Rabbit Animations are the furry version of the classic bouncing ball. Hop - Hop - Hop!
To animate a jumping bunny, I find it easy to start with a bouncing ball that has legs.
Create the keyframes for the rabbit animation as you would for a bouncing ball:
Add anticipation before the jump - the rabbit leans forward, preparing to leap.
At first the legs push the body off the ground, stretching backwards, then they swing forward, going ahead of the body for the landing.
On the contact frame, only the tip of the legs touches - the whole body is stretched down.
Squash the body for the impact on the very next frame, then ease out to the original position.
Once you have the movement for the BIG MASS of the body figured out, it's easy to add the rest of the rabbit parts animations.
It's best to do them one by one - First the Head:
Unlock and Show the Head layer. Go to each keyframe of the body, and create a matching head keyframe for it. Make sure you match the Eases as well, or the head will lag behind or speed ahead of the body!
Do the same for the front paws and the tail.
Rabbit ears are like hair, cloths long tails and so on - the part of the animated character that are basically dragged along.
The ears are attached to the head.
Let's mark the points where they connect:
Back to the ears - place the pivots (registration points) at the roots of the ears, and align them with the marks on the head.
Now we can do the rabbit ear animations:
Have them bounce back, then settle back into their original position.
I find it looks best with an Ease-Out at the end.
Give yourself a nice carrot for a job well done.
You can try different rabbit animations:
Either copy these frames or save the file under a different name, and use these very same keframes to:
The BIG SECRET is:
With rabbit animations, as with any animation what-so-ever -
always animate the BIG MASS first.
The big mass is usually the body.
In this tutorial I first animated the body and the legs that push it, and only then added the rest of the limbs, one at a time.
You can, of course, create the keyframes for the entire figure from the start, it's very easy with Flash, BUT -
I often see my students hesitate to move the the major body mass.
New animators tend to play with the arms and legs, and not dare touch the body and the head.
This really needs to be the other way around!
START WITH THE BIG MASS!!
Animate the body first, then the head.
Get the spacing - the Ease-Ins and Outs - right, and the rest will follow.
Check out the Butterfly Animation tutorial
and here you can learn How to Draw a Cat
Exercise 2: Convert to Symbol + Break Apart
Exercise 3: Create Multiple Instances + Distribute to Layers
Exercise 4: Transform instances + color effects
Exercise 5: Edit Symbol + Navigate in and out of symbols
Exercise 6: nested symbols: Sun animation
Exercise 7: Duplicate + Swap