For People Crazy About 2D Animation!

Acme Punched! is for people crazy about 2D animation. It may be enjoyed by beginners and others, but it is aimed at animators who know already something about the process of animation and the basics of character animation. In large part, it will attempt to provide a deep look into the problem solving that goes on in my head as I work out a scene, often in step-by-step posts that I will sometimes enter in "real time", without knowing in advance what the outcome will be. Mistakes and false starts will not only be included but emphasized, so that the creative process of animation will be portrayed realistically. And, while my own bias is for 2D drawn animation, many of the effects and principles discussed here can apply to CGI 3D animation as well. I hope the blog will prove useful and instructive for all.

-Jim Bradrick

Thursday, March 2, 2017

No. 123, The Empty Wall: Approaching an End to the Storyboard Phase

When the wall was busy. This is before I settled on a more formal 7 x 7 pattern.
For months, my storyboard pinup wall has been covered with storyboard panels--not just one set of 40 or 50 drawings, but waves of them, one after the other. My wall holds about fifty drawings at a time, seven rows of seven panels each. Some sequences took more than two sets of fifty drawings to tell their stories. It has gone on and on, and at times it seemed like there might be no end to it.

The empty wall.
But now it has ended, and my wall looks like this, studded with pushpins that have nothing to support but themselves.

But though I am about at the end of making drawings for my storyboard, it isn't the end of the storyboard work. Now I have scanned all my drawings and imported them into Storyboard Pro to create an animatic for each sequence.  This involves a lot of copying and pasting of layers, of making determinations for the duration of each panel in a scene, and of the addition of camera and layer movement--zooms and pans and rotations. Then there is a scratch track to be built, with dialog and sound effects and even some music to try to approximate what the finished film will feel and sound like.
Screen shot of a scene of my storyboard for Carry On.

And then? I will stitch the seven sequences together as a Quicktime movie and send it out to several friends for them to review. In the meantime, I will start on some actual animation of scenes without dialog.

Actual animation--I can barely believe it!

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