– Animating From Above

Check your animation from above. Simple eh!?

This is particularly important in the early stages of your animation as it’s the simplest angle to analyse your trajectories and pivots. It can also ‘unlock’ you when you get tangled in polishing.

Looks like a floppy sausage with a head! The legs really do complicate things but if you get the trajectories of your spine right the legs really will fall into place.  

This section may seem simple or unimportant but seriously it’ll keep you out of animation jail.

One of the biggest issues with quads is that you can get tangled in legs. This angle helps you see your animation completely differently and very simplistically as it obscures the legs (depending on your motion).

In the section ‘hide the legs – it’s all in the spine’ I try to convince you it’s a good idea to make the legs invisible.. However understandably this can feel and look odd to others. I think this is because people naturally see the legs as integral to the look and energy of the quad. Looking at your animation from above may help you see the benefits of hiding the legs as they are naturally obscured from this angle… and you won’t questions it as much.. And get on with analyzing the motion rather than pose.  


If I am blocking an animation with lots of dynamic movement this the best angle to quickly try out ideas while keeping your physics in check. In the below video I’ll demonstrate what to look out for.

– unmotivated direction changes in the center of mass

– unwanted strafing or gliding

– sharp arcs on the center of mass

– broken relationship between the three masses

– complexity of the spine

– check pivots, depending on your action a quad will pivot from the chest, hips or center of mass