Maya Animation Tasks

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For this task, we had to create a key-frame animation in Maya using three different 3D primitives.

To begin, we set the animation settings to ‘Realtime’ and ’24’ fps, via Windows-> Settings/Preferences -> Preferences. Ensuring that ‘weighted tangents’ was selected, as well as the default set to linear, we were then able to begin the task.

Creating 3 different polygons, cube, sphere and cone, I spaced them relatively evenly apart. Ensuring that the attribute editor is open, I selected the cube and first frame on the time slider. I then navigated to the channel box and right-clicked on the ‘translate X’ option, of which allowed me to click on ‘Key selected’. You are notified of a created key-frame once the box has gone red.

I then moved the time-slider to frame 24, and moved the cube across to the opposite side of the grid plane. I then repeated the earlier process of creating a key-frame, selecting ‘Key selected’ for translate X.

Dragging the range slider to frame 48, as well as repeating the key-frame process for the sphere, allows me to move this object at half the speed of the cube. The same process is repeated for the cone, but this time its end point is reached at the 72nd frame.

Moving the cube back to the start of the grid, a key-frame is created at 48 frames. Moving it to the end again and creating another key-frame, this time at 72 frames, concludes, for now, the animation regarding the cube.

The sphere, at frame 72, is moved to the middle of the grid via the changing of its X translation to 0. Once positioned correctly, a key-frame is created.

Going back to the cube, a key-frame is created at frame 1 regarding Rotate X set at 0. At frame 72, another key-frame is created for Rotate X, however, this one is set to 1080. This configuration causes the cube to spin while moving across the grid.

For the Sphere, a similar process is used. However, Rotate Y is used instead, with the settings at frame 72 being 360 instead of 1080.

For the cone, Rotate Z is used. With the end number for Rotate Z on the 72nd frame being -90. This causes the cone to tip forward as it along the grid.

Navigating to Windows -> Rendering Editors -> Render View will allow you to apply shaders and textures to your objects, of which is the next stage of this task. Selecting Lambert from the Surface shaders is the next step, of which then has a colour applied to it via the menu on the right hand side of the screen. The material is then assigned to the cube via right clicking the material on the top right of the screen and selecting ‘Assign Material To Selection’.

This process is then repeated with various different shaders, materials and colours for the other objects.

We were then tasked with creating three separate animations, tied together via intertwined animation principles and processes.

The three tasks were thus; animate a heavy ball being dropped/bounced, animate a football rebounding off of a wall, and animate a ball bouncing down stairs.

In order to animate the heavy ball falling and bouncing, I had to consider the physics of such an occasion, as well as the possible materials that the ball would be made of. The conclusion was thus; the ball would drop and barely bounce, rebounding shallowly several times in quick succession before settling down.

The process I used comprised of creating a sphere, selecting the first frame, editing the Translate Y and Translate X co-ordinates, and right clicking them to select ‘Key Selected’ in order to create a key-frame. This process was repeated multiple times for all three animations, rather similar as to how the animation earlier in this post was created.

Utilising various animation principles, I planned out and executed the theory or ‘Squash and Stretch’, manipulating the size and rotation of the sphere as it moved through the air and made contact with other surfaces.

The graph editor was used to smooth out the animation, utilising the ‘Break Tangents’ option for finer control.

Heavy Ball Animation:

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Rebounding Animation:

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Stairs Animation:

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We then moved onto another task, this one being lighting-based. We had to apply materials and lighting to a supplied model of a robot. In order to do so, we had to create and place several light sources, and then manipulate said light sources. Changing the distance, intensity and colour of these lights allowed us to create primary, fill and edge lighting, as well as different atmospheres and emotional responses.



Moving on-wards, we did some more animation work, this time experimenting with a rig for a human character. We applied a rig to the supplied model and then manipulated it, moving the skeleton and nodes via Reverse Kinematics and key-frames in order to create an experimentation in animation.



Fuse Modelling/Model Editing Experimentation:

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In this exercise we composed and edited a 3D model using a variety of preset modular elements and sliders, using our own faces as points of reference for the character. After creating and editing the character, we clothed it via picking from more preset options.

Finally, we uploaded it to a Mixamo Autorigger, allowing us to experiment with a variety of different preset animations that have already been created for open source use.


Hope Animation Assignment – Development and Evaluation

Initially, when I started this assignment, I created a series of goals in Asana. I organised these by task and date, assigning them certain days and general time-frames to achieve in order to accomplish the assignment in an efficient and timely manner. Once this was in place, I began researching and ideating.

