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Old 2009-07-17, 17:43   Link #1
magnumcyclonex
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Running up/down stairs in anime - not realistic?

I've seen a lot of anime where the characters run up and more annoyingly down the stairs, as if they are on level ground.

When it comes to running up the stairs, most animators draw the characters skipping stairs 2-3 at a time. While the motion of running up stairs parallels more closely to that of running on level ground, it differs drastically in regards to going down stairs.

Characters running down the stairs seem to take the same big strides (often skipping 2-3 steps at a time) as they do going up or on a level surface. I don't know about you guys, but that doesn't seem realistic nor safe.

So why don't animators animate realistic stair descending? Are they lazy? Are they over dramatizing the motion? Any other reasons for this?

Thanks.
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Old 2009-07-17, 18:05   Link #2
Raiga
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Of all the anime realism complaints I've seen, this takes the cake as the most nitpicky. :P

Eh, if you've got good balance and are really in a hurry you can run up and down stairs while skipping steps. It's probably difficult to animate the quick stepping that you usually do when you run down stairs, and make the motion look uncrowded at least. Personally, I've never really noticed this at all. Probably just didn't pay attention. Do you have any specific examples of what you're talking about?
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Old 2009-07-17, 18:36   Link #3
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sorry, but Gainax has trained me to focus on more important things other than legs during stair scenes so I've never really noticed your observation.
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Old 2009-07-17, 18:43   Link #4
magnumcyclonex
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I cannot think of specific examples, but this animation phenomenon is very prevalent in several anime.

Just imagine running like you normally would, but you are going down a flight of stairs. The character is leaning forward at an angle, swinging his/her arms a lot as they run.

That's different from how we really do it. When people go down a flight of stairs, their posture is more vertical. Even at the fastest (and safest) speed, our backs are more or less vertical.

Think about running down a slope. If you ran like a 100m sprinter, you'd soon be running too fast to handle and tumble easily. But if you take the smaller steps and essentially lean back to keep your posture as vertical as possible, you are always in control.

And yes, it is a bit nitpicky to point this type of stuff out, but some of the most visually appealing animations have approached near realism when it comes to lightning, reflections, water, the sky etc., so why not put in a bit of effort when there are stair descending scenes?
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Old 2009-07-17, 18:54   Link #5
Raiga
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Eh, just went and grabbed the only example of running down the stairs that stuck out in my memory and watched it (Toradora 24). Minorin actually leaps off the stairs, so can't really analyze that one, but judging by the way Ryuuji's moving, yep, back vertical, hands out for balance, taking the steps quickly but one at a time, just like a real person would running down stairs.

So... there's one counterexample at least.
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Old 2009-07-17, 19:07   Link #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raiga View Post
Eh, just went and grabbed the only example of running down the stairs that stuck out in my memory and watched it (Toradora 24). Minorin actually leaps off the stairs, so can't really analyze that one, but judging by the way Ryuuji's moving, yep, back vertical, hands out for balance, taking the steps quickly but one at a time, just like a real person would running down stairs.

So... there's one counterexample at least.
I'd rather see more of this in anime.
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Old 2009-07-17, 19:31   Link #7
Tamad
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Because it would just seem like wasted animation. What would be the point of animating every single step down the staircase when it would be unoticable unless you're really nitpicky about it? And honestly, skipping two or three steps while while running down the stairs isn't as unrealistic as you think.

But yeah, I don't exactly remember specific stair running scenes, so can you provide a clip or an example?
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Old 2009-07-17, 20:50   Link #8
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Aoi Hana ep 1 at 19.27 is what I want to see more often.
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Old 2009-07-17, 20:56   Link #9
Raiga
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Originally Posted by magnumcyclonex View Post
Aoi Hana ep 1 at 19.27 is what I want to see more often.
Doesn't that make two examples so far of things done the way you want and none of things done the way you're complaining about?
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Old 2009-07-17, 21:26   Link #10
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True. But like another poster said, its not a huge detail worth remembering about. Even though what I've described occurs in several different anime, no one is going to remember specific scenes where character x ran down the stairs in a mad dash.
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Old 2009-07-17, 21:54   Link #11
Shadow Kira01
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Looks pretty realistic to me..

