Animation: Most Popular Articles
Want to try before you buy, or looking for something simple but functional with no strings attached? Here's a list of various animation software packages available for download. Some are entirely free, some are shareware, some are free with limited functions (with more available after paying), and some are free trials that either expire after time or come with certain critical options disabled.
As a 3D modeling program, Google SketchUp successfully unites principles of line drawing with 3D for a bare-bones program that lets you produce surprisingly complex 3D artwork.
If you're publishing for the web, you'll need to be able to insert your SWF file into your website, right? Here's a quick guide that will help you figure out how.
3D bump maps are used to create raised texture surfaces on 3D models - but they actually start off as flat 2D images.
: "Persistence of Vision" refers to the phenomenon where the retina retains an image for a brief split-second
You may be more familiar with cutout animation than you think, especially if you're a fan of a certain raunchy animated show on Comedy Central.
If you're less of a digital animator and lean more towards the traditional, you've probably got a studio as cluttered as mine--and there are some supplies that you just can't live without.
There are 8-frame walk cycles, 10-frame motion studies...but how many frames actually make up one second of animation?
The walk cycle is one of the most important animation techniques to master, but you can simplify it a bit in Flash even when drawing each individual frame, whether in whole or in part. This basic stick-figure walk-cycle demonstrates the basic ideas and discusses key concepts of figures in motion.
Find links to the music and sound effects that you need for your animations - royalty-free and free for download.
While animation is a complex art that can require years of schooling to perfect, for the hobbyist - and even for some self-taught professionals - it’s surprisingly easy to get started from the comfort of your own home and begin producing animations from scratch with just a little studying, hard work, and practice.
Not a week goes by when someone doesn't ask how much money an animator makes. What kind of salary should an animator expect?
Frame-by-frame animation can be difficult when you're working on one frame at a time with no reference for the previous or next frames. Flash has a solution for this dilemma--known as onion-skinning, an option that you can turn on that shows a range of frames both before and after your current frame.
The stop command is most likely the most basic of all of Flash's ActionScript commands, and the most essential. It's also a good place to get started with familiarizing yourself with the concepts of working with ActionScripting.
I'm not about to throw my towel in the ring over the fight between which is better, Japanese or American animation...but nonetheless, let's take a look at a comparison between the two and what makes them so markedly different.
You can import a series of numbered images to Flash and have the program automatically distribute them in sequential order across keyframes.
Animation isn't just a career; many things learned throughout your career as an animator can provide valuable life lessons, as well.
Layers can be confusing for some people, especially when they're used to painting or drawing on a flat surface.
Before Flash CS4 there were motion tweens and shape tweens - but now CS4 and CS5 introduce classic tweens. What's the difference?
Cels? Who needs cels? Drawn-on-film gets rid of the cels, the paint, and the cameras to take animation to a micro - and very hands-on - level.
Frustrated by the dearth of inexpensive animation solutions compatible with the robust and powerful Macintosh platform? Take a look at this list of five software packages that will let you animate for $250 or far less.
Disney is no doubt one of the most famous names in the animation industry, known for providing entertainment directed to adults and children alike; with theme parks around the world and a world-class animation studio and business franchise, the company nearly dominates the industry.
This will be one of the easiest lessons yet; all we're going to do is add a looping audio background to our Flash character animation to complete it.
In the first Flash lesson , we covered motion tweening as a basic "Point A to Point B" process, moving
Animation Spotlight, spotlighting the best in the world of animation: Hedgehog in the Fog, 1975 by Yuriy Norshteyn.
CAD programs seem like just another type of 3D animation software - but really, what's the difference? Why do CAD programs get their own special classification?
Try out a version of the classic 'Magic 8-Ball' created using Flash ActionScripting.
You may often hear reference to video rendering, render times, render speeds, etc. in the field of computer animation. But what exactly is rendering?
Creating animations for video games is much different from creating animations for movies. The major difference is that a movie is meant simply to be viewed, while the purpose of a video game is to interact. For this reason, animating for video games can be much more difficult than animating for video games; however, this reason is only a broad generalization of the differences between the two genres.
So you want to learn to animate, but may not be the best artist. Do you need to refine your artistic skills before you can dabble in animation?
WidgetCast caters to the world of Web 2.0 and constantly-connected social media by providing a tool that allows you to package your content as micro-applications that can easily be shared anywhere Flash can go.
While the results still don't compare to studio animations built from scratch and driven by hours of hard work, Poser 8 has come a long way from its stiff, plastic origins to provide even non-animators with a way to fully realize their imaginations and see their concepts come to life.
