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Exploring Animation. 204CR / 346CS Learning Outcome 2: Use a range of digital technology for the production of audio and video content, including the ability to: Capture, edit and process audio Produce digital video Design and create basic animations using a video format.

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exploring animation

Exploring Animation

204CR / 346CS

Learning Outcome 2:

Use a range of digital technology for the production of audio and video content, including the ability to:

Capture, edit and process audio

Produce digital video

Design and create basic animations using a video format

“There is no particular mystery in animation... it's really very simple, and like anything that is simple, it is about the hardest thing in the world to do.”

Bill Tytla at the Walt Disney Studio, June 28, 1937

john lassiter
John Lassiter
  • "Technology doesn't make the motion picture, people do. You're not an animator just because you can move an object from point A to point B. (You're) someone who breathes life into a character, which is something the software and technology can't give you."
  • “In order to give life to movement, one cannot just move an object without reason. Every movement in an animated scene must have a reason for being. That is the basis for character animation. One must learn animation’s fundamental principles, such as timing, staging, anticipation, flow through, squash and stretch, overlapping action, slow in and slow out, etc.”
  • “The principles of filmmaking, or film grammar, are vital to movies as a whole. How the story is constructed, the staging and pacing of action as well as editing, are just some of the principles involved.”
  • "Whether it is generated by hand or by computer, the first goal of the animator is to entertain. The animator must have two things: a clear concept of exactly what will entertain the audience; and the tools and skills to put those ideas across clearly. Tools, in the sense of hardware and software, are simply not enough."
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Lasseter

• Realistic animation began in 1872 when Eadweard Muybridge settled a bet about a flying horse

  • Muybridge did many studies of human and animal motion, taking photographs against grid backgrounds
  • He then displayed the photographs one after another, using a zoopraxiscope
  • The appearance of moving images was the first early animation
how it works
How it works…

• Still images are rapidly displayed in sequence.

  • If the positions of shapes on the images change, our perception is that the shapes are moving.
  • 10 frames per second give smooth flicker-free motion...…but more are needed in practice, where there are “blanks” in between images
  • Cine projectors use one or more “blades” to cover the projector for a small period of time whilst the film advances
  • Cine films generally have 24 frames per second
frame by frame animation flickbook animation
Frame-by-Frame Animation - ‘Flickbook’ animation
  • Draw each frame of the animation drawing each frame by hand, and Photograph them (scan them nowadays)
    • great control
    • tedious and time consuming
clay mation stop frame animation
Clay-mation / stop frame animation
  • create real scenes, using plasticine figures, and make a series of very small changes, photographing each time with a digital camera
cel animation
Cel Animation
  • The image is separated out into layers (cels)
  • Historically these cels would have been separate sheets of celluloid
  • Purpose of cels is to avoid unnecessary redrawing – e.g. when the background remains the same

(Disney) Main animator would draw first and last character images. Secondary animators would draw the in-between frames.

cel animation advantages
Cel animation advantages
  • Backgrounds can be re-used
  • Only moving parts of the frame need to be re-drawn

On computer:

  • Character outlines can be scanned and solid areas coloured-in using a software fill command.
  • Movement can be ‘tweened’ using mathematical functions or scripts.
cel animation in photoshop
Cel animation in Photoshop
  • Uses the layers feature in Photoshop
  • Separate out characters from backgrounds (like traditional cel animation)
  • Unlimited number of layers
  • To animate - move the top layers and then save image
saving image sequences ready for vegas
Saving image sequences ready for VEGAS
  • Save your image sequence from the camera with incremental file numbers (001.jpg, 002.jpg, 003.jpg…).
  • You may need a file renaming utility
set up the vegas project
Set up the VEGAS Project
  • File menu > properties
  • Choose your output resolution
  • Set frame-rate to 15fps (or even 12).
  • Set progressive scan (no interlace) for display on a computer monitor
import the image sequence
Import the image sequence
  • File menu > import media
set open still image sequence
Set “open still image sequence”
  • Navigate to image folder
  • Click the first image
  • Set “open still image sequence”
  • Set range (image 0 to image xxx)
  • Click open
from 2d to 3d
From 2D to 3D
  • Keyframe-based Animation
  • Animation is done differently in 2D/3D based animation, but they have common properties:
  • Animator creates key frames, and the software interpolates between them.
  • Keyframes hold all information about the state of the animation at that point in time.
  • •The creation of intermediate images between keyframes is known as in-betweening (or just tweening)
  • We have come across this in VEGAS – when we animated and zoomed the photo-story images.

Still to cover:

Vector animation in flash / swish

Path animation

3D animation taster…

‘Cel Shaded’ 3D images

Using a 3D rendering Program (Max, Maya, Lightwave) to produce ‘realistic’ 3D scenes – and then post processing the frames to give a ‘hand painted’ 2D look.

  • The Elements video: http://www.privatehand.com/flash/elements.html
  • Flash Tutorial http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flash/articles/intro_flash_mx2004_print.html
  • http://www.animationmagazine.net/
  • The 12 fundamental principles of animation (updated 06/28/03)(As partially listed in "Disney Animation - The Illusion of Life" by Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston) http://www.zayatz.com/text/twelve_principles_plus.htm
  • http://www.navone.org/
  • http://www.navone.org/HTML/Links_3D.htm
  • http://www.animationmeat.com/notes/nineoldmen/nineoldmen.html