Introduction

This page lists tutorials that are part of the Principles of Animation BSoD project. There are two categories: small tutorials, to illustrate something more specific and projects, that should cover multiple principles.

Smaller Tutorials

Squash and Stretch

"Stretch To" constraint

StretchTo Constraint

The "stretch to" constraint can be used for squashing and stretching a rigged model, by actually changing bone sizes.

 Tutorial StretchTo Constraint

Strobing, motion blur

Strobing

Strobing, also called jerkiness, is what happens when the illusion of motion is broken and we perceive the individual images on-screen, instead of smooth animation. Squash and Stretch was initially also a way to fight this problem, so for fun we try it in a very simple setup.

 Tutorial: Strobing .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-Strobing.blend

Follow Through and Overlapping Action

Cloth

Cloth

Using a softbody subdivided plane to demonstrate simulated follow through, overlapping and dragging.

 .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-Cloth.blend

Physics

Collisions between spheres of different weights.

Weight and momentum

Believable movement and proper timing are the keys to the illusion of weight in animations.

 Tutorial: Weight and momentum .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-Weight.blend

Illusion of Motion

Peripheral drift illusion

Peripheral Drift Illusion

As we've mentioned in the introduction to the principles, at least some academics studying how we perceive movement believe that persistence of vision is a myth and the true explanation of why we perceive motion in films has to do with short-range aparent motion. Peripheral drift illusion is also related to that, so here's a .blend showcasing it. Just for fun.

As pointed in the article at Wikipedia, it's easier to see the illusion if we fixate off to the side of it and blink fast or while we read text by the side of the image.

More info: Peripheral drift illusion, Persistence of Vision (check links at the end for arguments against this "theory").

 Tutorial: Peripheral Drift Illusion .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-PeripheralDriftIllusion.blend

Projects

These projects involve simple modelling, preparing objects and characters for personality animation and creating simple animations to showcase all principles. For now only the initial .blend files (some still being worked on) are available.

Bouncing ball

A classic exercise from traditional animation. Besides using Squash and Stretch to achieve a nice cartoony animation of the ball, we can also apply other principles and "give life to it".

Flour sack

Half-filled flour sack

Another classic exercise on movement and personality development, where many of the principles can be applied.

 .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-FlourSack.blend

Blestro

Blestro

Simple hierarchical character reproducing the one George Maestri presents in his [Digital] Character Animation 2: Volume 1 book. It can be animated piece by piece via hierarchy, parenting all parts to a root one. But to help we've added an armature to it. No deformations, each separate piece was parented to a bone.

 .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-Char-Blestro.blend

Micko

Micko

A tribute character based on Blender's Suzanne (that's where its head started) and the "circles and rubber hose" classic heroes, like Mickey Mouse and Felix the Cat. We will use it for exercises like trying to reproduce the rubber hose arms and also in animations using the 12 principles.

 .blend file Media:AnimPrinciples-Char-Micko.blend