TUTORIAL: ANIMATING A SUPERHERO

 

By Subish Kumar, 2D Faculty, Jain Animation School

In this tutorial, we will create an animation in which a superhero dives off a tall building and lands on the ground. We will use 24 frames/second and traditional principles like anticipation, stretch, squash, settle and follow through. We will also use the pose-to-pose method for this animation.

This tutorial is divided into two parts:

  1. Bird dive
  2. Landing

PART 1: BIRD DIVE

Let us call our superhero – Mr. Kingfisher. It suits him as his animation references were borrowed from an actual kingfisher diving down to catch its prey.

1

 

FIRST KEY POSE

In this pose, Mr. Kingfisher is perched on top of a building. He is sitting and balanced on his legs with his cape fluttering in the air behind him.

2

SECOND KEY POSE

Mr. Kingfisher gets ready to dive. So we sketch him in the anticipation pose. In this pose, Mr. Kingfisher is shown to gather enough momentum for the action he is going to perform later. The cape does a follow through.

3

THIRD KEY POSE

This pose is an aerodynamic pose. Here Mr. Kingfisher has already dived and he is falling down head first. Note how the arms and the cape are positioned to show acceleration. This is our passing as well as the stretch pose.

4

PART 2: LANDING

FOURTH KEY POSE

This pose is very crucial. Mr. Kingfisher stretches his arms to slow down the descent. This is also shown by changing the position of his cape. 5

 

FIFTH KEY POSE

In this pose, Mr. Kingfisher “breaks” in midair. Surprise!!! He can apply breaks in midair. This is done in order to reach the squash pose and here the cape flutters according to the body movement. Also note that he cannot land on his head. Hence he must spin in midair to land on his feet.

6

 

SIXTH KEY POSE

The sixth key pose is where Mr. Kingfisher prepares to land.  Mr. Kingfisher stretches and the arms move up. The cape continues to flutter in the air.

7

 

SEVENTH KEY POSE

This key pose is the touchdown. Mr. Kingfisher has finally landed and still in one piece. He gets extremely squashed. His arms move up. The cape continues to follow through.

8

EIGTH KEY POSE

In the last key pose, Mr. Kingfisher settles down. His arms move down and the cape continues to flutter leisurely.

9

The following image shows the seven key poses juxtaposed against the background layout.

10

Now it is up to the animator to create the in-betweens.

Enjoy the dive.