Use simple layers, transparency, and a few basic ActionScripts to make a spotlight follow your mouse cursor to reveal a hidden scene. Page 9.
An animation key frame is a single still image in an animated sequence that occurs at an important point in that sequence.
Here we explore the concept of individual scenes in Flash, and how to create and manipulate them to make options to associate with our buttons.
In this lesson we'll cover how to create a new blank movie file in Flash MX, and the tools and steps involved in making your first simple animation using motion tweening.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Just what is computer
Asking if Flash is better than an animated GIF is rather like asking if a USB thumb drive is better than a floppy disk. Both have their purposes, and both can be useful - even if one is a bit limited and outdated.
We've learned how to play sounds at a certain time in a Flash animation, but what about in response to certain events? This lesson is a basic start on playing sounds on mouseovers and mouseclicks, using buttons to trigger those sounds. Page 6.
In this FAQ response, the essential differences between traditional and computer methods of animation are explained.
Ever tried to make a animation flip book? It's not nearly as complicated as it seems, and can be a good way to practice your animation principles by using unorthodox sequential animations instead of keyframes and in-betweens.
Flash lets you group and ungroup objects so that you can move or transform them as a single unit before ungrouping them to work on them individually.
Ready to dive in and start animating? You may not be as ready as you think. These 5 pre-animation tips will help you define your workflow and direction to make sure you don't flounder on the way.
You've heard of polygons in geometry, but what do they mean in 3d modeling and animation?
If you want to add actual expression and realistic mouth-movements to your animation, it helps to study how the shape of the mouth changes with each sound. These ten basic phoneme shapes can match almost any sound of speech, in varying degrees of expression--and with the in-between frames moving from one to the other, are remarkably accurate.
Creating a detailed, full-color character animation using traditional frame-by-frame methods is a long and at times difficult process, even in Flash. For this lesson we're going to take the first step and rough-sketch our basic motion for a simple action, using block shapes representing a character we wish to animate.
Flash has many useful applications; from character animation to programming, it offers a dynamic platform for a multitude of uses. What's your favorite use for Flash?
Whether you draw your 2D animations traditionally or digitally, there are some skills essential to both incarnations of the craft. One is the ability to draw simple but effective animation characters with clean, easy lines and basic shapes.
A flip book is a book of pages in which sequences of an animation are drawn, on at a time, on each page.
Another way to control your Flash motion tweens is through an option called Easing.
One of the most important building blocks in ActionScript 3.0 is the variable.
Computer animation can be be fun, but it can also be quite costly. But it's not always necessary to spend that kind of money; for the curious, the studious, or even the aspiring professional, there are much more cost-effecitve ways to get your feet wet. If you know where to look and how to shop, it's not that hard to compete with the big boys without spending the big bucks.
: "Tween" is actually short for "in-between", and refers to the creation of successive frames of animation
You can simulate a camera zoom effect in Flash using tweens. Page 2.
In this tutorial, we'll take a look at parts of the 3D Studio Max version 4.26 environment and help you to get more familiar with the tool panels.
Rather than working with simple shapes and reusable objects, let's work with the techniques used in cinematic animation: hand-drawing each frame using keyframing and in-betweening techniques to describe progressive motion.
This lesson touches upon a small but essential piece of knowledge for working in Flash: exporting as a movie instead of a Flash SWF file. Page 2.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >With Flash quickly
While working for yourself can be extremely rewarding and quite convenient, you should always be aware of the added responsibility and obligation implied, and of any hardships that you might encounter and will need to plan for. The points that I'll cover here are things that I've learned from my own experiences as a freelance artist, animator, designer, and writer; I hope that they'll help you as well.
: The creation of moving pictures in a two-dimensional environment, such as through "traditional" cel
Anyone can seek out a career in computer animation, regardless of any measure of artistic talent; all that you need is to know what you want, and to be willing to put in the necessary effort to achieve it. This article gives a basic set of guidelines on where to start, and a little advice on how to pursue your chosen field.
: What Is Sand Animation? Most people think of animation as either paint on cels, or pixels on a screen
Never written a resume for an animation career? Here's a few tips to help you out today to land your next job.
Some things are fairly self-explanatory, and silhouette animation is one of them - though the classical definition of it may not be what you think.
If you've been working in Flash for any period of time, by now you've probably realized that mouse-drawing anything beyond a basic pre-defined shape can be pretty time-consuming, and pretty difficult, if not downright impossible (and maddening). I'd recommend getting a graphics tablet.