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 When it came to research, I investigated several topics;Hope (meaning, in historical and philosophical context, references that are both visual and non-visual, and how hope is used in an example of art, design,literature and or film), 2D animation (methods, techniques, story and content etc.),storyboards, animatics and software.
Once all that research had been compiled and written about,with references and images gathered, I moved onto ideation and sketchbook work.I started with an idea of a triangle, rising and projecting light in a dark world. This light would fall upon a figure, whom is in despair upon the ground,while several more triangles appear in the distance as the sky lightens. A series of notes regarding the storyline, key points and visual elements were created,supplemented with several sketches and thumbnails. My sketchbook, as it progresses, includes more notes and drawings, as well as storyboards and character exploration.

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The direction I took, stylised and semi-abstract, was heavily influenced by research into colour and shape language, especially in relation to the concept of hope and the emotional connotations of those elements. This is evident in the shapes I chose, with an upside-down triangle for the representation of future hope and a better future, flipping the usual connotation of the violent and aggressive shape language that is normally interpreted through triangles. For hope, I used a circle as a representational tool; combined with white and its fleeting appearances in the story, it puts forth a narrative on the elusive nature of the concept.
With several different shapes and value combination present,I needed to find a way to separate them, as well as introduce texture. To do so, I created several sketches, assigning value groups to certain shapes and foreground, middle ground and background sections. To add further character to the story, the character was developed further, seeking out a consistent style to use in the animation. After much exploration, both into simplified/stylised,realistic/semi-realistic, angular and soft, line and broad/charcoal strokes, I settled on a combination of line and charcoal strokes, with the character moving between both the ‘medium’ and visual style as well. Fluctuations between construction-esque manikins, simplified skeletons, fleshed-out bodies and charcoal strokes were made, each representing a certain emotional state, as well as the position of the character in the story.
The bare, simplified and skeletal styles, as well as the constructionist ones, symbolise the emptiness of the character, with some order being restored to their being when the orb/sphere appears and returns throughout the animation. The charcoal strokes, with the character being ‘filled in’, represents the character before the turmoil and distress, as well as afterwards. This shows the character as ‘whole’, his being undisturbed by chaos and discord. Colour experimentation, as well as storyboard development,was explored as well. The colour-work in my sketchbook was done using colour pencils, with a fine-liner being another medium/tool that I used.
The final storyboard, of which I created digitally in Photoshop, does not deviate too heavily from the one in my sketchbook. It was also used to construct my animatic, making the process much more efficient.
For the storyboard, made in Photoshop, I attempted to create a good indication of the story, visuals, content and camera  angles/shots/movements. I used a template found online, creating groups for each storyboard and its respective panels to ensure better structuring and layering. The first panel, depicting the character while still in a happy state, has bright blue and cyan colours in evidence. The character stands tall and proud, confident and happy. This panel makes use of arrows and a rectangular inner frame to illustrate zooming in, where a transition occurs towards panel two. There, a vignette effect is displayed, showing chaos or struggle that is occurring in the character’s life. The third panel shows the character in a dark, textural void with tendrils of black and red swirling towards him, contrasting the ones found in panel 1. This reflection and juxtaposition of the first panel reinforces the idea that the character is going through a difficult time, with elements of his life that were previously positive now affecting him negatively. Afterwards, a transitional sequence is depicted through several panels, with textural effects, custom brushes,masking, layering and grouping being used to create these visuals. Those abstract and textural images, which will flash upon the screen briefly, are representations of the inner turmoil faced by the character. After a series of those images, a panel depicting the character falling is shown. Here, a dark background with a static texture is evident, showing the confusion and negativity imbued in the perceived chaotic void of life.
However, in the panel after this, a white sphere appears before the character, whom raises their head to view it. The camera angle here is slightly above over-the-shoulder, showing the top of the back of the character’s head with the sphere above and before him. The camera will then cut to a view of the character’s face from the front, lifting his head up to face the orb/sphere in the foreground. The camera, in the next panel, is then further back. Here, the character turns to track the sphere as it moves across the screen. It will then fly up and away from the character as he stretches out towards it. Clearly distraught in the next panel, as he has effectively lost his fleeting glance at hope, he walks in a slumped manner before lifting his head once again to view the orb return. In this next panel, the sphere/orb travels towards and around him as he tracks it, turning side to side as it orbits him before flying off into the distance.
Once again, the character has ‘lost hope’ and struggles togo on, stumbling in the dark void he inhabits. Shortly after stumbling to the ground, another transitional sequence of abstract shapes and textures appears.Following that, a scene where an abstract representation of the character’s ‘soul’ is depicted, showing how he experiences great emotional and spiritual pain from the complete absence of hope. He falls into despair, as shown in the next few panels. Here, several camera angles show him on all-fours, within the dark void he still inhabits. After a while, a light begins to shine upon him.This heralds the return of the orb, of which orbits him once again. He then lifts his head, the next panel showing a much more colourful scene; the sun is rising, with both warm and cool colours bleeding into/washing over the background. Here, the character is still on all-fours, however, strong directional light begins to wash over him. The next panel displays the presence of a large upside-down triangle, the sphere residing next to it as it casts its light upon the now kneeling character. The next panel depicts the character standing up, with the camera showing only his shoulders and up as he stands up.Afterwards, a scene with the character standing is shown, several more characters appearing in the background as the light from the main one is cast onto the character.
During the development of this storyboard, I had to ensure a coherent story that related to the concept of hope, making sure that the theme was communicated not only through shape language and story, but also colour and posing.

