Thursday, March 16, 2017

Final Projects!

Do an animation with sound!
Final Screening: Thursday, March 23 at 10:30 in MA 003

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Project 4 - Storyboard and Animatic

Storyboards Due Thursday, February 16.
Animatic Due Tuesday, February 21.

Create a storyboard and animatic for your final project.

A storyboard is a series of drawings representing the shots and key storytelling frames of an animation. Traditionally, story boards are drawn with each drawing on its own sheet of paper. Then, each drawing is pinned up on a board so that the entire film can be seen at once and drawings can be moved around or taken in and out of the sequence.

An animatic is a video of the storyboards cut for shot length and including a soundtrack.

Here's Eric Goldberg showing how a storyboard pitch is done! Note, how as this video is shot, it basically becomes a rough draft of an animatic.
'Trouble Shooter' Storyboard Pitch from Living Lines Library on Vimeo.

Here's an animatic for the Gorillaz' Clint Eastwood. Note how they are incorporating limited animation into the animatic. Also note the animation design - we can see what parts of the character will move and which will remain static.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Project 3 - Jumping About

Create at least one looping animation of a character jumping on a trampoline.
Use overlapping action, secondary animation, squash and stretch, and of course, timing and spacing to create a nifty animation.
Due Tuesday, February 14.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


yay, now I'm the boss.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Project 2: Abstract Animation

Project 2: Abstract Animation
Create a 30 fps, 200 - 250 frame animation with a beginning, middle and end using color, type, shape, and SOUND. All due on Tuesday, January 24. Rough Cut due Tuesday, January 24.

Animation does not always have to involve characters or the illusion of observed life; we can simply create movement for movement's sake. Such an approach is a kinetic (moving) equivalent of abstract or non-representational art and design. The tension between conventions for representing three-dimensional reality such as perspective and chiaroscuro and purely abstract two-dimensional visual forms such as pattern and writing, is essential to art of the modernist period (roughly 1860's-1970's). For those of you fearing you have missed out on the dizzying elixir of the modernist era, rest easy; this tension 'twixt abstraction and representation is very much alive and well and still a crucial element in all of our our contemporary visual chicanery.

Check out an early example of abstract animation from animation pioneer, Oskar Fischinger, who created this film using... paper and string... egad! An Optical Poem, from 1938:

Another fine example: Norman McLaren's Verical Lines from 1960:

Not to be outdone, here's Paul Glabicki's Object Conversation from 1985... No computers here, either!

1. Starting a file. Important! When starting a new Adboe Animate file, make sure you choose ActionScript 3.0.

2. Make sure you are working at 30 fps for this project. Select Modify > Document to change your frame rate. "Shooting on ones" will make smooth continuous movements like pans and slides much more palatable. Slower frame rates create a noticeable "strobe" effect. Ghastly!

3. Before you can tween, you must convert your drawing into a symbol. Make sure your symbol is of the "Graphic" file type, NOT Movie clip.

4. Learn all about making symbols in Miles' amazing video below:

5. Once you've gotten the hang of symbols, you're ready to do some tweens. Tween is short for in-between. Traditionally, in pose-to-pose animation, we would draw the main storytelling poses, or key frames, first. Once we had the timing of those keyframes down, we would go back and fill in the the rest of the frames inbetween the key frames. Nowadays, tweening refers to the process by which the computer interpolates (mathematically figures out) the frames between the keyframes.

a. Miles' motion tween basics:

And for that extra magic touch... nested and instanced tweens!
b. Miles' nested tween naughtiness:

And here is a quick gif of some nested tweens... er, uh, dank?

1. Use Adobe Audition to make your sound mix. Export as AIFF or mp3.
2. In Animate, import your audio file to the Library by using File > Import > Import to Library
3. In the timeline, create a new layer, name it "audio".
4. From the Library, drag and drop your sound file onto the document stage (not the timeline).
5. You should now have a sound wave showing up starting with the frame 1 blank keyframe of your "audio" layer. Right click on the timeline and choose insert frame to extend the keyframe if you need to. To adjust the length of the clip, cmd-drag the end of the frame range.

6. When working with sound in Animate, make sure to set the sync property in the Properties inspector to STREAM - not event. Stream, yay. Event, boo. To do this:
  • In the timeline, select the blank keyframe on the "audio" layer
  • In the Properties tab, set Sync: to Stream. 
  • An Event sound will play regardless of the timeline. This is bad...very bad. If you export your video and there is no sound, it is probably because your sound instance is still set to Event... boo!!! Also, you will have problems if your file is not an ActionScript 3.0 file. HTML5 animate files only let you choose Event. Again, EVENT is BAD.

