Part 2: Storyboards and Typographic Still

Today’s essential question: How can I depict the meaning of a word using only the letters in the word and definition?

Today we will create storyboards for potential animations. We will use the various storyboard frames to determine the single best image to use for the vector still we create in Illustrator. If we have time, we will begin creating our vector still in Adobe Illustrator.

Here is an example of what I am looking for in a storyboard:
Storyboard1.jpg

Here is an example of the completed vector still:
snore

Here is the final animation.

How to Convert Text to Vector Outlines in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Select the type tool. type_tool
  2. Change the size and typeface from the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Choose a large size (72-200pt) so you will be able to see your word.
    typeface_window
  3. Type some text.
    word
  4. Select the selection tool. selection_tool
  5. Type -> Create Outlines
  6. Object -> Ungroup
    This will separate the letters.
    outlines
  7. You can now move, scale and rotate individual letters with the selection tool.
    ungroup
  8. You can also select and move individual points on a letter with the direct selection tool. direct_selection_tool
    e1 e2
  9. You can thicken a letter by adjusting the stroke (Window -> stroke)
  10. Make sure you save your file as a PDF and post your progress to your blog.

Today we will:

  • Sketch storyboards for potential animations
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • A photo of our storyboard (circle the frame or frames you think would make the best vector still)
    • A well-developed sketch of your planned vector still
    • A few sentences describing your planned animation
  • If time allows, begin creating our vector still in Adobe Illustrator

 

 

Animation Day 4: Masking

mask2Today’s essential question: How can I reveal parts of an image or color change by using a mask in Adobe Flash?

Today we will learn how to reveal parts of an image or color change by animating a mask. You will need to sign into your school Google Drive account, open the Animation folder I have shared with you, and download the “masking_images.psd” file to complete the Mask Tutorial.

mask.png

Here are some short animations that use masks:

Today we will:

  • Complete the Mask Tutorial tutorial, upload both the flash and swf files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Write 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
  • Finish any of the following tutorials (if you have not yet already done so):

Animation Day 3: Rotation

Today’s essential question: How can I use the transform tool and rotation points to animate a moving character in Adobe Flash?

Today we will complete the Cat Rotation tutorial. You will need to sign into your school Google Drive account, open the Animation folder I have shared with you, and download the “black_cat.psd” file. Do not try to use your own image for this tutorial, as it will not have the body parts on separate layers like this file does.

 

Finish early? Learn how to animate an object that moves along a motion path.

Today we will:

  • Complete Cat Rotation tutorial, upload both the flash and swf files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Complete the Ghost Dog and Bouncing Ball tutorials, and share those files with Ms. Lawson (if you have not already done so)
  • Write 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.

Animation Day 2: Alpha Channels

zeroToday’s essential question: How can I use alpha channels to create fade effects when animating in Adobe Flash?

Today we will complete a short tutorial. It will teach us how to fade an object.

If you have not yet shared the .swf file of the bouncing ball tutorial, please do so ASAP.

Today we will:

  • Complete the Ghost Dog Transparency tutorial. Save the image of the ghost dog from this blog post, or download your own image with a transparent background to use.
  • Upload both the flash and SWF files to our Google Drive Accounts
  • Share the files with Ms. Lawson
  • Write 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

Animation Day 1: Principles of Animation and Bouncing Ball Tutorial

Today’s essential question: How can I use the principles of animation to animate a bouncing ball in Adobe Flash?

Today we will view several examples of the principles of animation.
We will then create our first animation using the bouncing ball tutorial.

12 Principles of Animation

Principle-of-animation-Edited-2

(credit: http://jordannwharton.wordpress.com/year-2/unit-67-3d-animation/12-principles-of-animation/)

1)    Squash and stretch: Squash and stretch is when an object changes shape based on some sort of impact or movement. For example, when a hard rubber ball is thrown, it may hardly change shape, but when a softer ball is thrown, it may change shape depending on the force of the impact. Squash and stretch is used in animation to give it a more realistic feel. For example, if in an animation, a character is punched in the face, squash and stretch would be used to show the impact in the face, and it would show the impact on the hand too.

2)    Anticipation: Anticipation in animation is the same as anticipation in real life. When a character is going to kick a ball, the anticipation would be the character moving his foot back before kicking the ball. Another example is a character preparing to run by putting one foot behind its body, and getting lower to the ground. Anticipation is used in animation to give the viewer a better understanding of the action that is about to happen. For example, if there is an animation of baseball game being played, the anticipation for the batter would be to move the bat behind his head ready to swing. The anticipation of the pitcher would be to lift his leg up and get ready to throw the ball.

3)    Staging: Staging in animation is when you make an idea clear to the audience. The idea could be an action, a personality, an expression or a mood. The key point to staging is to make sure you catch the viewer’s eye and that they are draw towards the idea that is taking place. The animator must use different techniques to make sure the viewer is looking at the right place at the right time. This could be something as simple as moving the camera so that it focuses on the key event or idea taking place.

4)    Straight ahead action and pose to pose: These are two different approaches to the drawing process. The straight ahead action in hand drawn animation is when the animator starts at the first drawing in the scene and then draws frame after frame until they reach the end of the scene. The pose to pose action is when the animator carefully plans out the animation, and draws a sequence of poses. These are usually the starting pose, some poses in the middle, and the final pose. Then that artist, another artist, or a computer draws the inbetween frames. This is similar to key framing with computer graphics, but it must be changed slightly since the inbetweens may be too unpredictable.

5)    Follow through and overlapping action: Follow through is the end part of an action. For example, when throwing a ball, the hand continues to move after the ball is released. Overlapping is just starting the second action before the first action is finished. This keeps the viewer interested because there is no dead time between actions.

