Animating Kids

Animating Kids Lesson #1: Basic Eye Pop

This secret recipe from the Animation Chefs introduces you to one of the oldest animation tropes.

Almost since the beginning of cartoons, character's eyes have been flying out their heads.  

stop motion animation eye popping

What You Will Learn

This lesson blends a squash and stretch as a wind-up to eyes popping out of the head. For those of you who have been through the starter kit, you'll notice this right away. If you don't have the starter kit it breaks down like this: Before you pop the eyes, you have to give your audience about a second (or 15 pictures) look at your character in the "normal position".

Then you squash the face down for a few frames to "wind-up" our character for action. Then in just a few frames the character's face transforms into the "open-mouth-leaning-forward" pose, as you place the popping eyeballs out of the head. Then the shakes and quivers follow for as long as needed.  

Why This Is Important

Not only is the popping-outl-of-the-head-eyes animation a standard cliche for your own skills, it blends the basics of animation in such a fun way. The squash and stretch, wind-up and follow through, and wild posing all combine to produce a real snappy motion. This can be applied to almost any facial expression change whether the eyes pop out of their sockets or not. 

The Secret Recipe