This is the second edition of Animate & Create's animation information pack, .....
The idea of a flip book is to show a short action or event over a series of drawings
. ..... Cell: Originally in traditional 2D animation used in cartoons, a cell was a ...
Foreword Benefits of Animation Online Resource Series Animation Starter’s Guide Capturing Software Zu3D Capturing Software About Animate & Create Animation Workshops Canterbury Anifest Festival
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Worksheets Episode 1 : Flip Book Episode 2 : Slug Club Episode 3 : Cut-Out Animation Episode 4 : Character Design & Drawn Animation Episode 5 : Make a Creature Episode 6 : Make a Human
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Resources Tips from the Experts Storyboard Template Using a Storyboard Animation Glossary Books & Websites Materials & Resources
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Online Series and Information Pack produced by Dan Richards. Animate & Create © 2011
Hello, This is the second edition of Animate & Create’s animation information pack, aimed at getting young people started in the world of animation. This guide has been put together by the Animate & Create crew to help support the teaching of animation in the classroom and also for those of you who want begin animating for the first time at home. I’ve made over a hundred animated films with young people in the last five years andusing my experiences I have put together this pack to make getting started with animation simple. I’m aware that technology can be scary and that finding resources can be difficult, but I’ve tried wherever possible to simplify techniques so that everyone can take part. In this pack we cover a range of techniques and show step by step demonstrations with printable and easy to read hand outs. This guide is also supported by an online series of ‘how to’ videos, which are a resource containing demonstrations and further tips about getting started with your animations. The short series covers all six of the exercises in this pack, showing exactly how to make your own creations. The series can been found on our website at www.animateandcreate.com/series.aspx. I really believe that animation is an important learning tool and a really great way for young people to express themselves. I hope that this pack can help you take your first steps into animation or allow you to build on from previous work. Good Luck with your animations!
Dan Richards Animator
Advances in digital technology over the past ten years have led to animation becoming more accessible to young people. Animation can be used for a range of topics and is suitable for all ages in schools and community groups, as well as at home with the family. There are many benefits young people can gain from producing animation. The animation process consists of many different creative techniques, providing a diverse experience for everyone involved. Youngsters producing animation get a great insight into using creative media, such as cameras, computers and software, helping to improve their Information Communication Technology skills. Animation is a group activity with pupils working in small units to make their films, which helps develop their communication skills. Animation can be used as a tool for young people to voice opinions and get their messages and ideas across. When developing an animation project, they can research topics, discuss issues, and express their thoughts through a creative and engaging medium. Screening the work to an audience is also an integral part of the process which we at Animate & Create always insist upon after completing a workshop. This brings a great sense of achievement in young people and helps build their confidence. Inviting peers, family and other members of the community to screenings helps celebrate the achievement further. “My class found their experience with animation to be extremely stimulating and revelatory. They developed confidence in their creative and teamwork skills. Some of them now wish to pursue careers in related fields” A. Mannion, Head of Film Studies St Anselm’s Catholic School “Animating was everything that education should be about – opening up experiences and gaining knowledge. In talking to the students they thought it was really worthwhile and one of the best things they’ve done” Steve Wright, Head of Media Herne Bay High School
Animation can be used in almost any lesson in both primary and secondary schools. With a simple webcam and some software on a computer, you can use animation to tell stories, create moving presentations and express ideas in a creative way. All of the tasks are flexible so you can break them down and use them to suit your requirements. The Animate & Create online series is available to view at www.animateandcreate.com/series.aspx Animation in Lessons You can follow the series during lessons by screening the episodes to the class and then following the tasks. The series consists of six episodes, each including a different task, so you can complete a task each week during a term or pack them all into an arts week. The series was produced by Animate & Create as a resource for Kent schools so is ideal for use in class. Animation Clubs Many schools have lunch-time and after-school clubs and this series is a perfect starting point. The tasks can be broken down into smaller activities; for example, making a cut-out animation. This can be spread over two or three sessions. Session One: Write story and design characters Session Two: Cut out characters and make backgrounds Session Three: Animate scene Animation at Home The Animate & Create online series also aims to support young people who would like to make animation at home with their families. We encourage families with little or no experience to use the series to help them produce animation in their ‘home-studios’. Animation in the Community There is a wide range of fantastic organisations for young people,; including community centres, youth clubs and scout groups which this pack would also be ideal for. The tasks could be produced over a number of sessions, breaking the production into stages as mentioned above in the ‘animation club’s section’. Whether you’re an after school club or youth club, we know animation works in all environments!
