Week 4

Key concepts

Straight-ahead (review)

The pose-to-pose approach was really useful for our bouncing ball exercise (helping us with timing, transitioning from squash to stretch etc.). However, animating straight ahead can yield very nice results when applied to the right subject. Particles and effects (i.e: smoke, water, fire etc.) tend to be very fluid and a bit unpredictable -two good reasons to apply the straight ahead technique! Some aspects of a character can also benefit from this approach: animators often use pose-to-pose to animate the character’s main limbs and features, and use straight-ahead for secondary action such as hair, clothes, tails, ears etc.

This sequence from Disney’s Pinocchio (1940) is a beautiful example of traditionally-animated effects animation (likely created with the straight-ahead approach).


A loop is an action that repeats seamlessly. The first and last frames of a loop are likely to be almost identical.

Here’s a very simple animation of a fire.

animated smoke and flames.

Loops can be very useful:  instead of drawing a walk cycle or blink cycle several times, an animator can create it once and repeat over time. Looping GIFs and animations also make for powerful web and social media content (look at this page for inspiration).

Video Tutorials

Here’s a few videos that cover some techniques in Animate.

Assignment: Looping Effect 

The details are here. Due March 4


Before we meet next week on March 4, make sure you:

  • Understand the principle of exaggeration
  • Understand what secondary action is and how it enhances animation
  • Completed the looping effect assignment
  • Rendered your assignment as an animated gif and posted it on your portfolio on OpenLab
  • Added a link from your portfolio to the the Discussion Board Looping Effect
  • Uploaded the fla and link to your portfolio post to Blackboard.