editor and I'm going to select the HeadTurn. If we double-click on any of the curves here, it will select all of the keys in the timeline. I can just hit the Period key over the Graph Editor and that will frame everything up. What I'd actually like to do is have the head rotate in the other direction. What we can do with all of these keys selected here, we can hit S to scale, and then hit Y to scale on the Graph Editor's y-axis. That will reverse the curve. I'm just going to hit G, and Y, just to drag that up a little bit as well. That way it appears that the bird has turned around, looking at the bird in the middle. [inaudible] just a little bit higher, and then it will straighten up as it squashes down, looking away from that bird in the middle. I'm going to select the bird on the right and do a similar thing. I'm just going to select, again, this HeadTurn curve. What I actually want to do here is select the first and the last case together, just holding Shift, to select both of them. Then I'm just going to hit G, and I'm going to move them down a little bit, just so it turn a little bit more to the center at the start there. Just so that all three birds are slightly different, but we don't want that to turn quite so far away, so I'm going to pull that down a bit there as well. There we go. Now to make things even more interesting, I'm just going to change the colors on a couple of these birds. I'm going to select the one on the left here. If we head over to the Materials tab, you can see here we have our Body material. Now if I was to just adjust this Body material here, it's going to adjust the material on all three of the birds, which is not what we want. So I'm going to change to my material preview, up at the top of the viewport so I can see exactly what our change it's going to do. Now before adjusting this base color, with the Body material selected, I'm just going to hit this icon here to add a new material. What this is actually going to do is duplicate this material and create a new instance of it for this particular bird. Now as I adjust the material, it's only going to adjust it for the one bird. I'll do the same with this bird on the right. Again select the Body material, hit this icon here, and then I can create a new color for this bird as well. Now you can see at the moment all three birds are the same over here in this viewport, and that's because we haven't copied this value here down to the viewport display color. Just with your mouse over the color, you can hit Control C, then we'll scroll down to the bottom, on the Viewport Display options, roll over the color there and hit Control V to paste it into place. We'll do the same with this bird on the left. Control C to copy the color, and Control V to drop it into place. Now I'm just going to get to my Render options and temporarily change my render settings to Eevee, and I'm going to enable the render preview on the left here. You see at the moment everything is completely black that's because we turned off our lights earlier. So I'm going to check that back on again, and now you can see how our scene is likely to look. If you'd like to go ahead and render this out, either with the Eevee render engine or with more accurate Cycles render engine, feel free to do so. I'd love to see your finished rendered animation. For now, we're just going to save out a viewport capture. In order to do that, I'm just going to change to my material preview, and go to my Output settings and I'm going to set my output directory, and I'm going to pick my Capture folder, I'm going to call it BirdBounce, and hit "Accept". Just to make sure that we have our full format set up correctly, we're saving out an FFmpeg video here. Under Encoding, we have MPEG-4, and just the medium quality is absolutely fine. Under the View menu, we go to Viewport Render Animation. Once that's complete, you can head up to Render, and View Animation. Now, if you'd like to render this out properly, just head up to the Render settings, and you can pick between either the Eevee render engine, or switch to the more accurate Cycles. But if you're going to render out with either of those render engines, then I recommend that under the Output properties, you change your file type from the FFmpeg video to PNG. That way you'll save out an image sequence which you can later convert into a movie file. It means that if your file crashes at any point during the render, you can resume it from where you left off, and then just head out to the Render menu, and Render Animation. Once your render is complete, all of the individual frames can be combined together using any piece of editing software, or you can even make use of Blender in the way that I describe in my Blender Essentials class. Now that you've finished this fun simple animation, hopefully, you're getting a better idea of how these fundamental principles of animation can be applied. Now we're ready to move on to something, a bit more challenging, in the next lesson. 17. Class Update: Library Overrides: In the following lesson, I demonstrate how to link a character rig into a seam file and apply what is known as a library override. In Blender version four, the location of this menu option has changed. Previously we would select the object menu relations and make library override. In Blender four, we still use the object menu, but instead head down to library override and then select Make. The other thing to be aware of is we no longer have to reconfirm this option as we did in previous versions of Blender. 18. Character Jump: Scene Setup: Before we can start into the next section of the class, we need to download the class project files. To do that, if you head to the projects and resources section on Skillshare, you'll see a link on the right-hand side here to download the class project files. If you just click on the link, it will start the download and then we can save the files to your computer. On your computer, you can open the location your files have downloaded to. You should have a Zip file, which you can then extract files from to any folder on your computer. I'm going to create a new folder here, which I'm going to call assets. I'm going to drop these two files into it. Okay, so here we are with a blender and the first thing I'm going to do is just create a default scene. As we could open up the project files directly, what we're actually going to do is link them into NMT file. The first thing I'm going to do is select this cube and the light, I'm going to hit X and delete them. Then we can go up to the file menu, pick link and then we just need to navigate to the folder where you've saved those project files. In my case, it's in this assets folder. The first thing I'm going to do is linking the moon blend file. If I hit link, rather than bringing the file directly, we now get access to everything within that same file. I'm actually going to open up these collections folder and pick the environment collection and hit link. Now we need to just repeat the process for the character rig. File link, you need to go up a couple of levels and we can select our rig file. Again, we need to go into the collections folder and we pick the PogaRig collection in this case. Now if we have a look at the outliner, we can see that whilst we have these collections here, we can't actually see any of the contents of these files. That's the way the linking files works within Blender. In order to get access to all of the elements within this rig so that we can actually then select the controls and animate them, we need to add what's called an override. In order to do that, we need to make sure that we have our character rig selected and then we get to the object menu, relations, and make library override. Now something to be aware of is you get this little pop-up appear and if you move your mouse to quickly away, that will disappear and we won't have added the override to the rig. If I repeat that process, object, relations, make library override, and just make sure that you confirm it by clicking this second link here. Now you can see if we head over to the outliner, we have this icon here that shows that we have an override on a linked file. We can now access all of the elements within the rig. Now we've done that on a character rig, we don't actually need to do with our environment because we're not actually going to be changing anything in that case. All I'm going to do here is I'm going to enable the selection filters and I'm going to turn off select ability for the environment. That means we're not going to select anything accidentally. Now you might be wondering why we go through this linking process and we don't open the file directly or use the append option which would actually load the file in locally. The reason that we use this process, and it's exactly the same process that you'd actually use within a studio. It means that if there are any changes required to this rig at some point in the future, even want multiple files be animated, we can change that one file and then each time that we open up a new file, all of the changes will be propagated throughout by scenes. Far quicker and easier process than going into every file individually and making same change. Now if I select the character rig, I can go into pose mode from this option up here and that will give me access to all of the controls. Quick way of doing that is to hit "Control tab." That will toggle this between object and pose mode. If I hit the "End Key" to open up this side panel here, you can see our regular transform options here within the item section. But we should also have some additional options down beneath this. In order to get those, we need to first save our file, so I'm going to do that. Save as, and I'm going to save it in the same location that I saved my ballbounce originally, just going to call it jump one and hit "Save As." Once we've done that, if you go to the file menu and open recent and just reopen the file, you'll see this warning message appear. Now in order to make the character rig run correctly and give us additional controls, we need to run a Python script. Now by default, these are disabled within Blender, so we need to allow execution. What we can actually do is select this checkbox so that we don't get this warning message again and then hit "Allow Execution." Once we do that, you can see we now have some additional options here. Now see see better what these do, I'm going to once again toggle into pose mode, so Control tab and then we can select any of the controls on the rig. You can see we've added even more options here now. What we're going to focus on initially is this rig layers section. To get a better view of that, I'm actually going to enable the X-ray mode up at the top here so we can see the controls through the character mesh. By default, we have a set number of the controls within the rig visible and if these layers that are currently blue are visible, but we have some additional controls on the rig that are hidden by default. Now you see having clicked the Face option, everything within this layer palette has changed color now. That's because anytime we adjust the value on something that has an override, the color will change to show that we've done that. You can still see that there's still a slight difference between the colors of the layers that are visible and those that are not. If I just turn on all of these other layers, you'll see these all of the controls within the character rigs. We have controls here for the hair, for the hat, obviously some controls for the face, the body. We have a lot of controls here for the arm because we have two methods of actually moving the arm around. We have what's called IK and FK. FK, which is also known as forward kinematics, enables us to rotate the bones individually along the chain. But if we were to take this arm and change it to IK, instead we have a control here that we can move and that will move the rest of the arm around and change that setting back to the default of FK. I'm actually going to turn off the visibility of the IK controls for now. We also have these tweak controls here, which will enable us to bend the arm. But again, for now, I'm going to disable all of those. I'm also going to turn off these controls for the hair and the hat and the face, we'll come back to those later. Initially, all I would like to see are the head controls, the torso controls, the arm FK controls, the fingers and the root. The root is this control down at the bottom here, which enables us to move the entire character rig around. Now I showed you briefly how we switch between IK and FK. We have this property here, if we select any of the arm controls, we have this IK, FK switch. If it's on one, then we are using FK, so we'll rotate bones individually. If it's on zero, then we're using IK. In addition, we have this FK limb follow option. If I select the chest, for example, and I rotate it, you can see the arm's rotating with the body. That can be exactly what we want sometimes, but it can also make it difficult to tweak pauses. If I select the arm again and change the limb follow option to one, you'll see now, if I rotate the chest, well, the position of the arms follows, the angle of the arms does not change. This enables us to go in here and add subtle movements to the chest without the arms and the hands rotating up and down. If I change that back again to zero, you can see again, any little rotation here has a big effect on the position of the hand. In a similar way, you can see that as I rotate the chest, the head is moving with it. If I select the head control, we have these follow options here as well. If I change the head follow to zero, and I again rotate the chest, you can see that the head does not rotate with it and simply moves to keep track of where the chest is. As I said, there are pros and cons to each way of interacting with the rig. It's something you can experiment with and find your own preferred way of working. For the purpose of this exercise, I'm going to go with FK arms. I'm going to change the limb follow option to one and you have to do that on both sides. I'm also going to select the head and again change the head follow option to one as well. Now, something to be aware of if you were to actually select the main control here on the hips and if I then rotate the character around, you'll find the arms don't follow. In order to get them following, you would actually need the follow option to be on zero or you'd have to continually rotate them into place as well. But for the purposes of this particular exercise, we are going to be taking the character and jumping over this ravines. All of our action is going to be pretty much in one straight line. We shouldn't have too many problems with the arms rotating runway. 