Beginners’ View of Animation

Beginners’ View of Animation


I began animating a short while ago. Short, that is, in terms of the amount of animation I have found time for. Straight away I came upon some of the problems of animation drawing.

Although an interest in drawing was one of the reasons I decided to try my hand at animation, while I was getting the basic equipment together – animation stand; light box; camera- I had not thought of animation as being mainly about drawing, at least for cartoons.

issue-4-page-16-1My first animation film, which I am 1)0W making, has two characters in it, a boy and a girl. I had decided to keep the characters fairly simple for this first attempt.

In my story board of the film I had kept the faces very basic, just ovals with dots. Where I had drawn them in ‘action’ positions on the story beard I had just left the faces blank.


issue-4-page-16-2The first scene calls for the figures of the boy and the girl to walk ‘outwards’ straight towards the audience and turn left and walk out of the scene. Simple enough you might think with my simple figures. I started to animate the girl taking the turn by drawing the two extreme positions. When it came to the second extreme of the turn I thought side of face- profile and drew a profile.


issue-4-page-16-3It was not until I saw the results in a pencil test that I realised that there was an anomaly there. The profile I had drawn did not match the full face! I had been used to drawing 2D drawings but I have never before had to hold a three dimensional shape in two dimensions as it moved around in the field of view. But there it was, I had to turn one face into another on a turn.

Of course you old hands at animation may say I needed to do a model sheet and I think you would be right!

You learn a lot by experience though, and really I would not have known what to have done on a model sheet, now I have more of an idea.

Now that I have watched the pencil test a few times the effect is not all that objectionable, probably because the first stylisation of the face as three dots and a bent line is sufficiently vague in nature to allow for the change, so perhaps it does – by accident – hold together.

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