Basics Camera: To produce animation you need to use either a webcam which connects to your computer through a USB cable or a video camera which uses a fire wire connection. Make sure your computer and camera have the right computer ports when planning your set up. Capturing Software: The software is linked to a webcam or video camera which gives your computer a live video feed. This enables you to take pictures without touching the camera and puts your photos together to make your animated video. Save and Export: Once you have finished your animation in the capturing software, you will need to save and export it into a video file such as an (.AVI). Once that is complete, you can put your shots together in a piece of editing software and also add sound. Editing Films: To piece your animation together along with sound you will have to put your shots into a piece of editing software. All editing programs have a ‘timeline’ on their display. A timeline is an area where you can lay out your animated clips and audio clips on a track. Here they can be Tips When setting up equipment, it’s very important to secure your camera. This can be done by either taping it to the desk or locking it down on a tripod. This will stop your camera moving and ruining your shot. It’s also advisable to glue down any object on your set that you don’t want to move during your animation, such as backgrounds or props. For a basic set-up, a steady table surface will make for a simple rig. More advanced rigs will include a ‘stage’, which enables the animator to actually tie characters down whilst movements are performed in order to make them as accurate as possible. To light your scene, halogen desk lights provide a good light source. There are also more advanced options available as well. Try to avoid making your character walk and talk at the same time, as this makes the process a lot more complicated. An option you could choose instead of showing a character’s legs walking, is to set your camera up showing only his/her top half, or to use another shot whilst the character is apparently walking (perhaps with footstep sound effects to help convey this). To avoid talking, you can use voice-over narrations, or just use sound to communicate the story.
Capturing software is computer programs that take photographs through a camera connected to your computer and then play the photographs sequentially as a video clip. As well as being able to preview your frames as a video clip, there are also other tools which can help improve your animation, such as seeing a live feed on screen, the ‘onion skin’ tool and markers. Digital technology has really advanced over the past decade, making animation easier to achieve. Before capturing software was available, the only option to produce basic animation was to use slow, awkward digital stills cameras. These cameras made the whole process boring and uninspiring for young people. Now with a computer and webcam/video camera plus the capturing software, you can produce animation quickly and watch your results instantly. Many different companies make capturing software, so there are a number of options. It really depends on your budget and what you want to achieve. There are basic free versions right up to professional programs that studios such as Aardman Animations use. It’s really up to you and your pupils to find something that suits your needs. Free Software PC, Animator DV Simple http://animatordv.com/download7 PC, Helium Frog http://www.heliumfrog.com/ PC, Stop Motion Recorder http://www.familievandeput.nl/stopmotion/index.php?n=SMR. HomePage PC, StopMoJo http://www.mondobeyondo.com/projects/stopmojo/ MAC, Frame Thief www.framethief.com MAC, Frame by Frame http://web.mac.com/philipp.brendel/Software/FrameByFrame. html Software for Sale PC, ZU3D http://www.zu3d.com PC, Stop-Motion Pro http://www.stopmotionpro.com
Zu3D is a brand new piece of stop motion animation software designed for primary school children. It combines powerful features with an intuitive, easy to use interface. The software comes with a library of music and sound effects for you to use to improve your animation. It also includes an ‘onion skin’ frame overlay to aid animation. Zu3D’s title and editing tools can be used to add that professional finishing touch to your work. It uses a Windows Movie Maker style editing interface to help put your final film together. For more information visit www.zu3d.com - WORKS WITH ANY WEBCAM OR DV CAMERA - PLAY BACK YOUR ANIMATION WHILST MAKING IT - DYNAMICALLY ADJUSTABLE FRAME RATE - ONION SKINNING (overlay frames upon live video) - WORKS WITH ALL SCHOOL NETWORKS - IMPORT MUSIC AND SOUNDS, RECORD NARRATION - ADD TITLES AND CREDITS - VIDEO EDITING - EXPORT FILMS IN AVI & WMV FORMAT
Animate & Create is an animation workshop company aimed at allowing young people the chance to get their ideas across through animation. Our intention is to empower young people, giving them the control to present their thoughts and opinions through their filmmaking. We are based in the beautiful seaside town of Whitstable which is a hub for media agencies in Kent such as Heart FM and the Kent Messenger Media Group. Our workshops can be adapted to a wide range of topics and themes or tailored to any session; from an after school club to a week-long project. The workshops are extremely hands-on and help to educate and make the process of learning more enjoyable. All of our workshops are led by professionally trained animators, bringing industry expertise to the process. Through our workshops young people get the chance to write scripts, make models, animate characters, and premiere their films on the big screen. The workshops bring a range of benefits including planning and communication skills, developing group work and building self confidence. The workshops also introduce new technical skills through working with digital media. Our workshops provide a positive, constructive experience which gives young people a real sense of achievement, both through the animation produced and the journey taken in creating the final product. We always try to organise a screening of films for families and friends where possible, and every young person is sent a copy of their film on DVD.
