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Arcs on the Web

In nature, arcs define nearly all movement. A thrown object follows an arc as gravity takes over. Animals and people have ball-and-socket or pivot joints in their skeletons that allow the limbs to move by rotation. A kite soaring into the sky strikes an arc around the hand of the person flying it. If you study Muybridge's sequential photos of animals and people in motion, you can trace the sinusoidal arcs traveled by various parts of the anatomy.

In his excellent primer on animation mechanics, The Animator's Workbook, Tony White points out that as a head rotates to follow some action, it dips slightly, which means that all the features of the face and head follow an arc of motion. Animating the features straight across tends to create the illusion that the features are sliding across the face, rather than being attached to the rotating sphere of the head.


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