19. Character Jump: Layout: Before we actually get into animating the character, I'm just going to switch back into object mode and we need to think about our staging. I'm going to toggle over onto the Animation tab here and now you can see that we have a viewport that we can actually interact with the character. We can see our character rig controls here and by default, when we switch into the Animation tab, we switch over to pose mode so I'm going to toggle that back into object mode. Control tab. You can see we also have this camera view over here. Now in order to move the camera around, we can select the camera over in the outliner and you can see it's up here in the scene. We can then grab the camera, we can move it around and we can rotate it but a simpler way of interacting with it is through this viewport. Now by default, if we actually try to move around within the viewport, we actually jump out of our camera view. If you want to get back into the camera view, you can hit the zero key on the numpad and it will jump us back in. If you don't have a numpad, then if you turn these gizmos on, you can actually use the camera option here. It's [inaudible] again so we have nice, clean view-port. Now I'm going to hit the end key and under the view menu here, we can enable this camera view option. I'm just going to hit end again to get rid of that panel. Now we can actually move around this viewport the same as the regular 3D viewport. What I want to do is I know we're going to be jumping over this ravine, so I want to be able to see it. When we think about our staging, there's a number of different ways we can obviously stage a particular action. We could obviously have the character jumping across towards us, we can move the camera around, we could jump away from the camera across the ravine, we could have a camera that's looking side on to see the whole of jump from the side, maybe looking down or even looking up from inside the ravine. Each of these choices is a different storytelling option. What's the message that we're trying to convey within a shot? Usually this is something that's thought about within storyboards ahead of animation starting. As an animator on a film or TV show, you'll actually be given a scene setup with the camera angle defined already and a storyboard that's dictating what the main action is within the shot and a duration for that shot as well. In this case, obviously we have a lot more freedom and this is somewhere that I would encourage you to experiment and pick an angle that you feel is going to show the animation off in the way that you prefer. I'm going to pick an angle somewhere over here, I'm going to have the character jump across to us. What I'd also like to do is increase the sense of depth here so I'm going to change the focal length of the camera. In order to do that, you need to have the camera selected, we can go into the camera properties and you can see the focal length here, which is by default 50 millimeters. I'm going to click here, I'm going to change that to 35 millimeters. You can see now we've got a slightly wider angle on our camera. I'm just going to move the camera in a little bit and that's just increased the sense of depth a little. Again, this is something that you might want to experiment with, changing the focal length. If you decrease the number, you end up with the equivalent of a wider lens, which will give us more depth within the scene. If you increase the number, you get a telephoto lens and that will actually compress the scene. For now, I'm going to keep the camera over here. I don't want this getting in the way of my animation, so I'm going to disable the camera from this view port. In order to do that, you can go up to this menu up at the top here for the visibility and we got down to camera and I can turn that off. Don't forget to save your file periodically, just hit Control S now to save. Now the next thing that we need to do before we start animating. I'm going to select the character, hit Control Tab to go into pose mode, and I'm going to select this route control. What I'm going to do now is I'm going to roughly work out the placements of the character. This is really what we would call a layout. Layout is defining where the camera is and where the character is going to move. I'm going to start with him in his default location but I want to then jump him over to the other side of the ravine. What I'm going to do is just move this control across and figure out roughly where he's going to end up landing. Just so that I can make sure that my camera position is going to work for that. We need to check that he's actually on the ground because there's a slight curvature to this environment. So I'm just going to move him downwards a bit, to where he's sitting on the ground so I can work out exactly where I'm going to place this camera. Having him land somewhere around here is okay. I'll just maybe move the camera back a little bit, give us a bit more headroom and that will do for now. I want to get the camera as close as possible to its final position because as we create out poses, we're going to be creating them to work to camera and we don't want to make any major changes to this later. Because I know I'm going to be jumping at a slight angle across here, what I'm going to do now is, with this route control selected, I'm going to have Alt G, which will reset its location and then I'm going to rotate it slightly. We have a couple of different ways of rotating objects. Obviously, we can hit the R key, which allow us to rotate relative to the view. If I hit the R key a second time, we get this trackball option. We can also enable gizmos as well, you can hit the T key to access them. I can access the rotate control here to get the gizmos up, which gives me direct control. Another way to access these gizmos, by I just hit the W key, which will take me back into selection mode, shift in space, and that will bring up these options here. I can hit rotate and that will give me, again, that gizmo. This is how I like to work sometimes, is just use the gizmos to get a quick way of rotating on one particular axis. There are obviously ways to constrain to a particular axis when you're using the Alt key, but I find this works quite quickly for me. What I'm going to do is, I'm rotating this control so it roughly points in the direction that we're planning to travel. You can see at the moment we're in global mode, so however far I rotate this, my axis still stay facing the global axis. So I want to change that option up here under transform orientations to local. I'm going to adjust that back a little bit. Again, you shift space and go to the move tool, you'll see if we move along the y-axis, we're going to end up directly over here. It's useful to orient that control. If we're not moving directly along one of the main scene axis, it will make our lives a lot easier when it comes to editing curves later on. I'm just going to hit the W key to get rid of those gizmos now. One other thing that's worth noting as part of setting up a file ready to animate is the scene frame rate. You find that if we head over into the scene output properties panel, you can find the frame right down here. I know by default it's set to 24 frames per second and that's what we're going to be working with. But if for any reason you needed to change that, that's exactly where you'd do it. Once our layout is defined and we know exactly where the camera is, the next thing we need to think about is planning out our shot. There are a couple of ways to approach that. You can record video reference, which can be a very useful tool in figuring out exactly how something works. We know we want this character to jump from one side to the ravine to the other and obviously, that's not going to be possible for you to do yourself, but actually doing a standing jump and seeing how your body works, what your arms do, can be very useful in understanding the mechanics of how the body works. Another approach to planning out your shot is to work with little thumbnail images. In this case, you can draw very simple sketches just to define how the body is likely to be posed throughout the action. You don't have to be a great artist at all, it's simply a case of trying to figure out what their main line of action is going to be of the character, where their arms are going to be positioned, and then you can even work out rough timing as well. When you're just starting out, no one's expecting you to get all of these things right. First of all, reference is a great place to start to learn how the body works, but a lot of it's going to be trial and error, having a go and seeing what works. At this point in my career, I've had enough experience that I can have a fairly good guess at exactly how things are going to work, but I'll still get things wrong and I'll need to make adjustments along the way. So don't worry if things aren't working out exactly as you expect right from the start. 20. Character Jump: The First Pose: The next thing we need to do is start blocking out our poses. To do that, I'm going to first frame up my character. I can do that by having a control selected and hitting the "Period" key on my numpad, and then we're going to start roughing in the pose. I want to make sure that I have x-ray mode turned on, so I can see all of these controls within the body. I'm going to hit the "N" key so that I get all of my transform options and their properties off to the side here. The first thing I think about when I'm trying to pose out the character is the line of action on its body. I'm going to start working with its torso and then work my way out to its limbs. The way I tend to work is I'll use the G key to grab a control so I can move it around quickly and easily, just relative to my viewport. I'm just trying to create a little bit of asymmetry in the pose here. I'll use G key. I'll use R to rotate, controls relative to view, sometimes I'll hit R twice. Again, I've got this trackball option, to start and rotate on more than one axis. Asymmetry is something that's really important to prevent your character from pairing too stiff. I'm getting a little bit of twist into the body here as well. I'm going to think about the arms, rotate that down a little bit. Again, when I'm thinking about asymmetry, part of it is the line of action through the body here, but also how I'm holding the arms. When we work in FK here, what's really useful to do is if I disable my rotate gizmo here, is to just rotate this lower arm along the x-axis. If you do that, it just makes things a lot easier when it comes to cleaning up your animation later, otherwise, it's very easy to just go in and grab a control, hit R, rotate it on any old axis and you don't know which way the elbow is actually bending. This can lead to very unexpected results later on in the animation. Always try and just keep that forearm on the x-axis. You can do what you like in terms of rotating knee, the upper arm, and the wrist. I think I'm going to rotate this round across the body a little bit. Just going to rotate and relax the wrist. Attach. Now, fingers are something that take quite a long time to pose up often. What we can do, we can actually select all of these fingers together. If we make sure that we're in local mode, if I change the individual origins pivot points, that means when I rotate these together on the z-axis, we get this distributed roll along the length of the finger. I'm just going to pull it back a little bit. What we want to do here is to make sure that all of the fingers are rotated slightly different amount here. I'm trying to get them hanging a little bit more naturally. You can obviously drag select over a number of controls here. I'm going to select the thumb, just roll out a little bit in as well. Select just the burn at the top of the thumb. I'm going to adjust that angle separately. One feature in Blender that's really handy, first, select all of these finger controls and I'm just holding down shift and clicking on the other thumb controls here. I've got my whole hand selected. If I right-click now, I've got the option to copy pose. If I right-click again, I can Paste X-Flipped Pose. If you have look at the other hand over here, when I do that, you'll see that we've copied a hand pose from one side of the rig over onto the other side. That can save a lot of time when it comes to posing out hands. We don't necessarily want the two to be exactly the same, but it saves us a lot of time. I'm just going to rotate this arm, select at the elbow, [inaudible] a bit make it easier. I'm going to have the one arm hanging down more loosely to the side here, trying to make sure that fingers don't cut through the floor. The shoulders here, we can rotate them up and down, but we can also move them around. I'm just going to nudge that in and up a little bit. I don't want it sticking out and having this obvious breaking the arm, so I'm just going to pull it in absolute slightly. Again, the thing is hang loosely now and I keep this arm sort over to the side. I just want that wrist hang down more naturally. That will do is the starting pose, I think. What we need to do now is we need to remember save this pose because the moment we've not set any keyframes down at the bottom here. To do that, I can hit the "A" key in the viewport that will select all of my controls, and I can hit "I" to insert a key as we did earlier with the bouncing ball. Obviously, we can now pick an option from this menu, but that obviously gets very tedious to do. If we look down at the bottom here we've got this keying option. Within the Active Keying Set, right-click just there, we can pick from one of these options. I'm going to pick location, rotation, and scale to be my default. Now, if I go back up to the viewport and I hit the "I" key, you will automatically key location, rotation, and scale all at once. 21. Character Jump: Auto Key: Now that we've changed that default way that the Insert key function works, it's lot easier to add a key. But it's still prone to error because if we go to another frame on the timeline and we start creating a fresh pose, for example, if I lifted the arm up in the air, if I move the timeline without remembering to set a key, then that new pose would be lost. To help us out with that, we have what's called the Auto Key function. We can enable that down at the bottom here with this circle icon. Once we've got that turned on, every time I move the control, you can see we automatically have a key added in. Now when I move the timeline, the arm will move. For now, I'm just going to undo to get rid of that because there's slight issue that you need to be aware of when you're using Auto Key. To demonstrate that, I'm going to leave pose mode and head back to object mode. I'm just going to hit Shift A to add a new mesh and we'll just add any vSphere. Now you can see all of its transformed properties over to the right here. They're all gray because this hasn't been animated yet, which you can see again if we look down in the dope sheet, but with Auto Key turned on, if I now move the sphere, as soon as I drop it somewhere else, you can see our location, rotation, and scale have all had a keyframe added. Now, if we work with Auto Key turned on in this way, it's very easy to end up inadvertently animating things that we don't want to. But there is a way to work around that. I'm