AnimD News : 18 oct 2011

Hi Guys,

We wanted to keep you in the loop with the Anim Dailies reviews.

At the moment all of us are a little busy with schedules and overtime, and that's the main reason for not having posted new reviews online for a while, and we do apologies to all of you that have submitted your work to us and are still waiting for a review.

We will definitely be back on track soon with lots of new posts, but unfortunately we can't give you an exact date as yet. And to that end, can we ask that you hold on submitting new work until we have had a chance to catch up, we will post again when we are ready for more submissions, thank you.
So if you want to discuss your animations, with other members, or have any other questions, the forum will still be open for anyone to use, and also, you can follow us and stay in touch on the AnimDailies Facebook group .

In the meantime if you happen to be around London and you want some feedback on your work, we would suggest you to also check out Bring Your Own Animation - London. Its free for anyone that is interested, there are plenty of very good professional animators giving feedback to anybody who wants it. It happens once a month, subscribe to it on Facebook for details.

One last thing, can you guys please, PLEASE , keep the links to your vimeo/youtube reviewed animations, alive?! We are noticing that few of the finished animation reviews posted are disappearing right after we posted the review on the blog, if the animation is not visible for everyone to see there is no point for this blog to exist!! This is a learning place and archive for everyone to look at and eventually learn from one another!

Thanks guys.

-Anim Dailies.

- Guy Zinger
- Airguitar

Hi Guy, thanks for posting your animation test .

- The first suggestion we always give, is to shoot video references of yourself doing the same exact shot, than study whats appening in your body parts while you are doing that.

- Also, improving the initial pose of this shot, will help and improve the all idea , (air-guitar-world-championships) just by looking at some image from google, you can see how real guitarist/air guitarist would hold their guitars.

The first pose of this shot is also the MAIN pose, the one that tells the story, try to GET the nice "giutar player" feeling in it.

- Feets seems to be stuck on the ground, going from one pose to the other, you should take more in consideration the weight shifting and what happen to the upper body.
A suggestion is to try to get away from the pose to pose feeling for a more refined polishing.

- In general, it lacks of weight, try the same movements yourself expecially for the arms, it you pay attention carefully you will notice how the overlaps between body and arms works, and what your body mass is doing while moving your arms around .

- We always suggest to do some research before starting any kind of shots, i know sometimes is difficult and you want to " jump into it ", but try to force yourself on doing a nice planning and research before beginning of any shot, usually is always better to know what you want to achieve, before starting.

There are lots of video on youtube to have a look at :

Hope you will keep going with it, the shot is looking good, you need to refine a little bit more the posing, and working on the phisicality of your character.
Thank you for your submission .


Valérie Sollie - Demoreel

- Valérie Sollie

- Demoreel

 Hi Valerie

Thanks for posting your reel. Its nice to hear you attended the Bring your own Animation event. I've been a few times myself, and its sad to hear that there wont be any more of these after this months event.

1) Looking at your reel i would say that a lot of the actions look like the right sort of actions but executed with less developed physics.

2) For example, i love the girl pushing the chair up the stairs. The action feels solid and i can imagine doing it that way myself. I would just look at making the animation more fluid, organic and smooth in this shot. At the moment it feels a little blocky and sharp but with good actions and weight.

3) The ballerina needs some good live action reference to bring it into the real world. She feels quite blocky and unnatural, a little bit like stop motion. Look at some ballerina reference or try to act out the shot yourself. Ballerinas are usually very fluid in their movement. Try to capture this in your animation.

4) For the horse you can really look at some good horse reference. Horses rarely just step with thier front legs as yours does at 00:06. Get some horse reference from you tube or some other site and follow it closely. Horses really need to move exactly like real horse to work as an animation. Reference is the key.

5) The girl sliding in the run looks like the slide is a bit unnatural. The run seems quite slow, then the slide is rapidly accelerated. I would try to keep the run speed and the slide speed more or less the same.

