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.

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Anton Brand - Rouler Des Mécaniques

- Anton Brand
- Rouler Des Mécaniques

Hi Anton,

You have a pretty successful piece here in terms of storytelling and shot selection, and are clearly knowledgable in the technical aspects of CG animation. In terms of character animation I think you have the 'bones' of the performance there, but some more work on the two intro shots of each character is needed to really bring them to life. If you haven't already, shoot some reference of yourself. It's a quick and easy way to come up with different acting ideas, and is invaluable when getting into the finer details of your animation.

Red driver:
15 secs to 18 secs.

This is a nice subtle character in contrast to the burly yellow driver. Subtle acting is always the most difficult as it's hard to create the illusion of life when they aren't doing much, and we have to rely a lot on the eyes which unfortunately are difficult to see due to the sunglasses. Maybe you could cheat and lighten his lenses a bit for this shot?

It might be nice if he strokes the steering wheel a little with his screen left hand as he daydreams. If you choose to try this make sure you keep it small and subtle, it shouldn't distract the viewers attention too much.

Yellow driver:
34 secs to 37 secs.

You have all the right pieces here, but the actions seem too disconnected and robotic as they are now. Try involving the whole body in each of the moves, for example never leave the torso completely static when moving the head or the arm, they are all connected to the same skeleton and your animation should illustrate this.

When he pulls his arm back from the steering wheel try and add more of an arc to the path the hand takes, at the moment it is very linear. Also make sure to give him a more natural hand pose after he lets go, never leave a hand looking like all the controls have been set to zero.

When he is 'rocking out' his body is pivoting around his chest which looks quite unnatural, make sure that he pivots from his waist so we feel the connection with the seat.

His head move at around 35 secs is a little ambiguous, what are you trying to communicate here? I think he is looking his opponent up and down, but it might be nice if he seemed even more confident. Maybe he could tilt his head down to look over the top of his sunglasses, revealing his eyes to his opponent and making him look more aggressive?

Break up his last gesture so that his arm move and facial expression change aren't happening at the same time. One should lead the other.

Thanks for submitting to Anim Dailies!

-Anim Dailies

Sidhom Jonah - Did I Make The Team?

- Sidhom Jonah
- Did I Make The Team?

Hi Jonah

thanks for sending us your animation test, here are few notes that we hope you will find usefull :

-Generally it has a very pose to pose feeling, you might want to loosen it up a bit, start working from the spine main control, work into the phisicality of his body, you could start with the main mass, and weight shift, than move to the legs than up to the head and arms and all the details.
- Avoid twinning, with the hands coming up at the same time, when he is going to catch the ball, you can offset a bit the timing and the posing and still keep the same feeling.
- When he catches the ball, you could add a bit of reaction going through his hands arms and body, like a little overshoot and settle down.
- Also you could push this pose a bit more (around f 78), he is quite scared by the ball beingh trown at him, you could lift some more his shoulders after the catch, and maybe keep the pose few frames longer to make it read better.
- I find it difficult to read his emotions, where/what is he looking at the beginning, he seems lost, you should clarify this with his eyes.
- When he get hit by the ball, at the end, you could add a reaction to his body, from the hit, at the moment seems to stop there, he could loose his balance a little bit more, maybe stepping to the side.
- Generally he seems "stuck" to the ground with his feets, try and add some stepping moving around, one step when he gets the first ball, and another small one maybe when he gets hit to the head.
-Also, try and add a bit more weight to the second ball, reducing the space between the head beingh hit, and where the ball is falling at, after the hit.

Keep going and good luck!

-Anim Dailies.

Lianne Cruz - Reel

-Lianne Cruz
- Reel

Hi Lianne,

Thanks for the kind words about the blog. I think you show a lot of potential and its a good sign that you're critical of your own work.

Few comments on your two dialogue tests. I really liked the subtext in your acting performances but I did find the mix of spline and stepped keys distracting.

(1) Dialogue 1:
(a) "mathletes"
This could be stronger - I would accent the dialogue by squinting the eyes on "m" and then popping them wide open. I expect to see the jaw open on "le" and close on "tes". On adding this I might rotate the head back up to support it.

(b) "queer"
I would like to see more intensity and frustration in the performace. You could try adding tension to the fingers with a stronger hand pose, and perhaps adding staggers to make her feel like she's boiling over.

