Character Animation Day 5: Overlapping Action

Today’s essential question: How can I stagger keyframes to create a more natural animation with overlapping action?

New animators often wind up with unnatural, mechanical animations by lining up their keyframes like the example below:
aligned_keyframes.gif

In reality, movements overlap, and as such, keyframes should be staggered like the example below:
staggered_keyframes

Look at the animations this class has created so far. Which animations have overlapping action? Which could benefit from moving the keyframes to stagger them?

Today we will:

  • Continue working on our character animation
  • Upload both the Animate and gif files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • gif of the animation (if you have not finished it, post what you have)
    • a 150 word artist statement about our finished animation OR a few sentences summarizing any challenges you faced today, how you worked through those outlining your plan to complete your animation, as well as anything you need help with.

Character Animation Day 4: Animation Helpful Hints

Today’s essential question: What are some ways I can simplify the animation process?

Today we will continue animating our characters. You may find it helpful to sketch out the timeline (with layers for each body part) like the image above.

Things to remember (follow these steps in order to prevent a stressful weird animation):

  • Create a new Animate Document that has the same dimensions as your character.
  • Import the .ai file of your character that you created in Illustrator. Convert all graphics to symbols when you import the .ai file.
  • Put each body part on a separate layer layers.
    You can use folders folder to organize your layers:
    folder_organization
  • THEN use the transform tool rotation_point_end to move all rotation points to the correct locations
  • THEN set key frames keyframes in the spots in the timeline where you want your action to change
  • THEN use the transform tool rotation_point_end to rotate or move body parts at various keyframes keyframes
  • THEN add tweens tweens
  • THEN add eases
  • Save your animation as a .fla file
  • Export your animation as a GIF

Today we will:

  • Continue working on our character animation
  • Upload both the Animate and gif files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • gif of the animation (if you have not finished it, post what you have)
    • a few sentences on our blog summarizing any challenges you faced today, how you worked through those challenges, and how you currently feel about computer animation.

Character Animation Day 3: Bringing Our Character into Animate

Today’s essential question: How can I bring the character I created in Illustrator into Animate?

How to Bring the Character You Created in Illustrator into Animate:

  1. Open the PDF of your finished character in Illustrator illustrator_icon.png
  2. Save your file as an Illustrator (.ai) file.
    (File -> Save As -> Illustrator (ai))
    save_as_ai
  3. Open Adobe Animate animate_icon
  4. Create a new file the same dimensions as the Illustrator file of your character
  5. Import the Illustrator (ai) file of the character that you just saved
    (File -> Import -> Import to Library)
    file_import_to_library
    Select the Illustrator (.ai) file
  6. Hold down the shift key to select all the layers you want to import. Then check the box to make sure each layer gets converted to its own movie clip. (This will save you tons of time so you don’t have to convert body parts individually later on. If you want to quickly import all layers, you can check the “Select All Layers” box at the top left.)
    converting_to_movie_clips
  7. Drag your body parts onto the stage, making sure each body part is on its own layer. Name your layers!
  8. Use the transform tool to adjust rotation points BEFORE setting any key frames or animating anything.
  9. Save your Animate file regularly to avoid losing any work.

Today we will:

  • Finish tracing over our character sketches in Illustrator, tracing each moveable part as a separate shape
  • Bring our character into Animate and prepare our Animate file so we can animate the character next class.
  • Create a new blog post with an image of the work we created today. (If you are working in Animate, you can post screen shots of your library & timeline.)

Breaking our character into body parts that can be animated

star-animation

Credit: Tianna, 10th Grade

 Today’s essential question: How can I break my character into body parts I can animate?

Today we will finish sketching our character from both the front and side views, and will label the rotation points and how we plan to make our character move. Here are some examples of students who are ready to build their character in Illustrator:

How to Break Your Character into Animatable Body Parts

Once Ms. Lawson has approved your sketches, you can begin building your character in Illustrator. You will need to trace each body part as a separate shape, and certain body parts may need to be broken into several shapes that overlap, as in the example below. Why is it important to have overlapping separate shapes?

Today we will:

  • Finish our character sketches and label any rotation points and planned movements
  • Trace over our character sketches in Illustrator, tracing each moveable part as a separate shape
  • Create a new blog post with an image of the work we created today

 

New Project: Animated Character GIF

Today’s essential question: How can I created a looping GIF of an original animated character in Adobe Animate?

Today we will sketch the character we will animate from both the front and side views. We will label rotation points and planned movements, and post a photo of our sketch to our blogs. If you finish early, please complete any missing assignments listed at the bottom of this blog post.

Here are some examples of animated GIFs that would fulfill project requirements:

Project Requirements:

  • Original character created by YOU (no copyrighted characters!)
  • Animation contains at least 3 moving body parts
  • Animation brings character’s personality to life
  • Smooth, realistic animation created in Adobe Animate incorporates:
    • tweens
    • easing
    • squash & stretch
    • minimum of 60 frames
    • due Friday, December 13 (this is a short 5-class project)

Here is an example of what I am looking for in today’s sketch.
Remember to draw BOTH the front and side views of your character and label each rotation point and how that body part will move. Then consult with Ms. Lawson to decide which view would be best to animate. (You may choose to animate both views for extra credit IF TIME ALLOWS):

bird_sketch.jpg
bird_sketch_side_view.jpg

Missing Assignments:

  • Lorelei – Final Blog Post with Landscape PNG, PDF (missing), Landscape Artist Statement (missing)
  • Sydney – Final Blog Post with Landscape PNG, PDF, Landscape Artist Statement
  • Sidney – Bird Animation, Final Blog Post with Landscape PNG, PDF, Landscape Artist Statement
  • Josh – Landscape Artist Statement (add to blog post with final image)
  • Norah – Landscape Artist Statement (add to blog post with final image)
  • Andrew – Bird Animation
  • Janaya – Bird Animation
  • Brianna – Blog post with final Landscape PDF, final Landscape PNG, & Landscape Artist Statement; Ball Animation, Bird Animation, Cat Animation
  • Seth – Ball Animation, Cat Animation, Bird Animation, Vector Landscape, Landscape Artist Statement
  • Tyrelle – Final Blog Post with Landscape PNG, PDF (missing), Landscape Artist Statement (1 sentence does not count)
  • Madeline – Landscape Artist Statement (add to blog post with final image), Bird Animation
  • Oliver – Clothing Design Project & Artist Statement

Today we will:

  • Introduce the animated character project
  • Sketch potential character designs from both the front and side views, including notes on how the character will move
  • Add color to our character with Sharpie
  • Post a photo of our character sketch to our blogs