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HOUDINI- SYLLABUS

1. Timing & Spacing

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We start the animation section by going through all principles of animation and timing and spacing is the most fundamental​ principle that a student is required to understand in order to animate properly and avoid floaty animation.

Through timing and spacing we get the sense of a character's weight and the character's interaction with its surroundings which translates towards realism.

2. Squash & Stretch

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Squash and stretch is another principle of animation. In reality all things visibly squash and stretch except any solid object but in animation we must exaggerate this principle, as it becomes more entertaining and interesting for the audience.

We also need to squash and stretch in order to get an action more clearly across the audience, all squash and stretch elements don't need to be extremely exaggerated, the intensity depends according to what kind of style of animation we're going with.

At Indian VFX School, we make sure to make our students understand how to use all principles effectively.

3. Arcs

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We must understand that in nature everything moves in arcs and not in straight lines. 

Anything robotic and mechanic would move in straight lines but when we need to show organic movements, we must make sure to keep the movements in an arc. 

A person rotating their arms will always follow an arc and not a straight line because the arms are connected to the shoulder, hence shoulder is the pivot point for the rotation, therefore the length of the arm will not change and just rotate so that it follows the arc. We must make sure to keep movements in this manor while animating.

4. Exaggeration

Humans usually have very subtle expressions on their faces. 

While animating we must exaggerate those subtle expressions as we are trying to blow life in a lifeless 3D puppet. 

If we create subtle expressions then the animations look very stiff, hence we must exaggerate expressions as well as poses to make it look more life like and organic.

At IVS we teach the clear difference between exaggeration and over exaggeration, we must avoid the latter as much as we can.

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5. Slow in & Slow out

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A linear motion looks robotic and far from organic.

An object starts from rest slowly and then gains momentum and it slows down gradually before coming to rest again. 

In animation we must be mindful of this principle and use it efficiently, so that our animations look and feel organic. A linear motion will put off the audience as it will look out of ordinary in a bad way.

We must use the principles based on reality in animation, so that the audience is able to connect with the characters.

6. Keys, Extremes & Breakdowns

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Keys are the story telling poses in any animation, while extremes/contact poses are the poses that portray a change in direction or change in action, breakdowns are poses that we add in the middle that defines short, quick but different movements between two extremes, inbetweens are just connecting poses that we add for a  smooth animation. 

In 3D animation our software acts as our inbetweener and we as animators must decide where keys, extremes and breakdowns will be placed. 

At IVS that is taken care of.

7. Working With Curves, Understanding The Graph Editor

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In this lesson we will focus on how using curves we can easily manipulate the motion of animations.

We will understand how to animate different kinds of motions with the help of curves, instead of adding extra keyframes every time

We will also understand the different kinds of tangent modes we have in maya and how we use them to help in animation.

8. Adding And Changing Weight In Animation

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In order to create believable animations, an animator must understand the effect of weight, how different weighted characters and objects behave against gravity.

In this lesson we will continue with the ball animation and create several other versions of the ball animation including different weights and materials.

9. Using Both Keyframes And Curves In Animation

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In this lesson, the students will understand how keyframes and curves are used in animation and where we should be using them, also how to use them together properly, in order to avoid jerky animations.

10. Basic Ball Animation - Using The Principles Learnt

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In a cyclic ball bounce animation, we must be clear about the weight and material of the wall, as ball's material directly influences the way it bounces.

In this lesson, we learn how to manage the timing and spacing, arcs, exaggeration and squash and stretch of the ball. 

This is a very good exercise to practice the principles on a base level. 

11. Characterizing Inanimate Objects - Ball

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Students will learn how to add life and character to inanimate objects, with this exercise, it becomes easier for students to understand and portray emotions correctly on any character. 

Students will also learn how to build a small story and how to animate camera.

12. Follow Through And Overlapping Actions

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Follow through and overlapping actions are similar. 

Certain accessories and body parts keep on moving even after coming to rest. This is known as a follow through action.

While overlapping actions mean that different body parts move at a different speed to each other.

Being aware of this principle makes our animation more believable. 

At IVS we have set up good exercises in such a way that a student will definitely be able to understand how these actions work and how to use them effectively.

13. Basic Squirrel Animation - Using All Principles

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In this lesson we will use a basic squirrel rig and build up our animation similar to the ball animation but this time we will use the tail and practice overlapping and follow through principle. 

We'll be doing a jump animation.

14. Basic Squirrel Animation - Contd

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After the jump animation we will characterize the squirrel and create a small story and animate accordingly.

This will be more complex then the ball characterization as we have to animate the tail as well.

15. Flour Sack Animation - Posing And Walk Cycle

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Using a more complex character, we will create poses using different emotion and create the first walk cycle.

Students will learn how to use a body's anatomy in animation.

16. Flour Sack Animation - Jumping

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Students will learn to do a jump animation that will be more complex but built on the same techniques as the ball and squirrel animations in the previous lessons.

17. Flour Sack Animation - Small Story - Complex

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Students will again have to build a small story and animate the flour sack as the main character.

18. Human Character Animation - Poses With Expressions According To Emotions

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A full biped character will be introduced. Students will learn how to test a rig. 

How to build a pose according to a situation and how to create facial expressions.

How to exaggerate the poses and expressions.

Building a good silhouette.

18. Human Character Animation - Poses With Expressions According To Emotions

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A full biped character will be introduced. Students will learn how to test a rig. 

How to build a pose according to a situation and how to create facial expressions.

How to exaggerate the poses and expressions.

Building a good silhouette.

19. Human Character Animation - Male Walk Cycle

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Building a basic male walk cycle.

Students will also learn how to exaggerate the walk cycle.

20. Human Character Animation - Female Walk Cycle

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Building a basic female walk cycle.

Students will also learn how to exaggerate the walk cycle.

21. Human Character Animation - How To Build Different Kinds Of Walk Cycle

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In this lesson we will learn the techniques of building different styles of walks and how to exaggerate them enough

22. Human Character Animation - How To Build Different Kinds Of Walk Cycle

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In this lesson we will learn the techniques of building different styles of walks and how to exaggerate them enough

23. Human Character Animation - Jump Animation

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Students will learn to do the jump animation, this time more complex as it is a full character.

24. Human Character Animation - Run Cycles

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In this lessons students will learn how to create a basic run cycle and also how to exaggerate and turn it into a cartoon style walk cycle.

25. Human Character Animation - Lip Syncing

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Students will learn lip syncing, normal and exaggerated.

In exaggerated lip syncing students will also learn how to create 2D style mouth shapes for more attractive lip animation.

26. Human Character Animation - Facial Animation

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Students will continue with the previous lip syncing animation and learn facial animation using all principles in a subtle way.