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Thread: Animal's Gun Firing Tutorial

  1. #1
    Veteran Enthusiast Lt. Longrods's Avatar

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    Apr 2007

    Animal's Gun Firing Tutorial

    Welcome to my gun enhancing tutorial : ). This tutorial will help most beginners and possibly intermediates in animating guns and making them look better. I will provide gifs, frame by frame descriptions, and piv files for those that need the extra information. Now let's get started yo.

    First off, let me show you the incorrect way to animate a gun shot.

    As you can see the animation above is almost an exact clone of a pile of shit. Let me point out the obvious. There are only two frames, if you want the animation to be decent, it needs to be longer, about 5 or 6 frames at least, with much easing, so let's start with that.


    -Frame 1: Stickman stands with gun pointing forward.

    -Frame 2: The gun shot is fired, and every joint, other than the feet, should be moved. The back and the arm that isn't holding the gun joints should move around 3-4 pixels. The head, neck, and leg joints should be moved 1-2 pixels, and the arm holding the gun should move greatly upward.

    -Frames 3 & 4: These two frames are mostly easing, just move the joints you moved in frame two a short distance every time until you reach a stop.

    -Frame 5: Start to move all of the joints back to the place they were originally just a small distance.

    -Frame 6: Make all the joints just almost to the original starting point, but not exactly there yet.

    -Frame 7: More easing back to the starting point.

    -Frame 8: Everything back to the original starting point except for the forearm, which you should just make about a pixel away from the starting point.

    As you can see the new and improved animation is much smoother, less choppy, and way better than the first one I showed you. Now look at that animation, what's missing to make that gunshot look better? Umm... a gunshot? The actual gun blast can be very simple, for example look at this animation.


    It's simple, but it'll work. All you need is two frames for the gun shot.

    -Frame 1: Add the gun shot stick, don't make it too big, but don't make it too small either, and color it a hot color, like red, orange, or yellow.

    -Frame 2: Make the stick size about 1 or 2 sizes larger and make the color fade form whatever color you used in frame 1, to a little bit closer to white.

    And that's it! But... it could be a bit better than that. Let's try adding a line from the gun shot point to the target. In the next animation there is no target so it'll just go out of the screen :P


    Here is how it goes down.

    -Frame 1: Make a colored (probably the same color as the blast) line starting from the point of the gun.

    -Frame 2: Make it bigger and closer to white.

    Amazing eh?

    Now we gotta make that even better, let's add a tremor in there. A tremor is a shake on the screen that shows power. It is very simple, all you need to do is make your animation, and go back and move all the sticks down the same length. Like move the ground line down 5 pixels, and do the same for the stick man and gun. Here is what you should get:


    We're not finished yet, now let's try some lighting and shading. When a bullet is fired, there will usually be a shadow on the opposite side of the stick man, and the gun shot. Or at least here it will be. So all you need to do is add a short, thick line behind the stick man and color it gray. In the front of the stick man however, it will be bright. Add an exact copy of the stick man in the same position and place him just one pixel to the right of the original, and color him the color of the gun shot. During the next couple frames, make the shadow and lighting begin to disappear as the gun shot fades, and then you should get something like this:


    Last, but not least is the recoil shell. They are the little things that fly out of the gun when fired. All you need to do for this is get a very small rectangle like stick and when the gun shot is fired, shoot the shell out the top of the gun. This requires some experience in animating physics but makes a nice outcome in the animation. Here's what it will look like:


    Now some people have time and like to get creative with they're gun animating. I'm not going to go through how to animate these I'm too lazy so just make them up yourself... Here is a quickie that I made that doesn't look half bad if I don't say so myself :P


    Also there is one huge problem I find in most beginner's animations. They use the pi symbol instead of a gun shot. It looks plain ridiculous, this is how it looks with a pi shot.

    Credits to Bolt for pi.
    Bolt: <3

    Just idiotic, please try to refrain from doing this.

    Now that is about all there is to know about animating guns in pivot, of course there are other types of guns and I might be arsed to add on to this tutorial. I hope this helped you somewhat, and if you find any flaws or suggestions feel free to post them here.
    RetiredBATS likes this.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Ontario, Canada Where the Bagged Milk IS
    This looks great man, really shows the difference between a noob and a more experienced animator. Great tut, love the pi shot aha, it would definitely have looked much better with a more detailed gun stick but still, brilliantly done, good job and Thank you, i may need this in future animations.

    My Animations | Forum Rules| Tutorials | DD Collab

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    awesome, i like the way you put it in simple terms. the effects were nice and the over all animations were pretty good too. im sure this will help alot of pivot users out there.\

    good job animal

  4. #4
    Fox is offline
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    Jul 2007


    this is a very good tutorial it helped me alot thanks animal for posting it i learned a lot from it

    Animal makes smexy sigs
    Check out my thread.

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  5. #5
    Fanatic Enthusiast Niall's Avatar

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    Aug 2007
    Great tut there Animal, it really helped me, thanks.

  6. #6
    Fanatic Enthusiast Plan B's Avatar

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    Apr 2007
    Bournemouth, UK.
    good tut you have here, really shows what can be done to enhance such a basic movement

    good job.

  7. #7
    Fanatic Enthusiast

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    Mar 2007
    North Carolina Club
    Nice tut look at the one I made:

    lol jk but seriously this tut helped me out so it should definently help the beginners
    [center:yk9ruu5q]Hbz, Looks sexy in vip blue doesnt it?
    Credits to Chance! for the avatar and signature.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    In front of a camel.

    The tut is really good, and very detailed. Awesome job man.

    But, it wasn't really neccesary, since we already have Buzz's gun tut. >_>
    Quote Originally Posted by Crono
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  9. #9
    Veteran Enthusiast DeanEtc's Avatar

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    Mar 2007
    That's really nice, Animal

    I love how you detailed it. It really seems more experienced, and is better than a plain gunshot. You explained everything well, too.

    Good job, man

  10. #10
    Fanatic Enthusiast El Lobo's Avatar

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    May 2006
    Wow, nice one.

    First, when I saw the first examples, I was like 'Buzz already made a guntut, who needs this one?'.
    First the tremor didn't fit in at all, but the shade and flash made it look good.

    I don't really like those Scifi guns, but that lazor flash really looks cool.
    I may try it sometime.

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