Sunday, 1 September 2013


       A collection of static images joined together and shown consecutively so that they appear to move.
         Animation is about storytelling by bringing things to life (making them move).
         What kind of stories to tell?
       Scientific, Visualization, Entertainment, Fiction, Non-fiction.
         What is unique about animation?
       Unprecedented control!
       Anything can happen
       Total control over how things look
       Total control over how things move
       process of creating images one at a time to be displayed rapidly in sequence giving the illusion of movement .

          Persistence of vision
       blending together by the eye and brain of rapidly displayed sequential images, giving the illusion of movement.
                          Usage of Animation
Artistic purposes                                              
Displaying data (scientific visualization)
Instructional purposes

Basic Principles of Animation
The basics are: more drawings between poses slow and smooth the action. Fewer drawings make the action faster and crisper. A variety of slow and fast timing within a scene adds texture and interest to the movement
This action adds to and enriches the main action and adds more dimension to the character animation, supplementing and/or re-enforcing the main action
Basic Principles of Animation
Straight Ahead Action and Pose-To-Pose Action
       Straight ahead animation starts at the first drawing and works drawing to drawing to the end of a scene. You can lose size, volume, and proportions with this method, but it does have spontaneity and freshness. Fast, wild action scenes are done this way.
       Pose to Pose is more planned out and charted with key drawings done at intervals throughout the scene. Size,volumes, and proportions are controlled in this way.
       A pose or action should clearly communicate to the audience the attitude, mood, reaction or idea of the character as it relates to the story and continuity of the story line. The effective use of long, medium, or close up shots, as well as camera angles also helps in telling the story.
       All actions, with few exceptions (such as the animation of a mechanical device), follow an arc or slightly circular path.
       This is especially true of the human figure and the action of animals. Arcs give animation a more natural action and better flow.
       Exaggeration is not extreme distortion of a drawing or extremely broad, violent action all the time. It’s like a caricature of facial features, expressions, poses, attitudes and actions.
       Exaggeration in a walk or an eye movement or even a head turn will give your animation more appeal


Stop motion:
1. Frame-by-frame
2. Physically manipulating real world objects
3. Photographing one frame of film at a time
4. Clay figures

Clay animation:
1. Clay or malleable material
2. An armature or wire
1. Unique technique
2. Flat characters, props, backgrounds
3. Cut out from: paper, card, stiff fabric, photographs

Object animation:
1. Non-drawn objects: toys, blocks, dolls
2. Not fully malleable
3. Not designed
4. Human or animal character
5. Combined with other forms

1.     The moving of the puppets
2.     Armature inside of them
3.     Ongoing process
4.     In 1898 Albert. E. Smith and J. Stuart Black "The Humpty Dumpty Circus

2D animation:
1. 2D bitmap graphics
2. 2D vector graphics
3. Automated computerized versions:
     tweening, morphing, onion skinning,  interpolated rotoscoping

3D animation:
1. Digital models manipulated by animator
2. Rigging
3. Various other techniques:  mathematical functions, particle  simulations, simulation with fur or hair, effects fire and water, motion capture


Step-by-Step: How to Make an Animated Movie
The production pipeline of a typical animated short or a movie can be divided into three stages: pre-production, production and post-production. In this article we will be discussing these three key stages in detail.
The first process in the animation pipeline, and also one of the most important, is pre-production. It begins with the main concepts which are initially turned into a full story, and then, once the story has been finalized, other things such as the script, shot sequence and camera angles are worked on.
Some major components of pre production are Story Boarding, Layouts, Model Sheets and Animatics

Story Boarding

The Storyboard helps to finalize the development of the storyline, and is an essential stage of the animation process. It is made up of drawings in the form of a comic strip, and is used to both help visualise the animation and to communicate ideas clearly. It details the scene and changes in the animation, often accompanied by text notes describing things occurring within the scene itself, such as camera movements.
Not only can storyboards be especially useful when working in group environments (something quite common in the animation industry,) but they also provide a visual reminder of the original plan; something that can be referred back to throughout the production.


Once the storyboards have been approved, they are sent to the layout department which then works closely with the director to design the locations and costumes. With this done they begin to stage the scenes, showing the various characters’ positions throughout the course of each shot.

