Animation Tutorial – Landing

Posted by Chris Plush on September 19th, 2012 | Comments (44)

Download the start file for this tutorial here: Start Blend File

Download the finished file for this tutorial here: Finished Blend File

This is the first tutorial in a series that will share tips, techniques and methods for creating believable and quality animation in Blender.

Helpful Hotkeys:
Set Key: I (3d view)
Change Handle type: V (Graph Editor)

Lee (LohnS)

  • http://Website Jonathan

    hey like the tutorial really nice to see something good to do with animation in blender.

    theres this game called The Last of Us and i would like some tutorials around some animation within the game such as stuff from gameplay to cutscene’s all hand done since they used motion capture it would help to know how to do something like they did by hand.

    hopefully you know what i mean. :)

    - Jonathan

    • http://Website CharlesBlender

      HI HI Lee!!! Its possible a DVD for animation in Blender?

    • http://Website marciopimp

      yeah i would like to you made a DVD especific for Animation

  • http://Website Mehman Camalov

    Very very very nice tutorial, for who is in the middle of the animation. I think it is from Sintel animation, because You were the animator of the Sintel (:

  • http://Website Bhavin

    Awesome, very helpfull as always :D keep up the good tuts.

  • Hassan Yola

    hey once again so happy to learn new thing with blender teach by you lee thank for sharing and wish you the best while you continu sharing…

  • http://Website Gray Fox


    I really like your work!!! I have the whole DVD-series (Ninja creation and rigging). Do you plan to release another dvds soon?

  • http://Website Morgoth

    I’d like to see a running animation. there are lots and lots of walk cycles but running is barely ever covered even though it is a completely different motion.

  • http://Website COOL

    the new DVD?

  • Thiago Kolb

    running animation [2]


  • http://Website Xero

    Hey no there’s a thought. An animation DVD sounds great. I’d buy it in an instant.

  • http://Website Gnuren

    Looking forward to this series.
    One request: Would love to see any advice on good settings for encoding the final shot.
    E.g. settings for DVD quality / HD quality or a good compromise between quality and file size.

    Thx for all the free tuts.

  • http://Website Andrey

    I have two idols I blindly follow in the Church of Blender – David Ward and Lee Salvemeni! Loved your Ninja DVDs, especially the rigging one. And thanks for resuming your free tutorials!!
    The landing has been something I tried close to 2 million times. Thanks for showing the workflow in great detail!

    I know you must be busy but you asked for requests, so here goes:
    1. A quick tip regarding rendering. I’ve heard many ideas about how to setup the encoder within blender and I’ve heard that you should render each frame of the animation separately as an image and then put it together in a video editing program. Your opinion?

    2. Combining a simulation (bullet physics in game engine) with an action animated by hand. For example someone crashing through a brick wall. I’d love to see your solution or the workflow and how you would approach this situation.

    Many thanks Lee!!

    P.S. You need to come out with your own personal short! It would add to your followers!

    • http://Website peter

      Andrey watch some basic tut about rendering and cell fracturing,rendering of png images is better because if you cancel render in frame 100 you won’t loose any frames and you could carry on anytime later,fracture could be recorded in game editor in blender and after that animated there are some good tuts around

  • http://Website Isdom24

    Oh boy, you can’t imagine how Happy I am to see this. Nuff said. Forward!!! (Blender war cry!)

  • http://Website isdom24

    At the end you mentioned suggestions for part two. It really doesn’t matter. People say “running”, people may say “kickboxing”, …it doesn’t matter…any two poses will work. The way you handle breakdowns is what makes this unique. Building overlap by duplicating keys, keeping the editor clean by controlling your curves with handles, and managing timing early on is what makes the workflow unique. What is so great is that the workflow is efficient. Great results in twenty minutes!!! i Quality animation,…tv time, which is good for me. The crowd is chanting…More, More, More!!!

    • Lee

      Thanks heaps!!

      That was my hope with this first tutorial, to through an action give a lot of the basic techniques and methods that I’ll use on a lot of the animations I do. From this as a basis, there are a lot of fun tricks and techniques that I’ve found that are more action specific! So for the future my hope will be to just share more and more details, those things that just give a boost in quality to any animation =)

      Thanks again!

  • http://Website isdom24

    Perhaps one idea would be to, withTon’s permission, recreate the scene early in Sintel where the grimy dude tries to kill her but get’s stabbed by the spear. Hmmm, it might be to advanced, being two characters and all but it would show a lot, (Staging, timing, spacing, drag.) Just an 8 second scene…i.e. “grimy guy throws her against the wall”. There is so much going on there, in terms of breakdowns…, , all showing force. But to keep it simple, maybe she could just stand, anticipate, burst into a sprint, then stop suddenly. That would keep it simple and reinforce the principles you seem to be showing us here. Which is what I am aiming to learn, and internalize. Then again, why don’t I watch this fifty more times and be quiet.