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Moving forwards, I started to work on my animatic. To do this, I used Photoshop’s Timeline with the workspace set to Motion. I then created several groups, referencing the ones created for the storyboard, as well as copying over the folder structures from the document for the storyboard. Having the storyboard done beforehand made the process of creating the animatic much more efficient, cutting down on the time required to make it.In this phase of the assignment, I worked mainly upon getting the timing of the scenes right, acting out several actions and timing them to ensure accuracy.Some changes were made during the animatic phase, however the visuals remained mostly the same to the ones for the storyboards.

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Once I had created the animatic, we went into a feedback phase. Here, we created Google Forms where we created a series of questions that we then had out peers respond to, essentially gathering feedback and critique.

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The feedback was rather helpful, highlighting the areas thatI needed to work on and re-visit. Afterwards, I moved onto the actual animation for the assignment. Before I begun animating, I took reference videos me performing certain actions. This is to ensure accuracy regarding the motion and timing, creating believability. Not only did I take videos, but pictures as well. Those images helped with specific poses, added to the ability to useAdobe Premiere to dissect the video reference, I had a decent amount of reference to use when animating.
Animation Tests and In-Class Exercises/Tutorials:

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When it came to animating in Photoshop, I had to do quite a bit of research, as well as trial and error. To help with organisation, I organised the animation into several scenes, each with their own folder structures inside. To animate, I had to create video layers using Layer ->Video Layers -> New Blank Video Layer. Within this, I could animate frame by frame, navigating with the arrow keys and seeing the next and/or previous frames using Onion Skinning, of which is accompanied by several options in an expandable menu/drop down menu attached to the animation panel/timeline.
When I needed still images that were to persist over certain periods of time, as well as have certain transformations applied to them, I created a normal layer and converted the contents within to smart objects,allowing me to manipulate, edit and transform them more freely when it came to the Timeline Panel.  Some of the scenes required careful planning and layer structuring due to the overlapping nature of some elements, this was aided by the ability to group layers, as well as structure them in the Timeline Panel, moving them around, layering and lining them up with each other.

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When it comes to animating, I am still quite inexperienced.I faced many challenges, of which having reference helped solve. I used AdobePremiere to navigate my reference videos, pausing it at strategic points to view the ‘key frames’. One area of particular difficulty was the scene where the character is seen from the side view and moves from left to right, stopping and then breathing rapidly. While I was animating, the depiction of breath was initially quite unrealistic, however, as I was drawing I got into a rhythm,realising how to animate the movement better by acting it out myself,exaggerating the movements. In order to depict rapid breathing through the chest, I raised the rib cage and flattened the stomach for the inhalation, and vice versa for when the character exhaled.
To animate the ‘growth’ of the triangles, I created them as smart objects, used the transform option and created keyframes, starting them out small and ending them at a larger size a short period of time. To ensure accuracy, I created a separate layer for guides, placing dots at the original points of the ‘original’ triangles before transformations. To show a gentler fade, I used the gradient tool to fill in a selection when creating the triangles, of which was enhanced by the use of a soft eraser.
In comparison, animating with lines was faster than using the broad charcoal strokes. When using the broad strokes, achieving proper proportions and body shape was difficult, especially when using only a few limited values. The lines allowed me to create more gestural shapes and forms,allowing me to create flowing frame by frame animation. The broader strokes were more suited to the still images and shorter scenes, especially ones affected by lighting and the heavy use of colour.
The use of lines also helped with accuracy, allowing me to break down the movement and scenes more-so than if I had predominately used the charcoal strokes. Ease-in and out, as well as timing and the position of the body and its individual parts during movement are important factors to pay attention to, as these help add realism and appeal to the animation.

