2D Animation

19 May 2010

Today's Topic: FINAL critique

45 seconds long and make it good.

This class will be devoted to viewing your final projects. Attendance in mandatory. Submit all projects in advance to Professor Heintz.

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12 May 2010

Today's Topic: 10: Final Project Work Session and Troubleshooting

Time will be spent addressing any issues regarding creation of your final project animation.

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5 May 2010

Today's Topic: 9: The Exquisite Corpse Project

Today we will stitch together your various contributions to the Exquisite Corpse and screen them.
This is a do it all in one session event.

Submit your videos an hour prior to the end of class and we will string them together, add sound and watch them.

You will be given a flash movie as a starting point. Create a minimum of a 10 second animation incorporating the movie.

* ensure it begins with a white frame
* ensure it ends with a white frame
* the animation should go through at least one loop then you can do whatever you want.
* includes your name. (You may make your name an animated element) and your name should be readable for 3 seconds.
* the animaton must be a minimum of 10 seconds long (the 3 seconds of your name included)
* export it as a quicktime movie and turn it in to the prof of the day by one hour before the end of class

Download the flash files from MYCOURSES

This loop may suggest different forms and movements. It could merely be the start of a chain of events. It could be just one part of an articulated figure.

Use any method of animation you desire: tweened or frame by frame; photoshop or flash. Alas, not enough time for stop motion, but rotoscope or the layering of video is a possibility.

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28 April 2010

Today's Topic: 8B: Lip synching

Mickey Mousing (editing/animating to sound) is a key production skill. The following are sources:

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Today's Topic: 8A: Storyboard due

Pitch your final project idea. I will meet with each student individually to discuss the proposed work.

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21 April 2010

Today's Topic: Final project is assigned

45 seconds long. It can be anything you want. Storyboard is due next week.

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Today's Topic: 7A: Walk Cycle Critique

Submit 3 looped movement cycles. The length of each individual cycle is dependent upon how long it takes the character to make a complete movement before returning to its starting position. The cycle need not be humanoid, nor bipedal. (Do keep in mind that the more legs involved, the more difficult the work).

The loop should be seamless. (That is, if I hit "repeat" on the video player, there will be no skips or jitters between cycles).

The three movements should be distinct. They may be distinct via kind of movement (walk, run, hop, jitter, crawl, etc.) They may be distinct because the characters have different kinds of movement. (One tends to mosey, one is nervous and jittery, another is zombified).

Bonus points for all three loops being the same length of time and all within the same movie.

Do not concern yourself with the background. The character(s) and movement will be sufficient.

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14 April 2010

Today's Topic: 6B: Work your walk

Get out of class when you have two out of three movement cycles done.

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Today's Topic: 6A: Cel Animation and environment

Multiple cycles (movie clips) can be used in conjunction with one another. Characters have their own cycles, as do environments.

Old Popeye

Class Assignment: Flock of Seagulls (not the 80's band)
Here's a tutorial that covers lots of ground at Creative Cow.
Part 1
Part 2

Some important concepts are the notions of looping and staggering loops within a composition, then nesting compositions into others.

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7 April 2010

Today's Topic: Walk Cycle is Assigned

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Exercise: Worm Movement Cycle

Create a worm movement cycle.
contrast this with a snake movement cycle.

Today's Topic: 5B: Cycles, Character animation and the requisite walk cycle

Cycles and loops are efficient and the staple of all early animation, Scooby Doo, and (oh yes) game animation.

Introduction to tweened animation using Flash.

Character Animation and Movement


Character Animation

  • The Importance of Timing
  • The Language of Motion (arcs, curves, etc.)
  • Suggesting Weight
  • Movement Cycles (walk, run, swing, etc.)
  • Facial Animation & Expression
  • Gender & Race
  • Energy Level and Attitudinal Suggestion
  • Limited Environments of Recreation (MMOs, Real-Time, etc.)

REFERENCE: Walking Dots: A study in motion with varying interactive attibutes (gender, weight, mood)

Video: http://www.squetch.com/tism.html

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Today's Topic: 5A: Rotoscope Animation Critique

Create a minimum of a 20 second rotoscoped animation on twos. (12 or 15 fps). Your source material may come from one source. Edit your source material to 20 seconds BEFORE you begin to rotoscope.

