character design prevent tipping

Character design 2: Will it tip over?

This post is the second in a series on applying the physics concept of center of gravity to character design. In the previous post in this series, we looked at finding a character’s center of gravity, which is usually just below its belly button. When creating a model sheet, you probably have an idea of […]

reflections in animation: Vermeer painting The Music Lesson zoomed in on the mirror behind the piano

Mirror reflections in animation

Representing mirror reflections is a tricky business in all visual arts. Nowadays, we can use 3D software to calculate reflections. But before CG was available, any mirror reflections in animation, drawings, and paintings had to be figured out by the artist, and matching the subject with its reflection was solely the artist’s responsibility. We see […]

Hear it before you see it: The Doppler Effect

One way to give the effect of a moving object is to use sound. A moving object making a particular sound, such as an ambulance with a blaring siren, can seem to be making sounds with two different pitches. This is because of the way sound waves work. As a moving object approaches making sounds, […]

burning car

What is a gas, really? And can it always explode?

The term gas explosion could be used to describe several different kinds of explosions. In order to understand this, let’s take a look at different definitions of the word gas. Gas – Short for gasoline, a flammable liquid commonly used to fuel vehicles, called petrol outside North America. Gas – Short for propane gas, a flammable vapor […]

pi circumference circle square

Why you need pi in animation

When you were studying animation, you probably thought you had no need for math. But one thing you definitely need to know about is the value known as pi, and how you can use pi in animation. Why pi? For centuries, mathematicians were obsessed with the relationship between the diameter of a circle and its […]

lightning pattern

Lightning burn reference

If a character or environment object in your scene is struck by lightning, you’ll need some reference for the jagged burn pattern that will visibly emerge after the strike. The burns from a lightning strike aren’t just random lines—they follow a specific type of pattern. Lichtenburg figures, besides providing a great lightning burn reference, are […]