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Deconstructing a Jump


Deconstructing a Jump

The jump is another very common type of animation to do for a character. Just as we did with previous animations, we will take the time to review each key pose in the animated jump before you actually do the animation with one of your characters. Here is a break down of those poses:


By now, you will have encountered anticipation in much of the animation you have seen. Before the character takes action, he will anticipate that action. This will be evident in the animation and you need to plan it out.


This push is the opposite of the anticipation. Instead of crouching to take in the energy needed to jump, the character will now push it all toward its destination (in this case, he is jumping straight up).


The stretch is that very moment where all the energy is released and the character is at its highest. Then, as the second image is showing, the charcter will start being pulled again by gravity.


Finally, there is the moment of impact, when the character needs to squash again because of the weight of its body hitting the ground. Following the impact, he can get back up again.

Jump animation



Jump animation

To start my research into how the jump animation would be created, I wanted to get an idea of the key poses that would be incorporated.

I noted that there were 6 poses;

  • The idle
  • anticipation/ build up
  • Initial jump contact
  • Highest/ peak pose
  • Recovery
  • Neutral/ idle pose


Richard William’s jump breakdown.(Williams, 2001).

As Williams’ poses are very exaggerated, I wanted to have a look at a realistic reference. I found a great one online. Using this, I refined the feet positions and the arms. In fact, I redid the arm movements entirely, due to some faults I found that twisting of the upper arm was occurring when I moved them passed a certain point. Alec explained that this could be due to two things; the gimble mode and the twist correction not being on. I did both of these things and it prevented the twisting to a certain point- I think it also gives to the limits of the rig itself.

The jump reference that I used. I slowed the video in Quicktime Player to get a better look at the poses. (YouTube, 2016).

After I created this rough blocking, I went back and added additional poses, to give a better idea of timing. Andrew Coyle explained this really well in his blog. He created a really useful diagram (below) of the breakdowns of body positions for the jump.

Screen Shot 2016-10-15 at 12.11.40.png

Andrew’s diagram. (, 2016).

This was one of the things I found the most confusing when doing the walk cycle- the shape of the back and tilt of the hips. This was a really great reference for me – Andrew would be proud!

My next stages will be to start polishing up the jump itself, giving a bit of ease in and out, and fixing the overlapping action in the arms.

Wish me luck!


Williams, R. (2001). The animator’s survival kit. London: Faber.

YouTube. (2016). Jump Reference 59.94fps. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016]. (2016). Animation | CLOY TOONS. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

How Much Does Animation Cost For Small Businesses?

Animated Videos = short-term cost + long-term gain

ANSWERED! How Much Does Animation Cost For Small Businesses?

I’m a huge fan of yoga, but there’s this myth surrounding it that really confuses me. A lot of people don’t try it out and when asked why, they say:

“You need to be flexible to do yoga.”

Any yoga teacher will debunk this myth with one simple phrase:

“You don’t need to be flexible to do yoga, you do yoga to BECOME flexible.”

I’m also a huge fan of video marketing, and there is a similar myth surrounding this industry that I hope I can debunk today.

The myth:

“Small businesses cannot afford great animations.”

In the same way that we do yoga to become flexible, we create videos to make money for our businesses. So I guess what I’m trying to say is:

“You don’t make videos because you are profitable, you make videos to BECOME profitable.”

That’s not to say that flexible people don’t still practice yoga, and profitable businesses don’t continue to make animated videos – because they do, and they should! But the main point to take away from this is that you don’t need a lot of money to create great animations. Not even close.

There are a lot of different ways to create an animation, and each way differs in price. For example, you could contact Pixar and ask them to make you something similar to Toy Story and Monsters Inc., but you’ll be setting yourself back a couple of million dollars. On the other side of the spectrum, you could purchase a D.I.Y animation software and choose from a library of stock images, sounds and transitions. This way you’ll make a video that’s very easy on the purse strings, but you’ll have to accept the fact that your video won’t be unique.

It’s all about weighing up the pros and the cons, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do here. We’re going to compare three different directions for creating an animated video to determine how much it would cost to make an animation for your small business!

