Previously in my digital animation class we had an assignment, were we had to animate a falling leaf.  Also if we finished we were able to enter the animation in a contest held by acmeanimation.org.

The purpose of this animation was to create a realistic falling leaf.  The main key lesson for this animation was timing, if the timing was not right, it made the leaf look mechanical and did not give it the feel that it was falling like a leaf should.  It proved to be challenging, but if planned right it made the process much easier.

When creating my falling leaf the first thing I did, and recommend others to do, is to plan what one wants the animation to be doing.  In this case, I drew out my motion path first; this is the path that I wanted the leaf to follow.  This allowed me to know what my leaf would be doing, and where it would be going.

I then drew the leaf and moved it along the motion path, in order to get the timing down.  I sped the leaf up were it needed to go fast and I slowed it down where it needed to go slow. After determining the timing and pace the leaf would be moving, I then started to animate the leaf.  This was when I added the dips and curves the leaf performs when falling, in order to make it more realistic.

Lastly I added the secondary animation, such as moving the clouds in the background, and creating the ripples in the puddle.  The ripples in the puddle, I would have to say were pretty hard to do and took a lot of time.

This animation, when creating it, there was a lot of trial and error, but I never gave up on trying to make it right.  I encourage those who are trying to make animations to never give up on one, it may not look the best at the beginning but if someone just keeps working to improve it, the animation will get better.

I entered the animation contest and received third place.  It was a great experience and I am very proud of my animation.  One should enter contests when they can, because no matter whether they win or lose, one will always learn something from the experience.

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