Tag: animation

Personal Experimental Studies Class: 7 and 8

1st Class: Krystof

For this class you will bring your completed sequence of frames and begin to do any more post production that you wish to do. This would include things like adding sound effects (which can be downloaded for free from places like freesound.org , or imcompetech.com . If you wish to use some music you can find royalty free music at jamendo.com . Why use royalty free music and sound effects? Well, because for one thing many of you may want to share your animation with friends, and a really quick way to get your video taken down from sites like youtube is to have a famous song as background music. Once you have found the sound effects as well as the music you’d like to include you can then add them using Premiere. Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do that.

Make an animation in Premiere by finalizing all of the frames you have been working on.

Open Adobe Premiere Elements.
Create a new project.
Go to File -> Import, and import and open your video.
Now, go back to File -> Import, and select the audio you want to use.
Open it. It will now appear in the project panel. You can press Shift + 1 if you do not see this window.
You should now see an Audio section on your timeline. Drag your audio to this section.
Your audio will now appear under your video tracks and will sync with it. You can play around with your audio on your timeline. If you want it to come in a few seconds after the video starts, you can move the start of the video a few clicks in.

Other things to consider may be some minor color correction, and setting the contrast and tone. You can edit multiple images at the same time by using photoshop. Here’s a video tutorial on how to do it.

2nd Class:

During this class we will be showing all of our animations to the class. Be prepared and make sure to have it saved as a Mp4, .mov, or .avi, so we can easily play it. After we have shown all of the animations we will have a brief critique and then you will be turning them in to reception.

Personal Experimental Studies Class:Lesson 5, and 6:Photoshop Animation Tutorial

Finalizing your Frames and a Photoshop Animation Tutorial

1st Class: Krystof: Studio time working on your animated short. You should now begin to start photographing your frames in preperation for the finalization and post production process involving your work.

If you are using a small set for a photo based stop motion using real objects it will be important to figure out how you will use lighting to achieve the mood you are attempting. In the video below we can see a creative solution to light brick films (Stop motions made with legos) by using two adjustable desk lamps.

How you light a subject also will drastically change a characters image and can give a viewer a clear vision as to what mood is being portrayed.

If you are doing all of your sequences on paper then you will have the option of either scanning, or photographing them one by one. It is also important to keep the resolution of your pictures relatively low as they will be easier to manage in Photoshop later.

You should have all of your sequences finished and ready for animating for next class.

 

2nd Class: Final Class of studio time.You will now be shown how to use Photoshop’s animation toolbar to begin to animate the individual frames which you have created.

Photoshop Animation Tutorial

The reason why we use photoshop to animate our sequences is because it is a simple way to begin onion skinning your image. In the past onion skinning was commonly done on a light box, with the intent of being able to see a previous sequence could be seen and small adjustments could be made in order to achieve the illusion of movement. Now the reason why you will be onion skinning your sequences is because we want to eliminate any sort of bounce or shakiness that can happen from not correctly lining up your photos. In photoshop after you have imported all of your individual photos/scans onto layers, you can then see the previous layer quite simply by adjusting the opacity of the layer on top (or the selected layer). This is a necessary step because when you first play your animation you will see that there may be large jumps between frames. The easiest way to reconcile this is to pick a certain element (perhaps the eyes, or something else which would stay in the same position) and then onion skin each layer until one element is always in the same place.

Drawing Class Lesson 3: Animating with Photoshop

Once you’ve finished your sequences I will begin to start showing you how to animate them in Photoshop. Now, you may be thinking, “Animating stuff in photoshop sucks!” and you’re kind of right. It can be a pain in the ass. There’s a lot of different ways to animate your hand drawn sequences and I don’t care if you use Adobe Premiere, Flash, or Imovie. But, and this is a big but, you’ve also have to be able to do some “Onion Skinning” which is a process where you can manipulate the opacity of each layer so certain elements stay in alignment.

So what’s onion skinning? According to Wikipedia “Onion skinning is a 2D computer graphics term for a technique used in creating animated cartoons and editing movies to see several frames at once. This way, the animator or editor can make decisions on how to create or change an image based on the previous image in the sequence.”

Back in the day this was done by drawing on semi transparent paper, or on a light box.

Now it’s done by taking down the opacity on layers which can be manipulated individually in Photoshop.

Take a look at this tutorial to see how to start using the animation window in Photoshop.