Would you be interested in having a specialist workshop provided? Animate & Create offers a variety of flexible animation workshops for all ages. Our workshops cover every element of production, from script to screen with model-making, animation, sound recording and editing. All workshops are led by industry professionals, who help and inspire the young people’s films. The ideas and development processes are led by the young people, who keep all the artwork and models produced during the workshop, plus a copy of their completed film on DVD and a certificate. Past films made during Animate & Create workshops have gone on to be screened at national and international film festivals, winning a number of prizes and awards. They have also been recognised by the animation industry, by studios including Aardman Animations. Workshops range from two hour model making sessions, all the way up to five day animation projects. Any topic, theme or issue can be covered and we always aim to fit around specific requirements.
Canterbury Anifest is the South East region’s annual animation festival, exploring the world of animation over an exciting weekend. Anifest is a community festival, and a Canterbury City Council initiative produced by Animate & Create. Its aim is to offer an insight into animation for all, from animation loving children, parents and grandparents to students and enthusiasts alike. The festival opens on a Friday with ‘Animat-ED’, a free day of screenings and talks for schools, with the main programme of events for the public on the Saturday. Since Anifest began in 2007 we have welcomed some of Britain’s leading animation industry professionals to Canterbury to show films and give talks about how things were put together behind the scenes. From Bagpuss to Wallace & Gromit, Henry’s Cat to Shaun the Sheep, the festival has showcased work from numerous award-winning directors.
Canterbury Anifest is an annual event which in 2011 takes place between 30th September and 2nd October. For more information visit www.canterburyanifest.com or email us at [email protected]
Getting involved! At Anifest each year there is the ‘Smallfilms Award’; a competition young people under seventeen from the across the UK can enter. The competition is named in honour of the Canterbury animators who brought us such classic animations as Bagpuss. It gives young filmmakers and schools the chance to see their work on the big screen and compete to take home a glitzy award! Information about the competition can be found on the Anifest website.
Flip books are a great starting point for animation. The process is simple and the only cost is the price of a pad of post-it notes. The idea of a flip book is to show a short action or event over a series of drawings. When planning your flipbook, don’t over-complicate the animation. Draw a simple character doing a single movement or action. In Episode One, Dan chose to draw a bouncing ball. For your animation, take a pad of post-its with at least 40 sheets and a pen. When choosing your pad, make sure that the pages are tightly secured at the top, to keep your book together to flip. It’s also important to have a pad with pages which are slightly transparent to help judge where your next drawing needs to be positioned. When you choose a pen, you’ll need to make sure it is one that doesn’t bleed through to the page below - so test your pen before starting. When drawing, try not to press down too hard with your pen or your sheets will be marked. Start by drawing your first image on the very last page of your pad, so as you are working through it you can always see your previous image. This will help as a guide for you to judge where your next picture will go. When working through your pad, stop and test your flipbook regularly to check that your animation is working. If your animation is moving too fast, it means the space between your drawings is too big. If your animation is too slow, it means the space between your drawings is too small. Once the book is finished, hold the sticky end in your left palm. Using your right hand, flick the sheets with your thumb, starting from the back.
gy a slu
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Step 4. Tak e your blob of Plasticine an d start to ro ll a fat sausag e shape aro u n d 15cm long. This will th en become the sl ug’s body.
ed to Step 5. Next you ne neck. produce the slug’s three Marking your slug into third sections, bend one ‘L’ an e upwards so it looks lik down shape on its side. Push e body on the long side of th Next, to flatten the base. over to smooth the surface get a nice soft finish.
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Step 6. For the eye stalk s, you will need to use either animation wire, two cocktail stick s or just soli d Plasticine. Th en, using tw o of the Plastic ine balls put to one side earl ier, wrap th e Plasticine aro und the wire . It’s important that you leav e the wire or st ick exposed b y 1cm, for the polystyrene eyes to stick to.
