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Crash Course On Independent Animation. With Dan Henrick. Class Overview. Introduction Step by Step Process in Flash and After Effects Look at Different Examples of Technique Working with Clients (if we have time) Start on a Collaborative Project Discussion and Q & A.

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Crash Course On Independent Animation


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  1. Crash Course On Independent Animation With Dan Henrick

  2. Class Overview • Introduction • Step by Step Process in Flash and After Effects • Look at Different Examples of Technique • Working with Clients (if we have time) • Start on a Collaborative Project • Discussion and Q & A

  3. Dan’s Qualifiers for This Class • There are many ways to animate; this is just one way that makes it quick and easy. • There are lots of programs out there, but the principles are the same. • Anyone can animate, as long as they put a little time into it. • The booklet is supplement to the class so that you don’t need to take notes.

  4. Script and Dialogue • Let’s assume the script and dialogue already recorded • Ideally, you want your dialogue recorded previous to creating storyboards • Kyle’s short as an example Page 1 of Handout

  5. Storyboards • Important to planning out your short • Establishes pacing • Determines shot composition • Makes it easy for clients to give feedback • Important for editing audio Page 3 of Handout

  6. Editing Audio • Purpose: Makes our dialogue manageable • Allows us to add pauses between lines • Establishes an organizational system forour short • Easy to do with Audacity, GarageBand Page 4 of Handout

  7. Model Sheets • Establish sizing, consistent character look • Occasionally includes directions ondrawing characters • Sometimes establishes character expressions • Necessary if you are on a team of animators • If you’re a single animator, it’s very helpful but not always necessary Page 6 of Handout

  8. Starting Up Flash • Title Safe HDTV 720 dpi • 29.97 frame rate • Explain workspace • Import first 20 audio files • Naming convention, “part” and “version” Page 7 of Handout

  9. Setting up the Flash workspace • Explanation of Guide Layer • Rename content layer, create 10 graphic layers • Place sound in sound layer, add labels • Add frames, keyframes • Repeat the process for rest of audio files • Repeat the process for other Flash files (parts) • This will facilitate pauses for animation Page 9 of Handout

  10. Creating backgrounds • On bottom layer, start sketching • Convert to symbol, graphic clip • Name symbol a descriptive title, when it appears • Open up timeline, insert a layer • Create fleshed out version • Exit symbol Page 12 of Handout

  11. Creating character art • Similar to background art • Start with sketch, Convert to Symbol • Divide your character into layers to be animated • Extrapolate for all movable segments Page 14 of Handout

  12. Duplicate symbols • DO THIS BEFORE ANIMATING • Refer to storyboards for duplicate graphics • Go into library, duplicate symbols with new names from when they appear • Duplicate animated symbols will retain animation Page 16 of Handout

  13. Intro to animation • Two main kinds of 2D animation • Hand-drawn (drawn on a tablet counts) • Tween-based Page 17 of Handout

  14. Hand-drawn animation • Two main kinds of Hand-drawn animation • Straight-ahead action =Drawn chronologically, first frame to last frame • Pose-to-pose animation =Keyframes drawn first, every 5 to 30 frames or so Page 17 of Handout

  15. Straight-ahead action • Advantages • More fluid, expressive and dynamic motion • Effective for action scenes • Disadvantages • Hard to compose shots • Hard to maintain consistent proportions • Hard to plan Page 17 of Handout

  16. Pose-to-pose • Advantages • Easier to plan / compose shots • Better for working in teams (animation assistants) • Easier to generate an animatic • Disadvantages • Can look wooden or stiff Page 18 of Handout

  17. Keyframes • With in-betweens

  18. Pose-to-pose within Flash • Using Kyle’s head example, making him blink • Keyframe at last frame, lock other layers • Using the Onion Skin tool • Working our way back every 2 frames Page 19 of Handout

  19. Quick mention of Frame Rate • Our current frame rate is 29.97 frames per second (roughly 30 fps) • We are creating new drawings for every 2 frames (or “on the twos”) • For broadcast…15 drawings + 2 frames per drawing = 30 fps • For video games…15 drawings + 4 frames per drawing = 60 fps Page 21 of Handout

  20. Tween-based Animation • Allows Flash to create the in-betweens • 3 types of tweens in Flash • Motion • Shape • Classic Page 21 of Handout

  21. Tween-based Animation • Advantages • Saves time creating in-betweens • Maintains consistency of character’s look • When done well, barely noticeable • Disadvantages • Looks stiff • Can be limiting Page 21 of Handout

  22. Tweens in Flash • Using Kyle’s face again, lock all layers but irises • Hide eyelids with Show / Hide Layer tool • Make sure keyframe exists • Create Tween • Move irises Page 22 of Handout

  23. Properties and Tweens • Insert keyframe in middle of tween • Show alpha tween • Show color tween Page 22 of Handout

  24. Using combinations of techniques • More often than not, animated shorts are a combination of tweening and hand-drawn; straight-ahead and pose-to-pose Page 25 of Handout

  25. Quick notes on puppeting • Flash tool that allows you to make movable puppet characters • Fast, but look particularly stiff Page 25 of Handout

  26. Quick notes on walk cycles • One of the first exercises animators learn • Seems easy, but the nuances are not • Start by tracing if you aren’t confident • Preston Blair / Muybridge are good sources Page 25 of Handout

  27. Lip-syncing • 10 basic phonemes (12 if you work at Disney) • Generally done by hand • Software available, like SmartMouth, but it’s good to refine by hand Page 26 of Handout

  28. Publishing • Test Movie, Publish Settings, Publish • Only good for browser-based viewer • Need After Effects for Quicktime, Vimeo, YouTube • Flash’s Quicktime export function is useless Page 28 of Handout

  29. Post-production • After Effects • You need to import SWFS and audio • After Effects doesn’t recognize SWF audio • Media Encoder Page 29 of Handout

  30. Dealing with Clients • Attend conferences, meet-ups, join groups • Manage expectations • Learn to save time without detriment to your final product • Be realistic about deadlines • Don’t do spec work Page 33 of Handout

  31. Collaborative Project • “Exquisite Corpse” • Everyone gets 32 frames • Draw what you like • July 15th, ideally • You get a copy of the finished piece and credit • Experimental animation fest?