Model Sheets

Model sheets are precisely drawn groups of pictures that show all of the possible expressions that a character can make, and all of the many different poses that they could adopt. These sheets are created in order to both accurately maintain character detail and to keep the designs of the characters uniform whilst different animators are working on them across several shots.
During this stage the character designs are finalized so that when production starts their blueprints can be sent to the modeling department who are responsible for creating the final character models.


In order to give a better idea of the motion and timing of complex animation sequences and VFX-heavy scenes, the pre-visualization department within the VFX studio creates simplified mock-ups called “Animatics” shortly after the storyboarding process.
These help the Director plan how they will go about staging the above sequences, as well as how visual effects will be integrated into the final shot


Now that the storyboard has been approved the project enters the production phase. It’s here that the actual work can start, based on the guidelines established during preproduction. Some major parts are layout, modeling, texturing, lighting, rigging and animation


Using lo-res models or blocks of geometry in the place of the final set and characters, the Layout Artist is responsible for composing the shot and delivering rough animation to the animators as a guide. What they produce is the 3D version of what the storyboard artists had previously drawn on paper.
During this stage the Director approves camera moves, depth of field and the composition of the models making up the set and set dressing. It is then the responsibility of the Modeling department to deliver these approved set, prop and character models in the final layout stages.
Note: - produce the 3D version of what storyboard artists had previously drawn on paper


Modelers are usually split into two or more departments. Whilst organic modelers tend to have a sculpture background and specialise in building the characters and other freeform surfaces, hard-surface modelers often have a more industrial design or architectural background, and as such they model the vehicles, weapons, props and buildings.
Working closely with the Art Directors, Visual Effects Supervisors and Animation Supervisors, modelers turn the 2D concept art and traditionally sculpted maquettes into high detail, topologically sound 3D models. They then assist the Technical Animator and Enveloper as the model has a skeleton put in place and the skin is developed. Following this, the model may be handed back to the Modeler, who will proceed to sculpt facial expressions and any specific muscle tension/jiggle shapes that may be required.

Once the model is approved, it will be made available to the rigging and texture paint departments, who complete the final stages in preparing the model for animation and rendering


Whether creating a texture from scratch or through editing an existing image, Texturing Artists are responsible for writing shaders and painting textures as per the scene requirements.
lighting TDs combine the latest version of the animation, the effects, the camera moves, the shaders and textures, and render out an updated version every day
Not only does a Lighting Artist have to think lighting the individual scenes, they also have to consider how to bring together all of the elements that have been created by the other departments. In most companies, lighting TDs combine the latest version of the animation, the effects, the camera moves, the shaders and textures into the final scenes, and render out an updated version every day.
Lighters have a broad range of responsibilities, including placing lights, defining light properties, defining how light interacts with different types of materials, the qualities and complexities of the realistic textures involved, how the position and intensity of lights affect mood and believability, as well as color theory and harmony. They are required to establish direct and reflected lighting and shadows for each assigned shot, ensuring that each shot fits within the continuity of a sequence, all the while aiming to fulfill the vision of the Directors, Production Designers, Art Directors and VFX Supervisors.


Rigging is the process of adding bones to a character or defining the movement of a mechanical object, and it’s central to the animation process. A character TD will make test animations showing how a creature or character appears when deformed into different poses, and based on the results corrective adjustments are often made.


In modern production companies, the practice of meticulously planning a character’s performance frame by frame is applied in 3D graphics using the same basic principles and aesthetic judgments that were first developed for 2D and stop-motion animation. If motion capture is used at the studio to digitize the motion of real actors, then a great deal of an animator’s time will also be spent cleaning up the motion captured performance and completing the portions of the motion (such as the eyes and hands) that may not have been digitized during the process.


Post-production is the third and final step in film creation, and it refers to the tasks that must be completed or executed after the filming or shooting ends. These include the editing of raw footage to cut scenes together, inserting transitional effects, working with voice and sound actors and dubbing to name just a few of the many post-production tasks.
Overall, however, the three main phases of post-production are compositing, sound editing and video editing.

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