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Animating Pin Positions

The Deform, Overlap, and Starch pins are in place. Now you can change the Deform pin positions to animate the character. The Overlap pins keep the front areas in the front, and the Starch pins keep specific areas (in this case, the torso) from moving too much.

Creating a Walking Cycle

Initially, the character should be walking across the screen. To create a realistic walking cycle, keep in mind that as humans walk, wave patterns develop in the motion path. You'll create a wave pattern in the pin positions. However, the values will vary slightly to add a bit of randomness, and to keep the character from looking too much like a robot.

  1. Select the Man layer in the Timeline panel, and then press U to display all the keyframes for the layer.
  2. Press Home to move the current-time indicator to the beginning of the timeline.
  3. In the Timeline panel, change the position of the Deform pins as follows (see Figure 14):
    • Head: 845.0, 295
    • Torso: 821.5, 1210
    • Left Leg: 1000.5, 1734
    • Right Leg: 580.5, 1734
    • Left Arm: 1384.5, 1214.7
    • Right Arm: 478.5, 1108
  4. To complete the walking cycle, move the pins to the following positions at the times indicated in the following table.




Left Leg

Right Leg

Left Arm

Right Arm


593, 214

570.5, 1095

604, 1614.5


314, 295

312.5, 1210

118.5, 1748.3

580.5, 1734

886.5, 1208

-325.5, 1214.7


-6, 217

37.5, 1098.3

352.5, 1618.6


-286, 295

253.5, 1210

118.5, 1748.3

-561.5, 1734

-121.5, 1234.7

-325.5, 1214.7


-614, 218.3

-530, 1094

-70.3, 1628.8


-883, 300.7

-803.5, 1213.3

-1003.5, 1728.7

-561.5, 1734

-121.5, 1234.7

-1309.5, 1101.3


-1153, 212.7

-1055.5, 1099.7

-789.3, 1609.4


-1412, 319.3

-1283.5, 1213

-1003.4, 1728.7

-1545.5, 1740.7

-1147.5, 1241.3

-1309.5, 1101.3


-1622, 246

-1505.5, 1099.7

-996, 1617

-1926.5, 1677.1

Squash and Stretch

As the character moves, his body squashes and stretches. Squash and stretch is a traditional animation technique that adds realism and weight to objects. It's an exaggeration of the effect that occurs in real life when a moving object comes into contact with a stationary object, such as the ground. When squashing and stretching are applied correctly, the volume of the character doesn't change.

The easiest way to understand the principle of squash and stretch is to view an animation of a bouncing ball. As the ball lands, it partially flattens (squashes). As it bounces up, it stretches (see Figure 15). To see squash and stretch in action, open the Squash_and_stretch.aep project file in the Lesson08/End_Project_File folder.

Animating a Slip

The character steps on a banana peel, loses his balance, and falls. The falling movements occur more quickly than the walking cycle. To surprise the viewer, you'll animate the character to fall off the screen.

  1. Move the current-time indicator to 2:11, and then change the position of the Left Leg pin to -2281, 1495.3.
  2. At 2:15, move the Deform pins to the following positions:
    • Head: -1298, 532.7
    • Torso: -1667.5, 1246.3
    • Left Leg: -2398.8, 1282.7
    • Right Leg: -2277.5, 874
    • Left Arm: -1219.5, 1768
    • Right Arm: -1753.5, 454.7
  3. At 2:20, make the character fall off the screen by moving the Deform pins to the following positions:
    • Head: -1094, 2452.7
    • Torso: -1643.5, 3219.7
    • Left Leg: -2329.5, 2682
    • Right Leg: -2169.5, 2234
    • Left Arm: -1189.5, 3088
    • Right Arm: -1597.5, 2654.7
  4. Hide the properties for the Man layer.

Moving an Object

Of course, when the man slips on the banana peel, the banana peel moves, too. It should slide out from beneath the man's feet and fly off the screen. You didn't add any pins to the banana, and you don't need them. Instead, you'll move the entire layer, using its Position and Rotation properties.

  1. Move the current-time indicator to 2:00.
  2. Select the Banana layer in the Timeline panel, and press P to display its Position property.
  3. Press Shift-R to display the layer's Rotation property (see Figure 16).
  4. Click the stopwatches next to Position and Rotation to create initial keyframes for each property.
  5. Move to 2:06, and change the Position to 80, 246 and the Rotation to 19 degrees.
  6. At 2:15, change the Position to -59, 361, moving the banana peel completely off the screen.
  7. At 2:15, change the Rotation to 42 degrees so that the peel continues to rotate slightly as it moves off the screen (see Figure 17).
  8. Make a RAM Preview and view your animation (see Figure 18).
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