Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

The Center of Gravity when Drawing Characters

yousef 25/06/2024

How do you ensure that animated movements are believable? How do you find the right balance between realism and cartoony movements? Ruben Aquino, the artist behind many of your favorite Disney characters, demonstrates the importance of understanding center of gravity in animation. In order for movements to look right they must obey the principles that Ruben describes in this video course.

Ruben Aquino is a hand-drawn character animator and supervising animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. His work includes several of Disney’s most-loved characters including adult Simba in The Lion King, Chief Powhatan in Pocahontas, Maurice in Beauty and the Beast, Denahi in Brother Bear, Captain Shang in Mulan, Pleakley and David in Lilo and Stitch and the infamous villain Ursula in The Little Mermaid. The course is broken down into four video segments with the opportunity for you to upload your assignment for peer review.

To start the lesson Ruben introduces himself and the topic of Center of Gravity. Ruben describes the importance of center of gravity in making movements realistic and ensuring movements follow the laws of gravity. Ruben describes how the center of gravity contributes to creating convincing animation.

Video Lesson

Assisted by his cat Spunky and many beautiful drawn examples, Ruben begins his discussion by talking about balance and the center of gravity. Ruben talks about how animation is the art of caricature and how the caricature of movement is critical to good animation. He explains the relationship between center of gravity and other concepts like inertia, balance, air resistance, friction and angular momentum. Ruben then shows a variety of drawings with their center of gravity in a variety of positions. Ruben describes how gravity impacts movement of objects and how falling objects accelerate to a point of terminal velocity. He talks about projectiles and the pattern of their movement.