just going to hit undo to remove that keyframe, set that back to where it was. We're going to leave the sphere for now. I'm going to go up to Edit Preferences. Now if we look under the animation tab here, we've got an option, only insert available when Auto Key framing. I'm going to check that on and close my preferences. Now you see, if we move this sphere and drop it somewhere else, no keyframes have been added in, but we still have Auto Key enable down at the bottom. If I just delete this sphere and go back to my character. If I hit Control Tab to go into pose mode, now when I rotate the arm, you can see we have had a new key added in. Auto Key is working. The reason that this has been keyed in this case is because we'd already set a keyframe on the control already. Just to demonstrate that further, if I turn on the character's hair and so that these controls, these don't currently have a keyframe on. If I rotate the controls here, you can see no keyframe has been added. I'm just going to undo that and hide the hair again. We can go back to our character. Now what we need to do is just continue with blocking out our scene. We're going to set a number of key poses that will define the action throughout the animation. In this case, we're working pose to pose manner to start with, we're going to be creating the key poses for the shot. We're going to be gradually breaking that down. To start with, what I'm going to do is I'm going to hit A to select all of the controls on the character. I'm going to remove the existing keyframe that's here on frame 11. You can do that by making sure it's selected here in the dope sheet and hitting X to delete and confirming that. Now with everything still selected, I'm just going to hit I to set a keyframe. Because once we have got Auto Key enabled, it's only going to key each of the controls that we move. I want to make sure that I'm keying every single re-control on this frame. Now when we go in and use Auto Key, it will record any changes that we make to this pose over the top of this already saved pose. 22. Character Jump: Anticipation: What we want to do is get the character to jump over the ravine. In order to do that, we need to think about how are we going to build up the energy for that jump? So the first thing we need to do is to anticipate the move. Now we can squash the character down to build up some energy ready to jump over the ravine. But what I actually want to do to get the maximum energy for the jump is to actually anticipate the squash down. To start with, I'm actually going to stretch the character up and then squash him down before we jump. That's the first place that we're going to create here. It's that stretched up pose. Now you see that I'll quite often orbit around within this viewport, around the character. But I'm always referring to the camera viewport and looking at the pose I'm creating relative to the camera. One thing that can help when the character is quite small on your screen. In order to get a closer look at that, if I hit the N key and the camera viewport, and disable this Camera to View option. Then we can actually zoom in on the viewport without changing the position of the camera. I'm using my standard controls or shift middle mouse button and control middle mouse, or the scroll wheel to move in and out. If you want to re-frame the camera, all you have to do is hit the "Home" key on your keyboard and it'll take you back to where you are. I'm going to create this second pose now. I always start out in the center of the character and work my way out to the extremities. You can move within this viewport as well when you've got control selected, you can hit "G" and I can still move around within this viewport. So that can be useful again when posing to camera. I'm going to start out, I'm actually going to move him slightly up and to the right because we're going to go down into the left before we then jump out. I going to rotate this back a bit on to the side. Pull this up, we're going to get a big stretch in him. Remembering that squash and stretch. As we do, what I might do is just scale this control in a little bit. So just hit "S" to scale. That can help with the preservation of volume. Rotate the arms actually down a little bit. The reason that we're rotating these arms down, even though we're moving the character up so that we have different body parts moving in different directions. This means that the arms will be delayed little bit behind the rest of the body. So in the next post will have the character just squashing down and we can raise the arms up. That means the arms will be delayed behind rest of the body when the rising that gives us the overlapping action that we were talking about when we're discussing the animation principles. To check your two poses, obviously, we can scrub along the timeline like this. But you can also use the up and down arrow keys, which will allow you to jump between your two poses. You can see we're getting up into the right hand, just going to move this control across a little bit further, get a little bit more rotation in there. Now notice the flip between keys like this, you do have to have a control object selected because you're only flipping between the keys for that particular control object. Now, if you find that your viewport is behaving in a slightly sluggish manner. That's because by default, the character is smooth, and we can go over into the properties panel. If you click on the "Render" properties section, you can go down to Simplify. If I roll this out, we can change the maximum subdivision level. If you set that to zero, we're going to end up with a very low resolution mesh, but it will perform in far faster manner. Just popping it to one subdivision level will give you a compromise between the default of two and the low res mesh. Remembering to move these shoulders a little bit just to make sure that we're not seeing them jutting out to the side at all. Rotate that down a little bit. Again always flipping between these two poses. What I'm looking for here is the line of action. I'm looking for the silhouette of the character. I'm looking for a shape change between the two poses that squash and stretch that we're talking about. I'm also as I'm flipping, I'm looking at the way the arms are moving from one pose to the next and making sure that they're following in their natural path. Then I'm just going to tuck that in just a little bit more. That will do for now. At the moment I'm just going to set keys, 10 frames apart along the timeline. I'm not worried about the timing. I'm just trying to get these key poses in place. Again, I'm going to hit "A" to select the whole character and "I" to set a key on it. Now we're going to create that squashed pose. In this case, again, I'm pulling him down into the left because we're going to be jumping out into the right. I want to get as much squash as possible into this pose. Start with the main torso and remember that scale there. Let's move this back a little bit. You might notice the eye is disappearing into the mesh a little bit on occasion. Don't worry about that for now we can fix all of that later. At the moment we're looking at the main body mass and we can fix any details once we've got the main pose working. So onto pull his shoulders up higher. I'm actually going to translate them up as well as rotating them and rotate these arms right up. Just rotating the arm around a little bit as well. Over to the other side lift the arm up a little bit and out, bringing the full arm back in. Lift the arm and the wrist. Just going to rotate around the character to see how everything looks together. See how the pose looks. I'm going to move that torso a little bit. Just those hips, just try and get rid of any little lumps and bumps that we're introducing on the side of the body there. Trying to create a really nice, smooth, simple silhouette. Just leaning the body a little bit there as well just to improve the line of action. Again, just always looking at that silhouette in the camera viewport. Lift the head back up a little bit as well I think. Push the head right down in line. Trying to think of him more like a spring. We're really trying to squash him right the way down so we can build up maximum energy ready for the jump. I was remembering to try and make sure we've got that asymmetry. So I don't want these two arms, the poses to look too similar to each other. I'm rotating one down a little bit and we'll have the other one up a little bit more. I'm just looking at the silhouette of the character here. Trying to look at where the upper arm and forearm are placed relative to each other and the hand. Comparing the two sides, then adjusting the head a little bit to help to, want him to look more or less in the direction that he's going to be heading off in. That'll do for now. Then again, we're just going to jump forwards 10 frames on the timeline. Select "I" to set a key. 23. Character Jump: Launch: Now we're going to have him pushing off. I want him to be pushing off in the direction that he's going to be traveling in. We'll start here, pause it up and forwards. If you ever want to reset the control you can just hit Alt J to reset its translation and Alt A to reset rotation, Alt S to reset its scale. Now, after our compressed poses for our anticipation, we want to really stretch this character out. It's that shape change going from compressed to stretched out, which is really going to give us that energy for the spring as he takes off. Move out of the viewport a little bit, check where I'm going in the wider scene, and remembering always that I want to be favoring my poses towards the camera. We're trying to get a bit stretch in here so I'm going to, again, scale his control in a little bit. Getting a little bit too stretched at the bottom there for my liking, so pull up by just a touch, so just releasing some volume down here. All done. As we push off, I want to rotate those arms down just to build that momentum for taking off. Working with FK controls like this on the arm can feel quite time consuming. You've obviously got three separate control objects that you need to manipulate on three axes each, just to get your arm exactly where you want it to be. Now working with IK controls, we can obviously move that hand into place far more easily, but it can be a lot harder to actually control the arching motion of the arm in the end, if you're working with IK rather than working with FK like this. Again, just remembering that asymmetry in the pose, so I'm going to have the one arm trained back here. I'm going to keep the other one bent a little bit, still pushing down. Arm back a little bit, and you're going to rotate these fingers so they're a little bit straighter. Because fingers can be time-consuming to pose out, some animators will actually leave it to the end and do a pose on them after everything else. I find it's a far cleaner way to work to actually pose the entire character, including extremities like the fingers up front. That way you're not leaving anything to chance and you pose is as clear as it possibly can be. We could always do a pose on the fingers later to add in extra detail, but if you've got that main pose set up at the start, then you've got a good foundation to work from. I think that will do for now. Just remember to save periodically, just hit Control S. It's very easy to get into the flow of animating and forgetting to save. We don't want to lose all of your work. Now that I've got this push off, before I worry about the pose that's up in the air, I'm actually going to go all the way to the other side. To do that, I'm just going to leave a gap. Hey, I'm going to jump forward to frame 51. I'm going to hit A, select my character, and I'd set a key. For now I'm going to take all three of these controls and I'm just going to reset rotation, location, and scale. To move the character across to the other side, I'm not going to use this route control. I really just want to use that to position my character within the same cell it with. I'm going to move this main torso control and also the foot control. To get them across to the other side, what I'm actually going to do is I'm going to hold Shift and space to bring up this menu and select the Move control. Then I'm going to use the z-axis because these two are both reset now, I should be able to move them along the z-axis together to the other side. Something to be aware of, the z-axis in world space is up, but you'll often find some of these rig controls, their axes are oriented in different directions. So in this case, y is up for the controls within the rig and z is moving forwards. I'm going to move these down on the y-axis just till we're sitting on the floor nicely. You can see we're just cutting through into the floor ever so slightly. Notch it up a little bit, that should be fine. That's more or less where I want to land. I'll create my landing pose now. I'm just going to rotate the body a little bit to land at more of an angle. Let's move this back. That foot as well can be rotated a little bit. What I'm trying to do as I create this pose is create the impression that he's coming into land foot first, so moving the torso back a bit there as well as the chest, and just adjusting the head as well. Just trying to get everything feeling as if it's stretching towards that contact point on the ground. As we come down to land, probably going to have our arms up in the air. Don't forget whenever you're raising the arms, it's a good idea to raise the shoulders as well. If you try lifting your own arms above your head, you will notice that your shoulders will naturally move up as well. I'm just going to pull up fore arm out a little bit, try and improve the silhouette so the arms are in front of the hair. Now, I'd like both arms to be up in the air like this, but what I want to try and avoid is having one arm looking like a complete mirror of the other. That's something that's known as twinning, where both one side and the other look exactly the same, so just lifting the one arm just a little bit higher than the other. Still watching out for that silhouette at the same time. When I'm looking at my pose here in the camera view, I'm always bearing in mind the silhouette of the character, trying to make sure that I don't have different parts of the body cutting into each other. I'm just adjusting the head a little bit here again to just help with that silhouette. I'm also moving around within this 3D view port to make sure that my pose makes sense in 3D space. Because whilst we can cheat things to camera, we're going to often end up with a more believable result if things are actually physically balanced correctly and moving correctly within 3D space. Scale is controlling a little bit, I think, not too much. That should do. At the moment, if I scrub through the timeline, you can see that we just drift between all of these poses. As we're blocking out our scene, it's common practice to actually work within set key mode. To do that, I just select all of my controls. I can then roll over the dope sheet and hit the T key and then change my interpolation to constant. If I do that, as I scroll through the timeline, just make sure I've got everything selected. Again, T key, constant. As I move through the timeline, you can see we now pop between our poses. That means that we can focus on just those key poses without being distracted by any drifty, floaty movement in between. It gives us a better idea of how a scene is working. 