1. Ridiculously Expensive

Let’s get the really far-fetched option out of the way first. Here we’re going to calculate how much it would cost for Pixar to create your animated explainer video. You may think that, seeing as we’re talking to small businesses here, this is a bit pointless. BUT, you’d be surprised how many small businesses and start-ups contact us and ask how much it would be for us to make their video look like Inside Out. Besides, we can all dream, right?

According to IMDB, Inside Out is 95 minutes long and cost around $175,000,000 to make. According to my calculator, that means that if Pixar were to make a one minute animated explainer video for your small business it would set you back approx. $1,842,105.26.


2. Ludicrously Cheap

Okay, over to the other side of the spectrum. There are a lot of cheap, D.I.Y animation softwares out there. A lot. So many in fact that we wrote an eBook about them. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus on one of the more popular ones: GoAnimate. With GoAnimate, you can create low-budget animated videos for your business. Prices start from just $299/per year to produce an unlimited number of videos.

The only problem with GoAnimate and similar animation softwares is that all of the assets included in your video have to be chosen from their libraries. This means that other businesses could have the same characters, voiceovers, and audio tracks as you. When you create a video using GoAnimate, you almost lose a little peice of your brand identity. What I mean by this is: the videos look like GoAnimate videos. It’s difficult to create your own style and stand out from the crowd when using a budget animation software.

However, having said that, if you’re just starting out and don’t have much to spend on marketing, GoAnimate and similar softwares can be a great starting point.

3. The Middle Ground

Luckily, there is a middle ground between the ridiculously expensive and the ludicrously cheap. Video marketing agencies, such as Wyzowl, sit in this middle ground. It’s a place where small businesses can get affordable, professional, bespoke videos to help them stand out.

At Wyzowl, we create all videos for our clients FROM SCRATCH. Our professional copywriters write the scripts, then our illustrators create the graphics based on brand guidelines and style guides given to us by you. Our professional animators then work their magic to create an engaging video that grips viewers from the very first second.

Some video agencies work to a fixed per-minute pricing, with extra charges for revisions. At Wyzowl, we charge our videos at a fixed price per second – and that is with an unlimited number of revisions! To find out more about how much a professional animation from Wyzowl could cost you, click here.

Final Thoughts

So, now you know how much it costs to create an animation for your small business. The next question is: How much will it cost you to NOT create an animation?

The results of animated explainer videos are proven. According to a recent Wyzowl survey83% of businesses believe that video gives them a good ROI. By neglecting to use video in your marketing strategy, you could miss out on benefits such as this, and more.

To sum up:

Animated Videos = short-term cost + long-term gain

How Much Does It Cost to Produce Animation – and Why?

If you’re considering to add an animated video to your marketing strategy, you’re on the right track.

Video makes up for over 30% of all online traffic today. After watching a video, 64% of users are more likely to buy a product online


Consider this example:

Three years ago, Crazy Egg created an animated explainer video that increased their monthly income by $21,000. Besides adding a boost to their bottom line, the video proved to be a timeless piece of content – Crazy Egg is still using it! That's the kind of ROI we're talking about when it comes to animation. 


You're probably wondering how much that type of animation costs.


If you've done your research, you probably noticed that animation studios often don't offer pricing on their websites. That's because animated videos are tailor-made and need to be budgeted like other tailor-made products. 


Budgeting an animated video involves many different factors because animation can at times be extremely complicated. Check out this video from American Express and you'll get the idea.  


Budgeting your animated video project can become a challenge. Here's everything you should know about animation costs to help you produce an amazing video for your company.

What Stands Behind Animation Production Costs?

Let's start with the basics. The two most important price indicators of animated videos are the length and style.


Typically, animation studios start the conversation about pricing with the question about video length. That helps the studio to budget the number of designers and animators needed for the project, as well as estimate the turnaround production time and schedules. 


Since production costs per unit scale, you might get a discounted rate for longer videos. However, one must remember that videos longer than 60 seconds are hardly useful for marketing purposes. If your video works as training material, it can of course be longer.


