Topics Covered in Class:
History of Animation (1.5 hours)
How a Mosquito Operates - Winsor McKay 1912
Popeye the Sailor - Paramount cartoon studios make cartoon based on Comic strip. (1933) Casper - "Noveltoons" series by Paramount's Famous Studios releases cartoon. (1945) The Flintstones - TV debut of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera creation (1960) Astro Boy - Japanese TV cartoon leading to an explosion in Japanese anim. (1963) Hunger/La faime - Peter Folder's film uses interactive keyframing techniques. (1974)
Coon Skin - Ralph Bakshi causes a furore with his film. (1975)
Allegro non Troppo - Bruno Bozzetto Italian feature, a irreverent homage to Disney's Fantasia (1977) Watership Down - fantasy novel becomes animated features directed by Martin Rosen. (1978) Tron - Disney movie with CG premise. (1982) Star Trek II - Lucasfilm uses computer particle systems. (1983) Luxo Jr - John Laseter applies principles of traditional anim to computer animation. (1987) The Simpsons - Debut of show in short segments on The Tracey Ullman Show. (1988) Creature Comforts - Nick park wins an oscar beating out his own Wallace and Gromit . (1989) Toy Story - first full-length 3D CG feature film. (1995)
Theories related to the Illusion of Motion (1/2 hour)
On the surface, modern media technologies look different from the optical toys of the 1800s, but they share common properties. The zoetrope has slots that create a stroboscopic effect. If, when you spin the zoetrope, you look over the top of the drum at the drawings instead of looking through the slots all you will see is a blur. The illusion of motion is gone. The slots of the zoetrope simulate flashes of light, creating a strobe. Movie projectors have a shutter that interrupts the light from the projector bulb as the film advances through the gate. The strobe of the projector shutter keeps the film from blurring. Video images are scanned onto your television by a beam, which zigzags across the screen from top to bottom twice for each frame. In between each frame is a little black, which you may see as a roll-bar when your television's vertical hold needs adjustment.
Frame Rate is very important to the creation of apparent motion. If the rate at which we view the images moves too quickly, the images blur, if they move too slowly the movement appears jerky and we end up seeing the individual images instead of the illusion of motion.
For example, the zoetrope's speed is variable. The faster it turns, the smoother the motion appears. When the zoetrope slows down so that each image is seen for a tenth of a second or more, the illusion of movement begins to break down and the strobe is more obvious.
Film projectors usually run at a rate of 24 frames, or pictures, per second. VCR and DVD players play and/or record at a rate of 30 frames per second. Old silent movie projectors run at 16 or 18 frames per second. They are so slow they seem to flicker.
Apparent Motion: The motion represented in television, films, computer, games, multimedia presentations etc. is known as apparent motion. Displaying a series of consecutive still images in quick succession creates apparent motion. This illusion of motion depends on two things; persistence of vision or beta movement (related to the Phi Phenomenon), or both, depending on whom you ask.
Persistence of Vision: This theory refers to the length of time the retina (the "screen" at the back of our eyes which is sensitive to light) retains an image. If we see a light flash every tenth of a second or less, we perceive it as continuous. The impression of each flash of light remains, or persists, in the retina for at least one-tenth of a second. Because of this persistence, we can't tell where one flash ends and the next begins. Instead, we perceive a continuous light. Persistence of vision is a stroboscopic effect. The images you see must be interrupted by moments of darkness in order for the illusion to work.
Beta Movement: The Beta Movement theory claims that apparent motion is a result of human instinct. Our brains strive to make meaning from what we perceive. When we see different images close together our brains quickly create a relationship between them. This theory explains why the brain creates apparent movement between images when they succeed one another at least 1/10 per second.
Experiment - Make a Flipbook (2 hours)
Create a 100 page flipbook, experimenting with timing, specifically "changes in the speed at which actions happen". Use the concepts we learned today about animation timing.
Make an animation of a metamorphosis – changing one object into another over time. Start out slow and increase the speed of change.
Make an animation of abstract shapes moving about the page. Vary the timing to reflect a changing emotional state.
How to Start:
Decide on your concept and plan out your animation. We have 100 pages so that's approximately a 4-second animation. You can make two short animations or one long one.
Determine what kind of action you want to have happen and when. Focus on the spacing of the images. Remember that a greater distance between images will make a faster action and lesser distance between images will give a slower action. You might varying the timing in order to create tension or humor or emotion.
The bottom page of the stack of paper will be your first drawing. Put a #1 in the upper corner. Create your first drawing. Remember to use the lower 2/3 of the page, positioned either vertically or horizontally.
On the top page of the stack create your last drawing and put a #96 in the upper corner. You might draw a few other key drawings (where a major change happens) or you might just see where the first drawing takes you.
Keep an eye on your progress by flipping through the drawings as you go along.
Finish your Flipbook with ink. Add color if you like. Make sure it’s bold and bright.
Purchase a pack of 100 plain, white 3x5 index cards (without lines) and a metal clip that fits snuggly around the end of all 100 cards if you haven't yet.
http://www.privatelessons.net/2d/sample/m01_04.html Zoetrope info and examples
http://www.haringkids.com/master_art_flip.htm Flip book example
http://bizarrelabs.com/persist.htm All three examples