…became a plate.
A hand and face were then inched in and the fish “popped” into the mouth, and when pulled out the fish was but a skeleton as depicted in childrens’ comics with a cat and dustbin.
The fish skeleton, when placed upright looked remarkably like a pine tree,
and this in fact was its next shape complete with snow on top by the simple expedient of covering the bones by branches until fully built up.
I then had snow falling (white pieces of confetti) and during this fall the tree became a pudding by filling in the spaces between the branches with pieces of card.
By inching in a spoon and taking away chunks of pudding (the pudding was cut with a scalpel at this point) I removed the pudding, leaving only
the holly on top. This was inched down and disappeared into the ground below.
Gradually a tree appeared from the ground bearing miniature bottles of liquor (the DRINK part referred to)
The secret, if that is the right word, of the animation is to try to find a final object stage which suggest something else, as for example the upright fish bones suggest a tree, and change it to that. The tree with snow on top suggest a Christmas pudding. You will then find it fairly simple to change from one to the other.
When it comes to producing something from a totally dissimilar object, it is best illustrated by the teeth becoming a fish – just add something to it, pieces of card gradually becoming fish shaped. I might add that my method of going back to the previous stage for 1 frame (as explained in Animator’s newsletter No. 4) helps the animation along, and the object of the exercise is to finish up with a character as a. complete piece of card, ready for the next stage of animation.
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Originally printed in Animator’s newsletter Issue 8 (Spring 1984)