(c) "I'm a pusher"
She's mimicing the girl with the intention of making her look and sound stupid, I would like to see a change in the way she moves to reflect this. I would suggest filming yourself as reference, and really play up the sarcasm. I would also go the other way with the facial expression, starting with a squint and then accenting the "p"s by widening the eyes.

(2) Dialogue 2:

(a) I think she could be more anxious from the start - nervous finger drumming on the car door might help get this idea across, and even some eye darts towards him and then quickly looking away if there's time.
(b) As she kneels down her screen left hand needs more work - try spreading the fingers and/or adding a little push away from the door.
(c) Her expression in the last shot could be a more hopeful almost pleading one. I think there's enough time to add a little widening of the eyes and maybe a tightening of the lips as she awaits his answer with slight trepidation.

(a) The connection of his elbow to his wrist sometimes feels too independent. I would expect to see the hand compensate for any translation in the elbow.
(b) Similarly have a look at the connection between his knee and ankle. I would expect to see the foot roll to compensate for a move in the knee.
(c) His left knee swims a little bit - it would be difficult to move when your weight is resting on it.
(d) When he looks from her back to the tyre, the timing of the chest, head and right arm needs to be broken up - they all hit the final pose at the same time.
(e) His lip synch seems underplayed - for example on "yeah yeah", I would like to see a tighter shape on "y" which broadens into "eah".

Regarding your polishing, in general, something you should concentrate a bit more is, the phyisics of your character, working more on how gravity affects his mass and the different parts of the body, also very important are the connections and the weight between those parts.
This is the main principle of "Force", why is that part stopping? How does it connects to the rest? What append to the character if this or that part is moving?

Hope you find this useful, good luck!

-Anim Dailies

Hena Prikhodko - Wolfman

- Hena Prikhodko
- Wolfman

Hi Henady, thanks for posting, here are some ideas that you might want to consider :

Glasses man:

- You could try and characterize a bit more this character, a suggestion could be starting the shot having him adjusting his glasses to see better whats going on, try to clarify "who" he is .
- You could keep this character more subtle and stady while getting closer and closer to camera, have less of a " HIT" when is "asking the question", you really need a small gesture here, even just a small tilt of the head to the side, i think would work better.
-Is a bit difficult to understand the state of mind of this character at the moment, is he worried? is he quesitoning himself? was he just passing by and is he surprised to find this guy there? whats going on in his head?
When you have defined that, you can move into the main facial expression that will tell what the Character is thinking.
- I would try and Keep his eyebrows less snappy, at the moment they seems to go up and down a bit too fast.
-You could have him keep moving forward in a less pose to pose way, working also on the phisicality a bit more, at the moment it seems to do two prefectly equal steps , than stop and reaching with the arm, all of this seems to have the same timing.
- To build up more tension you could try and have him go closer and closer almost to touch the other guy's back.

Wolf Man :

- When is quikly turning, seems to be doing an half cartoony take, also seems to go quite down left on the frame, almost off screen, while doing that, i think you could treat him as a more realistic looking Creature.
-I would try and have him turn first with his head, followed by the chest and the body, to finish into a scream, that is going trough his all body.
-I dont know how the facial rig is, but you should try and push his face into a more scary looking, screaming face.
- you can also try to play a bit more with the camera angle, tilting down a bit more the overshoulder camera. So to have the wolfman lower in frame, maybe a bit more crouch on his knees, rises up a bit or just heavily breathe, and turning up and screaming at him .

I think you are on the right path, you should keep going and push this little excercise a little bit more.
If you havnt done any references, you should act out all the 3 shots and record yourself, it is always a good idea to do that, it keeps your immagination going and also makes you understand what your body/face does in those situation.

Good Luck!

-Anim Dailies

Soni Dhaval - Demoreel

- Soni Dhaval

- Demoreel

Hi Dhaval,

Thanks for posting your reel.

-I think you have some nice ideas here. I think the thing for you really is exactly as you say, that more time and attention needs to be spent on the animation. Its good that you recognise this. It means you can give your work that much needed attention before showing it

-It cant be said often enough that live action video reference is crucial to good animation. Filming yourself doing the action or something close to it will give the animation that edge of realismn and weight. You can really breakdown your moves, frame by frame and see whats happening with your body.