It doesn't make sense to invest in a cookie-cutter video that generates no results. 


To help you create a unique video for your brand, the animation studio should offer you a selection of styles


Whiteboard animated videos have been a popular format for explainer videos - but those are dull and no longer original. Nowadays it’s better to choose from 2D cutout animation, frame-by-frame animation, 3D renders, motion graphics, kinetic typeset, or stop motion.

Animated videos are tailor-made and need to be budgeted like other tailor-made products.

Animated videos are tailor-made and need to be budgeted like other tailor-made products.

While some styles are cost effective (think whiteboard animation or motion graphics), others generate substantial costs, especially 2D or 3D videos that might look simple but in fact involve many hours dedicated to character design and developing a persuasive narrative.

Here's How to Budget Your Animation Project

There are basically two ways in which you can approach the topic of budgeting:


1. Start collaborating an animation studio, show them the style you're looking for and ask them to budget the project for you.

2. Approach the studio with a budget and ask them to fit the product into the budget you set yourself.


The first option is reserved to projects that don’t fit standard frameworks, or projects in which you are open for the animation studio to provide extensive conceptual work.

How much does it cost then?

As you have seen above, it depends on many factors.


Let’s take a closer look at a standardised example that covers:

- length: 60 seconds,

- style: multi-coloured flat design in cutout technique,

two characters,

music, voiceover, and sound effects included,

- copyright to cover Internet, internal use, and private conferences.



Bearing in mind these factors, such animation would cost approximately 6-10,000 USD.

It doesn't make sense to invest in a cookie-cutter video that generates no results.

It doesn't make sense to invest in a cookie-cutter video that generates no results.

However, a 2D animation studio would give you a quote on a per-minute basis, and 60-second video could land anywhere between 3,000 and 50,000 USD. The cheapest one would be a whiteboard animation with no characters and simple (sometimes even stock) graphics. The most expensive one would cover multiple characters, require advanced research, scriptwriting, pre-development and directing, different camera angles, extensive frame-by-frame animation, VFX, SFX, and TV copyright.


For 3D animation, the costs are much higher and thus may be not present the best value for your marketing money. The cheapest would cost around 10,000 USD per minute for a simple video with no characters, and models bought online and adapted. The price can go as high as 200,000 USD for the most complex projects with multiple characters and advanced features.


But remember this: 

If this is the first animated video you're producing for your brand, it's like a first impression. And first impressions count a lot in marketing.


So if you find an offer that is cheaper than these price levels, beware. The quality will be compromised. A low price could mean a studio you found does not put as much care in its productions as it ought to.


Your first animation will either make or break your brand. You'll be showing yourself to the world in a new way so it makes sense to invest a little more into your animation project and produce an amazing, top-notch video that resonates with your audience.


An animated branded video is an investment that helps to grow your business and showcase your brand in a completely new way.

Most importantly, animations generate measurable ROI with: 

- increased SEO results

- improvements in customer satisfaction, engagement, and awarenesses

- and a serious boost to your sales and conversions.


So if you've got a great idea for a video, don't hesitate and get in touch with an animation studio that will help you realise your vision and give an instant boost to your brand.


Understand Disney's 12 principles of animation

The principles of animation form the basis of all motion work.

The 12 principles of animation were first introduced by Disney animators Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas in their book The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation, which was first released in 1981. In this book, Johnston and Thomas examine the work of leading Disney animators from the 1930s and onwards, and boil their approach down to 12 basic principles of animation.

These principles form the basis of all animation work and are relevant for a number of different fields. The most obvious use is for animating a character (read more about character design here), but these rules are also an invaluable guide in other areas, for example, if you want to introduce motion into your interface with some CSS animation

Here, we take a closer look at each principle of animation. To see them in action, consider signing up to Disney Plus.

This article features GIFs from Vincenzo Lodigiani, who also made the short video The Illusion of Life (below).

