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Weight shift

Posted on December 15, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor, Education | 2 Comments

The principles of animation have been laid down by Disney Animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston in the “Illusion of life ” in 1981.

Some more concepts have been added over the years and one of the most important addition, or clarification, is the concept of “weight shift”.

When standing straight, our weight is equally distributed over both legs, so to be able to lift up one leg, we need to transfer that weight in the opposite direction of the leg being lifted up.

If a character were to lift up his left leg and did so without shifting his weight from the centre to the right, he would immediately fall to the left as 50% of his weight wouldn’t be supported by his left leg anymore.

Animation is about stylised motion but no matter what style of animation you are going for,
weight shift is a concept you should always keep in mind when animating a character lifting up one of his legs. Successful weight shift is what separate the boys from the men!

Here are several examples for you, a good one I just made in Maya using the great Animation Mentor rig Ballie and a very average one that is still on my showreel :-) {examples coming soon}

{my reel, bottles lifting up his leg}

Ballie Step to side

Kyle Balda has a great weight shift demonstration on the trailer for his Masterclass .


Related post:
28 principles of animation

“Rhapsody with James” short film

Posted on December 8, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor, Friends | Leave a Comment

My ex-classmate Rok Andic posted his great shortfilm online. It is quite refreshing to see an AM shortfilm done with a custom rig and a customized soundtrack. The idea is very original which makes it delightful to watch.

Check it out!

Chinese Animation Mentor

Posted on November 17, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor, Education | 4 Comments

Chineese AM

Chineese AM

AM expensive? Try the Chinese branch!

The 8 minutes Chinese flavoured AM showreel should convince you how good the teaching is!

More seriously, except the serious copyright infringements, having worked with several Chinese outsourcing companies, I have come to realize that when it comes to learning animation, copying the masters can pay off. Cutural differences aside, some chineese animators are actually really good.

“She has the voice of an angel”

Posted on October 10, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor | Leave a Comment

Disney behind the scenes

Disney behind the scenes

If you missed that exclusive “Disney’s behind the scene” Animation Mentor podcast, plug your headphones and head toward the AM website for a great interview between Animation Podcast Clay Kaytis and 5 artist who joined Disney after going through Disney’s internship, the “Talent development program”.

Read more

Shot 08 Work in progress

Posted on September 18, 2009 
Filed Under Animation Mentor, Portfolio, Short film | 5 Comments

Following Mike Stern’s tip on the latest Animation Mentor newsletter, I have decided to bring all my shots to the same level of progress, then focus on the polish. That one was one of the most advanced ones but I have tweaked the camera slightly and might end up cutting it in two for the last part.

Anyway, I am posting this as it is right now and will do the editing once I have all the other shots.



Link Name

Shot 01 refining

Posted on September 17, 2009 
Filed Under Animation Mentor, Portfolio, Short film | Leave a Comment



here is the first shot from my shortfilm. The elbow is very jittery as I can’t remember where to find the IK elbow. Hope you like it though

Shot 12 final

Posted on September 16, 2009 
Filed Under Animation Mentor, Portfolio, Short film | 3 Comments



Well that’s it for now. Here is the final pass for that shot. The long chair will still be tweaked later (the design is still WIP) but I am now moving to the next shot. Hope you like it. Shoot any comments

Shot 12 work in progress

Posted on September 13, 2009 
Filed Under Animation Mentor, Portfolio, Short film | 3 Comments



This is one of the shots from my short film. Our little guy is a vampire who fell asleep and wakens up realising that he is burning. The shot is still in step (well most of it is blocked on ones anyway)

I have reframed the shot compared to the original version I did during Animation Mentor but something is bothering me. I am gonna keep it this way for the time being and we will see how it works in continuity with the previous and next shots.
I haven’t yet worked on the legs/steps once he lands as I am still unsure about how long he will stay in the air. Do you think this is too long or just enough?

Also the combination of legs/arms flalling makes it a really busy silhouette, should I just animate the legs and keep his arms frozen forward? I will check some old Warner Brother cartoons and try to find some answers tomorrow.

I will also do a proper rig for the long chair tomorrow just so I can give it a more organic feel to it (think Gobelins short films)

[update] looking at it with fresh eyes, I think I will start the shot a bit later and keep the take for the previous shot. The framing will look better.

“The Contender” lip sync

Posted on September 12, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor, Portfolio | 2 Comments

If you are wondering what was the idea behind my latest Bishop mod, here it is ;-)

It is a quick lip sync animation, just to try some lip sync, facial animation and rendering with Mental ray/SSS/displacement map.

Don’t worry I don’t have the pretension to compete with Marlon Brando. For some reason I just thought it was funny to have Shrek saying that line.

The contender

The contender

Give this man a job!

Posted on September 3, 2009 
Filed Under Animation, Animation Mentor, Friends | Leave a Comment

Turf planet

Turf planet

This is just crazy, my friend Ales Mav still hasn’t found a job after nearly one year looking for work in London! I just don’t get this!

For a start Ales is one of those very nice and humble chaps you seldom meet. Ales and I were classmates at AM and he had been one of those rare A+ student from class1 to 6.  Several of his shots got featured on the animation mentor showreel, his short film “Daphne’s new broom” got selected and awarded at several festivals, he keeps adding great new shots to his showreel month after month, he won last month 11 seconds club competition and he even started a new shortfilm “Turf Planet” , quitely, by himself.

Please! Give this man a job!!!!!!

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