When a character is in the air during the jump or fall, his center of mass always moves strictly along a ballistic curve, regardless of what movements the character makes in flight.
The shape of the ballistic curve depends on the speed of the Center of Mass, and on its direction right before the jump.
For example, trajectory of a ball jumping would depend on the force used to throw it and on how the arm was moving before throwing it.
But in any case a ballistic trajectory is always shaped like an arch across which the speed changes gradually.
By simply following a ballistic trajectory you can greatly improve realism of your animation! For example, in The Matrix movie all the stunts are masterfully crafted… but speed-ups and trajectories of the jumps betray the fact that the actor was supported by wires.
Cascadeur includes a dedicated set of tools for working with ballistic curves.
To animate a jump, it is important for the animation to include contact poses.
Contact pose before the jump. It is the last frame before the jump where the character’s feet are still on the ground.
Contact pose after the jump. This is the first frame where the character’s feet touch the ground again.
In order to practice working with ballistic curves, you can take this scene.
The time of a jump depends only on its height!
Two characters jumping at different distances but reaching the same height would spend the same amount of time in the air.
So if you want to increase or decrease the height of your ballistics, you’ll also need to increase or decrease the number of frames in the ballistic interval.
You can also change the force of gravity, but we’ll talk about this later.