Hello all and welcome to Project Educate - Animation!
This week is going to feature stunning animation, interviews with amazing people and a strong focus on Pre-Production within Animation. Also during the week I'll have facts about animation that you might not have known about!
Before we start, I'd like to push my Art History articles - I wrote two journals about the History of Animation up until 1990, so if you feel you dont know your Fleischers from your Windsor McCays then step this way!
Of course, though, animation exists everywhere and has done for hundreds of years! There are plenty of cultures that are ripe with animation, not just the West. Try Googling your country's animation history and industry!
What is animation? An introduction to the living art.
Animate as an adjective means to be alive, having life inside you.
As a verb, to bring to life.
As a noun to millions of people it is just a cartoon or 'a kid's show', but to those in the know, it's thousands of drawings, endless preparation and lots of coffee at night, and most certainly not always for children.
However, in a technical sense an animation as a noun is the illusion of flashing images to create a false sense of movement.
When you watch a movie or Nickelodeon for example, everything is an illusion called the Persistance of Vision - our brain cant handle the different images, and instead blurs them together to create something our brain is comfortable with.
Animation, today, covers every genre possible, and is also its own. It is a diverse world of fictional characters and scenarios that are not possible in real life, and that's what makes it so special.
Basics for beginning animation.
A lot of my friends ask me how to start animation, where to begin, what stuff to buy and what Wacom tablet they need. The short answer to that is: nothing. You dont need any fancy equipment, rostrums, Cintiqs or even a pegbar to start.
Easy ways to start animating.
If you try out any of the methods below, submit them to the Project Animate! Folder - all will be featured at the end of the week.
Remember you're making movement. To animate is to bring to life. All you need to do is move something. This can be done in the simplest of ways, and as a beginner you dont have to worry about any of the scary things I'll mention later.
1) The Flip Book
Staple a few pages of card together and make a tiny flip book. Then draw something on each page, changing it a bit each time. The flipbook is always impressive!
Things you can use for flipbooks include notepads - make sure it's not too thick to flick! Do it in an excersize book corner, or your sketchbook and flick through. The simplest forms of animation are often the most fun to create.
You can even use photos or videos and print them into a flip book.
2) The Paper and Lightbox
Back in 2007 I grabbed some thin paper and one of college's lightboxes and I drew five frames of a panda eating bamboo. It was scanned in and I couldn't believe I'd made it move. It lead me to create more amateur animations such as:
This was a huge direction for my life - I discovered my love for traditional methods of animation.
If you have a sunny day, a window and a few sheets of paper and a pencil and a scanner or camera then you're all set to go!
Animation paper is translucent and often pre-punched to fit your pegbar, it comes in field sizes more often that regular paper sizes.
3) The Animated Gif
I wont elaborate too much on this, as I will devote an entire day to how to go about creating animated gifs. However, an easy way to create an animation digitally is to create a few frames, minimum of two, and animate them in free software that help you export them. If you already know how to do these, then show us what you have!