  • http://Website isdom24

    I got it, two poses…pose A she is standing, pose B she is on the ground ( from a blast, a push, whatever.)

  • http://Website peter

    thx lee for sperb animation tutotrial a really need to bring your rig dvd tut to finish :)

  • http://Website peter

    Lee I like to learn more about rotating of whole character as somersault etc THX :)

  • Lee

    Thank you so much for the nice comments! I’m really glad you’re finding this tut helpful. Also I’m loving all the requests, some really fun and interesting to look at motions and scenarios, I’ll have a big think about a part 2!

    Also those wondering about a new DVD from me, it is definitely on the way, my only delay has been some studio work that was too good to turn down. That is all over with, and Volume 3 of the Character Creation series will be pre-saling some time after Chris’ upcoming and amazing looking DVD.

    Cheers again guys and I’ll keep the content coming for you all =)


  • http://Website love animation

    Extremely brilliant tutorial you have created here. You provided me some really precious tips. Thanks a lot for this and please create more such tutorials.

  • http://Website Gnuren

    I would love to see how you go about using props eg. throw a ball, drinking from a cup etc.

    No matter what i’m looking forward to the next tut in this series.

  • http://Website Wim

    I would like to see a tutorial on a charter starting to run from either a walk, a stand, or from a crouch. I see a few requests for running sequences, but a transition would be nice. You could have the run start after the landing in this tutorial…

  • http://Website stece

    thanks a lot man. been watch and a ton of animation tutorials and this is the best by far. i learnt a lot. thanks :D

  • iKlsR

    finally.. love it. :3

  • http://Website Billy

    Thanks for the tutorial, can you make a tutorial about cycles animation like walk, run, jump…

  • http://walk,run,moveandgo Marshall, Troy

    more on movement would be nice, walk, run, jusmp>?

    thank you!

  • syed

    I love these tutorials, i worked on Ninja modelling and was wondering how could i animate my model, though the model isnt as good to share with you. but yes, i really learned a lot from it.


  • http://Website Knut Holmberg

    Great tutorial! It is nice to see something different.
    I’d like to know something about changing from one action to another. For example from running to stopping, or jumping, or from standing to walking.

  • http://Website Anonymous

    by all means do create more! what i would like to see is sort of a hit and roll type thing

  • http://Website Ayoub

    one thing to mention, reference and planing is hugely important , so before considering animating a shot try to do a little search get some reference, plan your shot then animate, here lee has done this type of animation dozens of times so he clearly know what to do.
    a small advice want to share it with you guys :)

  • http://Website Name

    ah! one tip (for you guys who didnt notice it) to give this animation a cooler taste try to add a small camera shake when the character lands(pay attention to the way you do it), Lee actually did that you can notice it in the tutorial, definitely gave taste.

  • http://Website Israel Carrasco

    One question Lee, I notice (when I down loaded the blend start file) that the character is cut into pieces, how would you stitch Sintel back up when the animation is complete?

    • Chris Plush

      Hey Israel, the blend file contains a simpler proxy mesh of Sintel for the purpose of illustrating animation techniques more clearly, that’s all. Animators sometimes use a more simple form of the final mesh to animate just because it’s easier to look at and work with. All of these techniques and this rigging would work on the final “stitched up” mesh as well. So you wouldn’t stitch up the proxy mesh, you would just make sure the final mesh uses the same rig.

      • http://Website Israel Carrasco

        thank you so much for the knowledge. I am a new blender user and I am learning something new every day

  • http://Website James Sky

    Oh my gravy, now I really want an animation video by ya’ll. Animation + Lee/Plush = $$$ leaving my pocket

    • Chris Plush

      Haha, hey James, keep on the look out by the end of this year, Lee has plans for a character animation DVD! This is totally his element, so this course will blow all others out of the water.

      • Marvin

        Hi Chris, is there any news on the upcoming character animation DVD?

  • Sam Kane

    Hey, CGMasters! Is this animator tutorial series discontinued or will be followed up by some DVD?

    • Chris Plush

      Hey Sam, there will definitely be more installments for animation, and probably more on this series but as of right now there’s no timeline for them so can’t say exactly when they’ll be made. If there are any specific topics on animation you’d like to see let us know though!

  • Marvin

    Thank you for the great tututorial, I hope you will carry on this series!
    I’ve gathered some topics I would love to see:

    - sword or staff fighting motions and hit reactions
    - loosing balance, like falling to the ground from running
    - different idles for game animations
    - juggling with 3 ball
    - gravity switches upward and how the character react
    - being blown away by strong wind

    • Aidy Burrows

      Thanks for the great suggestions, we always encourage everyone to contribute ideas! Glad you enjoyed the tutorial! :) Aidy.