6) The end of the slide feels like it accelerates again then comes to a sharp stop. I would try and get the running forward to blend in with the end of that slide, so we feel the change from side ways sliding movement to running forward movement happening because of the legs, and not just because shes stopped sliding. It will be a smoother transition than slide-stop-run. I love the jump at the end

7) Look at the general animation in the last two shots. Its very blocky and needs to be carefully managed. Make it fluid and film reference of yourself acting out all of these actions. Notice how your body moves frame by frame and copy the timing and spacing. This will add realism to the actions.

Thanks for posting. I do love the solid action on the chair lift. This is your strongest piece for me.


-Anim Dailies

Iestyn Roberts - Cartoony Baseball Swing

-Iestyn Roberts
-Cartoony Baseball Swing


Hi Iestyn,

Thanks for sending this, it has the makings of a solid piece. Here's a list of a few things to look at to get you started.

- Have him roll on his front heel a bit at 1 sec. Stretchy legs are fine to use when there is reason too, but I think you should 'feel' the stretch and have it recoil, rather than see the stretch as clearly as you do here.

- His action when stepping forward could potentially work and be a funny motion, but at the moment it feels quite stiff and clunky. Try and add more of a bounce and arc to his hips to stop them from moving so erratically, and follow this motion through the rest of his body. You may need to add a few more frames to this section too. Make sure to offset the bounce of the hands by a couple of frames to give them some overlapping motion.

- When he raises up high at 7 secs he takes his eyes completely off the ball and loses believability in his actions, which in turn makes him feel less alive. Be aware of what the character is thinking at all times.

- Make sure to track the arcs of the hands as there are some linear moves and sharp angles in their paths of action.

- Lastly, bring the piece to a conclusion. It seems to end prematurely, if he is to twist himself up make sure to finish the action so the audience sees a resolution to the shot.

If you haven't already seen it, have a look at this Goofy short. It has some great baseball pitches in it, and although they are massively exaggerated they retain their believability as the exaggerations make sense within the context of the game.

-Anim Dailies

Juan Carlos Flores - Reel

- Juan Carlos Flores

- Reel

Hi Carlos

Thanks for posting your reel.

Looking at the first and last shot as requested, it seems that the same issues occur in both and i feel it would be better to issue a general set of comments that cover both shots.

1) Feels very pose to pose throughout. Its blocky, and has a spliney CG feel to it. I would look at making the actions more organic and natural. Make them feel like they exist in the real world.

2) Act out the shot in front of a camera and see how your body moves frame by frame, using the same timings. This will add realism to your animation, which in turn sells the idea.

3) Theres no follow through on many of the moves. Imagine the body moving quickly from one point to another. The arms and head wouldn't stop at the same time as the body, they would continue for a few frames and then settle.

4) The arcs in your animation are in most cases quite angular (you dont want to feel a straight line between two points in your animation). Look at producing clean arcs that feel fluid and natural.

5) Look at the bounces and impacts in your animation. Sometimes they lack weight. Look at animating a bouncing ball with a rag attached to it and you will begin to understand the physics necessary for any sort of animation. The ball (or person) if bouncing up would slow down at the apex and then accelerate toward the bounce. The rag would follow on after the ball like a tail swinging down on impact.

These comments obviously are quite general, but i think addressing points like this in your animation would really improve it. Then we can address other elements.

Hope you found that helpful.

-Anim Dailies

Some News!

In reply to some of the questions/feedback we have received in the last few days :

- Yes! We are still alive, we do apologise if sometimes we seems to not post reviews, but we are in between deadlines and crunch times, and managing also our lives is not easy!! So, please bear with us if you don't see your work being posted soon, this means that we are working on it and it is on its way!

-We want to clarify that the reviews are done by all of us, it can happen that some of us are busy here and there so the rest of the crew is taking care of it, but generally all of us look at your work.
The name under each post is the person who published it to the blog, this doesn't mean it was only them who reviewed your work.

