How To Animate With Artii and Khari
What Is Animation?
Hello and welcome to the tutorial! This is Artii and I’m Khari, today we get to share with you the art of animation – well at least the quickest way to get started.
For this tutorial I am using my tablet and a drawing app. If you don’t have access to a tablet, the Evanston Public Library has iPads available to participants of the Film It! Challenge. You’ll also need:
- Animation Desk app
- Compatible Stylus
For those more interested in traditional animation you can grab whatever subject calls to you the most. Here’s a list of the essentials.
- Stop Motion Studio
- Adequate Lighting
Here is a quick rundown of Animation Desk. Poke around and experiment with this animation tool. Some features are hidden behind ad walls but they don’t pose too much of an issue.
Animation is really simple, all you have to do is draw a series of 2 to 10 images (Artii and I both have a loop of 6 drawings!) then display them in quick succession to create the illusion of life! Each image or frame resembles the previous but with slight variations. When played as a unit our brains tie the images together to create an image in motion!
Most animation has 24fps (frames per second) with new drawings occurring on ones (every frame), twos (every other frame) and in some rare cases fours (every fourth). Play around with your timing and see what it does to your animation.
- First make your drawing, this will be where your action starts.
- Second add a new frame and make another drawing, this time have your drawing at the end of its action.
- Next add another frame between the previous two and make your drawing in the middle of its action.
- Almost done, now go back and add blank frames in between your three key frames and draw images to connect the motion.
- Review your work by pressing play.
Congratulations, you made your first animation! How does it look? I can’t wait to see it. If you don’t like how it looks, worry not! Go back in and tweak it, move some images around or redraw a frame. Keep at it until it looks right. Still not satisfied? Keep reading, I’ve got some tips for you.
For those of you who are more interested in animation, or want your art to go the extra mile, I wanted to share with you a few of the 12 Principles of Animation. They come from this book The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas. You should read it when you get the chance. Professional animators use these same 12 principals to make the stuff you watch on TV, in movies, and even video games. It’s like a guide for animators to improve their craft. Let’s take a look at a few of them!
Squash and Stretch
The first is Squash and Stretch, it is applied in animation to give a sense of weight and flexibility to objects and people.
Some objects are more squishable than others, keep this in mind when animating a kickball vs a bowling ball and such.
This is used to prepare your audience for coming action in your animation. Adding anticipation makes your animation easier to follow.
Every action has anticipation though some may only last a frame or two.
anticipation is the crouch before a jump, the wind-up before a swing, and the billowing of tears before crying.
Follow Through and Overlapping Action
This one here is basic physics, an object in motion stays in motion. Our extremities like hair, arms and clothes want to keep traveling even though our center of mass has stopped.
Animation tip: First draw the Body/Center of mass and then the overlapping action like hair.
Slow in Slow out
Slow in and Slow Out, a simple one to understand. This principle is the illusion of increasing and decreasing acceleration. Imagine going 0mph – 60mph in a car. It takes time to get there as well as to stop.
I’ve added this nifty animation chart to help you visualize the spacing between drawings.
Everything has an arched trajectory. Limbs in motion to thrown objects. Mastering this technique is key to realistic motion.
This principle requires us to have some understanding of Slow In and Slow Out, Squash and stretch also helps too.
Objects at their apex slow down before being pulled down by gravity.