24. Character Jump: In Air Pose: Now, I want to add a pose in-between these two, the takeoff and the landing pose. I'm going to go to that central point frame 41. I can just move all of these controls into the middle roughly, and try to get that in the right place. But Blender has a built-in tool that can make life a lot easier. With all of the controls selected, hit Shift E, you can enable the breakdown tool. You'll see up in the top left at the Viewport, it says breakdown, and it's got the percentage number. As we move the mouse across the screen, we're actually creating a pose. It's interpolated between our first and our second pose, so between the pose at frame 31 and frame 51 with a percentage value. I can just move this to around about 50 percent, and click. Now, we've got an exact halfway point between the two. I obviously don't want this to be exactly halfway between because we need to create an arc in our jump. In order to do that, I'm going to select again my main torso control and my foot control. I'm going to move them up. Do that. I'm just going to roll off the camera view, hit the G key, and make them straight up. Now, I'm going to stop. Again, adjusting this pose, as he gets to the apex of jump here. I want him to squash up a little bit. I'm going to move just down a bit, which means we can afford to move all of this up a little bit further. Moving for top a little bit. It's rotating around a little bit. Now I'm just going to go in and adjust that head a little. If I'm looking down towards the landing point a little bit more. I might be trying one of those arms up in the air. As you can see, creating strong poses can take a little bit of time. But it's really worth spending that time up front. Because everything we do from this point forward is going to build upon these poses and we'll have a really strong foundation. If we rushed through the creation of these poses, then everything we do from that point forward would be that bit more difficult. We'll have far more work to do in order to achieve a strong result in the end. I'll often move around the character just to figure out if the pose is working correctly in three dimensions. But my main focus is always what's going on in that camera viewport. What is the audience going to be seeing? I'm moving for top. Now the reason I've chosen to include every step I'm taking in this class as I animate the shots, rather than speeding up the process with the time-lapse so that you can see and understand just how long it takes to create a pose or two, just the animation to get it working correctly. Remember, I'm animating this shot based upon 15 years of experience. If you're just starting out, you may find that you're struggling to follow along or to achieve the results that you're hoping for. That's absolutely normal. But the more you practice, the more you'll understand, and in time, all of the principles that we're discussing in this class will just become second nature. Arms looking quite long so much, you can rotate it towards us, which foreshortened it a bit, create a nicer pose. I think that will do for now. We can flip between our poses again using those up and down arrows to see how we're getting on up, down, or squash, push into a takeoff, up, and land. 25. Character Jump: Refining Poses: I'm not particularly happy with the contrast in the poses there. I'm just going to go back and tweak this pose a little bit. Squash it down even more. Part of getting the sense of that takeoff is about building up the energy squashing him right down and then stretching him out as we push off. It's trying to get a big stretch up at the start here. It looks a little bit too stretched, down and touch. You get a nice shape change there between this pose and the squash pose, and now we're getting a little bit more shape change there as we push up into the takeoff. I'm just going to push that one a little bit further. Again, this is back to our principles of exaggeration, looking at how much we can push a particular pose to give us that shape change, that squash and stretch that we need to show the energy transfer. Because he's taking off as well, I might just squash that foot in a little bit and rotate it a little bit as well here, and also shape the camera. Stretching out there. That looks better. I'm not too happy with how that push off is working now as well with this hand. Make sure it feels like he's really pushing down as we take off. I'm going to take this arm again, pull this up a little bit further. We get maximum contrast as he pushes it back down again. I'm going to rotate his hands so it feels more like he's pushing it backwards. That's why as I said earlier, you're not going to get things right first time, it's a bit of a process of trial and error comparing one pose against the next, making sure that everything's doing what you wanted to. Now, we can see as we go from our squash pose to our takeoff pose, our hands are pushing down. We're getting that shape change from the squash pose, a line of action that's curving backwards to one that's carrying forward, so we're getting really nice changing shape there. Then we're reversing this curve again as we go from this takeoff pose up into our pose where we squash up in there. Again, I might actually just push this a little bit further, bring this foot up a little bit. Just like that. Hit "Control" and just scale it out a bit more as well. That's a nice shape change there. Again, on our landing, I'm going to scale up 30 a little bit. We can fill it a little bit more rubbery. I'm going to move it along the floor just a bit as well. Was looking at the shape of the side of the character. I'm just trying to create nice, clean lines, not having anything that looks like there's little extra little bumps and lumps. It's part of creating that nice appeal, the solid posing. 26. Character Jump: Landing: Now we've got our contact pose as we come into land. I don't want him to squash down again, and that's what's going to show all white. I'm going to, again, select everything, I reset key. I'm going to reset the scale on this part, so I just Alt S, and we're going to squash him down a bit. I'm just moving him down a little bit more there, squashing him right down into place, and take those hips and just reset them, we set a position and scale them up. Trying to get that sense that the character is really squashing down. That's a little bit too extreme on the squash, suggesting the head down a little bit if we're tilting it. Then just moving around to pull out chest back in a bit, looking at that silhouette in the camera viewport. As we squash him down where I can stop bringing these arms down as well. I'm always looking at the shape that we're forming here with the arms as well. Here, with the forearm, the upper arm, and hand all overlapping, it becomes a bit of a cluttered, muddled shape. Whereas by rotating things a little bit, we can create something that's a little bit cleaner and clearer. Again, we're just thinking about that principle of the solid drawing or solid posing in this case, thinking about that silhouette of the character. I'm just adjusting their arm again here, flipping back and forth just to see how it looks. Moving off to the side to adjust the arm, and that's the shoulder down a little bit, and rotate that forearm. I think we can rotate it around so that we actually get a better shape to the arm there as well. As we come down, because we're dragging those fingers, I'm just going to rotate them back a little bit. I was looking at where we've come from, and where we are going to, so just taking those hips a little bit. As we're flipping. Bring that chest right forwards and really get the sense that he's squashing into place there, and drag that head a little bit more, and then squash it down a little bit further. Looking for that change of shape between poses. For it to gain timeframes, we start another key, and we're going to start moving him back up again. Hopefully by now you can start to see a little bit how this character jump that we're doing relate back to the bouncing ball exercise that we started with. We're actually doing very similar things with the shape of the body to what we did with the bouncing ball. When the character is up in the air, the character is squashed down more like the round shape of the bouncing ball as he's jumping up and coming down. We have that stretched out shape, again, as with the bouncing ball. Then when we contact on the ground, we go down into a squashed shape, and then recover back as we are doing here, into a more stretched out shape. As you go on animating lots of different things, you'll start to see exactly how that bouncing ball exercise relates to so many other aspects of animation. Now, here I'm trying to just work on those arms. Rotating that down, I'm going to pull this arm back a little bit. Maybe rotate it round. I think what I want to do is just tuck that back in behind the body, and we'll rotate that forearm up, and rotating around a bit. I'm trying to just hide the upper arm, create a nice shape with the forearm, and the hand sticking out from the body here. Trying to create a nice flowing line there. Again, I'm just flipping between each of these poses to see how the motion feels. Now, I don't like this arm here where it feels almost completely straight because it feels a bit unclear in terms of how the arm is rotating. I'm going to adjust that slightly just so that we can have that elbow a bit more obvious. I think what I'm also going to do to help with a sense of that energy as it comes in is slide him slightly on that landing. I'm going to take these two controls, and we're going to slide him along the floor a little bit. Just flipping between poses to make sure it's working, and then we're going to want to make sure we bring this forward. We can copy a key from one place to another. You can see here, obviously that foot is moving backwards. If I just select the key that I want and I hit "Shift D", I can copy it, and I can just drop it straight on top of another one. Now we can see as we get to Frame 71, the foot's in place. Let me move this forwards again. I think we can afford to keep sliding just a little bit longer, in fact, try that for now. Okay. Then, again, I'm going to select everything. Therefore to Frame 81. I set another key, and we'll just get him fully straightened up. Maybe have him look back over his shoulder to where he's just come from, some rotation right through his body. Again, I'm trying to create base symmetry in that final pose as well. You notice so far I'm just moving the main body controls, and I'm not worrying about the hair or the hat at all. That's an extra level of detail that we'll add in a little later in the process. Just going to keep the arm moving backwards a little bit. Bend it a little more too, start relaxing those fingers down, those a bit more as well. This, making sure we flip between our poses. Make sure the movement flows through nicely. You can see, for example, this arm here, as we come down, I want it arching around here. So starting up here, it's coming around the body down to here, and I want it to flow back in up a little bit. I'm doing the same thing with the other arm. I'm flowing that through in the other direction. As it comes down from here, it's coming down. I don't want it to get to straight. I'm just pulling that forearm up a little bit. I'm trying to create a smooth path flat hand. So adjusting the shape of the hand now. Again, flipping back and forth just to check how it's moving between these poses. Move that chest forward a little bit. Move that. It can be useful too both hands lay, and rotate the controls. Hit "Control S" to save. 27. Character Jump: Timing: We've now defined all of our main poses for a shot, our keys and our breakdowns. If I hit the A key to select everything, we can consider our first frame and our last frame here to be key poses of the shop because there's storytelling poses. The character is on one side of the ravine, and then it jumps over to the other side. Our pose here with the character in the middle could also be considered a key pose because it's telling us how the character is getting from one side to the other. So again, it's part of the storytelling of the shot. All of our other poses in the shot are our extremes. These are showing us the extreme range of motion, the ups and the downs throughout the shot, our contact poses and our squash poses. Now that all of those are defined, we just start thinking about our timing for the shot. In order to get an idea of where things are at the moment, we can play things back within the viewport. Now before we do that, we're going to change two settings. To start with, I'm going to change the end frame to 96, which is four seconds. Then I'm also going to go down to the playback settings and I'm going to change this sync option here. At the moment, it's set up to play every frame. That's great if your computer is fast enough, it will play back every frame and it will play it back at 24 frames per second. But on a slow computer, it will try to play every frame and we won't get an accurate representation of the timing. Instead, what we need to do is change this to the frame dropping option. With that option selected, if your computer is fast enough, it will play everything back, every frame, 24 frames per second. On a slow computer, it will keep the playback to 24 frames per second, and it will just drop intermediate frames to make sure you getting a proper representation of the speed of your animation, even if it drops occasional frames to do that. With that defined, you can just hit the space bar and then it will play through your animation. You can see here at the top of the viewport, the frames per second in red here it's showing that it's dropping frames. This is because I'm using a relatively slow computer similar to what most beginners might be starting with. If we pause that there, you can change your simplified options down to zero, and once we've now got a very low resolution mesh, when I hit space to play this back, you should see that we're now hitting that 24 frames per second or close to it. If you've got a faster computer, then you shouldn't have any trouble at all. As we play this back, it's clear that the timing at the moment is not really what we're going to be wanting. We're going to need some parts of the animation to be faster and some to be slower. At the moment I think I'm happy enough with the initial anticipation, but then we're going to want to be a lot faster going out of our anticipation into our push off, a little bit faster through our jump, and a lot faster as we squash back down and recover at the