Sunday, May 13, 2012

Traditional Animation

So out of the entire collimation of stress and anxiety experienced in setting up my first Linux file/game server, prepping for my sisters graduation, motherday, and an awards ceremony. i would have to say learning how much I hate animating on paper takes the cake.

I have never animated anything beyond stick figures traditionally before. My beginnings in animation were with flash and its reasons for why it’s taken over commercial animation are becoming far too clear to me now. Its union mode is fantastic for tweens and its time focus workflow makes animating in 2D a breeze. (Not to mention the built in tween modes are nice for smooth motions) Well once I got the hang of a tablet it was simple. So for this assignment I decided to attempt it 100% traditionally and boy was I crying for flash fast. So here are some things I learned about traditional animation along the way.

1: it’s a pain to keep sizing.
--my solution was to first mark out the maximum area allowed and then to stack the sheets of paper on top of each other over a light box. (well a clear clipboard and a lamp)
2: its messy no matter what you do.
--my solution was to animate on separate sheets of paper and to then transfer them via light boxing to the final surface. However even this proved messy as when inking it tended to smear.
3: it’s going to be shaky no matter what. (unless your Disney)
--never got a solution, it was simply an impending thing with animating traditionally.
4: X-Acto knifes don't like circles.
--try as you might it will never be round...
5: think before you do.
--I just finished making the disks, but have nothing to place them on for spinning... so wish I could just go File>export>Movie>Quicktime>save
6: and lastly, it takes HOURS LONGER.


  1. I liked how you stuck to traditional means throughout the whole process. I think it's great that you gave it a shot and challenged yourself beyond the realms of computer animation. Process wise, I too would have animated on a separate sheet of paper and transferred it for a streamline look. It makes me wonder if by not doing so, the process would show through more, and then wether or not that would truly hurt it or help it. For me, the type of animation device you used calls for a clean bold look.

  2. I think it was a great choice to push yourself by forcing historical techniques, such as drawing, to create your animation. With your experience, I'm sure a flash animation was chomping at the bit, but it was great to see you went for the less-desirable, clunky route. You never know, you may just realize you LOVE drawing!

    1. I do love drawing! However I've never enjoyed the repetitiveness of traditional animation as it greatly emphasizes my problems with consistency.

  3. My least favorite thing about creating traditional animation is the hands on work. I have no coordination when it comes to arts and crafts.

  4. I enjoyed how you made 2 projects with the same sketch theme. I enjoyed the sketches, I wish I had the pertinence to draw like that. I was just trying to keep mine simple. Like we all stated in class, yours was great - it just needed a sharpie traced over it. Although, I wonder if the black-to-white background suggestion you made in class would have helped emphasis yours too.

    1. i'm playing with some different viewing matting and so far a darker backing on the side that your viewing form has helped tremendously with making the images visible instead of just a white smear.

  5. #4 I concur most definitely (X-Acto knives and circles, there has to be a better way...)

    Thus we learn why hand drawn animation has to be kept simple - and that even then it will make you cry lol. I would try coloring in the running folk with gray like you were thinking. Speaking of black and white backgrounds, I wonder how a white animated subject would look on an all black background (scratch board maybe?)... Well, the main issue here is making the subject stand out the most, i.e dulling down or changing colors (all that white); a black mat board would make it sturdier and cover the white viewing side...

    1. Previously in my Video Art II class I had produced some simple animations for my final that consisted of white animations on black backgrounds. (12 screens total) the results were nice and i had thought of it for this, however I lacked the resources for doing such traditionally not to mention how much it would complicate the transfer process.

      i'm playing a bit with some dark paper for matting the viewing side, so far it's been beneficial. if i can get it to work well i may bring it back in on Monday.