-Youre story telling skills are clear, and really like the emotions in the last shot. Everything is told with the eyes and the body language. I think you really just need to look at incorporating the correct physics into your shots. I also like the two guys at the bar, especially when one of them says "is that right". It feels like a very natural move that comes out of good observation.

-Having said all that, i love the weight of the first shot. But his spin through the air looks somewhat clicky and mechanical. I really want to feel the fluidity of that motion.

-The bird wing flaps are sticky and so are the fishing guys general movements. He feels light on his landing and somewhat unreal. I think this comment applies to the reel in general: Really look at getting fluidity and weight into your animation, make the actions feel organic. Its ok to go for a snappy style, as long as you sell the weight of the character.

Good luck

-Anim Dailies

Jen Stefanski - DemoreeReel 2011

- Jen Stefanski
- DemoreeReel 2011

Hi Jennifer

Thanks for posting your work. Im glad you like the idea for the blog

-I would first say as a general note (one that seems to come up quite a lot on the blog), is that you need to look at the physics of your shots. Look at the weight, balance and fluidity of your animation. This is best helped by filming yourself acting out the shot and then playing it back frame by frame to see what happens. You can use the exact timings and movements for your shot, and it will give it a the sense of realism youre looking for. Especially in your dialogue shot.

-In the dialogue shot i would say the biggest problem is that the guy seems ever so slightly incoherent in his actions. We want to feel that strong and steady build up from reluctant self restraint to extreme anger. Theres a real underlying tension to the shot and we need to feel it. Its really about posing out those expressions in the story, from concentrating on the task at hand, to tense irritablitiy, then anger and then extreme anger. Film yourself acting out the shot and try to make it as natural as you can.

-After he picks up the card i would look at it, then have a little movement of the eyes to the right to show that hes aware of someone, then back on the card before the first word. You could have a small nod on "told" a small shake on "never" Then look 3 quater on "interrupt", then completely around and hit on "working" . These are the accents, so use these moments for the transition to each level of anger. Try just posing out the shot on each of these accents.

-Keep the eyes and brows steady between each pose, they feel like theyre swimming (always moving). And make a strong pose in the eyes and brows for each emotion.

-I think "interrupt" needs to look more angry and then "working" needs to be full of rage. His face isnt really feeling it (perhaps because its so profile instead of three quater?) although his body pose is stronger.

-All in all i like where youre going with this dialogue shot. Its got some nice ideas. I like the fact that he destroys his own card house, but perhaps we could have a more shocked frustrated reaction to that?

-Whats with the duck? I hope you wont mind if i say ts not helping your reel
I think the duck needs to have the same level of attention paid to it as your dialogue shot. again look at the weight and balance of it. he feels too light and sticky. Make it feel like it really exists in space. Give it some duck like movements. Study a film of a real duck and incorporate this into your work.

-The dog is a fun little stylized piece of 2D, but shouldnt be the first thing on your reel. Try animating a 3D one and see how it goes.

Hope you found this helpful.

-Anim Dailies

Anuj Garg - Baton Bunny Blocking

- Anuj Garg
- Baton Bunny Blocking

Hi Anuj,

Thanks for posting your block. Im intrigued that you've decided to re-animate a classic bugs bunny scene.

I have to admit i wasn't thinking about the famous Bugs Bunny short when i first watched this and so was a little confused as to what was happening. I think its because the original has a build up to the story which makes it clear hes conducting an orchestra. Its easy to imagine that this guy might be performing a magic levitating trick of some kind.

-I would think about including the original shot just before your opening shot, where we see the orchestra ready. This sets the scene for your close up.

-I think the part where hes suspended in the air needs to include the tension that we see in the 2D version, his body vibrating with the noise.

-When you do the spline animation, I'd also look at making this version slightly more weighty so we see the physics at work. Not quite so 'held pose to held pose'. This will really sell the character in 3D space. Make it work better in physical animation terms than the Bugs Bunny original.

-The finger at the end looks to me like hes pointing at something rather than conducting those two notes. (I think the original does this too). Id have that finger swing from side to side without moving the hand much (like a conductors baton)

Thanks for revisiting this classic

-Anim Dailies

Rathod Kirti - Dialog Shot

- Rathod Kirti
- Dialog Shot

Hi Kirti

Thanks for posting your character test.

Its not bad, and i like the layout. There are a few things that could really make this work better.

- Now you've animated a version of this, Film yourself acting out this scene. Watch the film back and watch how your body moves. Look at all the little things going on in your eyes, brows, mouth and hand gestures. Look at the way your body moves with those gestures.

