Final Jump Idea and Research


Trying to Fly jump!

Some of my research in reading Ed Hooks book: Acting for Animators introduced me to some really useful advice:

Chapter 3- Personality Animation, Page 25

“Dead men don’t tell tales and they don’t have personalities. Personality is inherent in action, and action is inherent in life.”

Audiences expectations are higher than they used to be when it comes to animation, and an in-depth character analysis is essential whether you are animating a preexisting character or creating a character or your own. Glen Keane, one of the elite character animators of today, prepared a nine-page analysis of The Little Mermaid character Ariel when that Disney film was in production…The analysis includes personality description, character history, and physical description…Note how specific Glen Keane is. Ariel is the youngest of seven daughters and is sixteen years old! Not fourteen or eighteen, but sixteen. Her fiery ice, “red hair and all,” is balanced by her sweetness. She is naive and innocent. You can longer just say a character is cute and cuddly and has a great personality, especially if you expect it to carry a lead role in a feature film or television series…You’ll be surprised how character elements that may never be mentioned or used in your animation can still provide strong motivation. “ 

This advice reminds us all that humans are complex our minds are unique and are not systematically the same!

Final Character Synopsis


Male or female: Female

Age: 15

Physical health: Healthy weight, likes to run.

Appearance: Tall and gangly

Hygiene:, messy clothes. She can usually be found covered in pen from sketching birds, runs barefoot, has pieces of grass in her hair. 

Intelligence: Naive and childlike but very imaginative, very interested in the world of flight. 

Diet: Eats produce from farm. Favourite food: walnuts;

Culture: English countryside on a farm, goes to school, 

History: First born to two younger siblings, hence why she kind of makes up her own rules as she goes along.

Income: None

Occupation: Student

Education: Studying GCSES: Art, English and Science

Family: Father is a writer inspires her and mother is a farmer who loves animals. Two younger brothers one is 7 the other is 5.

Friends: No close friends prefers her own company. Collects feathers.

Inner rhythm: Observant to details

Psychology (Introvert, extrovert, etc): Introvert

Goals:To fly

Name: Violet Birdmann

Sense of humour: Laughs at her brothers having gibberish fights, Laughs at cat videos on YouTube.

Fears: Living a monotonous life,

Relationship with others: Prefers the company of her family, is shy but is passionate with flight and bird. She likes to defend that obsession. Very Gullible.

Favourite Artist: Leonardo Da Vinci

Favourite Animal: Birds.

Favourite film: Fly away home

Optimist or Pessimist: Optimist

Last time she cried: At an animal documentary while drinking lemon and water

What does she want as an occupation: Torn between creative write or scientific engineer

Smile: Natural, dosen’t care how ugly she is.

One flaw that she dosen’t like about herself: Not Being able to make friends

List 3 quirks: Curious, caring and observant

My idea for the actions and motives are as followed. Character stumbles into a new world. Someone tells her she can fly in this world (a lie) which she wants to try as soon as possible. After she falls she is dissapointed.


Or the character tries to imagine what it would be like to live in a world where we could fly. Falls and turns admiring the birds in the sky!

Film References – Inspirations

“The movements and attitude of a figure should display the state of mind of him who make them, and in such a way that they cannot mean anything else.” – Leonardo Da Vinci

Last lesson we had a mini lecture on the importance of referencing. Our minds are filled with events that have taken place in our lives. Its important that those files ,if you like, are viewed but  are not the only source. We need to open our eyes to fresh perspective!!  Below are some reference points I want to deconstruct.


Above is a scene from Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away in which Haku (boy featured here) flies past with Chiharo. Deconstructing this clip I’d like to take away the framing and cutting of the scene. You feel like you are being propelled along with Haku. Furthermore I love the sheer determination and streamlined feeling from Haku. I really love this scene!

Argentina born Marianela Nunez in Swan Lake is a beautiful reference point I want to further analyse to get inspiration with body movements. My character is obsessed with flying and watching birds. When she comes to the point where she needs to take flight I want her to be graceful like the birds she idolises. Below you can see choreographed dances that are meant to be inspired by graceful swans. It is beautiful to see there interpretations of the creatures.


Above you can see a scene from Quest to Camelot, one of my favourite films from my childhood. This is a really sad scene that shows Kayley trying to make her Father proud. This isn’t the best scene but it shows how that child within that remembers her father still exists within her adult self. i also likes the triumph landing.


“You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!!”