Now that you’ve got all of your frames imported into Photoshop I want you to manipulate each frame and start lining them up one by one. If you skip this step your animation will look bouncy and you won’t achieve a proper flow.

If you are still having trouble figuring out how to onion skin and animate in photoshop check out this great tutorial here.

The drawings can be scanned at school, however be aware that with 12 students, each of which will be scanning multiple drawings that this will take quite some time. If you’ve got access to a scanner then scan them at home.

Drawing Class Lesson 5; Squash and Stretch

squash_stretch_assignment

Today we will be working on a quick series of keyframed drawing which will illustrate the principle of squash and stretch.

What’s a keyframe? A key frame in animation and filmmaking is a drawing that defines the starting and ending points of any smooth transition. The drawings are called “frames” because their position in time is measured in frames on a strip of film. A sequence of keyframes defines which movement the viewer will see, whereas the position of the keyframes on the film, video or animation defines the timing of the movement. Because only two or three keyframes over the span of a second do not create the illusion of movement, the remaining frames are filled with inbetweens.

Although this is most commonly known as “tweening” in Flash. Keyframing has been used in animation for over 40 years. This video, produced in 1971 looks at some of the early attempts at key framing for animation.

So. Since you are not going to be creating a full animation (although if you want to do a short animation you should). I want you to just draw 3 different key frames. This must involve changes in a character. So I don’t want to see 3 different positions of a ball. The keyframes should also demonstrate the animation principle of Squash and Stretch. One drawing will be of the ball (object) resting, when will be squashed, and one will be stretched.

Squash and Stretch was described in The Illusion of Life as being “by far the most important” discovery that the Disney animators made in their pursuit of excellence in animation. Only lifeless stiff objects remain inert while in motion. Any living object will tend to change shape, though retaining overall volume. One example is a flexed bicep, another is a human face – while talking or chewing it will tend to extend and compress. The principle is often used in conjunction with another principle of animation which is “slow in, slow out”

During the 1930s the Disney animators competed amongst themselves to exaggerate the squash and stretch in their drawings, making their poses ever more extreme. The important thing was to maintain the overall volume of an object so that it did not appear to change size as well as shape. To this end they devised the half-filled flour sack, showing that even if dropped on the floor or stretched out by its corners, its overall volume would never change.

The animators consulted the sports pages in the newspapers and found in the photography endless examples of the elasticity of the human body in motion. Using these poses as reference the animators were able to start “observing in a new way”.

 

The classic preparation for the training of Disney animators began with a bouncing ball. The ball would change shape, compressing (squash) as it hit the ground, then extending (stretch) as it bounced up again.

Here’s a video tutorial of how to squash and stretch a ball, and the dramatic difference it has on an animation.

And in these drawings we can see how squash and stretch is applied to a character.

Drawing Class Lesson 7; Planar surfaces

 

 

 

 

planes_face

 

zbrush

Planes are flat surface areas which depict contours of the face in a flat manner. The technique of breaking down objects into simpler forms is at least 500 years old, and is still used all the time by 3d animators today.

In the popular digital sculpting program ZBrush you can create virtual sculptures, and in this video tutorial you can see how the artist looked at each plane of the face as a starting point to model an entire face.

In the following illustration we can see how Loomis simplified the face into flat planes.

And here we can see how Paolo Uccello did so with a vase drawing he made nearly 500 years ago.

Planes of the face can have simple variations in value which can distinguish where a plane ends, and another begins.

And planes can help simplify cartoon characters making it easy to draw from multiple angles. Such as in this step by step guide by Loomis on how to draw cartoons.

But why is this an important skill as it concerns 3d modeling? Well, for starters it isn’t that difficult to model an extremely complicated looking character in a program like ZBrush. However the more vertices present, the slower a character will perform in 3d. That’s why all 3d characters are simplified down to more efficient characters.

In the tutorial below we can see how simple objects are even simplified down to easier planar shapes in Blender. We are going to be doing the same, except with drawing.

For todays exercise we will be working from photos of animals and humans, and your task will be to redraw these images in a much simpler way. As always you are welcome to use a tablet to draw (not trace!) the images.

If you are looking for more inspiration, and are interested in using Blender I recommend starting with this set of tutorials. Blender is free to download and there are hundreds and hundreds of tutorials online which go from very basic to (as seen in the video below) quite advanced.