- Please!!! Be aware that if you submit a Demoreel it will take much longer to review than a single shot, since a Demoreel could also be a 2 minute collection of 10 or more animations. It is not an easy thing to review and takes us more time to do so. Having said that, you can submit your demoreel if you want, but we would really much prefer for you to post on a shot by shot basis to make things easier for us and faster for you. Or single out a specific shot from your reel that you would like reviewed.

- The problem with the Autoplay of vimeo Videos should be fixed now. Also, when you submit your work to us, in the vimeo embed link, you can turn this option OFF than copy and paste the link. This will help us a lot. Thanks!

- We do not have a twitter, but we do have a Facebook group! Feel free to join. We are more likely to post news and discuss about the blog/forum as it's much more easy for us to manage it.

- We now have a new animation section in our forum , it is called " Let's Animate! ".
Here you can post your animation materials if you are looking for feedback from any user. Keep in mind that if you want feedback from the Anim Dailies Team, you will still have to submit your work using the normal form. (link is up left on the forum or up right on the blog, the section " How to!? ").

-For any questions or information, please contact us on the forum or on the facebook group.

Anim D Q and A 

FaceBook Anim Dailies

-Anim Dailies

Suresh Padmaraj - Animation Showreel

-Suresh Padmaraj
-Animation Showreel


Hi Suresh,

For a first time reel I think you show some potential. In general though everything is quite evenly spaced which results in some slow and floaty animation. Animation is all about contrast, you should try and have a variety of speeds of motion to add interest to your work.

Creature walk: Nice and smooth but a bit weightless. Watch some reference of quadrupeds walking, you will notice that they have to straighten and lock their legs as they carry their weight. Bent legs give the illusion of a very light creature, try straightening them on the passing positions.

Waiting boy: The timing for all his actions is roughly the same. It would be more interesting if when he looked round at the start he appeared to hear something, which makes him whip his head around faster. He could then have more of a reaction when he realises that whoever he is waiting for has not arrived. This would bring some contrast to the shot, and also serve to make him feel more alive. As we often say on this blog, reference would help a lot here to give you ideas and help with your timing.

This is how Blue Sky animator Jeff Gabor uses reference for his character work. Watch and learn.

Older man: Again, this is very light. The man appears to float across the room, find some reference of a man in his 60's and watch how he walks. Try and add some character to the man's actions too, we as a viewer don't know what he is thinking. Why is he in this room? Is he scared? Is he looking for something? Is someone looking for him? Is he allowed to be there? Make sure you know why you are animating before you start.

Girl walk cycle: This is better as it has less of a floaty feeling. Make sure you get a proper foot roll as the feet leave the ground, and that they overlap through the passing position. Right now they leave the ground with a 'click' and remain at the same angle when moving forward.

See this for more info:

Moom opening hatch: This has the right ingredients but has a very 'pose to pose' feeling. Try breaking things up by overlapping the head and chest a bit in your breakdown poses. Again, reference will help you bring more interest to the shot. If you had reference I think you would see that your feet wouldn't stay locked to the ground as they do in your shot, and that the performance of pulling the door would be more interesting. This is a fine exercise, but always try and bring something of yourself into the work. He might readjust his position to try and get a better hold on the door for example.

Thanks for submitting, keep going with it!

-Anim Dailies.

