Tuesday, June 28, 2016

for Lesson 1: The 4 Basic Forms; Demonstrating Their Use in 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 ? :

Monday, June 27, 2016

for 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.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

for Lesson 2: Video Example "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.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

for Lesson 2: working with an X-Sheet for "A Straw Falls"

 This is an educated guess of the straw falling. NO animator really knows if their charts work until they test the drawings as a "pencil test" movie. The first 3 drawings are an "ease in", that is, a gradual acceleration into the action from a standing still position. There are then wider spaces between drawings 3,4,5,& 6, indicating faster motion. I would remove drawing #5 now, and let the straw fall from 4 directly to the ground at 6. This is a fast fall at the end, indicating the power of gravity and the weight, although very light, of the object. Leaving in drawing 5 will slow it all down, but this will look "wrong" to the eye of the audience. Do it & test it.

An X-sheet allows you to map this out visually:

This is the X-Sheet for A Straw Falls, with all the correct timing of the drawings in a vertical column and every frame of the film in the horizontal rows.

This way you can map exactly HOW MANY frames you have to create, and HOW LONG each one lasts.


This is a simple X-sheet I used for a professional job many years ago.

Here are the key points:

A.  Frames of film are horizontal rows. There are 24 frames in 1 second of movie film. The frames are numbered vertically down the left side, from 1 to 59.

B. Levels of your artwork or drawings are vertical columns. This X-sheet has 5 levels ( BG means the background painting).
(NOTE: We'll only use ONE level for this example. It is level 1 for all the drawings of a girl.)

Those drawings start with G, which stands for "girl": G1, G2, G3, etc. In this example, there are only 6 drawings which are used over and over.
Ignore all the other levels for this example.

C. The straw drawings will be numbered S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, and S6. You only have 6 drawings.

E. In the X-sheet in Flipbook, scan in drawing S1, the first straw, into Frame 1, Level 1. It will "stay" there for 24 frames, or 1 second. Then, scan drawing S2 into frame 25 (way later, right?), S3 into frame 27, S4 into 28, S5 into 29, and S6 into frame 30. The changes are getting closer together.

Just leave it all there and click on the green arrow under the movie window and play it. The straw should move; falling down in 7 frames, or about 1/3 of a second. Fast!

It is LIGHT, made of paper or plastic; there is very little weight to it. The total scene time will be 3 seconds long at 72 frames. That is why we "hold" the first & last straw drawings still so we can actually see the straw before it starts and after it falls, so we can "digest" the image. If it were only the 1/3 of a second movement, we wouldn't see it; it would be WAY too fast.

Watch my video of the little pink straw again and you will see what I mean.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pencil Falls

Pencil Falls under the weight of gravity. Small bursts of after effects of dust appear.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

CHARTS of a pencil falling. These are the extremes and inbetweens, with correct spacing within the chart to guide the animator accurately. There is a 7 drawing and a 10 drawing chart. Timing can vary for the same object, such as a pencil, depending on the size, weight, and style of the pencil.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

A Pipe Dropss-pencil test of a heavy weight line...to become a pipe


A Pipe Dropss-pencil test of a heavy weight line only!!. Most drawings among Straw, Pencil, & Pipe.

Pipe has 10 drawings. Dust clouds are done in 9. total: 19 drawings
Total: 19 drawings. 84 frames/ 3.5 seconds.

Can also be done with heavier pipe. Use more drawings for the ease in & dust clouds:
Pipe has 12-14 drawings. Dust clouds in 10 drawings.
Total: 24 drawings 96 frames. 4 seconds.