Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Putting it all together

This is my first assessed animation, in other words the first one that counts!

The aim of this assessment is to put together everything I have learnt so far, and demonstrate all the principles of 2D animation in action.

Background Research

One of the current animators that inspire me is Simon Tofield creator of ‘Simon’s cat’. After seeing his animations capture the personality and behaviours of the cat so perfectly I’m determined to create something as enjoyable to watch as I find his shorts.

With this in mind I am starting the planning process of my animation.

Initial character Ideas

· Stick man – Already used
· Ball – Already used
· Animal – Potential
o Pets
o Sea life
o Birds – Already used
o Mammals
· Sports - Potential
o Running – Already used
o Swimming
o Jumping – Already used
o Cycling

I have decided to base the animation on one of my pets as this gives me a chance to study the movements of a real example of my character providing background research.
I am basing my character on my hamster Pippin.

The next stage

Character designs

This first drawing is too long.

The second is better but needs a few tweaks.

I am happy with my final drawing.

My story plan

To demonstrate all the principles of 2D animation I need to have quite a bit of movement and as my character is a hamster the animation will be set in the cage now I need to decide what is going to happen…

Narrative ideas

o Have the hamster running in a wheel
o Hamster climbs the bars
o Running through pipes
o ‘Sneaking’ food

Pros and cons

Wheel idea – I like this idea but it could get a bit dull to watch.
Bar idea – Would be easy to show the principles but the other ideas have more potential.
Pipe idea – wouldn’t really demonstrate the principles very well.
Food idea – Would show the principles of animation easily enough but needs more development.

I have decided to go with the food idea and am developing this idea further.

Idea development.
Instead of just running around eating food my character will ‘ninja’ around the cage appearing and disappearing whilst taking food from the bowl. This idea means I can show all the principles of 2D animation easily.

My Final Animation

I feel the idea had potential but the finished animation didn’t work as well as I would have liked.
The timing and spacing needs improvement but the stretching and squashing was demonstrated well I feel.
I’m not happy with this animation because it is a bit difficult to make out what is happening as the action moves too quickly and it would have been better if I zoomed in a bit. In the future I need to plan out my shots to ensure this doesn’t happen again!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Stick Man

This topic is looking at Stretch and Squash in greater detail.

The aim is to demonstrate how a character will move in terms of stretching and squashing this will apply to nearly all animation as most characters are organic and therefore will have to include some degree of stretching and squashing or they will look unnatural or wrong.

For my character I am going to use a traditional stick man as this is easy to draw and will be sufficient in demonstrating this principle. After deciding on my character I need to decide what he is going to do to show the principle in action.
My initial idea was to have him running across the screen but this is far to simple and wont show much stretching or squashing, I could exaggerate the movement to display it but after a little thought I have decided to have my stick man jump an obstacle.

Possible ideas
· Jumps over a box
· Jumps a river
· Jumps another character
· Jumps over a fire
· Jumps a crocodile

I like the Crocodile idea best as this means I can animate the crocodile as well making the animation a bit more interesting.

My working progress

Final Animation


I am pleased with the finished animation I feel it demonstrates stretching and squashing well, it has been enjoyable to animate and I am happy with the outcome.
Timing and spacing needs some work to help it run a bit smoother but overall I feel it is a success.

Bouncing ball

This topic is demonstrating another two principles of animation, timing and spacing and stretch and squash.

Timing and spacing is vital in animation to keep the animation running smoothly! Timing is literally the length of time something has happened and the spacing determines the speed it has happened.

Here is an example from Richard Williams’ ‘the animator’s survival kit’.

Stretch and squash demonstrates the characteristics of the ball, if it’s a particularly soft ball it will stretch and squash a lot where as if it was a ridged ball it wouldn’t, with this is mind I have decided that my ball will be fairly soft to help demonstrate this principle better.
To make my animation a bit more interesting I am including several obstacles for my ball to interact with, this will also enable me to change the speed of my ball clearly demonstrating timing and spacing as shown below.

My working Progress

I found this topic to be very beneficial, as it has helped me understand the most important aspects of animating. I have really enjoyed making this particular animation as the outcome has been so rewarding and this is most defiantly my best animation as of yet.

Final Animation