Step 7.Tak e the polys tyrene balls and with a m arker pen add th e pupils. Then using the la st two rem aining Plasticine b alls, flatten them out into pa ncake shap es to make the e yelids. Onc e the eyes are fin ished, slip th em down into the wire or stick, so no wire can be seen .
mouth, Step 8. For the slug’s small you will need a few art by pieces of Plasticine. St e from making a penny shap for the black Plasticine. Then loured lips, roll out some co , thin Plasticine into a long e ends snake and then join th to make a circle.
Step 9. Onc e the mouth is finished, pre ss it onto the body and you have your mo d el slug!
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Animating your Slug When you’ve made your slug it’s then time to start bringing it to life with animation. For this, you’ll need a standard computer, a webcam (which can cost as little as £5) and some capturing software. To animate the slug, get into a rhythm of moving it and capturing a photograph on the computer, then move the slug and take another photograph. To make your animation smoother and at a slower pace, take two photographs instead of one at a time, or set your capturing software to take two photographs each time you capture. Remember slugs are slow, so only move them a few millimetres each time!
Step 2 a bac . Start by c kgrou reatin nd us sheet g i n o g f a lar card Next, g f e or c or sc ut out th your sky . e lan enery d This anima for the scape s tion i moon s set cene. , so t u o Da on th outlin our cute e on n drew a Step 1. For y : c d r e a e a o n u r c o s y d k n h . y ee animatio with t Once you t of pink ard c r o r e p a p k h - Thic shape e drawing are happy r split pins o k c , cu a -t w e lu B e or glue Finally, ith a pair o t out the p ta d e id -s le f scis - Doub tape shape sors. s n e o p r d n a o il c n n g t l - Pe u o lt u e d the sk the ase ask an a y. - Scissors (ple re using) for help befo
Step 3. Use a thick piece of card and a pencil to draw your character. Draw your character’s limbs, body and head separately, adding extra length to a little each piece. To change your expression character’s in cut-out animation, it is best to draw a few different heads.
s ch part ha a e n e h W Step 5. me to Step 6. Now it’s then ti t, u o the characte t u c , n a m been e r is c coloured, use spa e th r Step 4. Once o F r. u a lo m o n a c rk you have finis te d er pen to go round th hed ad ps to brigh drawing all o e e d g used felt ti e e s s f the body pa n u o a f your o D ls cut-outs. This rts, carefully cut ou could a Y . it h e u s lp s is ft to h each part ou neaten er cra them, hides t. up Please ask a bric or oth a fa n y , rs ro e u re k n adult for h g o c h ti m s parts ter and gives y elp when using sc your charac our characte issors. bits to give r a strong outline detail. d . n a re tu x te
Step 7. Wit h your chara cter’s design finis hed you no w need to put it to gether. Blu e-tack works reall y well, as it holds the parts together b ut still allows you to move th em. Stick a pea sized amou nt of blue-tack o n the fron t end, nearest the body of ea ch of the limbs a nd then stic k them onto the b ack of the body. Add blue-ta ck to the b ack of the head a nd stick it to front of th e body. You the could also use sp lit pins to li nk the parts togeth er.
Step 9. racter a h Wh c y c m h r a o r F a c your . ter is fi en nt e r e Step 8 f if d n e i e s i r t h h e t t d o you , add w e, he I dre appy fac begin a r background h e n o nimatin one heads: g. For D to backgro ace and f d ie r r an o und, h one w These can e adde ’s . f e e c w a f p d lane d a hen frightene out ali ts and also a c around w d e p p a uten cha be sw taking racter. charact by just , g T in t e he a a r was ma anim n sticking s e a d h m t e d e i n n w a the ay y. You one off with tw as the spacema to the bod n o d a o e t n, h separat new a differen e a e a k h a r m e m a s o d and st if could als with blu uck to the bo limbs too f o n io dy e-tack. select haracter’s c e h t d e you want cts. hold obje o t s d n a h
Animating your Cut-Outs For cut-out animation you will need to place your camera into a rostrum position. For a rostrum position, you need to attach your webcam onto a stand so the camera faces down vertically towards the work surface. If you don’t have a retort stand, try taping a meter stick to the side of a desk and then mounting your camera on the top of it. When your camera is in the rostrum position, line up your artwork beneath it. Move your character and capture your photographs using the computer. To change your character’s expression, replace the head of your model with another with a different face. Remember it’s important to be careful and make sure when you’re capturing that you keep your hands out of shot. To make your animation smoother and not too quick, take two photographs at a time instead of one, or set your capturing software to take two frames each time you capture, this is called ‘Shooting on Twos’
ur drawn Step 1. For yo by designing animation, start sing advice a character. U g in Episode from Curtis Joblin ound with Four, playing ar eat starting shapes is a gr an elephant, point. To create e square and begin with a larg en add two a large circle, th y different smaller circles. Tr d different combinations an tching and sized shapes, stre u find one playing until yo ith. you are happy w
Step 2. Once yo u have your shapes arranged , use them to create the ou tline of your character. For th e elephant use the large square to create the body and follow the large circle fo r the trunk. Use the two circle s as a guide for the elephant ’s ears, then add details like the eyes and mouth.
