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View Full Version : Wraybies' Blocking in relation to Speed tutorial [Pivot][Movements]



wraybies
08-05-2014, 06:28 AM
One of the most common flaws to acrobatic anims I see around here is using an incorrect blocking angle. Blocking is such a simple concept to always get right when you know how it works, that the aforementioned issue is making me thing people dont understand blocking completely around here, so allow me to help out a little bit in the specific area that seems to need fixing: Blocking in relation to Speed.

This is as simple as the following sentence:
The faster the speed, the steeper the blocking angle, the quicker he rises off the ground.

This can be demonstrated by showing different speeds of travel versus different heights, and explaining how each can be best animated:

http://i.imgur.com/Xmpv6bz.gif
First, Blocking at low speed.

The low speed blocking has a very steep angle as more of the height is garnered by the jump of the character. This animation, the character's feet are on the ground for 3 frames after the roundoff, (bent frame, more bent frame, straight frame) as the fairly close to vertical blocking angle put downward force on the character due to gravity and the majority of the bodys weight resting on the ground, causing more struggle to get up. there will be more of this downforce the slower you go. Obviously when standing still, the best way to jump high is with your legs directly under you, the slower you go, the closer under you the legs will go.

As for the roundoff, notice the hurdle. in a relatively slow roundoff, the momentum is generated horizontally by transitioning as you rotate onto your hands from the momentum generated vertically in a downward drop from the hurdle. This is why in slow roundoffs, the hurdle is typically straight up into the air, unlike in faster ones, where the hurdle is an outward jump.

Here is a picture of the blocking frame and onion skin around it for the slow one. notice how much he moves every frame and how long he was on the ground, and compare it to the other ones:
http://i.imgur.com/xyICdXF.png

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http://i.imgur.com/roGuQNY.gif
Now, "Average" Blocking Speed

I say average because most "realistic" acro anims around here tend to move sticks across the stage at a relatively similar pace. This isn't so much the fault of the animator as it is the fault of most animators having a fairly similar ideal of how fast your average run carries a stick figure.

Look at the blocking angle here and in comparison to the last one, it has one less "on ground" frame on the end of the roundoff, and lots more airtime on both the hurdle and the rebound from the roundoff. with some decent speed the hurdle into the roundoff is a jump for distance, and the best roundoff keeps momentum constant and does not slow the tricker down. This example is no exception. This is a similar idea for all of them, but for extremely fast roundoffs and punches, there is a different technique for the frames during which the feet are on the ground following the roundofff. In the average speed, there are 2 of these on-ground frames- a bent frame and a jumping (straight frame)

Have a look at the screenshot of the blocking frames for this anim and compare it to the others:
http://i.imgur.com/OpDTeoy.png

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http://i.imgur.com/3YthGC8.gif
Finally, Fast Blocking Speed.

Most acro anims don't use this speed without keeping the camera following the character, which is a whole different (much easier and cheaper) ball game, But for those of us who are purists, I've kept this one with a static camera as usual. Notice that it follows the nomenclature laid down for the last ones pretty closely. The only difference here is the absolute necessity to increase pre-roundoff hurdle size for a visually dramatic entrance which will build anticipation for the huge trick on the end of the setup maneuver. This also builds visual balance in the animation, with a large period of airtime on both halves of the screen.

The blocking frames for this one are the most important to pay attention to. In slower speeds, the frames after the roundoff in which the feet are touching the ground typically begin with bent frames, but in this, the 2 frames that the feet touch the ground begin with a straight frame, then the bent frame, but the first jump frame has put the character too high already for his feet to be remaining on the ground. at this speed, the first frame sees the legs way out to keep the roundoff long along the ground, and absorb the speed to shoot up. the legs will be minimally bent in the next frame, as at this speed the legs cannot block without bending unless they are made from titanium.

Here are the blocking frames for this one, notice the steep angle at which he hits the ground on the first ground frame:
http://i.imgur.com/BbkHsMU.png

I hope this tutorial has helped you understand how speed influences blocking. Please request tutorials from me in the future.

Smile
08-05-2014, 09:43 AM
You've used a lot of new terms for me here (and probably most other animators here too as most are just hobbyists who hasn't had these terms taught to them), and this is what I understood after a quick google.

Roundoff - the cartwheel, basically. It's how the stick uses his running momentum to make his jump higher.

Block/blocking - the increase of height in a jump by raising the arms to sort of "push" the body upwards.


Did I get any of that right? I've read your post multiple times and I honestly couldn't understand most of it. This post will mainly be me asking for clarifications, if you don't mind.


The low speed blocking has a very steep angle as more of the height is garnered by the jump of the character. This animation, the character's feet are on the ground for 3 frames after the roundoff, (bent frame, more bent frame, straight frame) as the fairly close to vertical blocking angle put downward force on the character due to gravity and the majority of the bodys weight resting on the ground, causing more struggle to get up. there will be more of this downforce the slower you go. Obviously when standing still, the best way to jump high is with your legs directly under you, the slower you go, the closer under you the legs will go.

As for the roundoff, notice the hurdle. in a relatively slow roundoff, the momentum is generated horizontally by transitioning as you rotate onto your hands from the momentum generated vertically in a downward drop from the hurdle. This is why in slow roundoffs, the hurdle is typically straight up into the air, unlike in faster ones, where the hurdle is an outward jump.

What I understood was that because the running momentum before the roundoff was slow, there wouldn't be enough of it to translate into a higher jump. So most of the effort that was put into the vertical movement came from the figure himself, instead of the horizontal momentum. Did I get it right?

Also, what does the bolded word mean in context to your post? From what I understand after reading the rest over and over, "hurdle" means the thing the figure does before the roundoff, i.e. the run. So in the context of the "average" and "fast" blocking, it's the sort of jumping motion before the roundoff?


After trying to decipher those terms using context clues, I think I've sort of understood what you were saying in all your posts, but I'm willing to bet that the usual 12 or 13-year-olds that just want to animate some freeruns will end up with a nosebleed if they try to. I do think this is a very helpful tutorial, but it seems rather too specific and I really don't see this used much in our community's animations (honestly I don't think I've ever seen anyone use it before you). I can see that you know a lot about movements and how normal bodies respond to physics and all that, so if you're going to be making a series of these tutorials, I'd really love it if you did a little more "general principles" topics first before going in-depth about movements such as this. Maybe just jumping in general or something like that?


I really do appreciate you trying to help out the community. Cheers!

wraybies
08-05-2014, 04:47 PM
Block/blocking - the increase of height in a jump by raising the arms to sort of "push" the body upwards.

wrong. The blocking has to do with the angle at which his body hits the ground after the roundoff.
also, see my sensei thread for more general stuff.

Smile
08-06-2014, 07:36 AM
Thanks for answering one question.

wraybies
08-06-2014, 08:24 PM
you got everything else correct!

Stickly
08-13-2014, 04:02 AM
Followed the movements and instructions and came up with this:
http://i.imgur.com/cAKkU0P.jpg

I think that you need to learn your poses and physics, bro.

Just kidding, haha, wonderful tutorial as always, and fantastic animations. Keep it up, you legend of an animator you.

Cronos
09-23-2014, 11:16 AM
great example animations