Category Archives: Animation



Another hand drawn animation, this time of a dripping tap. this one has a few more frames than last time so wouldn’t really be suitable for a zoetrope (though could easily be adapted). I like the hand-drawn, sketchy style of the animation, it works well with the basic style of looping animation and makes it seem a lot more personal than defined and sculpted lines/shapes which is good as this is my personal exploration into animation, its a reflection of me as a designer.

Tagged , ,

Hand Drawn Animation: Tree

Hand Drawn Animation: Tree

Decided to have a go at drawing an animation by hand on my tablet. This is my crude attempt at drawing a tree and it’s shadow. When drawing, the plan was for it to be a quick sketch, almost like planning out an idea in a sketchbook. This gave me quick gratification of an idea, allowing me to improve it in the future if I want to. For a first attempt and not being very good at drawing, I quite like the outcome. This could be improved by adding more frames, but I limited how many I used to pay homage to the zoetrope which is limited to ~12 frames. For that reason I too only had 12 frames so this idea could easily be translated to the analogue toy.

Below is the quick sketch of my idea, showing the different frames all in one frame. I did this as a plan to get an idea of what I wanted to achieve and what it was going to look like.

Tree Sketch

Tagged , , ,

Animation Project

As mentioned in a previous post, I have to make a series of ~15 second animations using Flash, working on the same scale some of the original animators worked at when they were painting/ marking 22mm X 16mm film. To accompany the animations we had to make some music using the loops on GarageBand.

The process started with the music, choosing the right loops to go together but will also be good to animate to. I started by looking at the synth sounds, as they were rather distinct and a lot of the stood out with a mixture of short, quick sounds and faded ones. This would give some variety to the animations with the shapes and whatnot. The music was then imported into Flash so I could start drawing frames to match the music. My first attempt was initially an exploration of different patters I could do in time with the music, working out what worked and what didn’t. I then went onto make my second animation and third animation (WARNING: Flashing and whatnot) which I felt fit much more in time with the music and overall were a big improvement. With these, I drew the whole frame each time, redrawing elements that were used in other frames to give a more dynamic feel to the animation, rather than having any static shapes. This animation style really appealed to me as it stood out as being more stylised and interesting to watch.

From here I got a bit distracted by the allure of the banjo loops on GarageBand and ended up making this, which I feel could’ve looked great if I was better at drawing banjos. This animation went with a static image in each frame rather than redrawing it like I had done before. I felt this made it seem a lot more flat which in a sense, could be good as it makes the movement of the strings stand out a lot more, but it make the animation as a whole seem dull and uninteresting, despite the delightful music.

I also animated to an excerpt from a song (Trinidad James – All Gold Everything (MAKJ Remix)) which you can see here. This one was my personal favourite, as the flashing shapes and patterns really complimented the style of music. Using an actual piece of music was a lot more fulfilling for me to animate to as it made it seem like a more finished piece, rather than just flashing lines to some simple music. Once again I went for drawing out each frame every time which made the lettering more dynamic and fun, which really complimented the song. for the ‘drop’ in the song, the flashing shapes had a dynamic sense of craziness and uncontrollability which represented the music very well.

While they were relatively fun to make, this abstract animation didn’t appeal to me all that much. Maybe it was a combination of the miniature scale were were working on or just the stigma attached to Flash I’m not sure. If I were to do more work in flash, I would defiantly work at a larger size and do some more detailed/intricate animating.

Tagged , , ,

Abstract Animation

For the short animations I briefly mentioned in my last post (read it if you haven’t, it’s fab), my inspiration is some rather abstract animation. The animations are going to be 22mm x 16mm, and if you’re not sure how big that is on a screen, it’s not very (just take my word for it). The small canvas limits the complexity of the animations, and minimises the time and effort put in, in order to quickly create interesting abstract looking animations based on lines, squares, circles etc. A couple of examples can be seen on my lecturer Simon’s Folksonomy website. These show basic forms, lines and such which are animated to the music playing. This is the sort of thing I hope to achieve with my attempts. 

Tagged , , ,

Animation and such

The current theme of the things we’re doing at uni is involving animation. We looked at the history of animation, with its analogue past, and the present state of animation which as a whole has been made digital. One of the first examples we looked at was the Zoetrope, which used a spinning cylinder with slits in it. As it spins, you look through a slit and see the image opposite, this is then covered until the next slit spins into place, revealing the next picture. This gives the illusion of movement as the picture is swapped for a slightly different one each time.  A basic, modern equivalent of this could be drawing shapes in Paint or something similar, saving multiple, slightly varying images and then putting them together as an animated .gif which shows each image one at a time, giving the illusion of movement much like a zoetrope. 

Today we looked at using Adobe Flash in order to make animations. Even though Flash is rather outdated and not really used anymore, for some reason I don’t fully understand we’re learning how to use it anyway. Animating in Flash basically just uses keyframes which show one after the other (much like the .gif). 

This isn’t the first experience i’ve had with animating with keyframes though. In the past i’ve used Tumult Hype to make an animated HTML 5 website, which used keyframes and positions to fill in the frames in-between. A system such as this, I think has a better future than flash as that is slowly being erased from the face of the earth. Hype uses Javascript for the animations which is more commonly used today on the web.

We’ve been tasked with creating a series of short, 15 second animations which accompany music to form a mini portfolio of some sort. On my blog, here, I will post my progress as I slowly learn how to use flash and (hopefully) improve making better and better animations each time which not only fit with the music, but are visually appealing and interesting. 

Tagged ,