As part of our media showcase project we explored the concept of animation – and as with anything, it could be argued there is no better way to begin than by putting the discipline into context and looking at how it began.
Having looked at traditional animators and their animations (Animation.filmtv.ucla.edu, 2014), I began to sketch out some basic sequences to understand the basic premise of animation, and to explore how best to illustrate different cycles for realistic playblack – using more dated methods such as a SpinnerScope and a flipbook to play them back. As a result of this, it meant the cycles I created had to be exaggerated to playback with enough clarity to be recognisable, as well as realistic in terms of velocity, direction, and general physics, in order to look right.
The main problem I found when making simple sketches by hand, with no references, was in some cases predicting the path of the object in focus – for example when drawing a cycle of a leaf blowing in the wind it was sometimes difficult to decide how the leaf would warp and rotate in the wind – as well as depicting the wind itself to give some context as to why the leave was moving. Representing the wind visually also was useful in backing-up the movements of the leaf.
I made a more successful short animation of a simple bouncing ball – with a lot of flex when the ball makes contact with the surface to ensure it is made obvious that the ball is falling at speed, contracting, then expanding again and carrying energy into the next bounce. I tried to show a similar effect with my first attempt – a car jumping over a gap – by showing marks where it landed to emphasise how the springs and dampers in the vehicles suspension system would compress to absorb the shock.
I made a low quality preview of the bouncing ball in order to demonstrate the fundamentals of animation:
Animation.filmtv.ucla.edu. 2014. The History of Animation. [online] Available at: http://animation.filmtv.ucla.edu/NewSite/WebPages/Histories.html [Accessed: 25 Mar 2014].