ve a en you ha h W . 3 p Ste your rawing of d il c n e p ake basic can then m u o y r te c ra . cha ith a pen w t n e n a e it perm u erase th o y re u s Make rubber ine with a tl u o il c d n e p can then ad u o Y . s rd a afterw ured lt tips, colo fe h it w r u lo co ven paint. pencils or e
Animating your Drawn Character When you’ve designed your character, you can use it for a drawn animation. For this you will need to create lots of drawings of the character and then capture them on a computer. To bring the character to life you will need to use animation paper and a peg bar. A peg bar will help keep your paper in place so that every time you take a photograph, your paper is in the same position. If you don’t have a peg bar, you could use some hole-punched paper and the jaws from a ring-binder as a make-shift peg bar. Once you have drawn your character on your first sheet, place your second sheet on top of the first, lining up each piece with a peg bar. On the second sheet, trace your first drawing through the paper and then slightly adjust your drawing, moving an arm or leg slightly. Adjusting parts of your character on each drawing will create movement when captured and played back. Keep repeating this process; tracing the previous drawing and then altering it by a few millimetres. Once you have drawn your whole sequence, position your first drawing under the camera, and then tape down the peg bar. This will make sure that each drawing is placed in the right position. To animate your drawn animation, use the capturing software and follow the same process detailed in Episode 2 of the series.
ou Step 2. Start by drawin g an outline of your creatu re’s body on a blo ck of polystyre ne with a marke r pen. Then c ut the body ou t with a cra ft knife, asking an adult for h e lp . Then warmin g small balls of Plasticine in your hand, c rush the balls into pancake shap es and wrap th em around y our Plasticine bod y.
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om Step 1.T : will need lasticine fP - A bar o rene f polysty o k c lo b e -A ation wir im n a e - som balls styrene ly o p o w -T tools culpting s e m o S er pen - A mark
Step 4. Once the body is covered you can then add the limbs, which in th is case were made from solid Plasticine. Taking a smal l amount of plasticine, shap e and smooth a leg and then push it onto the side of the cr eature. Then smooth the Plas ticine from the leg and body together to hide any join mar ks. If your characte r requires lots of movement fr om it’s limbs, it would be worth while adding wire inside the limb to add extra support.
e ’ve covered th u o y e c n O . 3 Step ces sculpt the pie to rt a st y, d bo joins get rid of any together and er can use eith u Yo s. rk a m or tool. r a sculpting your fingers o
d a tail to my Step 5. I’ve adde is made from a creature, which ion wire which piece of animat e polystyrene I pushed into th covered with body and then the tail has plasticine. Once ur body needs been added, yo g over to finish a good smoothin any marks and it. To get rid of pushing your bumps, keep e body, until finger across th smooth, shiny you achieve a surface.
Step 6. The next stage is the creatu re’s head, wh ic h follows the sa me process a s the body. U sing a piece o f polystyrene, draw an outl ine of the head with a mark er pen. Then c arefully cut the head shape out and cov er with plastic ine. Now st a rt to shape the head, sculpti ng the creature’s mouth and ey e sockets. Add a nose and ey es, and finally finish with tw o polystyrene b alls for eyes.
Step 7. Once the head is finished you will need to attach it to the body. Twisting two pieces of animation wire together, make a short coil 10cm long. Then pierce the back of the head with the wire until it is deep inside the polystyrene. Push the head and coil down into the body. To finish, cover the wire with plasticine, which will also help support the head.
Step 8. My crea ture is a tiger so it need s stripes. Your character m ight also need extra deta ils such as spots or marks. Roll a flat piece of black pl asticine, and then using a sculpting tool, cut out stri pes which you can then pu sh onto the body.