Change to stream. You won't regret it...

Additional pro audio tips (chortle)
1. Cut your sound DOWN to roughly the length of your animation BEFORE you bring it in to Flash. Do not import a 6 minute piece of music for a 12 second piece.

2. You can do some simple fade ups and downs in Animate to fine tune to your animation, but do as much as you can in Audition.

3. Don't be shocked if you need to go back to Audition to make changes to your sound file after you've brought it into Animate. Relax, it's all part of the fun.

4. The more professional approach would be to do your final audio/video sync in a video program such as Premiere or After Effects. To do this, export your animation as a png sequence and open the sequence in Premiere. You can then import your high quality sound file into Premiere as well. Match 'em up!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Project 1: 100 Frames of Finery

1. In class make a 100 frame animation. Go ahead and set the fps to 12 or 15. Sign up to Vimeo if you haven't already and upload your work there.
2. Create a blog and embed/link to your animation.

BTW, the 12 Principles...

1. Timing / Spacing
2. Squash / Stretch
3. Arcs
4. Secondary Action
5. Anticipation
6. Staging
7. Overlapping Action (Follow Through)
8. Slow In / Slow Out
9. Exaggeration
10. Straight Ahead / Pose to Pose
11. Solid Drawing
12. Appeal

Here's an intro to the most basic of the Flash/Animate basics...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 6: Final Projects

Due Dates:
Tuesday, November 8: Animatic 1 & design docs
Tuesday, November 22: Animatic 2 - must include sound and beginning and end.
FINAL SHOW: Tuesday, December 6, 10:30. Enter film in AIFF Launch Competition 

Final Project:
Your final project will be to create a short film and enter it in both the Launch competition at Ashland Independent Film Festival AND the SOU Student Film Festival. Joie! We'll be scheduling various production check-ins along the way. For Tuesday, November 8, you'll be presenting your animatic and design docs.

Treatment: Your idea expressed in any medium you can get your hands on. It can be any unwieldy, crazy collection of sketches, writing, scrawls, photos, pieces of felt... whatever works for you. The idea is to start cobbling together a story and some art so you can articulate your idea to others and put together a production plan. In my experience, I make several treatments, that, in retrospect, as a whole, form one big, ugly treatment... 

Story: As Uri Shulevitz describes it in Writing With Pictures,
  • A story... presents a progression of events from beginning to end. That progression of events is the action of the story. At the beginning, an objective is stated or suggested, or  a problem is introduced. The action of the story is complete when the objective is attained or the problem resolved... A satisfying children's story always presents a complete action.
Your story is your idea compressed down to a concentrated essence of beginning, middle, end. It does not involve any extraneous details such as costumes, sets, locations, colors, etc...  it is the raw plot, the skeleton on which you'll hang everything else.

Script: Your script is a practical document that builds your story into a guide for making your animation. It describes the story in practical terms, including dialogue, (if any), scene changes, camera moves, fades, descriptions of character actions/reactions etc. It may resemble a traditional movie script... or not! An abstract animation will have a very different-looking script than a dialogue-driven one.

Storyboards: Drawings of key shots of your script/story in visual form. These are working documents meant to aid you in tightening and fine-tuning your film. Re-arrange them. Cut them. Add them.
Eric Goldberg's Donald Duck Storyboard Pitch

Animatic: Your storyboards cut to video. Probably ought to include a scratch audio track.
Animatic for Gorillaz, Clint Eastwood

Animation Design / Production Design: How a piece will be put together as an animation. How will things be made to appear to move? Frame by frame? Hand-drawn? Cut-outs? Jerky? Smooth? How will lip sync be handled? Will some parts of the animation be done by hand? Includes conceptualizing and defining the workflow/pipeline. Will usually involve creating some...

Animation Tests: Taking your film out for a spin... with a test you are trying out your idea to see how it will actually work. You may do several tests that experiment with combinations of animation design and art direction. Depending on where you are in the process, these may become part of your animatic or be based on your storyboards. Sometimes a random test gives rise to a new story or shot idea.

Visual Design / Art Direction : Color palette, visual style, backgrounds, character design. What is this thing going to look like?? The works. Can involve "concept art," but this is usually pretty frigging bad/useless unless the concept artist is a genius or has a solid background in animation.

Research: You'll need lots of this in order to get a good thing going. Research can revolve around art direction (mood boards), animation design, storytelling, editing... anything.

Love and Theft from Studio FILM BILDER on Vimeo.