----

To be honest, this is the first time I heard of this..

Which anime features this "unrealistic" staircase scene?
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Last edited by Shadow Kira01; 2009-07-18 at 07:13. Reason: added example.
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Old 2009-07-17, 23:36   Link #12
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Anime doesn't have the worst stair animations, almost every game out there skips stair climbing completely, stairs are just diagonal flat surfaces.

If you want great stair scenes, watch some kyoani.
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Old 2009-07-18, 00:33   Link #13
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Uhh I skip like 4 steps at a time when I go down stairs. My Stairs at home I step on the first, then kind of slide down and swing around the banister and then land on the last two-ish. Especially since they show teenagers in school settings, I can say that for a fact walking down stairs 'normally' is uhh. boring, and wastes time, seriously it's only practical if you are going to class, you want to get there in the alloted time. Even going UP stairs, I skip things. Maybe I'm not normal, but it's funny to see them animate it just how I do it. Some times I run using all of the stairs really quickly, but I actually get off balance more when I use every step.

Sometimes you just have to leap, you know?
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Old 2009-07-18, 00:57   Link #14
klare
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i agree with the animation for stairs running are mostly unrealistic, but imagine if u have to go into every little detail in making anime...

other examples:
- we cannot see our full mouth from the side of our face, but many anime draw it that way
- no way u can pull out a long sword/blade from your back, but we see that alot
- most anime characters run with their hands swinging sideways, in reality we swing to front and back
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Old 2009-07-18, 01:04   Link #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnumcyclonex
Characters running down the stairs seem to take the same big strides (often skipping 2-3 steps at a time) as they do going up or on a level surface. I don't know about you guys, but that doesn't seem realistic nor safe.
While i admit the whole things are just to save budget, and it's not actual common in real life. But just want to mention here that i don't think it's unrealistic. I have spend almost all my life (at least since grade 5 or 6) run up and down stairs by skipping 2-3 steps at a time. I don't think it's an actual problem or "unsafe"

In facts, i almost fell several time recently when try running up and down with only one step at a time
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Old 2009-07-18, 02:40   Link #16
Amon81
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Its pretty obvious that its to save time and money.

Also I never go up or down one step at a time so I never really notice it.
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Old 2009-07-18, 05:13   Link #17
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Never noticed but does it matter, I mean its an anime..

It doesnt have too look 100% perfect, right?
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Old 2009-07-18, 09:46   Link #18
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Originally Posted by Miko Miko View Post
Never noticed but does it matter, I mean its an anime..

It doesnt have too look 100% perfect, right?
Doesn't mean it can't be up for discussion.

I have to agree with the others. There's no point in fluid stair-walking animation when the budget and time can be put into other scenes [or in some anime, not...].
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Old 2009-07-18, 10:02   Link #19
magnumcyclonex
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Budget/time restraints could justify the lack of realism. But in this day and age, when we've come to expect great things and details, you would think something as simple as going down a flight of stairs would be animated realistically.

I guess it's sort of like watching the main characters interact in an open area like a school hallway or convention hall and only they move, while the background crowd is completely still.
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Old 2009-07-18, 11:43   Link #20
Skyfall
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At least based on personal experiences, i must say it is completely realistic to skip steps regardless of whether going up or down (Doesn't apply for nonconventional staircases with unusually wide steps) - i always step only on every second step when climbing or descending a staircase (Unless i would be so dead tired for whatever reason that walking itself would seem like an impossible feat ) - if anything, i find it almost "hard" to make small enough steps to use every one: it just feels like such a waste of time and energy to do so. Few of my friends are just like that (Or "worse" when going down), so i can say it is a commonplace thing in my life that has long since become a second nature (I live on the fourth floor and always use the staircase), and far more casual to me than actually using every step there is.

Obviously this wouldn't apply to older people or other ones that would have physical difficulty of doing so for whatever reason, and obviously would differ from person to person and depend on their habits, but as for it being unrealistic? It is a very present part of my everyday reality, so no - i can't agree to said assessment being correct at all
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Last edited by Skyfall; 2009-07-18 at 12:28.
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