4 Factors to Create Realistic Animation

4 factors to create realistic animation4 factors to create realistic animation

There are many methods that will make your audience goes 'WOW!' when they see your animation. Making an object moves is an animation, but making an object comes alive is the toughest challenge and it can be very rewarding and satisfying. Here are 4 factors to create realistic animation, references, target, knowledge and pipeline. In this article, I'll use bouncing ball as an example.


1. We need to find references

Art is subjective and we must find some references that will provide us a benchmark on a good looking animation. In this tutorial, we need to create a bouncing ball, so all we have to do is to go Youtube and type in the words ‘bouncing ball’ and we will many real life sample video references to compare with.


2. We need to set a target

We need to know how we want our animation to look like even before we create it. This applies to all animation created in the industry. Big or small companies still practice creating storyboards and animatics to define their targeted animation outcome. In this tutorial, our target is to create a bouncing ball similar to a real basketball bouncing.


3. We need 2 good knowledge

In animation context, we need to know principal of animation and software’s operation skill to achieve our target. This 2 knowledge are the critical factors to creating a good animation and they both need to work hand in hand. Principal of animation makes an animation realistic and believable because of the way human’s eyes perceive movement. Software skills are considered the tools to sculpting a good animation. It allows animator to create quality animation with effective usage of time.

In this tutorial, we need to apply 6 principal of animations which is:

  1. Slows in and slows outmaya graph editor
  2. Pose to Pose
  3. Timing
  4. Squash and stretch
  5. Appeal
  6. Exaggeration

Software skills will require:

  1. Viewport navigation
  2. Translate (move), Rotate, Scale
  3. Bouncing ball rig (Provided)
  4. Creating key frames, auto key framings
  5. Graph editing
  6. Render animation into video file

A bouncing ball rig is generally not necessary if we do not intend to use squash and stretch. The reason for having a bouncing ball rig is so that you can create a better quality animation without creating a mess with your animation. I personally recommend this rig I’ve created just so that you can enjoy the learning process even more.


4. We need a good breakdown (pipeline)

A pipeline is a step by step process to produce the animation. Similar to cooking, the pipeline act as a recipe. The animation is break down into smaller segments to create. Eventually these small segments will pieced up into a big art piece. In this tutorial, we will break down the animation process into 4 segments:

  1. Vertical animation (Gravity)
  2. Horizontal animation (Friction)
  3. Rotation (Rotating ball looks more realistic)
  4. Scaling (Squash & stretch and exaggeration)


Having all these 4 factors to create realistic animation, you can try to follow the bouncing ball tutorial which will be release in a few days time is available here! Feel free to sign up for the newsletter to get the latest tutorial post update! And if you learn something new here, please like and share with your friends!

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