Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 3: Animating The Arrow

Hello class, Gossipi here! Yesterday marked Day 3 of 2D Animation Class so here I am giving you an update on what went down. First things first; the professor had each of us come up to his desk and show him the Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair Sketches we were assigned last week. If you did them and showed him. GREAT! If not, who cares! (As the professor would put it.) That just goes to show that those of us who completed the homework assignment are serious about the class. I strongly encourage those of you who didn't get the work done to read my blog so that you can catch up on the homework. You wouldn't want to fall behind on the work and I would like for all of us to pass this class together. Lets make the professor proud! As for the 2D Shapes in a 3D Perspective assignment, the professor would like to see those during the next class, so have them ready!

At the start of the class the professor assigned us more pages out of the Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair PDF. (If you do not have the PDF you can e-mail me for a copy.) The pages to be completed by next class are pages 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. Once again the pages listed are going according to the PDF not the page numbers listed in the book. Want to see this completed homework assignment? Click Here!

To just give you an example of what we're doing, here is the professor's rough sketch:
Going on; the exercise for Day 3 was the arrow. We first placed a couple clean sheet of copy paper onto the light box. (The professor prefers that you never draw directly on the glass because you could mess it up.) Start off drawing a straight horizontal line across your paper with your blue animation pencil; this line is called the "Path of Action", which is the path your character or object will be traveling.

Now with your carmine red pencil draw very simple and proportionate shapes (triangle and rectangle) to create your arrow on the left side of your paper. Be sure not to start too close to the edge of the page. You will label that arrow number 1 and circle the number. Now draw very light guidelines across the paper to help you draw the next arrow. Your guidelines should be just above and below the top and bottom of the arrow tips and you may draw guidelines above and below the rectangle portion of your arrow. Once you have finished drawing your guidelines nice and straight go back to your first arrow and outline it very carefully with your black pencil.

The first and last drawings of your arrow are the most important parts of your animation. They are called keys or extremes. Begin drawing your second arrow to the far right of your paper. Make sure it's not touching the very edge of the paper. Draw a small tick mark at the nose of your first arrow as well as the second arrow you have drawn. You can use these to keep track of progress between drawings. When your second arrow is complete you are to label that arrow by placing a number 5 above it and circling it like the first arrow. Now clean up arrow number 5 with your black pencil; nice straight lines without erasing if you can.

Now that you've got the first arrow, number 1, (character starting point) and the last arrow, number 5, (character's ending point) you can draw the arrow's half way point, which will be arrow number 3. As we break down the animation of the arrow keep in mind the following:

1 and 5 make 3
1 and 3 make 2
3 and 5 make 4

Now we start drawing the middle arrow. You must be careful and sure that your are drawing the middle arrow directly in the middle, otherwise the animation process wont come out as smoothly as it should. We are not aloud to use a ruler so the professor taught us a little trick with our pencils. Draw a half way mark of where you believe the nose of the 3rd arrow would be. Next take the tip of your pencil and line it up with the the nose of the 1st arrow comparing the distance of the 1st arrow nose to the 3rd arrow nose like so:
While holding the pencil in place inch your thumb nail on the pencil where the nose of your 3rd arrow would be. Hold your thumb there and lift the pencil to compare the tip of the pencil to the nose of the 3rd arrow now while your thumb nail matches up with the nose of the 5th arrow like so:
Were both distances between noses 1+3 and 3+5 equal? If so, you are ready to draw the 3rd arrow. If not, erase the nose mark of the 3rd arrow and try again. (Note: This trick can be used to draw the other points of the arrow as well.)

When you've matched every point of the arrow up perfectly draw it in with your carmine red pencil and then make it permanent with your black pencil. You have completed the 3rd arrow; your half way point. Now you will need to draw all the other arrow in between. Refer to the breakdown I've listed above and the Timing Chart I've placed below:
The notes under "Remember:" are referring to the breakdown; this is also the order in which you should draw your arrows. The Timing Chart lists the order of the images and it tells you the direction and speed of the animation. (Side Note: 24 Frames = 1 Second)

When drawing the other arrows you should start in between the arrows you've already drawn. Be sure to use the pencil measurement trick. Here is my sketch for reference:
I Used Blue for the in between arrows so I wouldn't get confused. You can also use the professor's sketch at the top of the page for reference. Be sure to label each arrow as you draw it with the proper number or number letter.
When you're finally done drawing all of the arrows on the page it should either look like my sketch or like this one:
This sketch was done by Gary Torres; our fellow classmate. Gary didn't darken the arrows with black pencil, but it is still a very good reference. You must darken the arrows with black pencil, don't forget.

When all of your arrows are drawn you are ready to draw the animation, which will then lead to filming the finished product! Take 17 sheets of clean copy paper. Place your arrow sheet on the light box with 1 clean sheet of paper over it. Trace arrow number 1 with your black pencil and then label the page number 1 in the lower right hand corner; you're done with the first page. Continue with  fresh sheet of paper and draw the next arrow in line which would be arrow 1B. Be sure to label the page after drawing each arrow in order and don't get them mixed up! Continue to do this until you've drawn the last arrow; number 5.

We're almost done! Now go back to each arrow and medium shade it with your black pencil. Don't shade outside the lines! KEEP YOUR PAGES IN ORDER! When you've finished the last arrow, draw a cover page for your animation and make sure to include your name and maybe a little icon, symbol or mascot to represent your company or production It doesn't have to be much but if you'e been waiting for a chance to free style, do what you like. When you're done, take a stretch and then you will be ready to film your arrow! I'll display my filmed arrow in another post.

The professor said we could come visit his high school class to find out how to film our animation, however, I didn't get to find out where and when that was going to be. He also said you could come to his Thursday Class (today) and find out how to film your animation then. I'll be in the classroom waiting till then. If you're confused about anything I'd also be very happy to help you, so stop on by! :)

See The Arrow Film! Click Here!

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