3 Timing and Arch

31/08/2013 23:26


Timing is essential to the development of animation. Story development, gags, reactions and character development all depend on a clear sense of timing to be effective. Analyzing and establishing timing are a part of the process of developing the action of a character in a scene (for example, consider differences in the way a character walks if he or she is dopey, hasty, hurried or lethargic.) The physics of motion determines how objects move in the physical world. It would be hard to convince viewers if your animation did not follow these basic laws of motion. Of course exaggeration is essential in the animated world, but even exaggerated animated action still follows the basic laws of physics. The frame rate of film is 24 frames/second (fps). That means that it takes 1,440 frames to create one minute of action. Note: For the purpose of your introductory class, the students should work at 12 fps. 

Arcs and Path of Action 

  • The motion of living things does not usually progress in straight lines. Most action follows the shape of an arc; for example, throwing a ball, swinging a bat, or nodding the head use arc-shaped motions.
  • The path of action is the direction that an action will follow. Think of a ball falling off a table and bouncing until it comes to a stop. The path of action helps map out the position of each drawing at each frame

Laws of Motion and Easing

  • Newton‘s laws of motion apply in the animated world. Basically stated, objects don’t move or stop unless acted on by a force large enough to overcome their inertia. And when they are acted upon by a bigger force, they react in an equal and opposite manner.
  • Acceleration due to gravity is constant. This causes falling objects to gain speed until they are acted upon.
  • At the top of its arc, a pendulum’s velocity is slow, at the bottom it is high. This kind of speed change is referred to as ease-in and ease-out in animation. Ease-in means that the object is gradually picking up speed; ease-out means that the object is gradually slowing down.

Keyframes - In between and Timings.

Keyframes are significant poses in a character’s action, such as the first and last positions in a jump. In-betweens are all of the drawings between the keyframes; they progress the action from one keyframe to another. The more drawings there are between keyframes, the slower the action will appear to take. This is because more drawings means that there is more time to complete the same action. In animation, space = time; the more space there is between drawings, the faster the action will appear to progress; the less space there is between drawings, the slower the action will appear. Basically when two drawings are far apart the time taken to go between them appears shorter than the time taken to go between two drawings placed close together. 

Assignment 2 - Timing and Arch

The Lesson 2a sample material contains drawings of a ball as it rolls. Each element displays drawings at different positions on the path of action to illustrate the effect that spacing has on timing. Only the “mechanical” element is displayed by default. In the “mechanical” element, each position of the ball is displayed over 21 frames. You can use the drawings in this element to experiment with spacing. The other elements show the different timing setups, so the you shouldn’t look at them until they have finished your experiments.