*FOR THE PARANOID: Minimum means you should target 20. There is no penalty for going over. You will not necessarily get a higher grade for a longer movie. Mo' is not necessarily bettah.

A resolution of 720 x 480 is preferred for display purposes if you have desire for personal glory.

Source material that is less than this size can be transformed (expanded) prior to rotoscoping.

Grading criteria:
There should follow a narrative arc: meaning a perceivable increasing complexity over time and then resolution.

It is not sufficient to throw a bunch of filters at this and call it done. The original footage should be reinterpreted and clearly have your own take on it.

Your rotoscope should be beyond an animated version of the source material. Change the meaning, recontextualize it, take advantage of the fact that it is an animation and laws of physics, gravity and reality no longer have any bearing on the work.

Examples of things which may follow this arc:

  • protagonist - antagonist conflict storyline
  • themed movement
  • rhythm
  • pace
  • flocking
  • color
  • line shape
  • spatial relationship

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31 March 2010

Exercise: The Ball and Secondary Motion

A bouncing ping pong ball, deflated rubber ball, a spinning top, splatting jello. 
This will be an intro to using After Effects

Secondary Motion - After you have made your different items bounce, what things can you add to sell their materiality?

Today's Topic: 4: Cartoon Physics

Basic kinesthetics

  • Gravity
  • Inertia
  • Axis of rotation
  • Acceleration and deceleration
  • Anatomy of movement

Stylized Worlds (aka Cartoon Physics)

  • Ease-in and Ease-out
  • Squash and stretch
  • Hyper-realities (Roadrunner, Southpark, Beast Wars, Simpsons)
  • Alternate-realities

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24 March 2010

Today's Topic: Rotoscope Animation is Assigned

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3: Rotoscoping


Demo: After Effects to Photoshop and back again.


  • http://effectscorner.blogspot.com/2006/01/rotoscoping-part-1.html
  • Dancing Clip - http://www.archive.org/details/9lines-JamesBrownDancingLessons151

Experimental Animation Critique

Create a 20 second frame by frame animation at a rate of 12 frames per second. The resolution should be 720 x 480. (Those using stop motion software, do select a resolution closest to this).

Grading criteria:
At least one of the following attributes should follow a narrative arc. A satisfactory resolution of multiple attribute arcs will result in a higher grade.

* rhythm
* pace
* flocking
* color
* line shape
* spatial relationship

This is certainly ambiguous and very open ended. Class examples and discussion will provide context. (Another way of saying, do not miss these first few classes).

Ending in death, while acceptable, is discouraged. (It's just too easy).


17 March 2010

Today's Topic: Stop Motion Software

iStopmotion is grand for the mac.

For PC users, check out

And of course, sourceforge,net

AnimatorDV looks promising. We'll wait for our itinerant reviewers to weigh in.

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Today's Topic: 2B: Adding sound to your animation

Sound adds very much to the atmosphere and general tone of the animation.


DEMO Adobe Premiere and its sound editing ability

Before you load the images into photoshop, make a blank video layer and then change the document settings to the appropriate length and frames per second...THEN import your images as a video layer from a file.

What happens if you change it after the fact, it drops the frames in-between.

Links to help with Premiere:

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Today's Topic: 2A: Stop Motion Animation

  • Harryhausen: The Lost World, King Kong and Jason and the Argonauts
  • Lucky Strike
  • Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
  • Aardman Animation: The Wrong Trousers
  • Svankmajer
  • Brothers Quay

DEMO of iStopMotion

Note:  Here's a tutorial on using Photoshop to import images for stop motion

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10 March 2010

Today's Topic: 1A: A little theory, a little history (An overview)

Beyond Mickey

Why do we see animation the way we do? How do we make it? What are the different kinds?

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And so we begin...

This class blog is designed to serve as your interactive syllabus, class outline, and project timekeeper. This will be where I post readings, assignments, and information about the class.

A quick intro to its use:
Use the tabs at the top to navigate to specific sections (like the syllabus and the course outline), and the calendar on the left to find materials related to a specific class meeting.