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The audio, created by my friend Tristan, is used to emphasise the chaotic and discordant nature of the character’s journey, as well as the fickle nature of hope. The electronic and unsettling notes sound out during key moments, signalling shifts in tone and visuals, persisting even through the times of supposed hope and happiness. The gong that sounds out during the transitions of despair hints at the finality of death, something linked to the feelings of hope and despair, a driving factor for humanity.
Compared to most professionally produced animations, mine appears un-finished, with line work and animation errors throughout. Colour-wise, the use of flats combined with clean line-work would of been beneficial, providing a cleaner look to the overall animation. An example of this would be Snow White, where the use of clean lines, flats and painted backgrounds create visually interesting scenes, as well as fluid animation. Instead of using charcoal strokes, I could of filled in the lines of the characters, applying lighting using the lasso selection and gradient tools. The  backgrounds in my animation are rather simple and abstract, with only a few values used to separate the ground from the sky, and in some scenes only two values are used to divide the ground and the sky, with textures applied to add visual interest. Further along, the background become slightly more complex, with coloured gradients, a sun and several triangles being introduced. However, compared the Snow White, these backgrounds are simple and abstract, lacking the traditional painterly quality evident in the animations of old.

Stop Motion Animation Assignment – Development and Evaluation

For the Letter/Alphabet Stop Motion part of the AnimationAssignment, I started in my sketchbook with the ideation of stop motion avenues and possibilities. I wrote down, supplemented by previous and current research,several types of stop motion techniques, processes and mediums. My initial direction was related to the use of a chalkboard/blackboard and some chalk,leaning it against a surface such as a chair or wall, using chalk to create the required letter.
The way I was going to achieve the stop motion effect with the letter and chalkboard combo was thus; I would measure out segments, each insets of 12 ‘frames’. I would then advance the lines to another segment, talking a picture, and then progressing on. Once I had advanced the lines a decent amount, I would erase by rubbing and/or using a wet cloth to wipe off the undesired marks/chalk.
The letter I was given, ‘Z’, was created using this method.I measured out several sections, broke them up into segments and then advanced the lines across the board, erasing and taking pictures as needed. To ensure stability, I mounted the camera on a tripod and placed the chalkboard on an easel/drawing board. I used some paper and a pencil to record the frame rate and images taken, using tallies and totals to ensure consistency.
After review from teachers, I gathered information on how to improve my stop motion animation. Several of the suggestions were related to font, character/s, lighting, colour and sound, as well as frame rate. Regarding lighting, the images were taken in daylight, light fluctuating through blinds.This created visual disturbances and stuttering, lowering the quality of the animation.
I then went back to ideation, informed by these suggestions and various new directions. The inclusion of a character, such as a zebra,and/or other elements relating to the letter ‘Z’ were suggested. In order to include elements that related more to the letter in question, I created several sketches and did some exploration in terms of font and shapes. I came up with amore organic font, more efficient when it comes to managing the frame rate/number of pictures required in relation to the timing. To relate the letter to an example of a word starting with Z, such as zebra, I included sketches of black and white stripes. I experimented with this in several ways,of which can be seen in the images below.
After creating more sketches in my sketchbook, I went back to taking images to create the stop motion animation. Feedback also included the mentioning of the background in the images I had taken, and that it was too distracting; the suggestion, therefore, was to zoom in on the chalkboard. Due to the orientation of the chalkboard and distances between the table it was on,and the counter the camera was on, required me to pursue other options. I tried out using a sketchbook, however the bright paper made it difficult for the camera to adjust and focus.
To solve these problems, I pursued another medium. I extracted zig-zags from the letter Z, relating to that were twisting pieces of pasta. To make this new medium work, I used a cutting board placed upon a counter. Atop that board, I placed pieces of pasta, arranging them into a Z with extra lines coming off it to form a zig-zag. To add visual interest and some more motion, I created a zig-zag, on the left hand-side of the shot, that would move from top to bottom and vice versa. To boost the frame rate and smoothness of those frames, double pictures for each ‘frame was taken’, thus doubling the frame rate.

Stop Motion Animation:

Hope and Stop Motion Animation Treatments

Hope Animation Treatment:

