Saturday, February 3, 2018

Overview of the class & teacher.   
This is a drawing class. It is based on old school, 2D animation and the principles that are its foundation. This is NOT a 3D, cgi class. We will not be animating with computers, but we will USE computers to record our drawings as motion pictures or "movies". It is also not a "masterclass" taught by a "master animator". I studied Walt Disney's lectures and movies as a child that were on Disney's TV show, "Walt Disney Presents". I grew up watching TV cartoons after school, enjoying Loony Tunes, Hanna/Barbera, & U.P.A. My Bachelor Of Arts degree in Animated Cinema was earned at San Francisco State University in the 1970s. I then won a Fulbright Award to do work/study at the Zagreb-Film Animation Studio in former Yugoslavia, with Oscar-nominated directors like Dragic, Grgic, Vukotic (Oscar winner),  & Gasparovic.
 I am a very experienced professional animator who has worked in Hollywood,  at the Zagreb Film Studio in Europe, and all over the San Francisco Bay Area as a freelance animator-for-hire. My birthplace and background is the San Francisco Bay Area in California. I have traveled all over Europe, to Japan, Mexico, & Canada, and now live in Oakland with my wife and our 5 cats. 
This animation class teaches how to draw for animation at the beginning levels. We start at the beginning, with the basics of the line, the 4 basic forms, and the line of action, and work our way up from there. Exercises have clear visual guidelines and references for students to follow to learn exactly how to animate by drawing. The principles of animation as taught by Disney greats Frank & Ollie are behind all the movement. We also study and use the Laws of Physics, especially regarding weight, gravity, and momentum. Exercises include moving objects, such as bowling balls and soap bubbles, natural phenomena such as rain, wind, and smoke, plus the movements of human beings.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Lesson 1: The 4 Basic Forms: Design For Various Objects and Use Constructing A Landscape

The 4 Basic Forms are the building blocks for all design. Cezanne, the father of modern art, stated," "With these 4 basic forms I can design anything". Here are some examples of objects I drew which are designed with each of the 4 forms:

Notice how a landscape can be build with these shapes. Which shapes form which objects ? :

Lesson One: A Pencil Falls To The Ground: it has medium/light weight.

The Pencil Falls under the weight of gravity. Small bursts of dust effects appear when it hits the ground. The pencil has a medium/light weight: do more drawings and more ease in than the straw, and NO ease out so that it will fall harder and display some weight that way.

Lesson One: A Pipe Drops-pencil test of only a line which will become a heavy pipe.

A Pipe Drops-pencil test of only a line which will become a heavy pipe. This animation has the most drawings among the Straw, Pencil, & Pipe.

The Pipe has 10 drawings ( could be more: 11-12). Dust clouds are done in 7-9. total: 17-21 drawings
Total: about 19 drawings. about 84 frames approximately 3.5 to 4  seconds.
A pipe uses more drawings for the ease in, NO ease out, & dust clouds:

Lesson One: A Light Chop Stick: It falls fast because it has very little weight.

The straight line becomes a light object: a chop stick. It falls down fast under the force of gravity because it weighs very little. This animation uses the same amount of drawings & spacing as a straw.

Lesson 2: Timing Charts for a Pencil Falling: Map the Force of Gravity

This first page shows how different objects fall; the only real difference is how long it takes and the space the object covers when it falls (is it a tall redwood tree (100s of feet) or a chopstick (6 inches)?):

This next chart is non-specific; just a general chart to show the process. Each line indicates the exact place where an image (in this case a pencil) will be drawn. Draw one pencil on one piece of paper. 7 pages, 7 pencils. Each pencil is drawn in a  new location, so that the sequence of images will then create "animation". This is a trick of the eye, known as the "persistence of vision". They are actually single images which together form a "motion picture". That is, pictures in motion, also called a "movie"!
This is a chart for a pencil falling. Draw only the straight line first, NOT a pencil or straw. Test the drawings in Flipbook to see the "movie" , that is, the movement. This is called a "pencil test". After you see that the motion works, you can draw a pencil or straw ON TOP of the line you drew, then scan those drawings into Flipbook. I will give you a demo of Flipbook when you are ready.
It can vary from 7 to 10 drawings. The pencil is a light object. Maybe leave out  #2 also: not so much "ease in" is needed. Maybe leave out #9 for a heavier impact to the ground.
The straw below is super light, so 5 or 6 drawings, at the most, will work. Follow the chart.

Lesson One: "A Straw Falls"--Mapping the Animation of a Light Weight

Here's a simple video of a straw (a light weight object) falling.

Note the way the timing (how fast) and number of frames (how many images) suggest the weight visually. (A heavy object will use different timing and patterns).

Your final version should look something like this - the X-sheet mapping the frames, your pictures/drawings, and the rate/timing (how long they are on screen).

Feel free to change the timing to see how different timing changes the "weight" and properties of your object.