I taught an animation workshop today at the Taste of Tech 2017 conference. Below are the lessons we tried to cover and links to the resources. Click on the Thinglink image to go directly there. Thumb through the slideshow for quick tips. Page 1. Page 2.
I was able to attend Kim Darche's session about questioning techniques. To help me remember the great ideas she was sharing, I made this sketchnote.
One trick I've noticed ever since I was a young cartoon viewer happens most noticeably in running scenes. Instead of the character entering and exiting the frame of view, the character remains in the center of the frame while the background moves. This is very effective but sometimes completely silly since the background is looping over and over giving the impression that the space is a never ending and always repeating. I set out today to try to make a character run like Scooby or any Hanna-Babera character would.
STEP ONE: Running character
STEP TWO: background drawing
STEP THREE: fixing the background
At drew this background thinking I could make it loop somehow in the app. I wasn't able to figure out how to do that. So I took this image, duplicated it, line them up on edge and cropped awu the door. I wanted to make an image that started and ended the same way from left to right so I could loop it. Does that sound confusing? It was. But, now that I know the solution, maybe it won't be hard to replicate it.
STEP FOUR: Creating the animation
The biggest challenge was getting the background image to loop behind the running animation. Now that I fixed the image to match from left to right all I had to do was line it up to start and end with the same looking background.
Second try-new idea for background:
I had trouble making my background loop on my first try. I think the problem was that I learned while going through the process that the image needed to repeat perfectly. So, this time I made it easier on myself. I did the whole drawing and duplications in Brushes Redux app. I drew one piece of a background (house) and copied the layer, resized it, and placed it next to the first until I had 4 houses in a row. I put this tiny tutorial together so you can see that the biggest trick next is to get the running figure to start and end over the same exact background image. Then, it loops nicely.
Karaoke of Scooby-Doo Theme Song:
Sing along or change the words to what you learned while making a running animation.
Fly like Mighty Mouse Might
This idea works for fling if you make the object remain in the frame as the sky (clouds) whiz by. Here is what it looked like when I gave it a try.
View this Animation as a Hologram:
Check out my post about how to set up your animated hologram here.
Try using the running poses in Scratch
Scratch is a visual drag and drop coding site by MIT. I had some students who were really excited about coding come and talk to me today. We put together the running animation in SCRATCH using the individual drawings set to code. View the project here. or below.
A long time ago I responded to Ian Sands on twitter asking for digital images of children's art that he could offer to his high school students to play with as they learn to animate. Some of his students selected my students "He Came with the Chair" paintings. The animations turned out SO adorable and inspiring-see example below or check them all out here. It has been one of my goals to figure out an elementary level lesson with a straightforward app that would give my students the experience of animating their own artwork in the same style. I think I might have figured it out. This technique isn't perfect, but, it will work.
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Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT,
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