end. I'm just going to move some of these keyframes around. You can select individual keyframes just by clicking on them, and then you can drag them around to drop them where you like. Another option that's quite handy is if you use the square brackets keys, it will select everything either after or before the current frame. With the right bracket, I'm going to select all keys after the current frame and I can just drag them all the way back here. So I just have a one frame change going from my extreme squashed position into my push off. That's going to give us a lot of pulp going straight out of this and up into our jump. I think I'm going to select all of this keys and just pull them back a couple of frames just to make this a little bit faster through the middle section of the jump, and then we'll do the same here and pull this back a little bit further as well as we're coming back down again. I'm pulling my squash pose a lot close to my contact pose, I want a few frames in there, so it doesn't just crush straight down. Then we'll want a slower recovery. I'll still pull this back a little bit here. That comes up. Then maybe pull this last one back here. Let's play that back and see what we've got. I'm just going to adjust the length of my timeline now. Drop it back down to 72 frames, three seconds long. That's looking a little bit better, a little bit live here. Now to get a really accurate representation of what our timing is looking like, it's better to create a viewport capture. To do that, I'm first going to hit the Home key over my camera, so I frame that up properly so I can see the whole thing. Then we're going to change our output settings. We can go over into the properties panel, our output properties, and then we just need to go down to our output section and then pick a folder to save it into. I'm going to save it to the same capture folder that we used for the bull bouts. I'm just going to call this jump. Again, I'm going to change this file format to FFmpeg video. Open the encoding options. We'll pick MPEG-4 and just leave the other defaults. Now I'm going to go back to my render settings so that I can change my simplify option here. I'm going to change this setting back up to two, so we're getting a smooth character again. Then we can go up to the top of the camera viewport, and choose view Viewport Render Animation. Once that's complete, you can go up to the Render [inaudible] and pick View animation. 28. Character Jump: Fixing the Eyes: So now that I'm happy with my main pauses, before we go into breaking it down any further, I'd just like to fix those eyes which were cutting through the main part of the mesh. So I'm just going to step through my keyframes until we find the area where we had the issue, just here on the landing. Up until this point, we haven't set any keyframes on the face, and that's because the controls have not been visible. So I'm going to enable the face layer so that we can see all of those controls now. What I'm going to do is hit "Eight", select everything including the face, then I'm going to key everything on this frame, and then I'm going to go back to the previous keyframe and key everything there and to the following keyframes as well, and key everything there. Look like the eyes were working fine through the first part of the animation so I only need to set keys on this last section. Now that we've done that, I'm going to select the individual controls for the eyes, and we can just move them forward a little bit. So now cutting into the mesh and just rotate that slightly so it sits nicely on the surface. Do the same on the other side and just move that out a little bit. Again, a little bit of rotation. That's looking better. So jump on to the next key, and we'll do the same here. Now the eyes could have been set up to follow the mesh exactly and never cut through, but sometimes leaving controls free-floating in this way allows us more flexibility when it comes to pausing the character. There we are. I'm going to save the scene now, just hit "Control S". But what I'd also like to do is to version up the file, and we can do that by going to the File menu, Save As, and just hitting this little plus icon here to change the version number to version 2 and hit "Save As'. It's useful to do this from time to time because it means we've always got a safe point to return to you. 29. Character Jump: Breakdowns: So we've defined all of our key in extreme poses now and the rough timing. But what we need to do now is to add in the breakdowns, which will help define exactly how the body moves between those poses and will help define our spacing. I, again, select the whole character and jump back to the start. What I'd like to do between these first and second poses as the capture is moving up, I want to ease out of this first pose. To do that, I've gone forensics here, halfway between the two poses, and I'm just going to hit Shift A to bring up the breakdown tool, and I'm going to move this back somewhere fairly close to that first pose, around sort percent, something like that. You can see now if we flip between these poses, we just have a very small movement coming out of that first pose and a bigger movement coming up into the anticipation pose. Now I'm going to do a similar thing on the other side as we move back down into the next anticipation pose. But in this case, I'm going to favor the pose with the characters squashed down. Again, I'm going to hit Shift A and I'm going to move across until we've got somewhere around 80, 90 percent. That looks all right. If we flip between these poses, you can see we're squashing down and then we go even further down. But the first is part of the move is the first part for the move, then we're just easing into that final position. We'll then pop out just over one frame. We'll come back to the in-app breakdowns in a minute. We're now going to look at the landing. Now between these two poses on the landing, I'd like to really squash him down quite quickly. Again, I'm going to hit Shift A to favor that second pose. In this case, we'll maybe just go about 70 percent of the way. Then I'd really like to ease into that final pose, and what am I actually do maybe just set a key frame 60. So with everything selected, I'm just going to hit I. You can see by this buzz here, we've got poses exactly the same as a whole between these two frames. I now I'm going to go back to frame 51, hit Shift E, and then we're going to favor this around 90 percent. Then we'll get an ease into that final position. Now I can just drop my subdivision level down and then we can hit Space to play this back and see how it looks. 30. Character Jump: The Graph Editor: That's our blocking complete. Now we need to add an in-between frames. To do that, we're going to convert our case to use Bezier curves. I'm going to roll off the dope sheet. I'm going to hit select everything. Then I'm going to hit T. I'm going to change the interpolation from constant to Bezier. If we just play this back now, you'll be able to see that the computer has added all of the in-between frames for us. Now that we can see things playing out smoothly, I feel that we can afford to take a little bit of time out of that jump. What I'm going to do is move over to the first part of the jump. I'm going to hit the right square bracket key. I'm going to pull all of these back a couple of frames. I'm going to move over here few extra frames. Again, hit that right bracket and move that in a couple of frames as well. I'm just going to play that back. The time is looking better now. I would just need to work on that jump. In-between that, the computer gives us an always right first time. We can go in and adjust them. What I'm going to do is, I'm going to select just the main torso control and the foot control. These are the two controls that we're using to jump across the ravine. I'm going to roll at the dope sheet, hit Control tab to have a look at the graph editor and see exactly what's going on. Now for roll out all of the channels on the left here, we already know that as we're moving up within the rig space we're moving on the y-axis. I'm going to select the Y location for both the foot and the torso, just holding down the Shift key, select the two of them. With that done, I'm going to hit Shift H to hide everything else. Then the Home key to frame up the graph editor. If we look at these two curves, you can see that we're actually slowing out of this position as we go up. Slowing in a little bit at the top, slowing out, and then again slowing in to that bottom position, which is not what we want for a jump, we need to be more explosive, coming out slower across the top and come in formal sharply as well. To start with, I'm just going to look at the curve for the torso to make sure that's pushing off nicely. Now sometimes it can be difficult to select the exact key frame that you want if you have more than one color visible. If I reselect this curve and go up to the View menu and only select a curve key frames. With that option selected, you can see that the key frames are not visible on the other curve, which means I can now easily select this key frame and I'm not at risk of selecting the other curve. I can adjust the handle here so that we are moving up far more quickly out of that first position. He's through the top. Again, we need to be coming down faster as well. I'm going to adjust this handle here, but I don't want to adjust the other side of it. What I'm going to do is just hit the V key and select Free handle type, which means I can now break that handle and I can come down quickly, and then introduce that second position. Now we're going to do the same thing with the foot. Slip the foot curve over here so that we get access to its key frames. Again, what I'm going do is hit the V key to break this handle, change it to free, then I can move it up like this. Do the same on the other side. That looks a little bit better. Just going to increase my subdivision level, so you can see the carrot move smoothly in the viewport. Now on select both of the curves. I'm going to select this top position. I'm actually going to hit S to scale its keys. I want to constrain that just using my middle mouse button, so that's scaling out to some of the one axis. We have nice bit hang time over the top before we come back down again. It gives us that nice arc in there. Now one thing I'm really noticing at the moment, if I select just the torso control and I'm going to roll up the graph editor and hit Alt H to unhide everything. As I'm scrubbing through, if you have a look at where the carrots' hips are, they pop to screen right and then they stop moving straight up. That feels wrong. What we need to do is adjust the X position here. I'm going to select the X location. You can see here on the curve, if I just again hit Shift H to isolate that curve and the period key to frame it up, you can see that we are popping sideways and then moving back again. What we want to do is select this one key frame here. You can move that down, just hit G key. I can drag that down. Now as we take off, again, a bit more straight, I'm going do the same in the middle here and just move this back across a little bit. This feels like we're progressing across the screen from one side to the other. Now I don't want this little bump in the middle here, so I'm just going to adjust the handle to get straighter path here on the x-axis. Now I just want to check what my foot is doing at the same time. Again, what I'm interested in is the X location of the foot just going to hit Shift H to show just that one curve. Again, you can see here we've gone in one direction on the x-axis and then we'll come back again. I'm just going to pull this down to say the G key. Pull that down a little bit. That feels a little bit better as we're flying through the air, which is moving from left to right, we're not getting one way and then back in the other direction. Now I'm just going to drop that subdivision level again and hit Space to play it back and see how that feels. You'll probably find yourself doing this a lot throughout the process of animating, just playing it back, seeing how things feel, and then going in and making adjustments where they're required. 31. Character Jump: The Arms: If we look again at the takeoff here, you can see that our arms are up on our anticipation pose. We push them down as we get into the takeoff. But then, at the moment, they are just drifting up into this position at the top. I want to really feel that push-off. So what I'm going to do is add in an extra breakdown pose here, partway through the takeoff, so that we can really snap those arms down and then have them raise up later than everything else. That'll give us a little bit of overlap as well as helping with that feeling of the push-off. I'm just going to select everything on frame 25 and hit "I" key set a key. I'm just going to toggle back to my Dope Sheet for now, and I'm going to frame up the character. Now, I'm just going to rotate these arms down. I'm going to take the forearm back a little bit. I'll just increase my subdivision for now so I can see it smoothly. I'm always flipping between the poses just to see the path the different body parts are taking. I'm looking at the hand here, and it's pushing down and we want to continue that movement. So I'm just going to rotate this down and round a little bit. Bring it across. I straighten out that forearm a little bit more. Pull his shoulders down as well. What we're really trying to do here is drag these arms a bit behind the body. By pulling them down like this, we're actually working with the silhouette of the rest of the body and trying to correct a really nice stretch shape as we're jumping up into the air here. It's obviously similar to the squash and stretch that we had with the bouncing ball. As we are jumping up, we want to just really reinforce that stretch shape. I'm also going to adjust the angle of the foot here as well a little bit. As we move around to the side here, we can see flipping between these poses. This pose just really doesn't feel like it's following the path. So I'm just moving that foot into place so it feels like it's flowing up naturally from that takeoff pose up into the air, and then up into the in-air pose up at the very top. Just rotating around to see how that one looks together, and I'm just going to tweak that foot to get a nicer shape. I think that will do for now. Then as we're dropping down again, I think I'm going to add another breakdown in between these two poses. So I hit A and I insert a key. I'm going to adjust this foot a little bit. Just get it down a touch. Again, trying to smooth out the shape of the character a little bit. Always flipping again. I'm just going to pull those arms even higher. I'll just throw those hands up a little bit. Let me play that back again. Now, something I'm noticing, as the character comes into land here we look at this hand on the screen, right, as he comes down, it's coming smoothly in and down across the front of his body, and then it rotates straight out to the side