Creating a Simple Animation from Scratch

Creating a simple animation is fairly easy. Learning the basics requires only a bit of patience and practice. There are two ways you can create animation on your own, using the flip book method or a GIF image. In either case the fundamental principles of animation must be followed to achieve the best results. Drawing your own animation is the best way to learn what the process involves. It is therefore best to create your first animations via the flip book method to get a better grasp of the entire animation process. However you may use a GIF image to see your animation come to life without the need to manually flip the pages of a book. Whichever method you choose, begin by using simple designs. It is a lot easier to animate, for example, stick figures or less complex objects like a bouncing ball. Most beginner courses on animation start out using the bouncing ball technique because it is easy to draw a ball in motion than it is to draw a person or animal. You can create many effects with your animation once you master the technique of creating motion. You may not be able to create a full length cartoon just yet; however, you will still have fun making images that capture different kinds of movement.



For hand drawn animations

  1. Choose an extremely simple image to create. You will need to be able to duplicate the images perfectly for the number of frames you need. For this example a ball will be used.
  2. Once you have chosen the image, decide on the action of the image. The ball is the perfect object as an animation can be created showing it bouncing or falling, whichever you choose.
  3. Decide how many frames (in this case page) you will need to create motion that will blend seamlessly from frame to frame. The bouncing ball will require no less than four frames; however use six frames to get fluid movement.
  4. The first frame will be used to demonstrate the last part of your action. This means, for the bouncing ball, the last frame will show the ball’s original position before it begins to move.
  5. Draw the ball at different points of the page to signal motion. Start with the last frame (bottom most page) working your way up until you reach the first frame which shows an end to the bouncing. The ball should not bounce directly up and then down, it must bounce in a curved motion. If you want to ensure you are depicting the correct bounce, make an outline of the balls motion on a separate paper creating dotted lines to show the overall movement of the ball. Place the balls at different points along the line and then use that as a guide when creating your frames.
  6. Once you have completed all the drawings simply flip your pages from bottom to top to see your ball or chosen image move.
Simple Animation

For GIF animations

GIF animations will be created in a similar way with the exception that you will not be physically drawing on each frame.

  1. Open the image editor. Click on the File option to create a new image.
  2. Choose the size and resolution of this new file, for now leaves the background white.
  3. Create 6 duplicate layers. Each layer will contain the object that you would like to animate at different points.
  4. Create your object using the paint tool, the pre-set objects (circle square), the pencil tool or the airbrush tool. This may be difficult if you have never used an image editor before. It is, therefore, advisable that you choose a pre-set object to create your first attempt at animation.
  5. Fill all the layers with same object changing it slightly depending on the movements that you are depicting. For a first timer using this method, drawing a ball falling will be easier to do, as you do not have to account for the stretch and squashing that occurs when a ball bounces.
  6. Once all the layers are filled. You may choose the option to playback your animation. You may speed up or slow down your animation by dictating the speed beside each frame. This will be written as (***ms) where the * represents the number.
  7. Once you are done save your image as a gif animation and view it when you like.

Tips and Warnings

When doing hand drawn animations always use a pencil so that you can correct any image flaws. In addition, use fairly thin paper so that you can see the animation below each frame to use as a reference point.

Author Bio : Charlie is a freelance writer and content builder of many sites, and he spends his entire day in creating animations. He also works as part of a technology team helping people to sell ipad for cash to aid the environment that we live in.

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