Overlapping action and Follow Through- Robotic Arms

Animation Principles- Overlapping animation-

“Animators use to offset actions so they do not occur at the same time- i.e. a the end of  a tail finishes after the top of it when it swags….Follow-through motion is when the speed causes an object to continue i.e. an arm moving backwards will continue past the joint.”- Alec

Alec also advised we look at Keith Lango (http://keithlango.blogspot.co.uk/) for tutorials for these elements, as they’d be really helpful. Below is one of the three videos that I watched on the overlapping and follow through principles in his series of tutorials.

Below are the notes I made from watching Lango’s tutorial. He specifically mentioned the key frame that occurs between the drag and follow through of a swinging motion. This keyframe forms the natural look to the movement and is formed in an ‘S’ shape, as shown in my diagrams below.

To begin my own research I had a look at our Bible (the Animators Survival Guide) for advice. I also found some of the original video tutorials by William’s that helped. I also read into the Disney’s Illusion of Life and found this video that summed up the principles nicely.

Richard Williams explains the principles

Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas animation principles explained

I then went on and found this interesting post on the Principles of Animations regarding this area on http://www.sigraph.org.

Follow through is the termination part of an action. An example is in throwing a ball – the hand continues to move after the ball is released. In the movement of a complex object different parts of the object move at different times and different rates. For example, in walking, the hip leads, followed by the leg and then the foot. As the lead part stops, the lagging parts continue in motion.Heavier parts lag farther and stop slower. An example is in the antennae of an insect – they will lag behind and them move quickly to indicate the lighter mass.Overlapping means to start a second action before the first action has completely finished. This keeps the interest of the viewer, since there is no dead time between actions.Here is a quote about overlapping from Walt Disney:

It is not necessary for an animator to take a character to one point, complete that action completely, and then turn to the following action as if he had never given it a thought until after completing the first action. When a character knows what he is going to do he doesn’t have to stop before each individual action and think to do it. He has it planned in advance in his mind.

I also found a lot of videos and tutorials on ‘overlapping animation’ on youtube.

CG Spectrum College of Digital Art & Animation– Action and Overlapping Action

Aaron Blaise- overlapping action and drag

Alec has created a little animated Carl Jnr arm, and suggested we try combining our bouncy ball exercises and the principles above to create a swinging arm action. He said we should look at things such as weight and drag i.e. a heavier hand would have a larger drag than a lighter one.


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