there. I don't want that. So I'm going to add in a breakdown just on the arm itself. So I think the rest of the body's working okay. All I'm going do is select these controls here and hit "I", and then I'm going to start rotating this in because I want it to form a nice arc as it comes around. Already that's helping a little bit, but it's still a little bit linear. A little bit more. I feel the elbow is really snapping back into place at the moment as it moves back into frame 42 and around. So I'm going to have a little look at that as well. Something you'll see me doing quite often is just scrubbing through the animation like this by dragging along the timeline just to get a feel of how the body is moving. Animation is all about how things move from one pose to another. So we need to remember just to keep checking this as we work. Animation is often about problem-solving, looking for these little glitches, and trying to work out where they're coming from and the best way to resolve them. That's a lot smoother now as the arm rotates into place. Now let's take off. I really want to feel that push-off with the arms. Even though we've pushed them right down here on frame 25, I feel after that initial push-off, I really want to push them even further just on the next frame here. Again, I'm just going to work with the arms themselves. I'm not going to worry too much about the rest of the body. I can drag those fingers back a little bit as well. Sort pushing down. Again, we can just zoom in a little bit on the camera viewport to get a closer look at our pose. So just looking at this arm, I'm trying to straighten it out a bit, but just making sure that I don't actually get that elbow fully straight at this point. I want the arm to feel like it's flowing around. I'm just going to pull that shoulder down as well and just rotate the arm back a little bit too. You have to keep going back and forth tweaking things until you get exactly what you're after. Having pushed that down here, I'm actually just going to have a look at the way it transitions now up through frame 25 and up to frame 28. Whilst you are adjusting things in one viewport, don't forget to always be checking how the pose looks in the camera viewport. That's what the audience will be seeing. So it's really important we make that look as good as it possibly can. Animation is a process that really takes a long time to master. But the more often you do it, the more that you practice, the easier it becomes, and things like timing and spacing will become far more instinctive. 32. Character Jump: Fixing Glitches: I'm just going to jump into the graph editor quickly with this arm, and I'm going to select its rotation curves, shift H, and then hit the ''Home'' key to frame everything up. When we've got a movement that's not feeling quite right, it can sometimes help to have a look at the curves and see exactly what's going on in the middle there. I'm just going to tweak this a little bit so that I'm getting a smooth transition between the two pauses. Make sure that none of the axis are doing anything strange going one way and then the other too much, unless we want it. I think that gives a smoother result now. Now let's look at the forearm there, and the rest. I'm just going to roll it out and select all of my rotation curves here. You can see all of my key frames. I'm just going to rotate this back a little bit on the y-axis, so again, we've got a smoother path going between these two key frames. The graph editor can be quite confusing till you've got a bit of experience using it. What I'm doing here is just scrubbing back and forth until I find the area where there's a bit of a glitch, and then I'm adjusting these values and looking at the viewport always to see the effect that they're having, trying to smooth out that rotation of the rest here. I think I want to drag that hand little bit more as it comes up to the top here. Rotate that back a little bit on the z-axis, so it comes up and through. I'm just going to go back to my camera view, hit the ''Home'' key to frame everything up, and then I'm going to create another viewport capture. Just go to the View menu, and down to viewport render animation. Now we can go up to the render menu, and view animation. Now it's off to a pretty good start, as we're playing back though it's worth looking out for any little issues, looking through the whole body, looking at the torso, looking at the arms for anything that stands out as not working in a believable manner. At the moment the thing that I'm really noticing is the final head turn. It feels very linear and artificial in the way that the character comes to a stop. So we're going to go in and adjust that now. 33. Character Jump: Soften the Turn: I'm just jumping back into my Dope Sheet tool and we can see it's this part of the animation that at the moment, is very linear. That's really just because we added this breakdown in. Once we use that to favor the final pose and correct that ease in. What we've knocked down, is adjust the arc that anything follows. You can see here that the hips are rising up from the squash and then we just moving sideways across into this final position. All I really want to do is go to this frame here, frame 47. I'll just select that "Torso" control and because we're going up here, I actually want to go a little higher and then drop it down in to that final pause. So I'm just going to nudge that up a little bit. Let's see how that goes. So up and over and dropping down. Already that's helping a little bit. I also want to look at the other body parts as well. So I'm just actually lift the head a little bit higher. Rotating it up and again, having that settled down in at the end. I might overshoot his arm just a little bit as well, into this pose. The reason that I'm doing this is to try and introduce a bit of overlapping action. Trying to make sure that all of the body parts don't start and stop at the same time. Now as I'm scrubbing through the timeline here, see a little bit of a glitch here on this arm. I'm going to just see if we can fix that, just adjust that back a little bit. Always checking back and forth. What I'm actually going to do is select those three controls and hit "Shift + E" to bring up my break down tool and then I can actually take this beyond a 100 percent. Let me take up to a 110 percent and see what that does for us. So that overshoots it into here, but then we're getting a very stiff result as we come back into play. So I'm actually going to select that forearm and rotate that out a little bit and do the same with the hand. It's settled down slightly. Now we're going to fold it to pull up back in a little [inaudible] as well. Actually going to add in an extra break down here at frame 51. Just going to throw this arm even further back. I just want a smooth transition. I'm checking out both this viewport and the camera viewport. The camera viewport is what I'm really interested in at the moment. I might just actually just zoom in a little bit there, so we can see more clearly what I'm looking at. I'm just watching this hand and the wrist as it comes down and the path that it's following. We have a little glitch in there as we're going backwards and then dropping down and I'm going to trying to avoid that. Probably taking that back a bit too far as well. Many of these things are just trial and error, just adjusting a lesser bit here and there so we get the result that we want. I think the path of that is looking good, but it's a little bit fast as it comes in. I'm just selecting all of those controls and I'm going to move them a couple of frames further forwards. I really want to soften the end of this movement as well. I'm going to select everything. Our final frame is frame 56. Again, I'm going to set a key. Maybe frame 65, go back to 56, hit "Shift E", and again, I'm just going to ease into that final position. So it softens up nicely. So I'm happy with this arm. I'm just going to slip the upper arm and have a look at the curves. So I can notice that the rotation curves and hit "Shift H", hide everything else. I'm going to just smooth out these transitions just a little bit, so I'm just moving this control down a little bit and just the handles. To smooth out that transition. Pull that down a little here. As I've already mentioned, getting used to the graph editor, understanding exactly what these curves are doing can take a little bit of time. But until then, just scrubbing through the timeline, getting to a position where you know something isn't moving quite as you like. Then adjusting the relevant value on the curve, see exactly what impact it has within the viewport is the best way to make that connection and understand exactly what's going on. Look at the forearm as well. Obviously, what we're interested in, in this case is the X rotation. Again here I'm just scrubbing through. Looking for areas that don't feel right and then making little adjustments to the curve to transmit it out. Lift that point up a little bit. Ease into that final position. I'll do the same for the hand. Looking pretty good. What I was trying to do here is keep the one arm moving for a little bit longer than the other. I'm getting that overlap. This arm is settling after the arm on the right. This part of the move still feels quite fast to me, as the arm drops down. We list that rotation here. I might actually just adjust this position slightly, if I lift this up. I'm going to be rotating the arm in towards the body a bit. So we're getting down sooner. I'm just softening that last part. That's a bit better. What I'm going to do as well is just rotate these fingers at the end, just a little bit and just hand pose a touch. As I adjust these fingers, I'm just trying to be very subtle in the amount of movement and I'm adding. I don't want the fingers to get too distracting and I'm always looking at that silhouettes in the camera viewport. By clustering the fingers together in this way, we can create a really nice simple shape for the hand. Now select just those hand controls. I did "Shift+E" on that pose before. Just quite a breakdown there so I favor at around 70 percent, something like that. That's softly easing into place. I did the same on the other side. Use that break down tool to ease into that final position. We can see everything softly moves this into place. 34. Character Jump: Moving Hold: Now, I'm going to add a final page for everything. Select all. I'd set quay on frame 72. We just want a subtle bit of movement there just to keep the character alive through to the final frame. I might just lift the head over slightly. We adjust those hips over slightly as well. Make sure I'm on the right frame. What we're trying to do here is to create what's known as a moving hold. Between those final two poses here, we want the character to be in almost, but not exactly, the same pose. There's a subtle amount of movement in there that ridges helps to give that illusion of life. Keep the character alive, moving, breathing. But what's important to know is that we have to be super subtle with it when we're moving the character here. If we have too much movement, it'll just feel like the character is swimming around. It doesn't feel natural at all. I'm just trying to make very little adjustments here. Just enough to keep the character living and breathing. A little glitch into the arm there. Again I'm just going to go back to the graph editor and have a look, See see here, if I look at the curves, they've got this little bump here which we don't want. I'm just going to adjust these curves slightly just to smooth that out. Again looking at all of the axes, favor that last position, always going back and forth adjusting things as you need. Never going to be right the first time. Look out for any little glitches like this that we can smooth out. Look at that wrist. You see this little bump in here that we don't really want. Soften all of that. Smoothing down to the Y rotation here, just softening the end of that curve a little bit, smoothly rotating into place. Scrolling back and forth to check. I'm just checking different parts of that motion. This Y rotation a little bit, pulling up at one point just to soften again that curve into place. Now I'm looking at the head. That's dropping down a bit too quickly. I can actually just take a look at the X rotation here. I'm going to select that key here and pull it down. It's just holding the head a little higher for longer, and overlapping that down into that final position. Down a bit here as well. Now I just want to lift these values up a little bit, so we're actually reducing the amount that head rotates. At the end there, just pull that down a little bit. I'm really trying to just soften gradually into that final position. It's far easier to make these little micro adjustments within the Graph Editor than it is if you're trying to move things around within the view port. It really makes all the difference to just get that last little bit of finesse in there by making use of the Graph Editor in this way. We're just going to look at the other axis as well. That Y axis doesn't look quite right and I can already see there's a little glitch in there. Rotate that. I'm just going to soften into that final position as well. Okay. Don't forget to save. 35. Character Jump: Eyes & Brows: Now the next thing I'd like to do is take a look at the character's face, and try to make that a little bit more lively. What I'm actually going to do is hide all of the other controls apart from the face. We can go over into the Rig Layers here and turn off our head, our torso, our arms, and fingers, and root. Literally just have the face controls, and A to select all of those. You can see if I hit "Control Tab", we've got these keys in here already which are in part locking those eyes into place. We'll work around that. I think what I'd like to do is as the character is squashing down here, is close those eyes up, squint the eyes up a little bit. I'm just going to frame that up. For now I'm just interested in the eyes, so I'm going to select the two of them, and keep them open up until about Frame 12. I'm going to hit "I" to set a key on them. I'm going to squash them down into 15, keep them squashed all the way down to 21. I'm going to hit "I" to set a key there, and we'll pop them back open as the counter pushes off on Frame 22. Again, I'm going to hit "I" and set a key there. I'm going to squash them right down, and I think what I'm going to do is go to the final position their that Frame 21 for the most extreme squashed position. Then I'm going to hit "S" to scale this, and I'm going to constrain it to the z-axis, squash them right down, but remember we'll say S and scale it out a bit on the x-axis. With these eyes, I think it also helps a little bit for you to scale in, touch on the y-axis to squash them back a little. Then also move them back onto the face having done that here. That will do as our close position. Then I'm going to go back to that Frame 15, hit "Shift A", and we'll just save that again to 80, 90 percent. He's squashing down, and just