- Understanding Physics for Animators

Physics! It’s super important as an animator to understand even the most basic laws of physics. I’m not suggesting you need to become a physicist, but really understanding what is physically possible and what isn’t can help improve believability and separate “ok” animation with amazing animation.

I found this site years ago and it still appears to be online so I thought I would share it here. The site was created by Alejandro Garcia, a physicist and professor at San Jose State University. He consults for Dreamworks Animation and created this course to help artists really understand the laws of the physical world. There are lessons on all sorts of “fundamental” topics like jumps, weight shifts, overlapping actions, center of gravity, elasticity, you name it. There are even some videos for VFX folks that discuss effects like waves, magnetism, color and even steroscopic 3D. There are hours upon hours of footage worth checking out if you have time. Some of the content can be a bit dry, but if you can make your way through it you’ll definitely come out with a new trick or two! YouTube Channel

It’s also worth mention that at the end of the day, these laws can and likely will be broken in animation. You really should know the rules before you break them though and these videos can help with that.