Working Title: Hope Animation – Ryan N
Genre: 2D Digital Animation (using Photoshop)
Duration: 90 seconds or less.
TargetAudience: 16-25 year olds (male and female)
Outline – This animation features a nameless main character, a blank template that anyone can project themselves onto. Initially, this character is in a state of peace, represented by the saturated blues surrounding him.However, a vignette effect rushes towards the character, aided by zooming, to transition into the next scene. Here, the character is ‘attacked’ by tendrils of ‘negative energy’, abstractly represented by black and red brush strokes.Afterwards, a series of images flash across the screen, of which represent the struggles and negative emotions experienced by the character after this time of pain. Once that sequence is complete, the character will sit up from an all-fours position, surrounded by static as the camera zooms out.
The next scene will introduce the sphere,an orb of white that flies towards the character, whom raises their head to observe its appearance. It will then zoom past the character, with a scene showing him turning to watch it fly past. Disappointed by this fleeting moment of light, he becomes clearly upset by dropping his shoulders and head in exasperation. Moving forwards, the character finds the sphere again, causing his breathing to quicken in anticipation. From another camera angle, in front of the character, the orb travels towards and around the character before speeding off into the distance. The character turns, tracking and reaching out to the sphere before it leaves.
Another sequence, representing the negative emotions of the character, occurs. This transitions to a scene of the character’s ‘soul’ falling and fading, representing the last bit of hope left disappearing from his life. The next two shots display the character on all-fours once again, in despair while surrounded by darkness, the sky textured with static. A close-up shot of the character is then shown before pulling out,displaying the sphere/orb flying around the character once again before leaving.
The next scene displays a sun rise, the character raising his head while on all-fours as light reaches towards him. The orb flies off the side of the screen, in the direction of the light stretching across the ground. The camera cuts to a long-shot, displaying the character,still on all-fours, as a triangle of light rises up before him with its light stretching towards him. A close-up shot then occurs, with the character’s head and shoulders shown rising up, a background depicting the sun’s light spilling across the sky, changing the colours in a gradient. A long-shot, similar to the one previously, is then shown. Here, the character stands as several more triangles rise in the distance. The screen then fades to white, displaying the credits and end plate.
CharacterBreakdown: The two characters will be a male figure and a bright sphere. The figure is the human in turmoil, while the sphere is an abstract concept or being that provides hope for this person, guiding them along the way to recovery.
VisualElements / Mise en Scene: The visual elements were drawn and ideated within a sketchbook,then re-created in Photoshop. Storyboards were created first, then an animatic(embellish upon?). The lighting, characters and settings within the storyboards and the animatic were created using Photoshop, a Wacom tablet, and a series of tools and custom brushes.
Audio– The audio will be discordant, eerier and unsettling. There will be electronic and nearly sci-fi elements, hinting at the uncertainty and strange, unsettling nature of the subject matter and the journey that the character goes through. Certain sound effects will play to announce the beginning, ends and transitions of certain scenes, with the mood of the audio continuing even into the scenes of positivity; thus showing that even though you believe hope has returned, danger and despair may loom just around the corner, ready to hold you in its clutches once again, highlighting the fickle nature of life and the concept of hope.
Rationale: I have chosen this idea due to the sensitive, yet abstract,subject matter that is prevalent in today’s society. Not only is self-harm on the ever-increasing rise, but hope seems like a foreign concept due to the nature of news journalism and social media. The sensitive aspect of the subject matter, portrayed in an abstracted manner, combined with a message of hope may elicit emotional responses from many. Therefore, it will grab the attention of the viewers, the cause for that may be for good or bad reasons, however that is up to personal interpretation of the subject matter presented.
I have skill and experience in both traditional and digital art (Photoshop and Graphics Tablets), of which will help when storyboarding, conceptualising and creating assets for the animation.However, the actual skill of animation is rather new to me, therefore I will need to learn how to not only use Photoshop as an animation tool, but also the principle and foundations of animation.
Primary and Secondary Research: I have done extensive research into the concept of hope, looking at multiple sources online. Using those sources, I have created notes with references, as well as mood boards, to help aid me when ideating the story for the animation. I have also done research into both storyboarding and animation/film-making, as well as how they relate to one another. Similarly, notes and mood boards were created help with the ideation and development of the animation.
Requirements and resources: The equipment required for this animation would sketchbooks, pencils, colour pencils, computer and peripherals,a graphics tablet and Photoshop. I have access to these and do no require outsourcing for them.
Constraints and Contingency: Problems will most likely been countered regarding the transfer between storyboard, animatic and animation.Not only that, but the actual animating itself. To overcome these challenges,research and experimentation is required, with each situation requiring its own specific approach.
Legal and ethical considerations – I need to ensure that my work is entirely my own, with the audio being either my own or open-source/public domain.
Budget – Potential costs would involve that of a sketchbook, stationary,computer, graphics tablet and a copy of Photoshop, as well as audio software capable of creating music.
Schedule – It will most likely take one to two months to complete the assignment, from research to final animation.