Step 9. The creature is now complete, but you can add lots of other small details from plasticine by sculpting them and then sticking them on.
other creatures made using this method
Step 1.To make a human you will need: - Some animation wire - Wire cutters - A glue gun - A tape measure - Some Plasticine - Two polystyrene balls - A marker pen - Some nuts and bolts (optional)
to start by Step 2. We need skeleton for making a wire hich we call the character, w t by cutting an armature. Star animation eight lengths of ith the wire wire 50cm long w ful using the cutters. Be care s - please wire and cutter r help and ask an adult fo ughout this supervision thro task.
Step 4. Once you have a coiled p 5. The next stage is to lance, you then need to find Ste st the limbs the same way the centre of your coil and twi you did at the start, holding mark off a 10cm piece which as spine section in one hand will become the spine. Once the then in the other hand you have your spine, at one end and sting each limb, until each uncoil the lance and separate twi t is evenly twisted. You them into two lengths of four, par then left with a stickman which will become the legs. are pe. Then at the other end of the sha spine, separate the coil into two groups of three pieces of wire for the arms, leaving two pieces of wire in the middle for the head.
Step 3. Once you have the eight pieces of wire, you then need to twist them into one coiled lance. Start by holding one end of the wire tightly in your hand. Then with your other hand start to spin your wrist slowly and carefully until all of the pieces are tightly bound as one.
Step 6. To tu rn your stickm an into a huma n, first find the shoulders an d hips for y o ur character, 1c m from the sp ine. The next sta ge is to find the elbows and knees along the legs. Once yo u have done th is, find the wrist s and ankles a n d form a loop fo r the hands a nd feet.
Step 7. The next section requires the use of a glue gun so please make sure you have adult supervision. For the spine to stay twisted, you need to glue along the model’s hips and shoulders. When dry, the glue will lock the wire and stop it from unwinding. Please keep the glue away from your skin, and always ask an adult for help.
ue has Step 8. Once the gl wn, you dried and cooled do eleton. should have a wire sk m the Cut the excess wire fro y 5cm, neck down to roughl tyrene and then add a polys ball for the head.
Step 9. As mentione d in the series, for the more advanced animators you may want to use a tie -down system to support your model. Using a glue gun, stick a nut into each foot loop. If you animate on a set you can then drill a hole in the surface and secure the model with a bolt from beneath the set. See Ep isode 6 for more details.
Step 10. Once the wire skeleton is finished you can then cover it with plasticine. Warming up the plasticine before starting, you want to start by adding the main dark colours first and then adding the lighter colours. Once all the colours are added, it is then time to smooth the plasticine by rubbing it with your fingers. When the body is complete, remove the model’s head and start to sculpt the shape, adding polystyrene balls for eyes. Finally, add another colour of plasticine for the hair. You can add whatever details you like to your characters, from hats to watches!
Here are a few tips on how to approach your animations and plan your films. Creating your own film is a chance to get your message across, so here’s a bit of advice before you get started writing scripts and drawing storyboards.
“I think the best thing is to keep your ideas simple. There’s always the temptation to put too many ideas into a short space of time, and they end up fighting each other. Have one clear idea, one objective and say it clearly.” Richard ‘Golly’ Goleszowski Director of Aardman’s ‘Shaun the Sheep’
“Don’t over-complicate your characters. For example, if you are designing a hedgehog who tidies up litter don’t focus on his legs and feet, focus on its button nose, beady eyes and it’s quills. Keep the design simple, play with shapes, and don’t over-complicate your character.” Curtis Jobling Designer of Bob the Builder
“If you’re making a model animation and you’re designing characters for a film, make sure the characters are strong enough to stand, or make sure you can secure them to the work surface, as you don’t want them falling over” Peter Firmin Co-creator of Bagpuss
A storyboard tells an idea through a sequence of pictures and descriptions. Storyboards are a great way of starting out in filmmaking, all you need is a pen and paper. Using the storyboard template in this information pack is a great way to start planning your films in the classroom. Below is an example of a simple storyboard and how to use one.
Frame Count. This box can be used to show how many frames the shot will last. Shot Type. This space is left to describe the shot type. Generally, you will use three main type of shots: Wide-Shot: Mainly used to establish a set, at the start of a scene, or to introduce a space or characters. Mid-Shot: This is used to shoot the majority of the film. Close-up: This is used to show details, like props, signs or faces.
Action Arrows. Sometimes within a shot to show large and important movements, action arrows are used.
Shot Number. This indicates the order of shots in the film. If a shot is long or has multiple actions, you may mark a sequence shot 4a, 4b, 4c. This is to show that the shot never changes but shows the change in action.
