February 2011 Archives

An animators discouragment

Today was a very ineffective day. Sometimes it happens, where no matter what you try you can never get ahead of the game.

I worked for, what seemed like an eternity, on a Sand Animation project that can't be finished in iMovie because of its limitations. If you ever want to try to speed up a clip in iMovie, save yourself the time and agony, and don't try it. Turns out speeding up anything in Imovie is not an option. If you are putting together a montage or arranging pictures for a wedding iMovie is fantastic, if you are trying to animate, the program will make you want too shoot yourself in the foot. If any one else feels frustrated with iMovie, I understand where you are coming from. My computer did not come with iMovie HD, and downloading the program has failed for me every time.

The up side of this experience is, I know exactly what that program is capable of. I have searched it up down and side ways and if it has a feature that is nifty I know about it. I could make a fabulous photo slide show set to music... it would make onlookers cry. I also found that if you are not adding anything fancy other than music to your animations, then the program is fine to work with.

I really wanted to make this research about working with what you have. I worked with what I had, and now I know what I need in order to do certain things with animation. Every program has its limitations.

But a glimmer of hope lies in the distance. There is an Apple repair store in the area, so I will looking for ways to fix the ailments that may be plaguing my computer.

I will be making a blog entry of what is suggested for unruly computers that are not excepting programs, then if we ever have this problem again, we might know what to do.

So wish me better luck next time.

Super simple free animation software

I wave been stumbling around iMovie, and have come to the conclusion that its attempts to be simplified, it has become complicated. So I went searching for a program that I though any student could use. That is when I found Pencil.

Pencil is a ridiculously simplified version of Tuneboom, it can work on any computer(not just Macs), and best of all its a free download! Hurray for free stuff!!!

I had to play around in it for a while in order to understand it, but it took very little time to understand. This would be a great project to let students just play around with to get used to using the technology, and then later you can add more complex exceptions and instruction.

Download link:
http://www.pencil-animation.org/index.php?id=Download

User manual:

http://pencil-animation.org/wiki/doku.php?id=en:users:manual:0.4.3b:index

Animation with a camera phone

While I have been wandering around the internet I found some articles about people who have been animating with Camera phones. In a world where phones mean more to students than personal high-gene, parents, or food, I fell like this is a sure fire way to get your students fired up about animation. One of the best examples I could find, is said to also be the worlds smallest animation. If you ask me I think these guys are just over achievers at this point. Not only did they decide to make an animation with a camera phone, but they made it the smallest stop motion they could. The animation is called Dot, its a 90 second film of the adventures of a little girl who is .35 inches tall. The film was aided by a phone Microscope that was invented by bioengineer Daniel Fletcher. The original purpose of the microscope was to be used by doctors in poor and rural areas. They could take pictures of blood and tissue samples with the "Cellscope", and send them via cell phone to laboratories anywhere in the world. The phone that was used was a Nokia N8. Now don't everybody run out and buy a Nokia. I am not here to sell a phone. I am curious to see if something like this would work with any camera phone. The creators of this little adventure were the same people who Brought you Wallace and Gromit, so needless to say these guys knew what they were doing. I have decided to give this endeavor a try. I will be blogging as a go.

My attempt at story boarding


I had made a story board a few months ago, and needless to say it wasn't too great. I made a few easy to make mistakes. I did show different angles. (The whole thing was from a profile view). My story was not very interesting.

But with my second attempt I was able to approach story boarding in a different way. I thought about my story as if I were writing a children s book. I added in as many details as I could, and then later when I go back through I can edit what I want to take out or what I want to keep.

I also tried to get as many different views as I could. Again I can go through and see if the views are logical for animating, or if I should make it less difficult.

If I were to do this in a classroom I would have the students work on their own. This will allow them to each come up with an idea of how the story should go and then they can collaborate their ideas to make a final plan. This is also a good way for you to be assess the students on story boarding. If your standard is to have your student create a narration for their art work, you will be able to see if each student understands what you are teaching, or whether you need to adjust your lesson.




cuckoo1.jpg1-6The story starts out where a cuckoo egg falls into a small birds nest.

cuckoo2.jpg7-11All the eggs hatch and the cuckoo is excepted into the family. Even though he is much too big for the nest. 12. I the last frame the birds are all ready to fly except for the cuckoo, who fall to the ground.

cuckoo3.jpg13-14He sees his family fly away and he cant be seen in the high grass. 15. Meanwhile you see the birds flying and assume they are flying away from him. 16. He sees his refection in the pool and realizes he looks nothing like his family. 17. He knows he cant fly yet so he decides to go find a nest on the ground. 18. He finds a killdeer nest but they start pecking and chasing him away.
cuckoo4.jpg19. He curls up in a ball as the killdeers peck at his feathers. 20. Just then momma bird flies in and chases away the killdeers. 21-22. They surround him and let him know they they came back for him. 23. The last frame is in the future where his is big enough to fly, and he is flying with his family.


It is has some areas that need work and adjusting but that is the beauty of a story board, you can fix things on paper before you need to worry about animating it.

Frankenclaymation

This is my first animation that I have been able to get done from the animation station. I want to do a lot more with it, however for now I just want to get it on the blog so you can see how great the students did. Working in iMovieHD has proven to be a complicated experience.


This was an interesting project to work on. I learned so much about animation just from having to put this one together. It is a little rough, but it was a good first try.


I realized how important it is when you are teaching that you actually have to do. Experience it first so you know exactly what expect for your students.


A tribute to my fellow animation bloggers.


http://jess-morris.blogspot.com/

- This is a great website for animation examples. Jess Morris is a working animator and she has a ton of animation links on her blog. She also talks a lot about the animations that she is working on.

thinkinganimationbook.blogspot.com/

- This Blog has every and anything to do with animation with out a hundred animation examples of every kind you could be looking for. It also gives great examples of storyboards and sketches.

http://www.animationtipsandtricks.com/

- Animation tips and tricks acts as a Q&A blog. People ask the blogger questions and then professional animators help them find answers.

www.animationblog.org

- This blog has great examples of international animations. My personal favorite is Margarita.

www.animationarchive.org/

- The animation archive is pretty much an animation and drawing book copied on to the blog. There are also other books with techniques represented as well.

http://www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/.../50-illustrator-tutorials-every-designer-%20should-see

- Great resource for tutorials. Whether you are creating your animation or trying to teach your students an easy way to draw something in photoshop, this blog is packed with fun tutorials.

illustrationfriday.com/blog/

- I wanted to show an illustration blog as well. When I started animating I was having trouble coming up with stories that would be interesting. As soon as I started reading fairy tales and children's books I was able to get the inspiration I needed to create stories with an interesting plot.

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