dimanche, septembre 13, 2009

The creation of an animated scene Part 05

If you are new to this little introduction to the "animation-workflow, the Kennedy way", read:

Part 01
Part 02
Part 03
Part 04

We are still at the first part of the whole footage, JFK fleeing from the beast trough the forest. The beast is finished and I did the frames for JFK's run-loop in the same way. Now its time to perform the actual animation.
All the drawings are coloured, but still not assembled. Therefore it is time to cut out each one and assemble them as layers on a new file. Here is now the moment to build the movement by superposing each layer in a way to obtain a movement:
The picture above shows drawing of frame 1, with frame 2 ready to be adjusted over the first. You will notice that frame#2  has Jack's head missing. Well, I will reuse the one of frame#1. I am not lazier than the next person, but it doesn't make much sense to redraw the head all the time when the actor do not change any facial expression or so. This would only make the whole animation more "fuzzy".
Therefore I copy and paste the head from frame#1 to all the others in that loop. 
The whole loop with all frames visible:

Now all frames will be hidden with the exception of frame#1. This will be saved as "01.png". After this, frame#1 is hidden and frame# visible, which will be saved as "02.png" and so on, until we have a complete sequence of  PNG files.
As I mentioned in my former posts, all objects acting against the background have to be transaprent PNG files. Therefore I load the whole sequence into Asobe Photoshop in order to make the background of each frame transparent. I also take the opportunity to change Jack's hair on each frame a little bit. As I said, reusing the head is a good idea since he will not change facial expression, but his hair of course, will flutter.

They finally are ready to be loaded into Anime Studio, where the movement can be seen.
Anime Studio wants you to create your characters within the program, using the drawing tools and the "bone" feature, a tool that enables you to animate your character with sort of a "skeletton". In the timeline, you can set the keyframes of your movements, by manipulating the bones and Anime-studio will fill the frames in-between. That sounds great and like a huge time- and worksaving. Well, probably, - once you are used to work this way
Honestly, it would take me years to draw in Anime-Studio in a way to obtain the same result as I do when working with real paper. And some things, like moving a head in 3D-way is extremly difficult, if not nearly impossible, as Anime-Studio itself does admit. 
This, and the fact that I don't want to be tied to the computer all day long,  is why I personally prefer to do it my way. 
I have to import each file of the Sequence into Anime-studio and make it visible on the timeline for only one frame, succeeded by the next, frame by frame, hiding the former. A work of high concentration.
I did it with JFK and once all frames where in place, I played the animation.  It was disappointing. The speed was right, but Jack seemed only to walk fast, rather than run. He did not "jump" enough. Fortunately, in Anime-studio I can rearrange the transparent figures, in order to place the drawings where he is supposed to be lift off from the ground, a bit higher.
Now it looked better!
Time to compile the whole animation as an AVI-Movie! After this, I opened the file where I arranged the background elements and imported that Movie into the scene. Now I could watch JFK running trough the wood. Did the same with the beast.


Next step is to control the movement within the scene.

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