Shot Description. This is where the shots action is described. Details about the characters can be written here. You can describe the setting and mood or mention a character’s movement or dialogue. Sheet Number. This is to be completed when all the pages have been finished, to keep sheets organised.
Storyboards don’t always have to be drawn, different styles can be used to create your ideas. Why not try using photographs of friends acting out your scenes, or maybe draw characters on a computer. Experiment with scenes by playing around with the order of shots by cutting out your individual boards or drawing your thumbnails out onto postcards or post-it notes.
Armature: The skeleton inside a model which supports the character. Commonly made from ball and socket joints or animation wire. AVI: (Audio Video Interleave) is a common video file format amongst Windows based computers. Backgrounds: The scenery and sets which fill the space behind your animations. These can be flat artwork in drawn and cut-out animation, or three-dimensional models in stop-motion animation. Boil: To stop an inanimate object appearing lifeless or paused, draw the frame three or four times and repeat them to give them life and movement even if it’s a character standing still. Cell: Originally in traditional 2D animation used in cartoons, a cell was a clear sheet of plastic, which a frame would be drawn onto. Today a ‘cell’ can be a frame of 2D paper, or a frame on a timeline in computer animation. CGI: (Computer Generated Imagery) Also called computer animation or 3D, this describes animation produced through a computer program which creates characters in a three-dimensional environment. Examples of CGI animation are ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Shrek’. Cut-Out Animation: Cut-out is a form of stop-motion animation, but is created using two-dimensional pieces, made traditionally from paper or card. See Episode 3. Drawn Animation: Also called 2D, cell and cartoon animation, this technique is produced by a series of images created by hand and then photographed. To bring the drawings to life, each drawing in the sequence is slightly different to create movement. See Episode 4. Ease in/Ease out: Unless your character is a robot, try to use some acceleration and deceleration. If starting a movement, a gradual increase in the speed of the action, ‘Ease out’ helps build performance. At the end of a movement, the action should slow to a stop which we call an ‘Ease in’. Fire Wire: Created by Apple but now common on most Apple’s and PC computers, is a high speed data connection often used for real time data transfer. Flip book: A note pad or book containing a series of images on each page, that when flipped between creates the illusion of motion. See Episode 1. FPS: Frames Per Second. In-Betweens: The space between a model or drawing’s position. Large ‘in-betweens’ will produce a fast movement, small in-betweens create a slow-paced movement. Light Box: Light boxes are used in drawn animation and also with sand animation. Once an animator has drawn their first image, they then place it onto a light box and put a second sheet of paper on top, using the first drawing to judge how far to move the next image. Light boxes can be placed on an easel or be a separate piece of kit. Onion Skin: The function in animation software that allows you to see previous frames to aid the user in lining up the next frame as if viewed through an onions skin Peg Bar: A thin strip which has three pegs, one oblong on both sides of a central round one. This provides an accurate system of registration when working on punched paper.
Pixilation: Another form of stop-motion animation, but using humans instead of models. Taking pictures the same as in traditional stop-motion animation, people move around and hold positions to create movement. Rostrum: This describes the position of the camera when capturing drawn and cut-out animation. Instead of the camera facing forward, the camera is placed on a stand and points downwards vertically to the surface, where the animation is placed. See Episodes 3 and 4. Rotoscope: The word Rotascope is used to describe a technique which utilises live action as a style of animation for your model or drawing. Rotoscoping: Rotoscoping is the process of tracing live action video, using it as a guide for your models or drawings. The process starts with live action video being imported into a piece of capturing software and the footage being used to influence the animation through tracing. Sand Animation: Uses the same principles of stop-motion and cut-out animation, with a camera set in a rostrum position facing a desk surface. Sand is laid out onto a light box or tray and shapes and images are created with the grains and then photographed frame by frame. Shooting on Twos: Creating one image and capturing it twice on two frames of film. Stop-Motion Animation: This technique is produced by moving models frame by frame and photographing them. This style of animation has been used since the start of cinema, from King Kong to Jack Skeleton. See Episode 2. Storyboard: A breakdown of a script or story into pictures. Other details are included, such as shot number, shot duration, camera shot and notes such as dialogue. Squash and Stretch: Any model or character can be pulled and manipulated to improve an action or movement. ‘Squash’ is a term used to reference the exaggerated or over-emphasized state used in animation to create a flattened position of an object. ‘Stretch’ is the term for an object which is elongated for drama or performance. A ‘squash and stretch’ exercise is a common exercise for animators to practice their technique with. Timing: Timing relates to the number of images required to create an action. The more images per action, the slower that action will be. The fewer images there are, the faster the action will be. Tracking: The term used to describe camera movement. ‘track in’ or ‘track out’ are the terms used for moving in and out with the camera. USB: Universal Serial Bus, the most common form of connection for devices and PC’s. E.g. This is the common way to connect your digital camera or memory stick to your PC at home. Zoetrope: A device invented in 1834 which produces the illusion of movement from a rapid selection of pictures. The device works using images inside a drum which, when revolved, allows the viewer to look through a slot in the side to see a simple action. 2D Animation: See Drawn Animation, Episode 4. 3D Animation: See CGI.
