exercising in animation

freigeisterei replied to your post: How

Looks like ambient occlusion. You can google Ambient Occlusion Art and see various examples of it.

Yep! I’ve been doing a few exercises on it, animation pipelines like it especially for modeling reference and it’s actually kind of soothing to work with. Not much time to push the concepts I need next week to that level of polish, but definitely later this summer!


I was mostly HOW-ing at the designs and how well he handles materials because, ugh, damn. DAMN!


(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbqsUa6O618

Animation exercises taken from the animator’s survival kit!!

Petite animation exercise. This was my first time animating in Maya and it was a lot better than 3dsMax. I need to get better at animation, so it was good to start with something basic. 

This is a demoreel I recently created! It’s a compilation of the animations I created this semester in my “Introduction to 3D Animation” class! I know it’s still basic, but in these exercises the basic animation principles are heavily applied, which will hopefully stick with me forever.


Since stumbling across the “51 animation exercisers” I have wandered at their website, and discovered their YouTube”. This video is very informative, Alejandro Garcia delves into the psychics of animation and tells us that animation isn’t just an art, but also a science. Science in the form of psychics as well in other respects such as colour, timing and storytelling. To me this delves into an advanced understanding of the 12 basic principles of animation. Personally information like this is very interesting, it drills into me the importance of studying, and practicing. 

The understanding of psychics coincides with the importance of anatomy. Though like anatomy the psychics can deviate from what would be realistic, which happens a lot of kids cartoons and films such as ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’ there needs to be a foundation which these elements base themselves upon. Despite this, animation should be exaggerate, that is one of the main beauties of it, that it does not need to purely conform to reality. It just needs realistic foundations and fundamentals to enable us as viewers to understand it.

This is a great list of animation exercises. I may have to work on these in my spare time between the main body of my Masters. I can across this on Tumbr thanks to them spotlighting someone blog (anthonymations). They are in 4 levels, each distinguished by their difficulty.  Going from easier to harder. However, some of these would easier to have a try at in 2d rather than 3d. (not saying that they’re easier in 2d) but because of some of the logistics. An example of this is is Level 3, exercise 36 “zipping up a jacket”. This is because it is difficult to come by a rig with them capabilities that would allow such animation (though one could just animate an invisible jacket). 

I really like the notes at the bottom of this page in “Things to keep in mind”. The quotes are really stand out to me are:

- You’re supposed to animate feelings.” If a character isn’t thinking, they aren’t alive, and the animation has failed.

-Keep it simple! There is no reason to over complicate any of these exercises. Going back to push-ups, would push-ups be harder if while doing them you also recited the Gettysburg Address? Yes. Would they be any more beneficial? No. Keep things nice and simple and clear.

I think throughout my BA I tried to make things more complicated, thinking that for some reason this would make my work better. This was not the case. I slightly regret some of the choices that I made in my final film. A good example of this is trying to create a film with too many characters and way too many scenes, especially since I just wanted to animate. This meant I spent more time building assets and worrying about them rather then making one great scene with some great animation in it.

One thing I am tempted to do, which “ZZDas” hinted in the comments at the bottom of the page and print it off. This was when i get the time I can go through the list one at a time crossing off each one.

My only critisism of this list is that it doesn’t suggest any, of not no dialogue to animate to. This could improve the list, and I feel would go towards the end of the list, Level 4…or even level 5!


The Bar (2015)

This was an exercise in my Animation 3 course at Edinboro University. We had to show force being transferred from one body to another. In this case, I had the force be transferred from the bottle, to The Roommate, to the other bottles resting on the bar.


51 Great Animation Exercises to Master

                J.K. Riki                     March 18, 2013                                                                        

Quickest way to improvement? Practice. It’s a simple bit of advice that rings with absolute truth. Articles, tips, mentors, and study will never get you as far as rolling up your sleeves and getting down to work, be it animation or any other skill. Today we’ve compiled a list of exercises, like animation push-ups, that will get your art skills buff and toned.

Maybe you still need convinced of how important the “Art of Doing” is? Look no further than the early days of animation, especially at the Disney studio. Here were a group of animators (before being an animator was even a thing) who HAD no books to read, or websites to visit, or even experienced animators to ask. They learned via the age old art of hands-on training, experimenting and discovering as they went. And some would argue they created some of the greatest animation to ever be seen. Masterpieces like the dwarfs dancing in Snow White or the terror of the Monstro scene in Pinocchio. So be like them! Get out there and do animation!

