Category Archives: Computer animation

Pivot – a great tool for teaching children animation

Pivot stick figure animator is a great piece of free animation software that is ideal for introducing the principals of movement to children. When the software is first opened there is a stick figure in the centre of the frame. Each limb is jointed and can be moved by grabbing red spots with the mouse curser and dragging them. When you add a frame and move the figure a grey shadow is left in the old position in an onion skin effect. This allows you to judge how much to move the figure. Once two frames have been completed the animation can be played so you can check how you are doing as you go along. The frames also appear in a strip along the top of the work area.

100 Pixar characters drawn to scale

A fascinating panorama of Pixar characters drawn to scale has been produced by graphic artist Juan Pablo Bravo. The silhouette characters are are arranged in a timeline starting with Wally B from the 1984 short film The Adventures of André and Wally B and ending in 2010 with Twitch from Toy Story 3. There is also… Read More »

Computer modelled cat

Wire-frame model of the cat

A computer generated cat has emerged from my experiments with the Animation:Master program that I mentioned in my Computer animation revisited post.

I started with the head by creating a ball shape. A smaller ball was created for the snout and half pushed into the head. A ball was added for the nose and two balls for the eyes. Eyelids were modelled from half balls and positioned on top of the eyes. The ears are also created from half balls. The whiskers are long thin tubes that resemble drinking straws.

Using Windows Movie Maker to assemble your animation

Windows Movie Maker interface

Windows Movie Maker is software for creating and editing video movies and is included in Microsoft Windows. The feature that makes it a useful tool for novice animators is the ability to add single pictures and play them back as a movie. You can also add sound effects and music and export your finished work to a move in WMV or AVI format.

The first step is to open the program:
1. From the Start menu, click All Programs.
2. Click Windows Movie Maker.