AnimationTaco Logo Animation 1          First Semester
         Week 2 →

         Aug. 23         

First Day of School

Introduction to the Animation 1. Welcome back! We're going to have a great year!

Introduction to the room, the school, and Rogers ISD for new students.

Sketchbooks, testing, and grading.

  • Sketchbooks are due every Friday
  • Read more about the Sketchbook here.
  • Sketchbooks are a weekly formative grade.
  • What is Animation?
    Today's video- "The Animation Show" by Don Hertzfeldt

    More about Don Hertzfeldt.

             Aug. 24          What is animation?

    Traditionally, animation is defined as a simulation of movement created by displaying a series of pictures, or frames. Today, the techniques and principles of animation are used in computer games, film special effects and computer generated imaging.

    The 12 Principles of Animation was written by Walt Disney back in the ‘30’s when he was hiring a lot of artists to work in the new field of animation and many had never worked in animation before. In this class, we will always be referring back to those 12 principles, so you need to memorize them, understand them, and make them your own. I suggest putting a copy under your pillow.

    Today animation is used in ways that even Disney could not imagine. It’s used in medical and military simulations, advertising, film making and special effects.

    Class distractor- What movies have you seen lately that have special effects in them?

    How does Animation work?
    In traditional animation, each frame on a length of film contains a slightly different drawing. As the frames run through a camera and are projected, the viewer looks at the images as they pass. The human brain can only process about 60 bits per second, which means that at about 8 frames per second, the mind starts to blur the images together and the illusion of motion is established. When we watch a cartoon, the character really isn't moving, we just think he is. Today's standard frame rate for animation is 30 frames per second (FPS) for films made according to the NTSC standards and 24 frames per second according to PAL standards. We will use NTSC standards here in this class because that's what is used for all machines that play animation (computers, TV's, etc) in North America.

    Why do I need to know about PAL and NTSC? Because when you become a media professional, you'll be using and publishing your work around the world and soon or later you'll get a video file that won't work on your equipment.

    What is a Keyframe?
    A keyframe is a single frame in a series of frames in an animation. It is a single drawing. Usually we draw the beginning of an action and the end of an action and call them keyframes and then fill in the middle to create a smooth transition. Those middle frames are called inbetweens or tweens. In Flash, the tweens are called "frames". In traditional, old-style animation each keyframe or tween was hand-drawn. At 30 frames per second, a minute of film meant that 1,800 indivdiual drawings had to be created! For a 5 minute film, that meant 9,000 individual drawings. As you can see, the output of the early animators was amazing. They didn't use layers or xerox machines or the computers we have today, they just drew on paper and took a picture of that and put them all together to make an animation.

    What is a layer?
    Layers are used in animation so that separate parts of a shot can be reused without being redrawn. In traditional cel animation each character might be on a different layer of clear acetate with the background on the bottom layer of a pile of acetate drawings. The top layers with the figures can be changed and made to move while the bottom layer is kept as it is. This saves a lot of drawing work. The very early animators like Winsor McCay didn't have acetate and hand drew all the backgrounds in each and every frame. In computer animation you will see that you can add layers in the timeline and they work just like the tradition sheets of acetate.

    Today's video- "Billy's Balloon" By Don Hertzfeldt

    OK, that was funny. Please remember that no babies were harmed in the production of this video.

    Now, one of the things this class will do is ruin your animation viewing pleasure for life by teaching you to analyze what you are seeing. A good artist analyzes other's work so that he can understand WHY it's effective.

    Be prepared to discuss-
    Why is the sound important in Billy's Balloon?
    Identify a loop sequence.
    When Hertzfeldt sets up a gag, how many times does he repeat an anticipatation before the gag?
    Why is the balloon red? What would be your reaction if the balloon was yellow? or blue?

    Don't forget!

    Have you bought your sketchbook yet? You'll turn in your first sketches on Friday, Sep. 2.

    All students will need to provide a bound sketchbook, pencil and kneaded eraser.

  • One book style sketchbook, unruled (no lines), minimum size 8" x 10", maximum size 12" x 14". It is important that the sketchbook be book style and not glued-pad style. The pages fall out of the glued-pad style sketchbooks. Loose pages are not accepted for grading.
  • One Kneaded eraser
  • Pencils


    The 12 Principles of Animation

    Excellent Videos on the 12 Principles of Animation.