Some of these exercises you may have done or seen before; some maybe not. Consider doing each of them, even if you did once previously, because returning to an old exercise to see how much you’ve progressed is a very valuable experience.

Level 1 Exercises

(Do not discount their simplicity! Here you have the principals of animation, which all other animation is built on. They are worth your time and effort.)

  1. Ball Bouncing in place, no decay (loop)
  2. Ball Bouncing across the screen
  3. Brick falling from a shelf onto the ground
  4. Simple character head turn
  5. Character head turn with anticipation
  6. Character blinking
  7. Character thinking [tougher than it sounds!]
  8. Flour Sack waving (loop)
  9. Flour Sack jumping
  10. Flour Sack falling (loop or hitting the ground)
  11. Flour Sack kicking a ball

Level 2 Exercises

  1. Change in Character emotion (happy to sad, sad to angry, etc.)
  2. Character jumping over a gap
  3. Standing up (from a chair)
  4. Walk Cycle [oldie but goodie!]
  5. Character on a pogo stick (loop)
  6. Laughing
  7. Sneezing
  8. Reaching for an object on a shelf overhead
  9. Quick motion smear/blur
  10. Taking a deep breath [also tougher than it sounds!]
  11. A tree falling
  12. Character being hit by something simple (ball, brick, book)
  13. Run Cycle

Level 3 Exercises

  1. Close up of open hand closing into fist
  2. Close up of hand picking up a small object
  3. Character lifting a heavy object (with purpose!)
  4. Overlapping action (puffy hair, floppy ears, tail)
  5. Character painting
  6. Hammering a nail
  7. Stirring a soup pot and tasting from a spoon
  8. Character blowing up a balloon
  9. Character juggling (loop)
  10. Scared character peering around a corner
  11. Starting to say something but unsure of how
  12. Zipping up a jacket
  13. Licking and sealing an envelope
  14. Standing up (from the ground)
  15. Pressing an elevator button and waiting for it

Level 4 Exercises

  1. Character eating a cupcake
  2. Object falling into a body of water
  3. Two characters playing tug-of-war
  4. Character dealing a deck of cards out
  5. The full process of brushing one’s teeth
  6. A single piece of paper dropping through the air
  7. Run across screen with change in direction
  8. Sleeping character startled by alarm then returning to sleepy state
  9. Opening a cupboard and removing something inside
  10. Putting on a pair of pants
  11. Opening the “world’s best gift” and reacting
  12. Any of the above exercises using a very heavy character/object next to a very light character/object. Enhance the differences the weight change makes!

Things to keep in mind:

  • Reading these exercises will do as much for you as reading about push-ups would do for your physical muscles: NOTHING. If you want the benefit, you must animate them. Take a deep breath and just do it.
  • Do not forget the famous words of Ollie Johnston: “You’re not supposed to animate drawings [3D models]. You’re supposed to animate feelings.” If a character isn’t thinking, they aren’t alive, and the animation has failed.
  • Keep it simple! There is no reason to over complicate any of these exercises. Going back to push-ups, would push-ups be harder if while doing them you also recited the Gettysburg Address? Yes. Would they be any more beneficial? No. Keep things nice and simple and clear.
  • Do your best. There is no reason to do these exercises poorly. Give it your all. You don’t have to show anyone, these are for you. You owe it to yourself to try your very best. Something not quite right? Take the time to fix it.
  • As always, have fun. Push ups are not fun. Animation is supposed to be. Be joyful in your work!

Have any questions about the exercises above? Leave a comment below and we’ll answer them the best we can! Someone else may be wondering the exact same thing, so you’ll help them too. Likewise if someone is looking for possible exercises, why not share a link to these and give them a hand?


For decades I have had the Muppets Mahnahmahnah song  stuck in my head,(and the star theme song) every so often I do something based on it.

I animate everyday,and everyday I do an animation warm-up.Today the mannahman song was my warm up. I kind of dug the direction it went so I thought I would share, as well a few years ago I had a web toon going and this was on of the toon.——————->

The Animation is only in the blocking stage, I never really take a warm-up past that point, but you get the idea. The goal I give my self is about 2 to 3 seconds of blocking in about an hour and half. It really helps me get my day going. 

If your looking for so good exercises/warm up ideas here is a good link.