really squashing to that final position. Before closing those eyes, also you're going to want to move the brows down as well. I'm going to do similar thing with them. What actually going to do though, instead of keying them on Frame 12, I'm going to key them back on Frame 11. I'm going to start those brows moving down just slightly before the eyes, so we're getting a little bit of overlap between the brows and the eyes which will make them feel a bit more natural. I'm going to select all the brow controls, I'll set a key on Frame 11, squash that right down into a Frame 15, and remembering we want to pop everything open on Frame 22. I'm going to hit "I" to set a key there, and I'll set key on Frame 21. Again, on Frame 21 I'm going to select these brow controls, I'm just going to bring them right way down around the head just to make them back out as well. Then I'm going adjust the individual controls after I've adjusted that main master control. I'm going to bring these down a little bit and rotate the controls again, and then you get a nice squash shape out of them. It's always worth trying to keep nice smooth shapes as we're adjusting those brows. Again, it's part of the appeal of the character. Looks a bit more natural as well trying to create a nice flowing line between the two brows. I think that will do. Select the two of them, so make sure they're on the face nicely. I'm just going to nudge that out a little. In fact, I'm going to adjust the individual controls so they're sitting on the face nicely. Same on the other side. That will do. I'm going to select these brow controls, and get back to our Frame 15, and again, just have this down. That's it. The brow should start moving just a frame before the eyes, squash right down, and keep that squash going. I'm going to pop them open as we take off. What I'm actually going to do is adjust this brow shape here, and push the brows even higher up. Again, I just need to make sure that they are stuck to the face properly. Up here, and there's two of those, and I'm going to again hit "Shift E", so that's about 70 percent, something like that, so they're popping open moving into that really wide open position before relaxing down again as we drop. Now, throughout landing I'm going to have him closing his eyes as well to this frame, and let's close the eyes down, squash them on the z, and scaling out that on the x. Not bad on the y. I'm going to tilt a little bit I'm actually going to copy this key. So I've got to control select it, click up at the top here, hit Shift D, move that across and just drop it over frame 37 there. I open his eyes up again from frame 42. Again, we want to think about those brows, squashing them down. I'm going to move the main control and then start adjusting the individual controls afterwards. Looking for that nice smooth shape. I'm making sure that everything is sitting on the face okay. That look good. Select all of that, and again, I'm just going to duplicate that, Shift D, and drop it onto frame 37. But I want to start moving those brows down a little bit sooner, so on frame 33, second shift E, and we'll just go back a little bit, like 40 percent, so the brows are starting to come down, squash down to close. That frame 37, we're actually going to pull that back one frame to frame 36. So those brows start to lift up again slightly sooner than the eyes. I'm actually going to lift the brows higher as we turn. I want to adjust the expression slightly. Once again here, just starting up on moving those main controls and then moving on the individual secondary controls. I can bigamy first and then finessing it with the smaller controls. Try again to create a nice smooth shape between the two brows. Make it feel like they're connected together rather than moving independently from each other. It's both more appealing that way and more natural. Snatching it back into the face a little bit. It can be a bit of a pain to adjust these and keep putting the brows and eyes back onto the face as we're moving around, but it does keep things very flexible. It means that you can go very broad in cartooning and have eyes squashing and stretching all over the place if you really want to. I'm going to actually delay the eyes opening a little bit. So I'm going to go back and select the eyes. I want to delay this, hold it to frame 40, and I'm just going to delete that key completely. So just X, confirm. Let me go pull that back a little bit. I'm going to look at the brows as well when they're rising. I really don't want it to come up quite so quickly, so I'm going to hit Shift E and favor this back. Around there looks good. I do want them to drop down slightly afterwards, but I don't want them to reset back to that default position. What I'm actually going to do is go forwards into this frame 49. I'm going to set a key on all of those brow controls, and I'm going to take that key and I'm just going to drag it and drop it on top of frame 56. Now you can see we settle slightly into frame 56, and then I'm going to duplicate that key and drop it on top of the following two. Now I think I might actually add in a blink at the end here as well. We need help keep that face alive through that final part. Here I'm just backing on frame 58, and then I'm going to close the eyes to frame 60, so set key there. Let's just scale them down again. Now, I'm going to duplicate that key. Just hold it for one frame I think. I'm just going to scale it down here so it's slightly further. I'm just going to select this frame 65 and pull it back to 64. Then while we're blinking here, I just want a small and subtle movement on the brow as well. I'm just going to key that frame 57, and frame 60. Move them down a little bit, just have a very small and subtle movement on the brows. Just trying to make some small adjustments here. Flipping between the poses just to check. Trying to create a subtle movement here and create a smooth and appealing shape out of those brow again. Subtle little squash. Again, you can see the brows and the eyes are overlapping slightly. 36. Character Jump: Mouth: The other thing I want to do is just adjust the mouth slightly as we squashing right down here. Frame 35. Actually going to scale the mouth slightly on the z-axis. Slightly up again on the x, I'm going to nudge it up closer to the eyes. So we're feeding that squash, say on contact. To hold up, I'm just going to duplicate frame, Shift D, drop in frame 37. Then we'll recover the mouth back up into frame 42. But I'm actually going to rotate it slightly and move it down into the side of it just slightly. Then as we turn, I'll do that even more. We get a bit more rotation in there and move it down into the side. It is trying to create an appealing expression here. You can see, we're opening out the face if you imagine a line along the line of the brows and one along the mouth, opening out the face in the direction the character's looking. Duplicate that. Slightly back, slightly. Then duplicate that across the final two positions. I'm just going to have a look at that squash. Start there, I'm going to do a similar thing with the mouth as well. We're going to really squash it down into that frame 21. Let's just get it down on z and x, we bring it up close to these eyes. We just key it up at the top here. We're going to shift E on frame 15 and favor that final position. [inaudible] on frame 22. I'm just going to take what we've got in frame 25, duplicate that, and bring it back to frame 22 so that we get that pope open and as he takes off, and I'll just actually pull that down a little bit. We're looking at squash and stretch within the face you can see the squashed face together with the squashed body. Then as we stretched out the body, we stretched out the face as well. Home to frame all that up again and save. Once again, I'm going to do a view called captured to see where we are. View, Viewport, Render Animation and render the animation. 37. Character Jump: Hair on Jump: Now that I'm happy with the animation on the main body, we can add some drag and follow through to the hair and to the cap. I'm just going to jump back to the first frame and I'm going to make my hair layer visible and turn off my face. We obviously have quite a few controls here that we can animate, but we can simplify that in the same way as we did with the fingers. If I just box select all these controls on the right here, and then check that we have a local rotation. Then I transform pivot points in a set to individual origins. As long as we have that, as we rotate, we'll get this distributed roll along the length of the chain. Now, if I select both sides together and try to do the same thing, you'll see that one side mirrors the other, but there is a way to work around that. If I select just the one side here, you can go up to the top of the view port here and click this x-axis symmetry. Now, when I rotate the controls on the one side, the other side will follow. We need to remember the auto key will not add key frames to any of these controls, unless we first set a key manually. I'm going to hit eight, select all of those controls, and I'd set key on the first frame. Now, I'm going to go back to just selecting the one side, and we can now start adding some drag and follow through to the hair. Now, up until this point, we've been working in a very pose-to-pose fashion, putting in our keys and our extremes and then breaking it down slowly from there. When it comes to the drag and follow through, it's easier to work in a straight ahead fashion, but we'll literary go through for you from the start of the animation to the end in order to try and create a smooth flowing action. We can always go back and adjust things afterwards, but it's easy to work this way initially. What I'm going to do is just slowly move through the timeline, looking at the direction that the character is moving and thinking about what the hair will be doing at that point in time. Just at the start here, I might just rotate this down ever so slightly, but really subtle amount. Now, as he's moving up quickly, let's start that hair really dragging behind. Then as he is slowing down at the top, the hair will overlap, it will follow through, and it'll start rising up again. I'm always scrubbing through the timeline to see where I've come from and where I'm going. Again, as we're moving down quickly, I really want to pull this hair up quite a bit so it's dragging behind. Maybe rotate that down on Frame 19 and have it recover up like this a bit into Frame 21. It's going to be bouncing back up again. Then as we jump off on the following Frame 22, it's really going to pull right back and down. Keep that rotated back until we start to come up at the top of the jump. This point, it's going to be following through. I'm going to rotate it right up in there. Then drag behind as we're coming down. Again, I can rotate that a little bit higher as we're coming down and really rotate right the way down again as we compress. But you notice it's dragging behind the rest of the body. The rest of the body is compressing the head of the hair coming down. As we come back up, it's still going to be dragging behind, and then it will be recovering back up again. Because it's been moving so fast, we can cover it back up quite high and then have it settle back down into place. I can add a little bit of a bounce here. So I'll come back up again and settle. I'm just going to hit Alt R to reset on that final frame. I'm just going to turn my subdivision level down and just hit Space to play that frame to see what we've got. 38. Character Jump: Hair on Turn: I think that works fairly well for the up and down. But we do have the sharp head-turn at the end here and I want to drag the hair around on the x-axis in this case. But I don't want the two sides to be mirrored, so I'm going to turn off my x-axis mirror up at the top there, so I'm just working on the one side here. From around here, from 43 as we start to turn, that hair is going to be dragging behind on the x-axis. I'm going to rotate that back. Then it will overshoot on frame 52 before circling back. I think that's moving too quickly there. I'm going to take my frame 48. I'm going to move it back to maybe frame 47. That helps a bit. I'm going to add in another keyframe maybe at 65. I'm just going to hit "I" to set a key because I want to take that hair back a little bit further on the x-axis here, so it takes a little bit longer to recover. It's good. I'm going to go around to the other side now and deal with the x-axis rotation there. Again, looking at when he starts to turn, so I'm going to rotate this slightly back here, so it's starting to drag behind on the x-axis. It'll still be dragging behind. Again, I think I want to take this back to frame 47. I'm going to hit "I" to set a key on frame 58 because again, I want to have that hair follow through a bit of frame 52 before settling back. Again, I'm setting a key on frame 67 in this case. We can add that extra little bit of settle. Let's play that through. It's not perfect, but you see how quickly we can get a nice-looking result out of it. Now the moment I feel it's this part of the movement that's not working quite naturally, so what I'm going to do is jump into the Graph Editor to make the final edits. Just hit ''Control+Tab,'' and hit "I" to frame everything up. Now, obviously, we got a lot of control selected here. If I roll this out, each one has all of these different channels. What we're interested in is just looking at the Z rotation and X rotation channels. We can go in and manually select them here, so we can select our X rotation, "Shift" select our Z rotation for each of these control objects, but that's going to take quite a long time. We can actually use the selection filter up at the top here. I'll just click in the selection box here. I can start typing out the name of the particular channel that I'm interested in. If I type in "X", it's going to select all of my X location, rotation, and scale. Notice that the rotation channel does not start with an R. If I put "space R", it won't find anything. Instead, I need to add in the E here, and now it will find the X rotation channels for all of my control objects. Now I'm going to go to my View menu. I'm going to deselect the "Only Selected Curve Keyframes" option so that now we'll get all of the keyframes for all of the different channels. Obviously, the curves are identical for all of these. I'm just going to hit "A" to select everything. If I just drag select all of the points here and start adjusting them. You can see that's adjusting all of the hair up in the Viewport. I'm just going to drag this up a little bit, so it's not overshooting quite so far, and we'll get a more settle reduction. Adjust that down a little bit as well. Here we are. I'm going to select all of the controls on the other side and do the same thing. You can see here, we are really dragging behind the long way. We overshoot and this is our settle. A bit like with the bouncing ball, we want this to be gradually decreasing over time. I'm not going to look at the Z rotation channels. Again, "Z", "Space", and