Stop Motion Animation Treatment:

Working Title: Alphabet (Letter Z) Stop Motion Animation –Ryan N
Genre: Stop Motion Animation – Pixilation/Object/Pasta
Duration: 5 seconds
Target Audience: Young teenagers.
Outline – Pasta creates the shape of a Z, with a zig-zag of pasta moving along the left-hand side of the screen.
Character Breakdown – Your main characters: Names, age race gender etc. Include any necessary back-story.
Visual Elements / Mise en Scene: The stop motion animation will be done using pasta lain and manipulated upon a cutting board.
Audio– The sound of pasta being shaken is present,relating to the subject matter.
Rationale – The twisted forms of the pasta relate to zig-zags, of which relates to the letter Z.
Primary and Secondary Research – I have conducted research into Stop Motion and the various forms it takes, as well as the techniques and processes pertaining to those forms and mediums.
Requirements and resources – Pasta, camera, tripod, cutting board, object use to elevate camera, Adobe Premiere, PC, phone to record audio with.
Constraints and Contingency – The lighting will be controlled by taking the images in the evening, with the blinds closed and lights on. The orientation of the camera to the cutting board and pasta will be achieved through the use of an object to elevate the camera. To aid this, a tripod will be used to angle the camera towards the board.
Legal and ethical considerations – N/A
Budget – The costs would include that of the camera, tripod, cutting board,pasta, editing software, PC and peripherals, phone to record audio with.
Schedule – Organising, story boarding, taking the pictures, recording the audio and compiling them in Adobe Premiere will take several hours.

2D Animation, Snow White and Techniques Research

The animation process used in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the use of cel animation. This form of animation makes use of sequential hand drawn frames, usually done on a stack of paper. This allows the animator to flip the pages back and forth, checking the sequence of movements in a way similar to that of a flip book. To aid with this process, of which is time consuming, key frames, storyboards, and final designs are usually established before the main body of animating work is commenced. Once the animation is mostly complete, the drawings will be traced, with ink, onto plastic cells (transparent sheets), painted and then compiled together over the background art to create the final animation.
In regards to the animation techniques used in the creation of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, traditional cel animation was employed. Seeing as this film was the pioneer for this technique and process when it came to feature films, the large scale production was pioneering in the field. Once the story, storyboards and conceptual art had been completed, dialogue is recorded and then the animators set to work creating thousands of drawings, using pencils and traditional flip-book techniques for the sequential nature of the animation. Usually, the more experienced animators will create the main ‘key-frames’, while others will draw the in-between frames to complete the scenes and movements. After the bulk of the animating work was completed, the drawings were handed off to other employees to trace, using ink and transparent sheets of plastic to recreate the drawings. Painting came next, with every single frame (cel sheet) being painted and coloured, with the paint being applied to the back of the sheets to preserve the inked line quality. Once this has been completed, the sheets were compiled over the backgrounds, painted using Tempera or Water Colour onto panels of glass, and photographed in sequence, effectively creating the animation.
During this entire process, the animators and various other members of the studio would test their animations and seek feedback, personally viewing as well as presenting rough animations and sequences to their peers. To accompany the animation, sound effects and musical scores were creating. As they did not have sophisticated music production software back in those days, all of the sounds and music had to be manually created and recorded, allowing them to have a more authentic and real sound quality to them.
Not only did Disney Studios create the first full-length animated feature film, but it was a pioneer in large-scale cel animation, the use of Technicolour and multi-plane camera use.


Backlots. (2012). Disney Production Process and Innovations in Animation Technique in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937). [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Boone, A. (1938). The Making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – Popular Science (Jan, 1938). [online] Modern Mechanix. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Colman, D. (2011). How Walt Disney Cartoons Are Made: 1939 Documentary Gives an Inside Look. [online] Open Culture. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017]. (2017). Walt Disney Animation Studios. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Just Disney. (2017). Walt Disney Studios Animation – Just Disney. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
McQuade, K. (2013). The Many Stages Of Pixar Development As Told By Reddit. [online] The Huffington Post. Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].
Simon, B. (2002). The One That Started It All… The Making Of Snow White – Animated Views. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2017].

Animation Timeline and History Research

-Thaumatrope (1824)
-Phenakistoscope (1831)
-Zoetrope (1834)
-Flip Book (1868)
-Theatre Optique by Charles-Emile Reynaud (1892)
-The Humpty Dumpty Circus (1897)
-Humorous Phases of Funny Faces by J. Stuart Blackton (1906)
-Katsudo Shashin (1907)
-Fantasmagori (1908)
-The Cameraman’s Revenge (1911)
-Gertie the Dinosaur (1914)
-Cel Animation (1914)
-Rotoscoping (1915)
-El Apostle (1917)
-Felix the Cat (1920)
-Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
-Steamboat Willie by Disney Studios (1928)
-Flower and Trees [Technicolour] by Disney Studios (1932)
-Three Little Pigs by Disney Studios (1933)
-Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Disney Studios (1937)
-The Huckleberry Hound Show by Hanna-Barbera (1958) on Colour Television [Introduced in 1951]
-The Flintstones by Hanna-Barbera and Zerography Technique (1960)
-Watership Down using Dolby sound (1978)
-3D animated feature films using CGI [Rock and Rule] and Stereoscopic techniques [Abra Cadabra], Animated TV Series using Stereo Sound (1983)
-The Simpsons [Longest running American animated program] (1987)
-Who Framed Roger Rabbit, first feature film where live-action and cartoon animation, for the entire film, shared screen space (1988)
-Beauty and the Beast is the first animated film to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (1991)
-Toy Story [First entirely CGI animated feature film] (1995)
-Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within [Motion-capture animation] (2001)
-Wizards and Giants [First flash animated film] (2003)
-Cel-shaded animation Appleseed Steamboy (2004)
-Coraline [Stop motion character using rapid prototyping to aid animation] (2009)
-Big Hero 6 (2014)
-Moana (2016)


