For our third task within the portfolio project, we have been introduced to animation. From the brief we have been invited to take a look into three main aspects of animation. The first of the these aspects will take a brief look into the history behind animation, and in particular the praxinoscope. In task two, we must use our knowledge gained from the praxinoscope and apply it to our own 12 frame digitalized animation. Task three is also on the practical side as it delves into making a short experimental sequence using the technique ‘stop-motion’ animation. Carrying on from the project ‘Temporal Expressions’, the theme cycle will be used again, mainly due to the fact that a lot of animation is a contest cycle. The praxinoscope is a device that has been with us for over 130 years now, and constantly something that has been overlooked because of its pure simplicity. The beauty of the praxinoscope is that it goes back to the real roots of animation of using simple individual frames of a motion, the most famous of these being a horse galloping. The process of the praxinoscope is to place a strip of images around the outer ring, mirrors positioned in the centre of the device create the effect of motion once the praxinoscope is spun.
Before we undertook this task, we were given a very useful workshop seminar on animation. The technical knowledge gained from this seminar would help us when producing our own digitalized animation. The workshop consisted around twelve digital images of an animation walking. It was in Photoshop that we learnt how to organise the separate images into a timeline. Once in a timeline the layers could appear visible and invisible when played in a sequence. With the sequence compete it gave the effect of the animated man walking on the spot, from this we went further and made the man walk off the screen and back. As you can see in the example above, me and my partner Jack decided to make the illusion go further. We realised if we could make the figure walk in cycles, and position him at certain point of the screen, it would give the effect of him wall walking. To further enhance the illusion we used an image of a wall.
From the workshop seminar we jumped straight into making our own twelve frame animation sequence. Being one of my first experiments using this technique I decided to keep it relatively simple. The idea of a bouncing ball, or in my case several bouncing balls, is one that I have seen used before. The bouncing ball approach is one that can have great success due to the fact that it can look very realistic. It was pointed out to us that we should try to make our animation abstract, this being the reason for the multiple balls and the extra colour. The biggest difference from the workshop was that we had to digitalize our twelve frames into a GIF. As you can see in the first image, we digitalized the long strip of paper that we were using when experimenting with a praxinoscope. The first step was to photograph the individual images of each twelve frames. From here I could upload them onto Photoshop and start cropping the individual frames into a more suitable size. I first decided to make my first animation on the website ‘gifmaker.me’. The big limitation with this website meant that my animation could only move up and down, making it look far to simple. From this I decided to use the technique gained in the workshop. When using the timeline in Photoshop I was able to create a far more pleasing animation due to the fact that the balls are moving left to right and up and down.
Task 3For part two of the brief we had to create a short experimental sequence that explored the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation and/ or pixilation (animation of humans). I decided to use my Ipad as a still camera and to focus my technique around ‘stop-motion’. The main reason for doing this was due to my idea of having a wrist watch moving in a circle. I thought that the concept of a wrist watch moving in a circle linked directly with the cycle theme. The use of a watch further links to the theme as a watch is a never-ending cycle. As I found in the praxinoscope task, the more images you gather will result in a smoother and better quality animation. As a result of this, I did find this animation very tedious, as I ended up taking over 200 images. The results do speak for themselves though as the animation does move in a seamless and smooth way.
looking further ahead, I really do feel that this task has fuelled my ambition to create more animation in the future. I especially look forward to the 2D gaming side of animation. Overall though I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t branch out more, pixilation for one being a technique that I regret not looking into, but defiantly something I can be creative with in the future.