6)    Slow in and Slow out: The principles of slow in and slow out in animation is to make the animations look more realistic. This is as simple as a ball bouncing. The ball starts out stationary in your hand. Then when you let go it builds up speed until it hits the ground. Then it would come back up slightly slower than when it went down. Then when it reaches its maximum height it stops and repeats the process. Every time the ball hits the floor or its maximum height it loses speed, so the ball would eventually stop bouncing.

7)    Arcs: An arc is used for an action or movement. This could be moving your arm. You would have a key frame at the beginning and at the end of the movement. The arc is the action in between the two frames. This is usually used for characters but can also be used on objects.

8)    Secondary action: A secondary action is an action that comes from another action. Secondary actions are used to heighten interest in a scene, and to add a realistic complexity to the animation. If the secondary action becomes more interesting than the main action, then it is either the wrong choice for secondary action or it is staged wrong.

9)    Timing: Timing is an important principle because it gives meaning to a movement. Timing can affect how real a scene looks. Timing is used for characters feelings, and facial expressions. For example, if a character is shocked, you should be able to tell he is shocked because he should look shocked in his facial expressions right after the shocking event has occurred. If the characters shock was delayed, and the character didn’t react until 5 or more seconds after the event, the scene would not be realistic, and you could lose the viewer’s interest.

10)  Exaggeration: Exaggeration is used in animation to help the audience know for certain how a character is feeling or acting. For example, if a character is angry in a scene, you could make him furious, with his eyebrows down, and gritting his teeth. A scene has components such as action, objects and emotion. Exaggerating all of these can create an uneasy and unrealistic scene, so finding a balance of exaggeration is important.

11)  Solid Drawing: Solid Drawing is used to make the main character or object stand out from the rest of the animation. This is so the character does not blend in to the background, and so that the character can easily stand out for the viewer. Solid Drawing is always drawn on its own layer so that it can be animated more easily.

12)  Appeal: Appeal in animation is the same as acting in a film. The way the character or object looks, moves and interacts with other characters has a large impact on the viewer and how much interest they have in the animation. Usually, the more realistic the character the more interest the viewer has.

Videos Illustrating the Principles of Animation:

Bouncing Ball Tutorial

Open Adobe Flash on your computer.
Then follow the steps in this handout to animate a bouncing ball!

Today we will:

  • View examples of and discuss the principles of animation
  • Complete the bouncing ball tutorial (upload both the flash and swf files to your Google Drive account and share them with Ms. Lawson)

New Project: Typographic Animation

Create-an-Animation-cropped.jpg

Today we will begin our animation unit.

There will be three parts to this unit:

Part 1: Animation Mini Lessons

You must export the flash file as a SWF, upload to Google Drive, and share the file with Ms. Lawson in order to receive credit.

  • Bouncing Ball
  • Cat Rotation
  • Ghost Dog Transparency
  • Masking
  • Motion Path

Part 2: Typographic Vector Still

Vector Still Project Requirements:
  • Created in Adobe Illustrator
  • Illustrates the meaning of the word
  • Uses only the letters in the word (and potentially the definition of the word)
  • Follows Principles of Graphic Design
Examples of Typographic Vector Stills

 

Part 3: 5 Second Bumper Animation that Brings the Typographic Still to Life

Typographic Animation Project Requirements:
  • Created in Adobe Flash
  • Uses only the letters in the word (and potentially the definition of the word)
  • Illustrates the meaning of the word
  • Follows the Principles of Animation
  • Sound adds to the meaning of the piece
  • 5 seconds long
Examples of typographic bumper animations:

Precursors to Animation

Thaumatrope

thaumatrope.jpgA thaumatrope is an optical toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision. Thaumatropes are often seen as important antecedents of motion pictures and in particular of animation.

Play with the thaumatrope Ms. Lawson has brought in. If you have time, try making your own.

Flip Book

flip_bookA flip book is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Flip books are essentially a primitive form of animation. They rely on persistence of vision to create the illusion that continuous motion is being seen rather than a series of discontinuous images being exchanged in succession

Play with the flip book Ms. Lawson has brought in. If you have time, try making your own.

Today we will:

  • Overview the animation unit
  • View examples of typographic illustrations and animations
  • Learn the basics of animation with the following hands-on exercises:
    • Thaumatrope
    • Flip Book
  • Create a new blog post with the answers to the following questions:
    • How does animation work? (Hint: it is an optical illusion)
    • How does computer animation save time over traditional hand-drawn animation?
    • Describe your favorite word animation from today’s class. What did you like about it?
    • Describe your current feelings about the animation unit.
  • If you have not yet finished your Green Screen project (complete with artist statement), please do so ASAP.

Digital Storytelling: Last Day

Today we will finish our digital storytelling projects and write our artist statements. Here are some outstanding finished projects:

Artist Statement Brainstorming Questions (final artist statement must be in paragraph form):

  • Describe your concept. What story are you trying to tell? Why did you decide to combine these particular characters, accessories, and backgrounds? What inspired you to create this particular project?
  • Explain how you created your project. What parts of your project did you create yourself (either by taking photos or drawing imagery)? What parts did you download from the internet? How did you modify the images you downloaded from the internet to make them uniquely yours?
  • What challenges did you face while creating this project? How did you work through these challenges?
  • What do you want people to see, feel, or think when they see your project?
  • Hindsight is 20/20. What would you do differently if you were to start the project today?

Today we will:

  • Finish our digital storytelling projects
  • Create a final blog post with the following:
    • a FULL SIZE PNG or JPG of our completed project
    • an artist statement in paragraph form about the project that is a minimum of 150 words