Once you understand these 12 principles of animation, you'll be able to take your motion work to the next level. These are the principles and what they mean:

01. Squash and stretch

The squash and stretch principle is considered the most important of the 12 principles of animation. When applied, it gives your animated characters and objects the illusion of gravity, weight, mass and flexibility. Think about how a bouncing rubber ball may react when tossed into the air: the ball stretches when it travels up and down and squishes when it hits the ground.

When using squash and stretch, it's important to keep the object's volume consistent. So when you stretch something it needs to get thinner, and when you squash something it needs to get wider.

02. Anticipation

Anticipation helps to prepare the viewer for what's about to happen. When applied, it has the effect of making the object's action more realistic. 

Consider how if might look if you were to jump in the air without bending your knees, or perhaps to throw a ball without first pulling your arm back. It would appear very unnatural (it may not even be possible to jump without bending your knees!). In the same way, animating movements without a flicker of anticipation will also make your motion seem awkward, stale and lifeless. 

03. Staging

Staging in animation is a lot like composition in artwork. What we mean by that is, you should use motion to guide the viewer's eye and draw attention to what's important within the scene. Keep the focus on what's important within the scene, and keep the motion of everything else of non-importance to a minimum. 

04. Straight ahead action and pose to pose

There are two ways to handle drawing animation: straight ahead and pose to pose. Each has its own benefits, and the two approaches are often combined. Straight ahead action involves drawing frame-by-frame from start to finish. If you're looking for fluid, realistic movements, straight ahead action is your best bet.

With the pose to pose technique, you draw the beginning frame, the end frame, and a few key frames in-between. Then you go back and complete the rest. This technique gives you a bit more control within the scene and allows you to increase the dramatic effect of the motion.

05. Follow through and overlapping action

When objects come to a standstill after being in motion, different parts of the object will stop at different rates. Similarly, not everything on an object will move at the same rate. This forms the essence of the fifth of Disney's principles of animation.

If your character is running across the scene, their arms and legs may be moving at a different rate from their head. This is overlapping action. Likewise, when they stop running, their hair will likely continue to move for a few frames before coming to rest – this is follow through. These are important principles to understand if you want your animation to flow realistically.

06. Slow in and slow out

The best way to understand slow in and slow out is to think about how a car starts up and stops. It will start moving slowly, before gaining momentum and speeding up. The reverse will happen when the car brakes. In animation, this effect is achieved by adding more frames at the beginning and end of an action sequence. Apply this principle to give your objects more life.

07. Arc

When working in animation, it's best to stick with the laws of physics. Most objects follow an arc or a path when they're moving, and your animations should reflect that arc. For example, when you toss a ball into the air, it follows a natural arc as the effects of the Earth's gravity act upon it.

08. Secondary action

Secondary actions are used to support or emphasise the main action going on within a scene. Adding secondary actions help add more dimension to your characters and objects.

For instance, the subtle movement of your character’s hair as they walk, or perhaps a facial expression or a secondary object reacting to the first. Whatever the case may be, this secondary action should not distract from the primary one.

09. Timing

For this principle of animation we need to look to the laws of physics again, and apply what we see in the natural world to our animations. In this case, the focus is on timing.

If you move an object more quickly or slowly than it would naturally move in the real world, the effect won't be believable. Using the correct timing allows you to control the mood and the reaction of your characters and objects. That's not to say you can't push things a little (especially if you're creating an imaginary world) – but if you do, be consistent.

10. Exaggeration

Too much realism can ruin an animation, making it appear static and boring. Instead, add some exaggeration to your characters and objects to make them more dynamic. Find ways to push the limits just beyond what's possible, and your animations will pop.

11. Solid drawing

You need to understand the basics of drawing. This includes knowing how to draw in three-dimensional space and understanding form and anatomy, weight and volume, and lights and shadows.

While you can push the limits here, too, it's important to remain consistent. If your world has wonky doors and a warped perspective, keep that perspective throughout the entire animation. Otherwise, things will fall apart.

12. Appeal

Your characters, objects, and the world in which they live need to appeal to the viewer. This includes having an easy-to-read design, solid drawing, and a personality. There is no formula for getting this right, but it starts with strong character development and being able to tell your story through the art of animation.