Cameron Miyasaki - Balls

Ian has set animators a 60fr/d/6d challenge. I would suggest to any of my students reading this blog to animate daily with simple shaped characters as a start. You will notice that you are doing a lot of animation based on bouncing balls in studio. When you can animate balls like Cameron Miyasaki (2002), then move forward to using character rigs with the skills you have learnt. I do believe that ball 'looks' through the fence... How does it do that? It has no eyes!


Anonymous said...

Aye, that's funny! I watched "Ice Age, the melt down" the other night and I noticed I was laughing heaps at the Road Runner and Coyote timing, such as what happens here to the unfortunate squirrel ball in this fence incident.

Ian said...


So Michelle, have you had a go at creating the same kind of effect yourself yet? This is a great example because it is a quicktime file and you can skip through the frames one at a time with the arrow keys. Don't just admire it. Do it. Even if you have to match every frame one at a time. Its the only way to really know it :)

Frank said...

Yes, Michelle, Yes. Which film is ' the melt down"? Is it 2 or 3? Has 3 been released?

The preview for Ice Age 3 borrows heavily from iconic Wyle E Coyote falling from a very high cliff footage, with Scrit (the squirrel) in place of the coyote.

(There's also a bit of a Dark Crystal reference in the preview as well when it comes to the difference between male and female characters).

In both cases you can see that planning, pushing and testing the timing is so essential for the humourous effect.

Timing is an important animation principle.

Charles M Jones, who directed many of the Warner Brothers "Roadrunner"* cartoons, was a master of animation timing. You would do well to study more of his work and use it as reference in your own animation.

The timing doesn't get to be that good without line testing, line testing and line testing.

Thanks for your post.

*Terry challenged the 2nd year animators in his class that the Roadrunner is really a secondary character in those short films and that the Coyote is the anti-hero. He suggested the Roadrunner gets top billing because in the 1950's the 'villain' could not be billed as the star. So the bland Roadrunner gets his name in big letters.

Frank said...

Ice Age 3 preview

Wyle E Coyote goes over a cliff, watch the first minute and 30 seconds of this Chuck Jones film

Frank said...

The part that really got me in the Cameron Miyasaki film was that he animated the whole story with balls. There are no facial expressions, everything is communicated in the way the characters move.

That is the way we will hope to teach animation. Solving the performance through posing, timing, spacing and other animation principles with the facial animation adding to the movement.

So working on your 60fr challenges with simple characters, such as bouncing balls, is a really good way to solve the animation and build skills.