After Effects | Tests

This particular animation was made as a means of practicing two things primarily, the first of which being squash and stretch which revolves around the idea of energy being stored within a specific part of the motion, a good example would be someone crouching before a jump (squash) and then extending at the height of a jump (stretch). While I think it looks fine, having AE fill in the gaps makes makes the movement look somewhat unnatural. Part of this stems from the even distribution of frames which makes it hard to put emphasis on specific aspects of the movements. By having some actions look too smooth it can come across as unnatural as in real life fast actions aren’t perceivable at all times so having some movements take up less frames replicates that style of motion.

Looking back on these chain animations I think there is a similar problem to the squash and stretch test in how the tweening works. What this means is that with the key frames placed on the timeline AE will try and create frames in order to fill in the gaps between the two key frames in order to try and make the movement look more smooth and while I think this works well for motion graphics it doesn’t lend itself too well to trying to replicate the movement of an object. It also doesn’t really allow the object/character to off model as easily.

Another problem with it is that the chain builds up a bit too much speed on it’s return back to the right side of its swing due to the key frames being placed too close together on the timeline which results this fast movement. One way I could go about fixing this would be to move the key frame where chain is on the right side of the screen further away from the previous key frame.

For this chain animation I tried simulating the links coming apart and while it looks fine it would be better if the chain fell apart after reaching the left side of the screen which would cause the chain to either swing back or bounce after reaching the bottom, both of these would’ve been better choices although my issues with this animation are more based around the planning of the motion than anything else.

The main goal of this animation was trying to create a rig with the Duik plugin on After Effects, what this allows you to do is create a character that has specific joints that move in relation to one another, for example changing the position of the hand would move the rest of the arm along with it. This alone does not make convincing movement so you will need to refine certain aspects in order to get it right as if you do not rig the character properly gaps will appear at the joints of the rig whenever you stretch it in specific ways. For this animation in particular the movements look a little stiff due to the lack of momentum in the arm movements, by having them swing out as opposed to stopping instantly in mid air I feel the general motion of the character would be greatly improved.

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