My Animation Mechanics Class In Review

Posted by on Dec 26, 2011 in DePaul University CDM | 0 comments

I posted on being part of the first cohort of this first course back in October in the middle of the fall quarter. I learned lots more since then and wanted to share it here. We continued using The Animator’s Survival Kit(this is the link to the more recent Expanded Edition) and Timing for Animation as our main texts There were three projects since that last post and I’ll give you some background on each.

This short was a study in vibration. We used a leaf at the end of a long stem blowing in the wind as the example to animate in class. It involved alternating a series of frames and repeating some of them to mimic a back and forth motion. I extended the principle to show the roaring dragon’s head moving back and forth. I felt like I was really beginning to get comfortable with Flash by the time we got to this project at week seven of the term.



This next film was more practice with the vibration principle. I used an alternating sequence of two sets of lips to create the effect of fluttering lips. One set of lips was a series of frames that extended away from the mouth. The other set of puckered lips were in-betweened with the first set of lips to create the exaggerated cartooned effect of snoring.
The original project was a few seconds shorter than this due to the turn-in deadline so I went back into the file and duplicated the lip sequences a few extra times to make my snoozing character more lifelike.



The final project though, is the work I’m most proud of so far. Our professor, Scott Roberts, introduced us to a new book, Elemental Magic, The Art of Special Effects Animation, by Joseph Gilland. He’s known for his expertise in drawing and animating natural phenomena like fire, smoke and water. I’ve always wanted to study how to represent water so this book was a golden find for me. I recommend it for every animator in addition to his most recent Elemental Magic, Volume II: The Technique of Special Effects Animation which is the one I used the most.
Needless to say I made it a point to include it in my final project below. The objective was to incorporate four of the principles we learned along with a narwhal. I think Scott was just challenging our story telling talents with that last detail. I included A) winged flight, B) vibration (the tent), C) fire, D) water…and the narwhal.



My animation skills definitely went up a notch this fall. Can’t wait to continue on the development of my during the winter quarter in January.

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My ANI421 Animation Mechanics Class

Posted by on Oct 10, 2011 in Artists, DePaul University CDM | 0 comments

ANI421 is the first of the new cohort of courses for the Master of Arts in Animation program that was recently split of from the Master of Science in Cinema program. Animation was previously just a concentration of DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media‘s cinema curriculum but we now have our own standalone degree program as of this fall 2011 quarter!!!

Our professor for this class is Scott Roberts who heads up the animation program within the School of Cinema and Interactive Media. He’s a renowned digital artist in his own right so we’re getting the benefit of a wealth of experience.

Scott has us focusing on the fundamentals of effective animated motion. We’re digging into the details of many of the 12 Principles of Animation as outlined in The Animator’s Survival Kit. Our other reference is Timing for Animation which is helping us learn how to move different parts of the body at different speeds.

At this point at least we’re focused on using stick figures in Flash to be sure we nail down the principles. Some of my classmates are really accomplished artists so they are beyond stick people. Drawing on a monitor is definitely different than drawing on paper but I plan on getting beyond the stick people too before the end of the term as I get more comfortable with sketching poses in the software. In the meantime I’ll share some of what I’ve made so far.






After four weeks I’m really getting a lot out of this class. I’ll be able to apply this to any of my future 2D and 3D work. Can’t wait to see what’s next.

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