Project 3 – Post 1 – Project Analysis and Research

Project  Analysis

Now that I have explored the method of capturing still images, it time to set a project that allows me to start to animate and move the images around as this is where my passion lies. So for this project I am going to go back to the roots of animation and explore how it was made and copy it, however I will be adding a modern day twist to the animation.

For this project I will be creating two different types of animation. The first type of animation is a 12 frame hand-drawn sequence which can be used in a praxinoscope to create a short moving animation. Once I have the concept hand-drawn and working, I will then begin  digitize it using software such as Photoshop to create the same 12 frame animation which will be exported out as a GIF so it can be played on most devices and websites, allowing a wide range of audience to view my creation.

The second type of animation that I will be exploring and creating will be using a technique called stop motion. In order to create the stop motion animation I will need to explore more into as I only know a little bit about it and how it is created at the moment. By doing so I will learn tricks and short cuts which should help me create my final animation sequence.

When creating both animations I will have a common theme through-out. This theme is Cycling, by setting my self a theme I limit myself to what I can do, however this isn’t a bad thing as I can put all of my effort into creating the best possible animation around the theme selected.  The first animation I am going to a 12 frame animation of a bikes wheels (with no frame) spinning around. For the stop motion animation I think i’m going to get a bike riding down a hill.

When creating the animations I am going to create myself so rules to keep to, theses rules are as follows;

  • Black and white – This will allow me to focus on the animation instead of the look of the thing I am animating, this will really help me improve animation and not worry about the design.
  • Primary shapes – This will help me to create a simple animation that won’t be to hard as it’s the first time that I have created this sort of animation.

By following theses rules I should be able to learn the basic of animation and hopefully learn how to animate well so I can move onto more advance animations.

Research

I am going to start off by researching each technique that I will be using. The first technique that I will using is the hand drawn praxinoscope which is one of the first types of animation created in history.  I will be looking into the history and what it involves so I re-create the art.

“Emile Reynaud’s transformation of the zoetrope put this attraction/narration tension into play in a particularly apparent manner, as seen in his praxinoscope (1876), praxinoscope theater (1879), and praxinoscope projector (1882). In the end, in his optical theater (77tetltre optique, 1892), narration came to the fore as the primary structuring principle. The three varieties of praxinoscope functioned in roughly the same way and according to the same basic principles as the zoetrope (rotating drum, flexible strip, etc.). The invention’s originality lay in its prism of mirrors which, located at the center of the apparatus, replaced the zoetrope’s cut-out slits. The intro-duction of this prism made it possible to get around the serious problem of reduced luminosity, which obliged the designers of previous optical toys to opt for simple figures with strong outlines, to neglect the background almost en-tirely, and to limit the scene to a repetition of a minimal sequence of events. The praxinoscope introduced a new approach to the figures by emphasizing the pre-cision of the drawing and by exploiting the subtlety of the colors. ”  (Strauven, WS, 2006. The Cinema of Attractions Reloaded. 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.)

As you can see they both use a strip with the animation on it, then the animation is spins around and the viewer will look in the same place and the animation will be moving. This idea is what I shall be applying to my work. I will be using 12 frames on the strips to create a 12 phase animation. To test if my animation will work before creating the digital version by drawing the 12 frame animation onto a strip of paper I can then try it in either a zoetrope or a praxinoscope as both of them will play the animation and will prove if the animation will work.

Above are a few examples of how the strips look, as you can see there is a little change between frame to create a smooth animation which fits together. This will be the hardest part of the animation as if I don’t create enough cap the animation won’t be complete by the end of the 12 frames, however if I create to much difference the animation won’t flow and will be to jumpy. The examples above work perfectly which I am going to try and match.

When I convert the animation I will be using computer generated stop motion animation. This is similar to the technique that I will be using for my next animation however this will be computer animated where as the other one will be animated via photos pieced together to create a short animation.

So what is stop motion?

“Animation is animation, whatever the medium. Whether you are drawing on paper, model- ling in Plasticine, shoving a couple of matchboxes around in front of a Bolex camera or ani-mating with a computer; to become an animator you will need to understand movement and how to create emotion. You can be a cartoonist or an artist on film, a moving image maker, and there are many beautiful and hilarious examples of this, but they do not necessarily ful-fil the definition of animation that this book sets out to demonstrate. This book is written for someone wanting to take the first steps in creating three.dimensional character animation.

Methods for 2D animation have been documented for a long time. Since the formation of the Disney Studios, their vast commercial output meant they had to find ways of passing on their skills to a large body of workers who needed to know the house style. The top anima-tors started to look at what they were doing as animators, and started to identiFy rules and guiding principles by which they worked. Most of these principles apply to model or puppet animation as well as – as they are derived From the scientific study of movement – the effect of gravity, friction and force on masses. One of the greatest books to read about the develop-ment of 2D animation is 011ie Johnston and Frank Thomas’s The Illusion of Life (1997).”   (Shaw, SS, 2008. Stop Motion: Craft skills for model animation. 2nd ed. Oxford: Focal Press.)

A few feature length films are such as Wallace and Grommet and Shaun the Sheep. Both films use the 3D Plasticine models. The animation was then created putting a camera on a tripod then the characters are then animated by moving the models a small bit then take another picture. Once the scene is complete the pictures are then stitched together to create the animation. I am going to create my animation by using this technique however Instead of 3D models I will be using drawings and re-drawing slightly different and then take the picture.

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