Animation Books Cracking Animation: The Aardman Book of 3D Animation, Lord, P. & Sibley, B. (1999) Thames & Hudson Stop Motion Craft Skills for Model Animation, Shaw, S. (2004) Focal Press The Animator’s Survival Kit, Williams, R. (2002) Faber and Faber
Animation Websites Animation World News (www.awn.com) provides general news and information about animation around the world. Stop-motion Animation Forum (www.stopmotionanimation.com) Online stop-motion community resource. Has articles and advice on everything stop-motion, including model building, animation techniques and other technical issues. Canterbury Anifest (www.canterburyanifest.com) Kent’s animation festival. This annual event happens at the start of November. The website is the place to find out about animated events in the area. Animate and Create (www.animateandcreate.com) Animation workshop company running workshops for young people, based in Kent. The workshops are run by Dan Richards. Examples of projects made with Kent schools can be found on the site. Zu3D (www.zu3d.com) A great piece of image capturing animation software that is easy to use and child friendly. Aardman Animation (www.aardman.com) details the activities of the Bristol-based independent animation studio and presents online animation series.
Other Interests Canterbury Christ Church University (www.canterbury.ac.uk/arts-humanities/media) The Kent-based university has a wide range of exciting film, media and animation courses to study. Film Street (www.filmstreet.co.uk) A great resource for young people interested in film- from watching to making them! They have a special section on animation. First Light Movies (www.firstlightonline.co.uk) Screen South (www.screensouth.org) Kent’s regional film and media agency. A resource for support, funding and anything else film orientated.
A really good quality Plasticine is ‘New Plast’ made by New Clay Ltd, which is used by a lot of leading UK animation companies.
For those of you who would like a more professional skeleton for your characters, Animation Supplies based in the South East provide a range of quality armatures. http://www.animationsupplies.net/
Animation wire is really useful to make models with. The beauty of the wire is that it is made from aluminium and is strong but soft enough to bend. Recommended wire diameter thickness is 1.22mm. http://rowancable.co.uk/page5.htm
The polystyrene balls which are so useful for characters eyes are available online from a company based in Thanet. A selection of 40 different sized balls is just 92p, plus postage. http://www.purplenimbus.com/product/40_polystryeneballs_WD507010
Drawn Animation Kit
To produce drawn animation, you will need a few materials including a peg bar, cell paper and possibly an easel. All of these materials are sold by Chroma Colour.
The peg bar is a device to hold a piece of paper or other material in place. You may find that a peg bar can also be called a registration pin http://www.chromacolour.co.uk/store/animation_pegbars.asp
Animation paper is specifically made to fit lightboxes and peg bars and is thin enough to allow you to view the sheet underneath. http://www.chromacolour.co.uk/store/animation_paper_economy.asp
Daylight Light Box
Literally a box of light, that helps you trace and work from your previous frame. http://uk.daylightcompany.com/product/art-craft-light-box-white/
Samson ZOOM H2 Handy Recorder This piece of sound recording equipment is like a big ipod with a microphone built in. It’s a great bit of kit which can be used to record both sound effects and voice overs for your animations. Each recording saves as individual tracks in the wave (.wav) format and is both PC and Mac compatible.
Once you have produced your animation shots, you will need to put them into a piece of editing software to put them together along with sound. There are many different types of editing software. Most computers have a very basic piece of software already on them - PCs normally have ‘Windows Movie Maker’ and Apple Macs should have ‘iMovie’. Below are links to some of the editing software available: http://tv.isg.si/site/?q=node/873 http://www.zs4.net/ http://cart.thedaft4artncraftsuk.co.uk/index.php?p=product&id=18142&parent=418
Be sure to shop around for the best price.
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