Action Analysis for Animators: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Action Analysis for Animators

1st Edition

By Chris Webster


424 pages

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pub: 2012-06-05
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Action Analysis is one of the fundamental princples of animation that underpins all types of animation: 2d, 3d, computer animation, stop motion, etc. This is a fundamental skill that all animators need to create polished, believable animation. An example of Action Analysis would be Shrek's swagger in the film, Shrek. The animators clearly understood (through action analysis) the type of walk achieved by a large and heavy individual (the real) and then applied their observations to the animated character of an ogre (the fantastic). It is action analysis that enabled the animation team to visually translate a real life situation into an ogre's walk, achieving such fantastic results.

Key animation skills are demonstrated with in-depth illustrations, photographs and live action footage filmed with high speed cameras. Detailed Case Studies and practical assignments ground action analysis methodology with real life examples. Action Analysis for Animators is a essential guide for students, amateurs and professionals.

Table of Contents


Why analyse action? The value of action analysis to animators. Sports science, anatomical study.

The Study of Motion

Naturalistic action, abstract action,

Pioneers of Motion Analysis - Muybridge, Marrey,

Animation Based Analysis ? George Lutz, Fleisher Brothers, Disney Studios, Walt Stanchfield

Dynamics and Laws of Motion

Newtonian laws of motion, Laban system of movement.

Animation Principles

Webster's Four ?A's of Animation. Animation Timing, Overlapping Action, Follow Through, Drag, Balance and Weight, Arcs, Anticipation

Figures in Motion

Anatomy, Walks, Runs, Lifting, Carrying, Pushing, Throwing, Jumping, Character Interaction, Dance and choreography, Movement under Loads, Movement and the environment, Children in Motion, Adults in Motion, Movement in the Elderly,


Animals in Motion

Quadrupeds ? Cats, Dogs, Horses, Cows, Others

Anatomy, Walk, Run, Trot, Canter, Gallop, Jumping, Hauling loads, Group Action

Birds ? Song birds, Pigeon type birds, Swans, Waders, Hummingbirds, Raptors, Others

Anatomy, Principles of flight, Types of Flight, Take Off, Landing, Hovering, Flocking.

Fish ? Bony Fish, Rays, Eels, Others

Anatomy, Modes of swimming, Types of Swimming, Shoaling


None Organic Action

Clothing and costumes, Water, Wind, Fire, Others

Capturing Action

Drawing from Life - Anatomy, Construction, Materials, Mark Making, Sketchbooks

Photographing Action - Cameras, Exposure, Technical Issues

Filming Action ? Cameras, Film speeds, Technical Issues, Creating movies

Motion Capture ? Automated systems for the capture and analysis of movement.

Methodologies for Analysis

Staging actions, Analysis of Timing, Choreography, Analysis of Performance, Motion capture, Reading a sequence, Rotoscoping,

Reference and Research

Sources, Creating a Reference Library

About the Author

Chris Webster is an animator who has worked for twenty years in the industry and has extensive experience as an educator teaching across a broad range of levels from schools, higher education and professional training programmes and within the studio environment. He is currently Head of Animation at the Bristol School of Animation and the University of the West of England.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Digital