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Traditional Animation in Flash

Part of bringing computer animation into the digital age is learning to apply traditional 2D animation techniques in a computerized environment, with tools to streamline and simplify animation processes.

Animation Spotlight10

Reader Question: What Is Cutout Animation?

Monday May 28, 2012
Ray writes:
"Hey, so, I was wondering, what do you call the kind of animation they do on South Park? It's not like Disney, is it, where they draw all the pages and everything? It looks different, I was wondering what it was because it's kind of cool."
Well, technically everything South Park does is mostly 3D animation at this point, but the style remains consistent with the early days when the show first started - and they used a technique called cutout animation to produce and animate everything, only to later duplicate that style first in digital 2D and then in 2D-rendered 3D.

Reader Question: What Is Silhouette Animation?

Monday May 28, 2012
Izzy asks:
"yo so i saw this spooky totally creeptastic like animation with like black stuff and they were puppets i think but they were flat and it was jsut black and white like the old silent films dude whwat was it it totally gave me nightmares"
I can name a few things that, like, totally give me nightmares too, dude...but silhouette animation isn't one of them. The marionette comparison actually wasn't too far off, considering the old-school methods for animating dark silhouettes against a light backdrop.

New Glossary Entry: Animation Stand

Monday May 28, 2012
You know, it's funny, you never really think about the little things in animation that need explaining - but without those little things, the job couldn't get done. One such little thing that often isn't so little is the animation stand, which is a crucial part of making sure each frame of an animation - whether traditional cel animation or stop-motion animation - gets properly captured on camera. Despite its essential nature, however, animation stands themselves are about as simple as they can possibly get. In fact, it's really not that hard to build your own.

Reader Question: What Is Drawn-on-Film Animation?

Monday May 21, 2012
Jensen asks:
"I was watching this sick, totally trippy old school Norman McLaren thing the other day and I want to know how he does it. Like, can I learn how to do that? It doesn't look like normal animation. It looks weird. It's really simple and stuff, but it just looks kind of scratchy and weird, you know?"
Yes, I know; yes, you can learn; and no, it's not normal animation. Much of McLaren's iconic work was drawn-on-film animation, which takes the cels and cameras right out of the picture to put you directly on the film reel.

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