Anon, (2015). [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Animation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). History of animation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). history of animation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Kingston College School of Art & Design. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). History of Animation Timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Animation Techniques Research

Traditional/Classical/Cel/Hand-Drawn Animation:

Cel Animation Reference
This form of animation makes use of sequential hand drawn frames, usually done on a stack of paper. This allows the animator to flip the pages back and forth, checking the sequence of movements in a way similar to that of a flip book. To aid with this process, of which is time consuming, key frames, storyboards, and final designs are usually established before the main body of animating work is commenced. Once the animation is mostly complete, the drawings will be traced onto plastic cells (transparent sheets), painted and then compiled together over the background to create the final animation.
Adobe Photoshop
Toon Boom
Anime Studio

Vector Animation:

Vector animation entails shapes, created using digital software, being manipulated, rigged and moved. Usually, one would create several ‘assets’ that are interchangeable, layered and with several variations. This allows the animator to move the elements ‘through’ 3D space while using 2D vectors. Commonly, plugins, scripts and rigs are used for for efficiency, allowing the animator to rig a character with bone and join structures, allowing him/her to manipulate the nodes, of which then influence the parent-child relationship of the other, attached, nodes.
Adobe Flash
Adobe After Effects
Anime Studio

Stop Motion:

Usually, stop motion is created through the taking of a series of photographs. Clay, plasticine and wire are common materials for models that are used in stop motion animation, manipulated and moved each time before taking another image. The amount of photos you have per movement influences your frame rate. The sequence of photographs, when played as though they are a slideshow, give the impression of video, motion and animation. Stop motion allows the animator to experience a more tactile and physical form of animation, manually manipulating the clay and creating armatures by packing that clay over wire frames.

CGI/Computer/3D Animation:

3D animation makes use of a series of software packages, allowing users to model, rig and then animate their creations. Once a 3D model has been created, a rig (similar to an armature) can be created and then manipulated. The motions, since you are working inside 3D software, can be manipulated using X,Y and Z axis, allowing you to move the model through space. Once the animation is complete, the models textured, the lighting and physics established, the overall animation is rendered and has post-production effects and edits applied to it.
Autodesk Maya
Autodesk Softimage
Autodesk 3DS Max
Cinema 4D

Abstract Animation:

The main goal of abstract animation is to communicate emotion through the use of motion, colour, light, music, rhythm and composition. Usually, these types of animations lack story, but are instead visual and sound experiences intended for the interpretation of each individual viewer.

Motion Graphics:

Motion graphics, or animated type/font, is used widely in animation, film, TV, video and websites, especially during the title sequences of films. Although this form of animation may seem rather unique and different from the others, it is created in a similar way to vector animation, using software such as Adobe Flash and After Effects.
Adobe After Effects
Cinema 4D

Flip Book:

Flip book animation is similar to traditional animation in the sense that it makes use of a series of sequential drawings on paper, drawn in a way that allows the viewer to flip the sheets back and forth, seeing the illusion of movement as the pages are hidden and revealed. Each page is a frame of animation, the more pages per movement, the higher the frame rate.


For this form of animation, a series of images are drawn on a drum that is then rotated, as it turns in a circular direction the viewer experiences the illusion of movement.
Animation Moodboard:
Animation Moodboard.jpg


Bloop Animation. (2017). The 5 Types of Animation – A Beginner’s Guide. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Abstract animation. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Animation techniques. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Cel. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Celluloid. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Traditional animation. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Virtual cinematography. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). Film Education | Events | Primary animation | Animation techniques. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].
Studies, (2008). Animation Techniques. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017]. (2017). 20 Different Types of Animation Techniques and Styles. [online] Available at:[Accessed 23 Mar. 2017].

Pitch for a Pixar Style Animation

Pitch/Story line: Medieval knights/squires venture forth into a dangerous mountain range, trying to find a sacred song/verse (rap) that will heal their musical king who resides on a beach, having abandoned his usual throne in his sea-side castle because of a sudden illness.

