Monday, October 15, 2007

10 x beats. Flip the Frog: double bounce walk

Animation students can learn 2 things from this lesson:

1) What a double-bounce walk is and how to draw one.

2) What a 10x beat feels like


10 X BEATS
Different tempos in animation have different feels.

A 12x beat is an easy natural feel.
An 8x beat has a quick uptempo feel.
A 10x beat is inbetween those 2. It feels urgent, like a march beat. Brisk and energetic.



The scene below is timed to a 10x beat.
All the main actions fall on multiples or divisions of 10s.
Watch it and feel it.

FLIP THE FROG IN "NURSE MAID": DOUBLE BOUNCE WALK (3.4mb)

A great way to get a feel for a tempo is to listen to the music alone. Get this music going in your head and feel the tempo.

The Happy Happy Joy Joy Song is a 10x beat.

HERE'S JUST THE AUDIO (1.2mb)

Tap along to the beat. Each of your taps will be 10x apart.

The old cartoon directors used metronomes to time their scenes to. They would set the tempo they liked and act out the scene to the clicks. I use click tracks in my animatics.

HERE'S A 10 FRAME CLICK TRACK (1.5mb)


A DOUBLE BOUNCE WALK


In a normal walk a character goes up and down once each time he takes a step. Usually when you step, your leg bends DOWN to take the weight then it pushes UP on the way to the next step. There are endless variations of this, but that's the concept.

In a double bounce walk, you go up and down twice in each step.
Not only do you go down as your foot contacts the ground, you go down again in the middle of the step.

WHY??? A double bounce step is musical. It's like a dance. It's fun. It's in lots of 30s cartoons. Porky Pig in Clampet's cartoons always walks double bounce. It shows that he's youthful and full of pep. It also conveys innocence.

------------------------------------------
Here is Flip's walk, and I have broken it down into keys and inbetweens for you. You can step through this cycle frame by frame to see how it works.
DOUBLE BOUNCE WALK CYCLE + JOHN'S NOTES (4.5mb)



HERE'S A CLOSE-UP OF THE WALK, SLOW-MOTION, WITH JOHN'S NOTES (4.7mb)

Here's the ex sheet with the directions for the bouncing

Here's a 10x ex sheet in case you ever want to do some animation of your own to a 10x beat.
BLANK EX SHEET - 10 FRAME

Here you can see exactly what I do in Flash to analyze a scene.
THIS IS THE ACTUAL FLASH 8 FILE

________________________________________________________

The Keys
Step 1 - right foot on ground
RIGHT STEP -DWG 1 (body in upward position- no lean)

UP - DWG 4

SQUASH DOWN IN MIDDLE OF STEP - DWG 6

UP AGAIN JUST BEFORE STEP 2 - DWG 9
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STEP 2 left foot on ground (body leaning forward)
(STEP 2) LEFT STEP DOWN - DWG 11

UP IN MIDDLE OF LEFT STEP DWG 14

SQUASH DOWN IN MIDDLE OF STEP - DWG 16


UP AGAIN JUST BEFORE STEP DOWN - DWG 19

----------------------------------

REPEAT CYCLE BY STEPPING DOWN RIGHT AGAIN
DWG 1

The other drawings in the cycle are basically inbetweens.
*** - but watch the foot that is off the ground...that won't pure pure inbetweens.

Ub Iwerks cartoons are great to study animation principles from. And they are really fun too.


If you wanna see where this lesson would fit into my ideal cartoon school curriculum click this rascal:
http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2007/09/my-ideal-cartoon-school.html




Later this week: Wanna watch me construct Bugs Bunny and Willoughby, step by step? Kali has made a film.





49 comments:

Banarne said...

Great. Complete and thorough and not condescending. Complete reference files and instructions. If more of your posts were like this, I think your donations would be through the roof.

Max Ward said...

I'm not learning to animate now, I'm learning to draw better before I do. But this will be handy when I feel ready! and I would like to see Kali's film

Mitch K said...

Oh man this is fantastic! Thanks! =)

Mitch Leeuwe said...

Wow great lesson! I sure wanna study this when I have the time for it and when I can construct better. So this one is bookmarkt :p

"Wanna watch me construct Bugs Bunny and Willoughby, step by step? Kali has made a film."

That would be very usefull!

Sphyzex_9 said...

Thanks and yes.

Paul B said...

Thanks Joh!! this are true animation lessons!!

and yeah! i wanna see that film!!

put it on! put it on!

eric said...

This is awesome. Thanks for providing the flash file for reference. Back when I was in cartoon school I did a similar walk cycle with an alligator, even though I was pretty happy with the final product, having this would have made it 100 x stronger.

Dan! said...

"Later this week: Wanna watch me construct Bugs Bunny and Willoughby, step by step? Kali has made a film."

Oh yeah, definitely. That'd be great and helpful. You should probably make more step by step videos like that too, if possible.

Dooley said...

John,
When you personally animate, do you always work at 24X per second to keep the feel of the classic beat, despite the tv standard which interlaces the footage to 30x?

Callum said...

I can't wait for the video later in the week, I find anything with you in to be really amusing.

NextGen (Hector) said...

Oh I can't wait to see you drawing Bugs! Finally get to see you in action! :)

Emmett said...

Amazing post, Mr. K.

I agree with the rest of these guys. You should do more video posts along with your notes. To see these lessons visually makes a grand difference.

Barbara said...

John, you must love people to want to do all of this for complete strangers. This is just awesome.

katzenjammer studios said...

Eye theory! I'm interested!

Ryan G. said...

Wow John! Cant wait to see the video!

Sean Worsham said...

Hey I got the same cintiq tablet as you do! :D

Sean Worsham said...