-The dialogue is an interesting one, because the character is criticising someone for doing something really annoying, but something which ultimately benefits that other person in a big way, and this really infuriates him. Its adding insult to injury. So we need to feel him starting out angry. Then in the long pause, the frustration that the other guy has benefited himself by doing something stupid is overwhelming and it erupts into rage.

-When the guy reaches over table on "something like this" his hand gesture feels a little confused to me. I'd try having his palm open face up and gesturing at the other guy like hes wearing something really silly stupid off camera. You could even have a little look up and down with that. So he looks disgusted. Then that disgust boils over into rage.

-The moves at the end need to be bigger. It feels like he makes minimal effort to knock that tray over. And whats on the tray? Its not clear to me. Perhaps the tray is just an object for him to knock? We need to really feel his anger. Perhaps have him raise out of the chair , smash the object aside and stand with his hands on the table?

- When he says "dumber" Id try to offset the actions slightly. It feels like everythings synchronised. Again look at some live action reference of yourself acting the scene.

I like where its going, but try to shoot that video reference. It will help you a lot.

-Anim Dailies

Matt Mitchell - Break Dance Dobby

-Matt Mitchell
-Dobby Dance

Hi Matt, this is a very nice test!!

I think that generally phisics are not OFF as you say, but "stylized" instead, i think that the timing is very nice, the way he jumps off and land is very cool.

Few things that you could maybe work a little bit more are :

- Try and add a little bit more weight generally, i think that you can achieve that by "keeping" the same snappy feeling but, carefully working on the Spacing a little bit more.

- The stepping needs more work, in some parts feels like you have took the timing correct from some sort of video reference, and applied that to the character. You have to be carefull with that(if you did that ), since the proportions are different, the feelings are going to be different as well, in this case, you will need another pass of polish for the spacing, where you will have to make it phisically more correct for the character proportions (hes got really skinny legs and big feets, short upper body and belly!).

-When he first gets up, the first step with his left foot, is a bit too quick going forward, the same with the second kick, the space between some of the frames(there is no frame counter unfortunately) is a bit too far apart, it catches my attention.

-When he is DanceStepping around, you could had a little bit more of an impact of the feet with the ground, also some of the legs movements feels light because is moving quickly from one side to the other and sometimes the push feels not enough, try giving it more frames on the push off.

- I really like what is going on with the arms.

Generally, Weight is expressed by Timing, Spacing, and Posing, thats why is the trickiest bit to get correct .
I think HERE there is a nice explanation, which could be useful to anyone reading this post.

Keep going, is really nice , and thank for posting it!


Rogers Nichola - Showreel

2011 Showreel from nichola rogers on Vimeo.

-Animation Showreel

Hi Nichola,
Thanks for posting your work

-I know that you've not been able to devote your full time to the animation, so taking this into account, i would say generally, before you get into the detail of this animation it would be a great idea shoot live action reference of yourself acting out each move. This will give you a precise idea of the physics and weight involved in achieving those poses. Then there's less danger of you ending up with something snappy and light.

- The eyes of the boy need to be animated, so they dont look so wild and staring. The extreme eye shapes for each surprising wide -eyed statement the boy makes, will sell much better if they relax somewhat in between. And use the blinks carefully. Again, look at your film reference.

-Take a look at using a better rig. There are a few good free biped rigs going around like the Morpheus rig, or you could use an automatic rigging software like Set Up machine2 to rig your character a bit better.

-when the character falls down at the start of your reel either have his head properly hit the ground where you see the impact and then him shaking to recover, or make sure it doesn't hit, but feel the weight of the impact in the arms and shoulders together with a head overlap. Make sure we register the weight and drama of that fall.

- For the character pulling the invisible object, i would make the object visible and also place a point of reference on the ground behind so we can see when he's being dragged along. At the moment its a little ambiguous as to which point hes being dragged or just stationary with the object.

-The running guy has a somewhat jerky feel to his run. Like he speeds up and slows down with every step. Try to look at making his run more uniform in its forward speed.

- For the walk we need to feel the hips pushed up by the leg thats supporting the weight so we get a rocking motion in the hips which is then counter weighted by the angle of the shoulders. Try to make it fluid, organic and without any snappy movements.

Really looking forward to seeing a later version of the story animation


-Anim Dailies