Principles of Animation vids – Block 2

I’m glad I decided to create this series of videos when I started this block. I wanted to keep on working on traditional art type series in this block, because I started to feel I was really gaining some mastery with drawing and concept art in January, so I wanted to expand that.

The Principles of Animation were introduced to all animators and artists by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston in the “Illusion of Life”, while they were working as Disney animators. In other words, this is the gold standard for people who want to animate anything. IOW, if you want to make good animations in video games, this is a must series to watch.

As I went through this and the Blender and Coding lessons, there was a huge amount of overlap, because everything about animation touches on Blender and coding because it is all about creating a story for your audience, and animation is all about story. – Appeal

Whether it is sex appeal, humour, and hyperbole, everything about Appeal is invoking an emotional reaction in our audience. It is vitally important to keep your skills up and keep drawing and creating. – Solid Drawing

Sure, if you use Blender, you can start ‘faking’ 3d very easily, but it is important to know how Blender operates, so you can start working on things, seeing how you would create that in Blender itself. – Exaggeration

While some people may think some kinds of exaggeration is ‘sexist’ and other buzzwords, it is important to over exaggerate things in animation so that they will read – allowing our audience to really connect with the material. – Timing

An attack too slow, problematic. Grabbing something goes to fast, looks like a push. You need to learn how to slow or quicken things up so it looks exactly like what you intended. – Secondary Actions.

Every action has a complete and opposite reaction. As characters do things, the environment and other characters need to respond that those actions. Trolly grabbing Trollette’s breasts too fast get’s the finger, while just holding her gets a pleasant surprise. – Arcs

By careful observations, you will see almost everything moves along a pendulum, and hence, they arc all the time. It’s important to work those arcs and lines to make sure everything moves properly. – Easing in and Easing out.

In most movements, using easing in and easing out, which is accomplished by tweening on a computer, the start and ending of an animation has less movements than the in between actions. – Follow Through and Overlapping Action

Just as environments respond to actions, so does things on character’s bodies, like long hair taking time to catch up with a running person, or a cloak following behind someone, etc, etc, etc. – Animation Types

In gaming an animation, there is a bunch of animation types we need to be aware off.

Sometimes, in animation, it is one event after another after another – so it is one pose and another pose and another pose – like something rebounding off a bunch of walls.

Other times, it is a pose to pose cycle, like walking, running, jumping, etc, etc, etc.

In game development, MoCap is similar to both these, because it saves everything frame by frame and pose by pose. As a result, it can really look, and if nothing is done with that data, you get games like Mass Effect Andromeda! – Framing

The Rule of Thirds, the Golden Ratio, lines of force – if you’ve never heard of these things, than you need to. Whether you make a painting, a blender scene, or take a photograph – always think of these things – what do you want your audience to focus on! – Anticipation

Every action can be summed up in this – preparation to take the action, the action itself, and the termination of an action. In animation, we need to create a sense that these characters are about to do something, like Trollette looking around before she opens her legs right up. – Squashing and Stretching

One of the biggest ways to exaggerate is Squashing and Stretching. Whether it is squeezing your eyes so tight because you’re excited, or wrapping our arms around your legs, or opening your legs up, squashing and stretching is all about making things look real and exciting.


Blender Videos – Block 2

I teach the basics of how to use Blender by creating the solar system within the program, and we’re up to the point where we are setting our planets to revolve around the sun.

More importantly, my latest tutorial is on creating a portfolio of your work, so you can start looking for work in the game development and animation industries. Having good renders and great animations helps you get your foot in the door. Most of these companies don’t care if you went to YouTube U or The University of Wisconsin, if your portfolio and demo reel is great.

Portfolio tutorial – In this lesson we go over the basics of creating a portfolio of our work. To do this, I go through the rendering settings, and we look at the differences between render file types and the 8-bit and 16-bit rendering and what to use and when. We also look at composition, and the ability to tell a story using the camera.

