Sleeping character startled by alarm then returning to sleepy state
Opening a cupboard and removing something inside
Putting on a pair of pants
Opening the “world’s best gift” and reacting
Any of the above exercises using a very heavy character/object next to a very light character/object. Enhance the differences the weight change makes!
Things to keep in mind:
Reading these exercises will do as much for you as reading about push-ups would do for your physical muscles: NOTHING. If you want the benefit, you must animate them. Take a deep breath and just do it.
Do not forget the famous words of Ollie Johnston: “You’re not supposed to animate drawings [3D models]. You’re supposed to animate feelings.” If a character isn’t thinking, they aren’t alive, and the animation has failed.
Keep it simple! There is no reason to over complicate any of these exercises. Going back to push-ups, would push-ups be harder if while doing them you also recited the Gettysburg Address? Yes. Would they be any more beneficial? No. Keep things nice and simple and clear.
Do your best. There is no reason to do these exercises poorly. Give it your all. You don’t have to show anyone, these are for you. You owe it to yourself to try your very best. Something not quite right? Take the time to fix it.
As always, have fun. Push ups are not fun. Animation is supposed to be. Be joyful in your work!