Easing is a fancy word that animators use to describe how a movement starts and stops. It's like when you're riding a bike and you gradually slow down before coming to a complete stop instead of suddenly slamming on the brakes. Animators use easing to make their characters' movements look more natural and smooth.
Easing is a crucial aspect of animation that can make or break the overall quality of an animated project. In fact, it is one of the fundamental principles of animation.
In traditional animation, easing was achieved by drawing each frame by hand. As the animator progressed through the frames, they would adjust the timing and speed of each movement to create a smooth and fluid motion. This process was time-consuming but ultimately produced high-quality results.
However, with digital animation, easing has become even more important. Without proper easing, movements in digital animation can appear stiff and robotic. This is because digital animations are usually created using keyframes, which are points in time where the animator sets specific attributes for an object such as its position, rotation, or scale. The software then generates the frames between these keyframes based on the settings that were inputted.
To achieve proper easing in digital animation, it is important to understand the different types of easing curves that are available. There are three main types: ease-in, ease-out, and ease-in-out.
- Ease-in refers to an object starting out slowly before gradually increasing in speed. This type of easing is often used for objects that are just starting to move.
- Ease-out refers to an object starting out quickly before gradually slowing down towards the end of its motion. This type of easing is often used for objects that are coming to a stop.
- Ease-in-out combines both ease-in and ease-out techniques, creating a smooth transition from slow to fast and back again. This type of easing is often used for objects that need to start and stop smoothly.
It’s worth noting that different types of objects require different types of easing curves. For example, a ball bouncing off the ground would require a different easing curve than a character walking across the screen.
Fortunately, most animation software comes equipped with tools that allow animators to adjust the easing of their animations. These tools typically allow animators to adjust the timing, speed, and interpolation of keyframes, giving them full control over the motion of their objects.
Easing is a vital aspect of animation that can make a significant difference in the quality of an animated project. It’s important for animators to understand the different types of easing curves available to them. With proper use of easing techniques, digital animation can look just as smooth and fluid as traditional hand-drawn animation.