Animation tutorial – In this lesson, I show three different ways to animate in Blender – keyframing the deformations of an object, keyframing a parent, and using a bezier curve to make an object move along it.

Parenting tutorial – When I first took college, my professor gave us a lesson to create the solar system, after he show us how to parent and object to a “Null” and moved it around, showing how to create things that rotated around parents. This lesson is the exact same – where I show you how to parent the planets to Plain Axis, so you can animate the solar system.

Lighting tutorial – Up until now, we have been relying on our emissive sun to provide light in our scene, which is good, but we need to take it up a notch, with our first basics on lighting, teaching 3-point lighting, what kind of lights are in blender, and by using an enviornmental texture.

Environmental Texture –

Particles tutorial – In this lesson, we are adding asteriods to our solar system by using the particles engine in Blender, so we only need to make a few and then using particle emitters to spread out 1000s across our scene.

Asteroid Textures –

Texturing tutorial – We’re going to start working on the ability to make our scene to ‘read’, where the audience can instantly just see our work and immediately recognize it – and texturing is a major part of that. A texture with millions of pixels can provide the details that can be modelled, simply because it would be very hard to get the same kinds of details.

Earth Textures –

Planet Textures –

Modelling tutorial – Today I show you the basics of modelling, how to extrude, inset, combine two objects together and how to bring reference drawings into Blender to create our ship. While I am creating the MAGA ship, because it is hilarious to see people’s reactions to MAGA hats, you can take these lessons and create anything you want.

MAGA ship blueprints (badly done) –

Materials tutorial – This is the first in the process to teach materials and texturing, to show how to create ‘clusters’ that have their own unique materials – useful for creating what you want to create on a complex object, and how to start to develop an eye for colour.

Planetary placement tutorial – In this episode, we use the links I’ve provided below, to place our planets (just spheres for now) in the right positions and with the right sizes in order to create our Solar System.

Welcome to blender tutorial – This is the basics of using Blender – how to move things, how to move the camera around and how to start working with Blender.

Planetary info –

Sun –










Art Videos so far

Introduction to Art –

Art intimidates people, and we make the greatest artists into almost mythic heroes, but it doesn’t have to be. It takes time and practice and the right tutorials. You can follow me on Pinterest. I save a huge amount of tutorials on this account to help me learn art, and it should help you learn art as well.

Gaming art doesn’t need to the best in the world. If it’s good enough to tell your story than it will work.

Drawing Hub is a fantastic how-to drawing website, you should check it out. Not only do the people show you step by step how to draw something, they explain it as well. I spend at least an hour every single night at this website.

Introduction to Procreate –

Resources –

Drawing Muscles –

Procreate for iPad – ($13.99 cnd but it’s worth it)

If Procreate is too Expensive – Autodesk SketchBook for iPad is free –

Virtual Human Body for iOS –

Drawing a humanoid character can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re starting out, using base materials to trace over is okay because that helps you develop the muscle memory to draw things properly. Every journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step.

Tracing over drawings or tutorials is a technique called Rotoscoping. It is especially important for animation, as you can start to use different drawings at different times to create a sense of motion.

The best thing to do is use a tablet or touchscreen computer, save the pictures on the website and start tracing over it in programs like Procreate or Photoshop. I use Procreate for the iPad for this tutorial.

Introduction to Humanoid Drawing –

Resources –

Drawing Muscles –

Procreate for iPad – ($13.99 cnd but it’s worth it)

If Procreate is too Expensive – Autodesk SketchBook for iPad –

Virtual Human Body for iOS –

In this lesson, I go through how to setup thing up in SketchBook Pro from autodesk, which is absolutely free of charge for iOS users, to allow you to learn how to draw a humanoid figure. I also go through some of the body ratios that you need in order to draw a realistic humanoid character, if you want to draw something from scratch.

Like I said in the last episode, practice makes perfect. Keep on using tutorials, keep on learning, keep on practicing what you learn and you will start to be a good artist.

Thanks for watching the video and making games great again!