 This is a really good reference, Peter Pan showing Wendy and her brothers how to fly. It shows the difference of how every character flies. From childish crawling from John and Gentlemanly glides from Michael. Wendy Flaps elegantly with her dress in an almost waltz dance. Peter Pan glides confidently and playfully. I really love the Gif that shows Pan flying towards the camera creating a surreal feeling matching the scenario. Peter Pan will prove a really nice inspirational point! It makes me question how would I fly? How would my mum fly or the postman. After all we all have different qualities and worries. Am I scared I would fall or am wanting to go higher!

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Above you can see several Clips from Toy Story, which I have spoken a little bit more in my research tab. In Toy Story which I am quite sure you are aware of, Buzz discovers he is not in fact a space ranger but a Toy. In the attempt to regain his identity he tries to jump off the bannister (gif 2) and into the window. To which he falls and breaks. The preparation for the flight is something to appreciate. He mentality shrugs of his doubts and gets into a frame set of space ranger. This is why the glide becomes all  the more powerful in the scene. The top gif you can appreciate how Woody takes to flying in comparison to Buzz, much more giddy and awkward.


Above is another reference which I think is worth a note. The clip is from “The Girl who Leapt through time”, directed by Mamoru Hosoda. The main idea is revolves around a girl who realises when she jumps she can travel through time. So there is a whole film filled with epic jumps like the one above. What I take away from this reference however is the way the scene is cut. There is a frantic nature about it with the way it has been cut. I love the last scene where it cuts from the face and then suddenly zooms out.


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Don Bluth’s Thumbelina. This is a good example to see how they represented the first time flying. Obviously Thumbelina herself is not flying but she is experiencing it for the first time! This is why this is a very useful reference. There is an instance of such freedom and experiencing happiness. In my scene there is an instance where the character feels like she is flying for a split second. How will I represent it?

Above is my last film reference, I was trying to think about how the character lands. I love the pure relief in this scene. As well as seeing how a young character interprets soaring through the air.





Above you can see a moodboard I have compiled together for my character. I wanted to show how she feels about flight. And also how she would react to being able to fly. I like the image of the girl floating in the water looking up looking so relaxed like it was where she was meant to be.

I like the softness of the board, and how some of these images have been photographed. For instance the little girl whose arms are outstretched and coming towards the camera we fill the speed and see the emotion on her face.


Sketchbook – Storyboards

I did several pages of the above, analysing my references I filmed. I tried to draw just the basic drawings so I could see the shapes of the movements. This allowed me to think about the poses and. The more I did these sketches I was able to think about how I could exaggerate them. 
As well as drawing from my own reference work I watched a lot of ballet specifically swan lake to understand how they represented, imitating swans. This is something my character does. The poses in ballet are already exaggerated, with there amazing ability to use there bodies. 


Above you can see some notes on the right that I took during a lecture with Mike. Something that really resinated with me was when Mike reminded us that “Things shouldn’t be a mirror”. Our features don’t work in sync. This made me keep analysing my references and study the differences in the movements. 



Above are two reference films on the briefing day, this is what we did in class. So now that I have developed a character I understand where I want to tweak and change! But It was a very good experience to act out how the character would move. Next time however I want to act out before the jump and after the jump. Remember not to copy this, exaggerate this! 

Above is a set of my reference videos I filmed. These reference videos were extremely useful when it came to animating. It reminded myself how the face moves, and how to put life into the eyes.

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Above you can see how my references informed my animation in my facial animation at the beginning. I wanted to portray the thought in my character. By using my reference videos I could make the facial animation more natural.

Three very useful videos!

Above is the most useful video, especially because this is basically how my character lands. I used this video to work out how anatomically the body goes from a handstand to forward roll to sitting. Furthermore it really helped me understand the timing of the animation. VERY USEFUL!

Here is another forward roll video,as it is a tutorial it talks you through the steps of performing a forward roll. Hearing how the roll should be carried out is like a instruction book to how to construct it in maya. Another very useful video.

Above is the final useful video reference I used whilst animating, and understand timing. This 40 minute video shows a lot of females doing back flips and flips to land. I found this video extremely useful to understand timing and to see how I could make the fall seem graceful!!



Below you can see a compilation of my progress during this test animation.The play blasts show how I began in stepped, to adding some in-betweens to working through the animation. I spent quite some time editing the graph, staying in stepped I used some of the nice pauses that stepped is able to give, and embroidering it with linear and plateau to create sharp movements and slow eases. I don’t think i will be able to finish this animation but It has been a very useful test to see how I could approach my real performance. Furthermore it goes to show where I think I could improve.


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