Anticipation, Breakdowns and Follow-through.

Today’s topic for me is about what is anticipation, breakdown and follow-through and how to apply it on to your animation.
The three principles have a similiar use to each others as they are there to make our animations feels more alive and believable, without it your animation will lost sense of weight, timing and will feel odd and/or floaty. There are not much theory you can learn about this, all in the practice. Here in this article, a little bit of information to start you off and/or refresh your memory. I hope this will be helpful for some.

– Anticipation
Anticipation is smaller preparatory action that proceeds to a major action. This is used to prepare or show the character for the major action. This will build energy to give power and more emphasis to the character’s major action and gives personality. It also used to grab the audiences attention so they do not miss the incoming actions.
Eg. Jump => the character has to crunch down before jumping up.
Golf => before hitting the ball the player swings the clubs back to give more power to the swing ang then swing the clubs really fast and with full power.
The intensity of anticipation used to perform an action or gesture is determined by the distance and timing of the action it self. If the timing of the action is very small with longer distance (fast movement) that means the anticipation needed is very big, and if the timing is long with rather short distance for it ( slow movement) means the anticipation needed is just a little one. If you are using big anticipation, do not slow in to a move. The rules can sometimes be broken in some circumstances.

– Breakdown
Breakdown is transitional pose between key poses. Breakdown is used to define the flow of movement between pose A and pose B. The intensity of a breakdown/ breakdowns in a sequence of movement is determined by the speed of transition (timing between the two key poses). For faster timing of a movement the breakdown needs to be more intense to give flow and help move the weight and energy of the character. Its also used define the curve of the movements. If the timing of the action or movement is slower, the breakdown needed is small. It doesn’t need to be big, bold and different unlike the breakdown needed for a fast action/movement sequence. The distance of the move in an action is also needs to be consider in relation to the speed/timing of the movement. There is a direct relationship between breakdown and the distance of the movement.
Eg. Shorter distance = Smaller breakdown
Longer distance = Bigger breakdown

– Follow Through (Drag)
Follow through is the after effects of stopping of a movement. This is where the character’s move approachs the final pose (destination), past the chosen destimation and settles back into it. The amount of speed and distance of the overshoot is depends on the object or character it self (weight,consistency, speed, etc).
Once a moving figure has come to a halt, certain aspect of the figure (such as the arms) or any loose items (such as clothing) may sway fowards and then backwards at a decreasing rate until they themselves finnaly come to rest. However, it isn’t only at the end of actions that we see evidence of follow-through action. Consider for a movement of the action of animal in motion. The tails of many animals are subject to follow-through action; the flopier the tail, the more likely it is that the follow-through action will be more greater.

Follow-through action is also clearly evident in such thing as clothing, dresses, coats, and in long hair.

Example of Follow-through => When something hits hard from a fast motion. It will move over the intended point and slowly settle back into it. The amount of speed and distance of the overshoot is depends on the object or character it self (weight,consistency, speed, etc).

To understand more about it, watch some animation and anmyze it. Look out for out and analyze how, when, why and where they are used.

I hope this article helps for some as it was very helpful for me to finds out about it.

Keep on animating.

Sashya Halse.


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