an "E". That should select all of the channels for all of the controls, all of the Z rotation channels for all the controls. Again, I'm just going to pull this one up a little bit, do the same here, and then I'm going to move it down ever so slightly until we get that decrease over time. I'll do the same on the other side. Select all of those controls. You can see here, I follow through here, we got quite high and then we come down sharply, and I want to stop. Again, I'm going to pull that down a little bit. Pull this down the other side. Again, just slowly reduce the amount of movement over time. See, that feels a bit more natural now. You can set these controls again. We'll go back to the Dope Sheet. Because I feel at the moment, it drags behind for a little bit too long, so I'm going to come to frame 45, use my square bracket to select all of the keys afterwards, and I'm going to pull up back, so it will follow through a bit sooner. Do the same on the other side. I'm going to pull this back a frame in this case. Set the square brackets and pull this back a frame. That's much better. I'm going to save my scene. Now at the moment, each of these three clumps of hair on the side of the head are moving at exactly the same time as each other. We can create a little bit more flexibility by offsetting some of these. To do that, I'm just going to select the controls in the middle here, and leave the first key where it is. With a square bracket key, select everything else. I'm just going to move that forward one frame. Then I'm going to do the same with the bottom strand of hair. Square bracket, select everything and in this case, I'm going to move it forward two frames. You can see now that each of these hair is separated from the others which gives us a little bit more fluidity. Now the only place I don't want this to happen is on this push off because that's a very fast push off, so I want to make sure that all of those hairs are moving down at exactly the same time. In this case, I'm going to select these two key frames, and I'm going to pull them back two, so everything's moving down at the same time. Then they'll overlap again when it's in the hair. I'm going to do the same coming back this middle clump of hair. Again, for this push off, I want to move this key back one in this case. As we take off, everything is together, and we can have some more overlap between each of the strands as we come down. Now we need to just do the same on the other side. I'm going to set that middle clump. Square bracket key, and I'm just going to move that forward one frame. But over here, I'm going to take that one push off frame and I'm going to move that back. I'm going to select this bottom clump, set all the keys, and move them forward two frames, and pull this back. Again, we'll push off with everything together. Let's play that back again. Great. 39. Character Jump: Hat Animation: Now with the head done, we can have a look at the hat and you can go through the same process. I'm going to turn on the hat layer, turn off the hair, and we can select all of the controls on the top of the hat. I'm all right to set the key. I'm just going to increase my subdivision level while I'm working through this so I can see things properly. Again, this can be very little movement at the start there. I'm just going to leave that stiff. Pull that up. I can rotate that down a bit slightly. Now the amount that you move these controls and how many frames you move them over is going to affect how floppy a particular part of the body or clothing looks, or how stiff it looks. That's something that you just get a feel for over time. Obviously, the less that you move something, the stiffer it will feel. The faster it recovers as well, the stiffer it will appear. I'm going to takeoff, I want to pull this down quite a bit. I'm going to rotate it to this bit as well. Just say Alt R to reset things. I'm going to reset up at the top there and then start to drag it behind as we come down. I'm just going to reset that key key on that. Then stop to recover down. I'm going to keep just getting down a little bit more, and follow through. A little bit of twist in here again. You can see I'm twisting the controls a little bit. Part of that is to do with the drag and follow through. But equally, it can be used just to enhance the shape of the hat. Make something that looks a bit more appealing and then settle off the pose. Now, I know that's not going to work quite right at the moment, so I'm just going to jump over into the graph editor. Again, I want to filter this on the x-rotation channels. There's your subplot about. In fact I want to move all of these down. We should go one way, the other back again, unless we really want to pull right the way down, and then pull it back up again. Now I feel the twist at the moment is a bit too obvious, so I'm going to snap the y-rotation channels. You see here this is where it's twisting. I want to hide that within the foster part of the move, pull that back a bit as well. Look back in my excitation, because I'm not sure about how much this moves at this point here, it's very fast. I'm going to actually pull this back a little bit having it recovering a little bit sooner. This is very fast here as well. You can see we've got shallower curve here and then it's got a fast change at this point, which doesn't feel natural for something that's settling. In this case, I can just drag these key frames further down the timeline so we get a more natural settle. I think I'm actually going to drag all of this off to the right a little bit. I'm adding some extra frames into settle. I'm just going to pull it back again a little bit more. It's just a bit too floppy at the moment for my liking. That feels a bit better. There we go, and save that. Now to probably check our result, I'm just going to put that subdivision level backup to 2, and we'll create another view capture. View, on Render Animation. I can again go up to Render, View Animation. I think that's working well. 40. Character Jump: Material Preview: So far we've been working with our viewports in the solid shaded mode, but we can actually change the material preview here in the camera viewport and if I change back to the dope sheet, we get back to our first frame, you see see we get a far nicer looking result. We can capture this in the same way as we have for our regular viewport captures. Before we do that, I'm just going to go over to the render properties and enable the ambient occlusion. That will give us a little bit of a contact shadow, which will help to ground the character and then I'm going to do one more viewport capture. Now if we go to render view animation, you can see we got a far nicer looking result. Now the quality of this capture will be more than enough for review purposes but if you'd like your animation to look even better, I'll show you how to render it out properly in the next lesson. 41. Class Update: Rendering in Cycles: As I mentioned at the start of the class, Blender 3 introduced a major change to the way that the Cycles render engine works. This change has led to significant speed improvements, and it comes with an entirely new approach. Previously, Blender used a tile-based approach to rendering. As the shot was rendered, individual tiles would be worked on, eventually forming the final image. The Blender 3, new rendering optimizations mean that a progressive rendering approach is now applied. With this system, the image will appear in its entirety, but will initially be very noisy. Gradually over time, the image will resolve and the noise level will reduce. With this new approach, we can now control the quality of our image in a number of different ways. We can set a maximum number of samples, a noise threshold, or a time limit for the render. Covering all of these options is beyond the scope of this class. Instead, we're going to adopt a simple sample-based approach, similar to that which is available in Blender 2.9. In the following lesson made in Blender 2.9, I adjust the number of Cycles render samples to 64 and enable denoising. When using Blender 3, you can adopt the same approach to achieve the same quality of result in less time. If you're using Blender 3 or higher, when you reach the relevant point in the next lesson, first, we need to disable the noise threshold options. Then, you can simply change the viewport samples to 32, the render samples to 64. Also just check that the render denoising has been enabled. After that, the only other difference you'll notice was taken in the next lesson, is the render will now be progressive rather than tile based. 42. Character Jump: Lighting & Render: Now, before we start lighting and rendering our shots, I'd just like to version up one last time. Up to the File menu, Save As, and again hit this little plus icon and save as. Now, in my Blender Essentials class, I showed you how to use individual lights to light your scene, but with an exterior scene like this, we have a very simple method that we can use to get great-looking lighting. The one downside of the method is that it requires the Cycles Render Engine, which takes longer to render than the Eevee render engine. I'm going to switch that over now. What I'm also going to do is adjust my samples down to 64, and under the de-noising section, enable my render de-noising. I'm also going to uncheck the simplify option. Now, you can see if we go over to the camera viewport, we enable our rendered view. At the moment, this doesn't look that great. That's because there are no lights in the scene and the only lighting is coming from some ambience which is set in the world properties. If you go over here, you can see we have this color and that's what's casting a little bit of light into the scene. For us to set the strength down to zero, we'd see we're now black. Now I'm going to dial it back up to one and then I'm going to click on this little dot next to the color and we can add in what's called a sky texture. Once I do that, you can see straight away, we've got far better lighting on our viewport. Now, there are lots of different parameters here that we can adjust to clear a different look. By adjusting, for instance, the elevation, we can adjust how high the sun is in the sky, and we can shorten these shadows if we want. Gave it something just a little bit longer, maybe around there. Rotation allows us to move the sun around the scene, so our direction of our shadows will change. I'll leave that set to zero. I like having the character back-lit like this because it's giving us this nice rim light around the character. Now at the moment, particularly if we jump over to this part of the scene, you can see that these shadows are actually quite sharp. If we want to soften them up a bit, what we can do is adjust the size of the sun, at the moment it's quite small. Up this to a larger value, maybe around 10. You see we're now getting this softer edge. It's the same as the principal with an area light; the larger the light, the softer the shadow it casts. I think the scene is actually a little bit too bright at the moment, so I'm going to adjust my sun intensity down a little bit, maybe around 0.3. Then we have these other attributes down here. We have the altitude, air dust and ozone parameters. These will affect the look of the lighting. With an altitude of zero, that's effectively giving us an impression of the lighting at zero meters above sea level. If we increase this, is the impression of being higher up. I'm liking the effect of that, we've got some darker, deeper shadows here. Now, this is probably not technically correct, but what I'm going for is something that looks appealing rather than being physically accurate. If we adjust our other sliders, our air dust and ozone, we can again, drastically affect the look of our shot. Here we've got much darker shadows, far more red. Again, if we increase that, a very different look to the shot. Reset that back to one, dust will give us a bit of haze within our shot, and then the ozone slider introduce a far blue blue into the shot. If we drop back down to zero, reduce that. Again, I'm just going to leave defaults of one. Feel free to play around with these attributes and create a look for the shot that appeals to you. Once you're ready, you can just hit F12 to create a proper test render of one frame of your shot. Now, because we're using Cycles render engine, it will take a while to render depending on the quality of your hardware, but it does create a far nicer end result. Once your render's complete, if you're happy with it, you can save it out under the image menu, just hit Save As. I'm just going to save this into that same capture folder that we've been using up to now. I'm going to make sure my file format is set and set it as a PNG. We don't have any transparency, so RGB is fine and color depth of eight-bit is fine as well. Just Save As. Now, if you'd like to render out your entire shot, we're going to need to change our output options. If we go to the Output Properties tab, we can leave our output folder and file name the same, but we want to change this from FFmpeg video, because when we're rendering a long sequence like this, it's important to render individual still images and then create a video file from it later. This means that if your render crashes partway through, you won't lose everything that you've done up to that point and you can restart the render from partway through. I'm going to change this to PNG. Again, RGB eight-bit is absolutely fine. I'm just going to save my shot, and with all of those parameters set, we can go up to the Render menu and hit Render Animation. Obviously, this now has to render all 72 frames as individuals still images. Once that's complete, you can then take those images and use any piece of editing software to combine them together and create a movie file which you can playback and share with other people. Now if you don't have any editing software available to combine the frames together, don't worry you can always do it within Blender, and I'll show you exactly how to do that within my Blender Essentials class. 43. Final Thoughts: Thank you so much for taking this class. I really hope that you've enjoyed it. I have enjoyed teaching it. I'd really love to see the work that you created, so please do share it within the Project Gallery and think about giving feedback to each other within the Project Gallery as well. Only by sharing our work and getting that feedback that we can really start to learn and grow as animators. If you haven't done so already, please check out my profile page where you'll be able to learn a bit more about me. If you would like to, you can follow me and be notified of every new class that I publish on Skillshare. Hopefully, by now, you have a far more solid understanding of the 12 principles of animation. You can go on and make use of that bouncing ball and the character that I've provided to try out some new exercises yourself and maybe share them in the Project Gallery as well. Thanks again for taking the class. I hope to see you again soon.