Payne Nehemiah - Hoot-a-Nanny

- Payne Nehemiah
- Hoot-a-Nanny

Hi Nehemiah , i like the style and energy you have in this shot, i think is at a good stage, here few things that you could work on :

- Generally watch out fore the " IK " arms, in few parts of the shot, your hands are "sticky" while your chest is moving, creating that "puppet on strings" kind of feeling, you want to be carefull with that.
-Be carefull on not completly "stop" your character when you hit a pose, even thou is a very stylized animation, you dont want your character to become a statue, you can avoid this problem by carefully working on your ease in/out.
-In some parts i feel that you are not following the arcs correctly, on the arm swings for example, even if is a pretty straight movement from one place to another, you can put that on a very subtle arc.
-Even if is a very stylized animation, snappy and cartoony, you neer forget about Weight, correct Spacing, Gravity, Phisicality and Force!
-Work on the elbows ik pole vectors, try to understand how the character goes from one pose to another, at the moment it seems to do the same "take" all the time, i think is because of the head overlapping/overshooting with the same timing.
-Work on your spine and head, are they connected one to the other? You don't want your character to feel like is moving without a purpouse, you want him to be Alive and breathing, at the moment feels a bit like he is movig on the "audio beat" .
- And very important, do some references! doesn't matter if is cartoony, snappy or an impossible take, act it out yourself , it will give you ideas on the actual acting.

Good luck with the shot, is very funny, thank you for submitting it!

-Anim Dailies

Fielding John - Suitcase

- Fielding John
- Suitcase

Hi John, thanks for your submission, i think that for a rough blocking is not bad, even thou, is pretty tricky to comment on a very rough animation withouth knowing what should append in this shot and what is appening before and after this shot, since i is just a shot on his own and not part of a short film, here are few comments :

-don't know if is a rig limitation, but the mouth shape except from the first "smily" pose , seems to be the same pose all the way trough the shot, since is a blocking with few main poses, work on every aspect of the character, and try not to leave anything behind.
-She seems to change quite instantly her mood while reaching for the suitcase, maybe you can gradually change her mood, keeping the first smily part a little bit longher, than she open the suitcase, since she is not looking inside(maybe she is thinking to something else at this moment), than she can't find what she is looking for, here she gradually change her mood, untill she look inside and realize that what she was after is not there.
-I think the "surprise" take is a bit too extreme compared to the first part, where instead you kept everything more realistic and subtle .
- Also, have you used references? have you tried and act out the same shot yourself? it really helps on giveing you more ideas and also it makes you understand what is appening on the body, so i suggest you to do that as well.

Keep going with this shot, do another pass in stepped if you like, working on the facial expressions a bit more, but then move into spline, there, you will understand the timing better, because you will have more "informations" to work on.

Good Luck

-Anim Dailies

Amos Michael - Bloated Codfish Acting

- Amos Michael
- Bloated Codfish Acting

Hi Michael,

Great work, very nice especially for a first dialogue shot. Obviously you already have it very tied down, so here are just a few things that might help improve it.

-The head of the guy in the floor feels very light when moved by the speaker, it is pushed and moved far too easily for a head that is rested on the ground.

-I think there is a missed opportunity for some confusion and internal thoughts to show in the face after he says "is it you?", maybe he moves into his second wide eyed expression a touch too early. It would be nice to hold on his squinty look a bit longer so we feel him answering his question internally, which would be illustrated by his change of expression after the line. Also, I'm not sure what he is thinking when he he has his wide eyed look? Is he literally looking to see who he is? Or playing the part of a madman as he knew before he knelt down exactly who the guy was? I think it might be stronger to hold his 'angry eyes', and after he says "is it you?" add some eye darts to show some internal dialogue, or have him glance over more of the body on the ground as he makes his decision.

-After he says "it can't be" I see you have him look to the side, which is nice as it show's that he is still processing his thoughts. I think you could amplify this a bit with a blink or half blink, or maybe more of a squint as he changes his eye focus to the side.

-Arms: Watch out that you don't break the wrists, at around frame 180 the hand with the gun is at a complete right angle and looks broken. Also make sure to iron out the marionette/puppet feel the arms sometimes have, like they are being driven by the hands. His left arm snaps quite strangely at f180, to achieve this move you should add some twist to the chest as it's not affected by the arms at the moment.

-This is a style choice, but for me his head is a bit too 'floppy' as he stands up at the end.

Thanks for submitting, good look with the rest of your course!

-Anim Dailies.