Tag Archives: Animation

Second Animation: Pops

Things Learnt

  • Shortcut for Masks


  • Using Masks for Pops

Create a shape > create a mask > Key the expansion of the mask to animate growth

Mask on add mode, displays more of the original shape, and Subtract hides it.


I also, added lines flowing across the screen by myself to see if I had actually learned how to use the repeater function from the previous video, and I think I can count this as a success.

Harvard Citation

MtMograph. (2014). Summit 49 – 5 Minute Accent Explosions – After Effects. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7z58VpFg30k. Last accessed 13th Oct 2016.

First Animation: Ball


Things Learnt

  • Centred Anchor Point

When creating a shape (as I have experienced) the anchor points can be all over the show > go to the shape > double click the shape > it will create a shape the size of the comp

  • Create a Uniform Shape

Continuing on from above > go to the the (Specified)Shape Path 1 > Size > and then (on a mac) alt + double click the paper clip and it will make the shape a uniform size > then you can simply adjust the size to your needs

  • Drag object along axis

Hold down shift whilst dragging an object and it will stay locked on the x or y axis

  • Jumping to Keyframes

J – takes to previous keyframe and K – takes you to the next one

  • Copying Keyframes

(Like with the mouse in First Year, when I was trying to do this, I was clicking in the wrong place)

cmd+c on the keyframe you want copied and have the playhead over where you want the frame to go, then cmd+v

Harvard Citations:

MtMograph. (2013). Summit 1.1 – Intro to Motion Graphics – After Effects. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtv8QptWNbg. Last accessed 13th Oct 2016.

Zombie Run

My brother kindly did the reference footage for this, but won’t let put it on youtube because he says he looks like an idiot.

I was aiming to have the  red arm look as though it was reaching out to grab someone, as this was initially going to be combined with Amy’s running Malcolm as part of our lip sync animation and interacting between two character’s animation.

Lip Sync Redone


This time I stuck to what the book suggested and started planning it all out then doing the core poses of the face- though I’m really only focussed on the mouth for what Amy and I have planned.


These are the key mouth shapes that are made when the line, “Here’s an FYI, you’re all gonna die screaming” is sung.


















I have sketched out what shape the mouth should be in when making these sounds in my sketchbook. I used the images I had found for mouth shapes, and reference footage that I had taken to get the most accurate mouth movement.



Strutting Walk Cycle

What I did

By referring to a page I found in online of Preston Blair’s walk cycles, I started blocking out the poses for my character.

I then just kept going back and tried to add more subtly to Jack’s movements to give him a bit more swagger, then I showed it to Amy who gave me some helpful feedback on it which let me go back and tweak the movement on the upper body to make it less robotic:

  • Maybe the upper area of the torso is a bit too stiff, some follow through on the upper arms when they move with the shoulders could help (so they go back beyond the position of the shoulder so it’s not so straight/static?)
  • Also maybe there should be more pressure on the foot when it contacts the ground?



  • Lower leg position to come forward a bit more on stop
  • Knees should come in on the step back

Corrected Version

Video reference: My brother won’t allow me to upload it.

I changed the y rotation of the foot to -10 at the back position, compared to the -20 degrees at the forward position to bring the knees in closer.

I then moved the foot forward to 5 instead of 4.

The video reference helped to make sure the animation was smoother and more natural.

Lip Synch

First attempt

I tried to get the mouth shapes for the various words that the character has to say, but then I realised that I was making more work for myself because I would then have to adjust all the key frames on the time slider for the various facial muscles to fit them in the correct time frame.

Starting Out: https://youtu.be/lX8FYmyougw

Full Length: https://youtu.be/8AyrVfouMQg

Second attempt

This time, I added the audio into the maya scene and adjusted the time slider so that I would be focused on one word at a time, ensuring the timing was correct before moving on to the next word.

Video: https://youtu.be/hdEuY6X1sUc

There’s already a clear improvement from the first attempts, however, it noticeably falls out of sync towards the end. I had been so focused on moving the lips that I forgot that the chin moves as well when people speak, so when I went back to add it in, it interfered with the lip movements.

The book cited below really helped to plan out and then improve my lip sync, although, when I only got it after I had initially got the rough shapes, so I used it to tweak the movements.

I’m going to start again, so there is a good foundation to build upon.


Roy, K. (2014). Facial Animation. In:  How To Cheat In Maya 2014. Oxon: Focal Press. p246-p260.