Animation/Physics Analysis Final Project Part 1

Trajectories Fall Quarter Final Project
Kinematics Analysis of Animation

The learning goals of this assignment are for you to strengthen the observational and analytical skills you’ve practiced in the lab and on the field trip and apply them to the kinematics of specific clips of animation, to develop theories about how different styles of animation employ the rules of physics, and to use some of these laws as you create your own animated sequence.

The assignment has two parts with two different due dates.  The first part asks you to analyze two clips descriptively and quantitatively, using Logger Pro, rotoscoping and your own powers of observation.  You will write up and hand in your observations on each of the clips.  The second is to choose one of the clips and design an animated sequence that follows the physical laws of its universe.  The idea is not to recreate the animation in the clip, but to make a sequence that uses the same kinematics.

Part I.  Analysis and Summary of Findings: due Thursday, November 15th, week 8.

Analyze two animation clips.  There is a set of Quicktime clips in the Handouts folder on Orca, in the folder Animation.  These are all from films we’ve seen in class or viewed for class.  They are separated into two folders: Folder A (orthodox character animation) and Folder B (developmental or experimental animation).  Choose one clip from each folder to analyze.

Follow this procedure for each clip:

1)     View the clip straight through to familiarize yourself with it.

2)     Single frame through it and in your sketchbook “reverse storyboard” it.  This means you draw thumbnails and other visual notes of significant changes in the sequence including directions of main actions.

3)     Rotoscope the movement of two main actions of an object or character in the clip to trace its paths of action. (You could rotoscope an action on one sheet of paper, or on multiple sheets in sequence).  You can do this in the 2d Rotoscope lab by tracing frames, or you can do it freehand by carefully measuring the location of the moving object in the frame and then drawing that on paper.  In either case, note whether you’ve rotoscoped on ones, twos or threes.  Mark what you believe the keyframes (or extremes) are for each action.

4)     Use Logger Pro and analyze two motions within the clip quantitatively. Use what you have learned about LoggerPro to efficiently and effectively perform video analysis on these moving objects (you may have to do each motion separately). Generate position/time, velocity/time and acceleration/time graphs for these two motions. If you know how, insert velocity vectors along the object’s trajectory.

5)     Use LoggerPro’s curve fitting functionality to find mathematical relations that describe the motions you have chosen. (Consult with Krishna if your motion is more complex than what we’ve analyzed before or you aren’t sure what might be a good function to try to fit to your data)

6)     At the end, you should have four sets of results: two motions from two clips

After completing these steps for both clips, evaluate your data and write a page (10 point type, double spaced) that summarizes what you’ve found and compares the styles of motion in the two clips.  Use the following questions as prompts:

1)     At what pace do things fall?  Is there evidence to determine the free fall acceleration in the universe of either clip? If so, what is the free fall acceleration?

2)     How do things slow down? Is there evidence to determine a coefficient of kinetic friction? If so, what is the coefficient of kinetic friction?

3)     If there is squash and stretch in either clip, what is the effective period/frequency/angular frequency of it? Can you determine the effective spring constant (you’ll need to work with Krishna as we won’t have covered the dynamics of motion on a spring yet)?

4)     What happens when a moving object collides with something stationary (either another object or something fixed like a floor or wall? What happens when two moving objects collide with each other?

5)     Are the physics conditional in each clip, based on what seems to be happening in the plot or some other factor?  In other words, do the laws of physics seem to change for different actions or characters?

6)     What about the physics in either clip is surprising or contrary to your experience in the real world? What is consistent with what you’ve experienced in the real world?

7)     What feelings do you think the creators of the clips were trying to elicit? What roles do the kinematics used play in eliciting viewers’ responses?

8)     Which clip has kinematics that attracts you the most in terms of developing your own sequence?  Why?

Compile your findings and a copy of your written summary in your sketchbook. Turn a copy of the summary in to faculty on November 15th.

Clips are available from these films in Orca/Programs/ trajectories-in-animation/Handouts/Movies/Animation:

Group A ( “orthodox” character animation)
The Old Mill
Country Cousin
Weather Beaten Melody (Scherzo)
Bad Luck Blackie

Group B (“developmental” or “experimental” animation)
Pencil Booklings
Some Protection
Gerald McBoing Boing
Steamboat Willie
Mr Tete
Studie #7