    Samples of the 12 Principles of Animation

    Steamboat Willie

    Steamboat Willy in a series of keyframes and tweens. He is the first incarnation of Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse.

    Here is an animation cel. The characters are hand-drawn on acetate and the white area would be replaced with a layer of a drawing of the background on when it's set up to have it's picture taken for the movie. You can see the numbers at the bottom of the drawing where the animator has labeled the scene, the frame and the layer so that all the parts can be assembled in order for the filming.

             Aug. 25          The History of Animation

    The first animated film was created by Charles-Émile Reynaud, inventor of the praxinoscope, an animation system using loops of 12 pictures. On October 28, 1892 at Musée Grévin in Paris, France he exhibited animations consisting of loops of about 500 frames, using his Théâtre Optique system - similar in principle to a modern film projector.

    The first animated work on standard picture film was Humorous Phases of Funny Faces (1906) by J. Stuart Blackton. It features a cartoonist drawing faces on a chalkboard, and the faces apparently coming to life.

    Fantasmagorie, by the French director Émile Cohl (also called Émile Courtet), is also noteworthy. It was screened for the first time on August 17, 1908 at Théâtre du Gymnase in Paris. Émile Courtet later went to Fort Lee, New Jersey near New York City in 1912, where he worked for French studio Éclair and spread its technique in the US.

    Gertie the Dinosaur is a 1914 short animated film by Winsor McCay. It was the first cartoon to feature a character that seems to think and have feelings.

    Thomas Edison created the first commercially viable motion picture cameras. Here is an animation, one of the first ever made, that his employees did just fooling around in their lab. Remember, these workers invented the animation special effects concepts you see here where reality and drawing blend together.

    Here are some early "talkies". Betty Boop, a flapper who was a scandelous icon of female sexual liberation, was a Max Fleisher Studio cartoon which was done in a style of animationn called "rubber hose". Cartoons at this time weren't made for kids, they were shown in theaters before regular movies for an adult audience. Cartoons reflected the social conventions of their time and some depicted racial stereotypes and situations we would consider sexist, racists or with bad stereotypes. Betty Boop was the first cartoon character who's image was used outside of the movie world for marketing. Even today you can still buy a huge amount of Betty Boop licensed products.

    Betty Boop, A Language All of My Own, 1935

    More Classic Cartoons

  • Discuss the first 6 of the 12 Principles of Animation

             Aug. 26         

    The History of Animation, Part 2,Walt Disney and Animation of the 1930's and '40's

    In the early 1900's, animation and moving making were the hot technologies of their time. Just the way the personal computer industry of the 1990's or the cell phone industry of the 2000's evolved, in the early days of animation there were lots of small companies scattered all over the US, each trying to find the right formula for success and each with their own style and unique inventions.

    Like the Steve Jobs of his day, Walt Disney was not just an animator, but a shrewd businessman with a single minded vision of what animation should be. He didn't invent the 12 Principles of Animation, but gathered them from other animators as he hired them away from other shops to work on his movies. He believed in tightly controlling the creative environment and that animation could be fine art, just like opera or paintings. He didn't think of his animators as artists though, and directed everything from above, working them in virtual sweatshops. Animators clamored to work for him, the way they want to work for Pixar today, but no one thought it was fun or that they were paid well. If they wanted to have fun, they went to work for Warner Bros.

    "Snow White" was the first animated feature film ever. Costing $1.4 million, and featuring such classic songs as "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Heigh Ho," and "Whistle While You Work," the film was in production for three years and utilized more than 750 artists. [from the official Disney archives]. The movie business in Los Angeles was sure Disney would go bankrupt over the movie. Who wants to sit through over an hour of cartoons? But Snow White was a smash hit and its songs define its era.

    Discuss the last 6 of the 12 Principles of Animation

             Upcoming Tests         

    Assign Vocab. #1 summative grade test on Friday, Sept. 2.

    Sketchbook Home is here Assignment 1 is here and is due Friday, Sept. 2.

             Lynne Wilde, Instructor .:. school email .:. 763-274-3140 .:. © 2016