Wk 04. 2D Animation


Actual unit of competency being used for this subject:
Interpret and respond to a design brief BSBDES402
16th August 2019, 9:30am – 12 noon, Room W15.1.14


Exercise 3 – Toon Boom Harmony:
Animate a simple character walk cycle

Due: exported video due on Brightspace during class next week, by 10:45am, Friday, 23rd August.
(click link for video on how to export a video from Toon Boom Harmony)

Moving on from animating a stick figure walk cycle, this week you are to animate a simple character walk cycle, using the 4 poses we looked at last week during the Improving the walk cycle tutorial. The character can be pretty basic, but should be a bit more developed than a simple stick figure. The walk cycle should use the 4 basic poses:

Contact, down, passing, up. Refer to the video we watched last week:

ALAN BECKER – Animating Walk Cycles – Video 3 min 52 sec

You are to use Toon Boom Harmony Advanced 16.

The animation should be set to 1920×1080, 24 frames per second.

You need to draw a complete cycle of 12 poses; each pose should occupy 2 frames in Harmony, so that the 12 poses will last for 1 second (24 frames). Then get Harmony to repeat the cycle 3 times (you will need to drag the red End Frame marker to the right to lengthen the animation to the number of frames you want, before repeating the cycle. Otherwise, the repeated frames will stop repeating wherever the End Frame marker is set to (see the notes below about extending individual frame lengths by using the command Extending Exposure)

More realistic – down and up poses added
12 frame cycle: 4 poses.
Down/up poses added to contact/passing poses


Lengthening frames – Extending Exposure, repeating cycles

Suppose you initially set your animation up for 24 fps. By default, the timeline will show 24 frames for each second of time. Suppose you make a walk cycle sequence of 12 drawings; each drawing on a separate frame. You will have a sequence of 12 individual drawings Exposed for 1 frame each, over 12 frames. At 24 fps, it will play for half a second.

But suppose you want the animation to play at half the speed, for one second (half the speed, double the length).

To do that, you need each drawing to be Exposed for 2 frames instead of 1 frame. There’s an easy way to stretch out (increase the Exposure of) all 12 frames in one go, instead of having to stretch each frame individually.

If you select Set Exposure to 2, The result is the original 12 drawings are each now exposed for 2 frames. The entire length has doubled to 24 frames. Keeping the playing speed at 24 fps, the animation will play for 1 second, at half the speed that it originally played.

TIP: If you want to extend the Exposure beyond the current end frame in the timeline, or want to repeat a cycle of frames, first grab the red handle and drag it to the right to a suitable frame number so that there is enough room for increasing the exposure.

To repeat a cycle: Make sure to drag out the End Frame marker far enough to accommodate the repeated cycle. In this example, the 24 frame cycle will be repeated twice, to end at frame 72.

Select the frames (so that they turn blue), then right mouse click and select Create Cycle…

In the pop-up, select the number of cycles extra you want.
e.g. Specifying 2 cycles will add them to the original cycle, and give a total of 3 cycles.
The result is the original 12 drawing cycle repeated twice more,
for a result of three cycles in total, ending on frame 72.


How to export your Harmony project as a video file:

How to export a project using Harmony – video 2 in 34 sec


Reminder: Assignment 1 quiz

Available on Brightspace from Week 1.
Due, uploaded to Brightspace by the end of class (12 noon), Week 6, Friday 30th August 2019.


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