Thanks for the flash file John, I was looking at it this morning and your tips help a lot. Very thorough and I see a lot of love for the subject in your notes. Damn I wish teachers were as enthusiastic as you in real colleges.

Adam said...

I'm starting from scratch! You're lessons are brilliant.

Looking forward to the video.

flashcartoons said...

seriously john, your blog is gold

and this time you include a .fla

thanks you very much!

flashcartoons said...

ps. i have never donated before

but you are the man
(donation sent!)

Gregg said...

A video lesson!!!

This has got to be the best thing since....smeared inbetweens!!!


Once again, thank you, for all that you are doing for us aspiring animators.

Art F. said...

thank you for this John! this is great! I'll get to work on it right away. i'll rough it out first to get the motion smooth per your suggestion and then clean it up. i think every aspiring animator owes you a great deal, i know i do.

Art F. said...

i had to donate some cash for this! it's not much, but it won't be the last.

Ironhorse said...

Anybody have the Beany & Cecil DVD? Look at the extras... Bob Clampett animated a stop-motion egg with a double-bounce walk!

Jake Thomas said...

"Wanna watch me construct Bugs Bunny and Willoughby, step by step?"

Yes.

R. Banuelos said...

I'll try this tomarrah'
Thanks.

Gordon T. said...

This is a great lesson, but boy are your pecs ever looking puny in these pictures. I'd start feeling insecure about that if I were you.

Clinton said...

Ah, I see how the double bounce walk cycle works now. I did the double walk cycle from preston blair's book. You can see it on the link below. I could not see where the "double" part comes in. After watching that quicktime movie you posted however, I think I get it now. The character has one leg in a straight line, and the other leg is curled. The straight leg bends a little bit. I dont know how far it should bend, but I appreciate you for posting another good demo. I would also like to see how you construct your drawings. I have been practicing with that a lot lately, and my proportions are always wrong.

Soggy Grits

akira said...

oh MY GAAAWD, can't wait for the film!

SlashHalen said...

Your lessons are always the best. Thanks a bunch.

And not only do I want to see the video, I think you should do more videos. The way I see it, even though your lessons on this blog being typed out are awesome, some people might have a better time learning by seeing. Even though anyone can show us the Preston Blair book and telling us to learn from it by copy and practice (and tell us useful tips), it might be helpful to SHOW us those tips. Besides, videos seem like the way to go these days. What with YouTube and all.

That's just my 2 cents.

Marlo Meekins said...

yeah i'd like to see the movie

Taber said...

You know John, I bet this has probably occurred to you but aside from opening up an actual school to teach as these awesome things, a book or DVD would be a nice first step AND it would pay the bills.

I know I would personally start a club at my school dedicated to plumbing the depths of these materials if they were in an easy to follow format!

Taber said...

Not that I'm not overjoyed to have this stuff delivered weekly for donation mind you ;-)

Brendan Body said...

Hey John,

Sorry, this is a bit off topic. I really like the way your character's mouths maintain their structure when they talk, and was wondering if you had any character sheets with phonemes that I could reference. There's a donation in it for you.

benj said...

Flip the frog is my favorite.
Thanks for posting this lesson John. I can't wait to see the lil' Bugs Bunny video too.

I was wonderin'...
If I wanna create a double-bounce for a four-legged character, What is the proper technique?

Should I have the back in double-bounce and the front doing a normal walk? and/or Do you know a cartoon where I can study a bouncy 4-legged character walkin'?

Thank you,
Benjamin

booleanspline said...

sorry this has probably been covered before. but i want to go to animation school and dont know any. i want to draw and be an actual artist and not learn some computer program. Does anyone know of such schools?

Bruce said...

What I love about you lessons, John, is that their thoughtful and incisive.

Just like every Tom, Dick and Otto who has commented on your blog, you're certainly helping us young string beans to improve our ability to draw, analyze and caricature.

I wanted to let you know, chief.

From an inspiring cartoonist/ artist

Bruce

PCUnfunny said...

John this may be a bit random but I have been meaning ask you this for a long time. Why don't you ever cover "Line of Rythm" ? That principle has helped me alot in my drawings. I am surprised you have never talked about it.

JohnK said...

What is it?

PCUnfunny said...

From Preston Blair's secound book:

Rhythm and design in cartoon art

I am surprised you never heard of it John. I see it in your drawings all the time.

Bill said...

This post is amazing!! Please more like this John...thank you so much!

PCUnfunny said...

Oh and I appericate lessons of course John. Can't wait to see the video.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

This is just the latest example of why this is hands down the best animation site on the net!

Sean Worsham said...

Me want video too!!!! :D

R. Banuelos said...

You should market a DVD/CDRom teaching tool. Like those jumpStart things. The included flash file is a big help, if there were like 10 files like that and a DVD examining cartoons and drawing, would be cool. But thank you so much for posting all this information for free. You really got a good community going of fans and learning artist. I could see how something like this site could really have a big influence on the industry.

It's like Animation Tutor, only 1,000,000 times better because it's free. It's 1 google times better.

R. Banuelos said...

Ear's what I did with it.

http://banuelos.blogspot.com/2007/10/john-ks-double-bounce-walk-assignment.html

Uh, I think that's how you post this stuff.

LeoBro said...

My
Flip attempt

SparkyMK3 said...

Those cartoons look really fun. I ought to get them soon, since the two Ub Iwerks collections are dirt cheap.

Also John, are Ub's Disney cartoons safe to study from as well, or are they too "sissified" to be so?

Horganovski said...

Many thanks for the tutorial, I found it very useful.
I think my characters limbs were too long for a 10 beat cycle, so I went with a more relaxed 16 beat. I went looking for some music at 90 bpm then to match that.

I know I'm sticking my neck out posting CG here.. but hey some of us love 40s stuff too and want to try and learn from it ;)
Cheers,
Brian

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