Characters: The characters will be stylised to adhere to the ‘Pixar Style Animation’ part of the brief. A decently sized cast of characters is needed, with the king and 2-4 other main characters. Several stereotypes may be put into use, as well as an underdog. One character, who is shy, would overcome their fear of singing to an audience by completing an act of bravery. That character would then go back and heal the king. (Character is perhaps a relative of the king.)

Locations: Fantastical and stylised vistas, mountains, castles, coastlines and villages are a few possible locations (all CGI/Matte Painting). A strong use of colour and mood is important and should change according to the plot points throughout the movie.

The locations themselves would be heavily fantasy inspired with large mountains, sprawling castles and large open vistas. Each location will have a distinctive colour palette.

Info: A group of stylised 3D characters with relatable personalities that are communicated through dialogue, body types, expressions and actions embark upon a journey to find and learn an ancient song (rap) to help heal their king, who has a mysterious illness. The king is too weak to play his guitar, so he sits slumped on his throne and stares out into the distance with his guitar by his side.

A possibility exists that an antagonist would be revealed, who poisoned the king and tries to stop the group of heroes in the mountains. He/she is perhaps a relative to the king/his heir or a rival king/queen.

Elements of friendship, character development and lessons to be learnt will be woven into the story. To make sure it is child friendly, violence will be kept to a minimum and if there is some, it would be comical. The way conflicts would be resolved is through singing and teaching valuable lessons.

The journey would be akin to the journey Frodo and the fellowship takes in Lord of the Rings; travelling across a large distance and encountering challenges and obstacles along the way. Eventually the characters would accomplish something major, learn an important lesson and get the song/rap as a reward. They would then return to their ill king on his beach throne. The movie ends with either a sunset or sunrise and the group on the beach singing/rapping to their king as he heals in the glowing light. (A sunrise would most likely be used, the group would return early morning/late at night and make their way to the beach. They would sing to their king while he wakes up with the sunlight sweeping up across the beach and towards the king.)

Reasoning: Like the previous pitch, this pitch for an animation is based off of five answers received during a social task. The five answers were GTA V, Breaking Bad, Rapping, Medieval Fantasy and Metal, Punk + Rock.

The main influence for this story line is Medieval Fantasy of which inspired the setting. The elements of illness were influenced by disease, which is a major part of Breaking Bad. For the king, Metal, Punk, Rock, Rapping and Medieval Fantasy was combined to create a music-orientated king who plays the guitar. The rapping also inspired a major plot point of the story: the song the group is trying to learn to heal their ill king.

Where Grand Theft Auto V comes in is in regards to the beach location, something quite prevalent in Los Santos, the main city in GTA V.

The reason that the movie is meant to be in 3D, be child-friendly and teach valuable lessons is because of the style of animation that is supposed to be achieved. Pixar’s animation style isn’t just in regards to the visuals, it also includes the stories, the themes, the characters, their personalities and how they interact.

Demographic/Target Audience: The target audiences for this animation are teens and young adults, so 13-20 year olds. The plot is emotional enough to appeal to older viewers and the content and maturity levels are more directed towards the younger viewers. This, among many other factors, will ensure that many people of different ages will find the film to be entertaining and satisfactory.

Images, Visuals and Music:

Sunrise: Very important part in the final scene/s, creates an interesting colour palette as well as mimics the king waking up. The sun itself might be perceived as his eye, opening as well to see his kingdom again in a new light. As the sunlight stretches across the beach, the king wakes up. Once the sunlight passes his eyes, he opens them.


Mountains: They journey into the mountains while in sunlight. The light becomes darker and more ins and outs of light/shadows occur as they adventure further into the mountains.


They enter the dangerous part of the mountains during sunset.


They complete their tasks during the sunset/night and begin their journey home beneath the stars.


Mountain range can be seen in the distance from the beach, the sunlight hitting it.

Beach, Castle and Throne: The castle is further away from where the king’s throne would be, which is atop a sand dune, perhaps flanked by rocks and tidal pools.The beach throne itself will be made from sand, sea shells and stone/s. The water would transition from turbulent and stormy to calm and relaxed when the group returns back with the song.

The beach would be a long expanse with stylised dunes, rocks and tidal pools flowing and curving into the main castle at the end of a peninsula or outcropping of rock. (Possibly towers dotted along the beach by rocks, outcrops and cliffs.)

Music: Fantasy adventure music will be used for a large portion of the animation, such as this:

Final song will be a rap with a similar mood/feeling to this song:

Extra Notes: During the final song, the king plays his guitar once he wakes up while the rest of the group join in on the song.

Other Induction posts regarding pitches: