Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"From script to screen"

Exploring further my knowledge of animation I came across a book called "Animation-from script to screen" Shamus Culhane.

This is an interesting position for the majority of people that start their adventure with animation, but anyone can read it.
There are lots of tips on where to begin their work on the film, what to do during your project, for example, carry a small notebook to write everything that you can think of. Sometimes in the past while I was walkking on a street or sitting in a bus, I came up with an idea and later at my home I could not recall it .
One of the more interesting quotes is "animation has a definite limitation in its exploatation of animals and human beings". He was writing about gags that in real life they can be funny but in a film- not.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hybrid Animation

Hybrid 2D with 3D animation have been offten used since discovered the capabilities of 3D. Slowly, in small steps, was introduced more and more computers to traditional animation. Examples are:

For my animation I decided to use a mixed technique. Closer to me is the 3D world, but few times I've done some 2d animation so I know what I can achieve in every technique.
My 3d model for my animation

We have to ask ourselves, in our animation, what is easy to do in 2D and what is easy to do in 3D. For me, it is better to do 3d model and animate it, and the background will be in 2d. Something that has more details is easier to do in 3D, static things or which contains a few lines are easier to manipulate in 2d.
There are other questions:

  • are there technical challenges,
  • what will be the best media for our film,
  • what style is the best to tell the story and if we can achieve that style with 2d/3d?
In my opinion you should have knowledge about 2d and 3d separately otherwise you will spend time to learn new things. Of course it is positive to improve knowledge but what if you have close deadline of your project? There is no time.

When we want to achieve some effect or style, we have to experiment and keep our researches. The great combination of 2d and 3d is "The Paperman" the last Disney's short animation. You can check on interenet how they first built everything in 3 dimension and later, using special program, they painted stuff directly on CG.

For everybody I recommend the book:

This is a very interesting book that can help us solve our problems with the film, can improve our animation and even has a few tricks.
The book is perfect for everyone regardless you have made ​​a hybrid animation or not. As the author says, you have to do a research and the research should be an inspiration.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Character sheets

So we have an idea for our animation, we will start by making some sketches.
Firstly characters: how they will look, what they will be wearing and later how they will  move. It is hard to imagine movement before we have established the personality and apperance of the characters.

So first rough sketches and next we develope our characters and finally we know how our character/s look like.

This is my characters for animation.

Later we create character sheets. Can be in color or black and white. It is better when we see character, at least, in 3 viewa. Ofcourse can be more. Every time proportion of the body need to be the same.
On this site there are lots of character sheets and it is good to see how professional artist make them.

I also reccommend the book "The Art of Hercules: The chaos of creation" S.Rebello and J.Healey. There are pictures of characters how they looked at the beginning and how they developed them.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Some time when we search for something on internet we can find some unexpected stuff which can be very inspired for us.
Once I discovered Anton Pearsons portfolio. He is a designer and somebody could say what animation has to graphic design? Who knows. I really like how he mixes colors. It is really amazing I can stare at those pictures and analyse them all the time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Why do we need storyboard?

In the past I thought that I don't need to draw what I want to animate because everything is in my head... it is not true. We should make sketches of everything that come up in our head. With storyboard we can organise better our work and will show the key frames of our film. Storyboards are used for animation movies and also for live action films.

We need storyboard to compose frames, how they will look like, what will be on scene, who will appear... We have to decide which type of frame we will use and there we have:
a master shot which show us all the place and characters where the action will occur,
a full shot which show all the character,
a medium shot which show from characters hips upwards,
a medium close-up which show character face includes shoulders,
a close-up which zoom on characters face.
With storyboard we show other people of our staff camera movements, it angles, zoom in or out. The storyboard should be readable for everybody (of course everybody should use a little bit of imagination...). It doesn't matter what is the style because every artist is individual so don't worry about it, it is necessery to have drawing skills and before making storyboard, know basics about perspective and human or animal anatomy. I discovered that take photos or film is a really good way to have references.

We should decide the frame size and later start with roughy, sketchy storyboard and letter make clean up, draw bigger frames with more details. I also reccommend have a break for few days and put sheets of our work on a wall or on a floor and see it one more time. Sometimes we can notice that same frames are missing, that some action is going to fast or to slow.

This is one frame from my final storyboard

For everybody who wants to know more about storyboard design I reccommend "The Storyboard design Course" G.Cristiano