Read a quick tip on the differences between = and == operators in Flash ActionScripting. Page 3.
While the animation in Robots is visually stunning and a wonderful example of what attention to detail can do, I think that this film can teach animators a much more important lesson: what not to do when creating an animated film/story. That, my friends, is what we will be discussing today.
In case you missed when it was covered in Lesson 5, here's a quick tip on how to use the trace bitmap function in Flash to turn bitmap art into vector images.
Before you start animating, it's a good idea to draw up a character sheet/character breakdown of the subject of your animation, both for reference and to familiarize you with drawing different views. Let's take a look at the basics for a character sheet.
An animation stand is essential to filming animations, but it isn't as complicated as it might sound.
Having a nervous breakdown over your breakdowns? Don't; they're just simple in-betweens that hold a pivotal position in your animation sequence.
Using a storyboard will help you organize your animation, and match you mental visualizations of scenes with the written script. If you use a storyboard you'll find that you'll be able to plan your animations more cohesively with clear marker points to show progress, and you'll save yourself a lot of time and trouble when struggling to make the entire thing come together from beginning to end.
Using the Brush tool, you can paint in freeform in Flash, fine-tuning the way your fills are applied using various options. Page 2.
: "Vector animation" is a term used to refer to animation whose art or motion is controlled by vectors
With this lesson, we'll pick up at the end of where we left off in Lesson 1, with a lesson on shape tweening in Flash MX. Shape tweening can take two different shapes at keyframes set any number of frames apart, and mathematically calculate the frames in between to produce a smooth animation depicting the transformation between one and the other. Page 2.
Flash symbol types can, at times, be a little confusing.
Snapping in vector drawings has its uses, but when it's just making life harder for you, it's time to turn it off.
You've probably seen some pretty cool 2D animations that use style tricks a little different from the standard side-scrolling, black-lined textbook animation. There are tons of ways to make your animation stand out using unique tricks and experiments; here are a few pointers you can try.
It's almost impossible to draw a perfectly balanced character in symmetrical perspective without a few guidelines, let alone animate them accurately. The most basic of guidelines are called structural lines and center lines.
In animation, a timeline refers to the breakdown of frames sequenced over time.
Ever wondered how they make those Flash ads that can be dynamically positioned anywhere on the screen, but that have a transparent background? In just four steps, I'll show you how. Page 4.
Flash movies are improving in quality, but with greater quality comes larger file sizes.
In ActionScripting, an array is an object that lists various items/objects, from numbers to variables to values.
For those with a more artistic and less technical bent, learning computer animation can seem a daunting task involving complex programming and impossible technical requirements. But is it really necessary to learn computer programming to learn computer animation?
Why is it important to have a blog, and which blog is best for me? Let's figure it out!
Looking for somewhere to display your animations? Why not submit to the animation showcase?
A cel is the transparent sheet of plastic upon which final animation artwork is transferred in order to be painted in and then laid over a background and filmed.
Let's pick up on the last lesson to add a bouncing sound effect to our squash and stretch animation, using Flash audio to bring more life and depth to the animation.
It's possible to switch the order of Flash timeline frames without manually moving them
Cylekx 2.9 is bland, unimpressive addition to the line-up of second-tier graphics and animation programs.
: The creation of moving pictures in a three-dimensional digital environment. This is done by sequencing
2.5D animation? Is that a half-finished 3D animation? Not quite. 2.5D animation is a way to make 2D jump off the page into 3D space.
Trying to figure out how to get into animation school? Just like any other college, there are a few requirements - and while some are the same, others are wildly different.
: "Squash and stretch" refers to an animation technique used to depict exaggerated animated motion. The
Flash proves that you don't need a 3D program or even a complex 2D program to create easy two-dimensional shapes with the appearance of three-dimensional depth. Page 2.
One great thing about the newest versions of Flash is that many effects that previously had to be constructed manually are now automatic features - including text drop shadows. Page 2.
Limited animation isn't quite what it sounds like. It doesn't suffer from limitations or deficiencies, but instead refers to techniques used to limit the amount of work involved in producing a full-length animation.
3D animations often show amazingly detailed hair and clothing. But are they modeled individually? Do animators create each strand of hair, and design entire outfits that can be added to characters like paper dolls?
For an animator, the demo reel is like that final exam in your senior year, complete with all of the extra work, stresses, and last-minute panics. And like the final exam, it can mean success or failure--not only in your education, but in your career. You've probably worked on a variety of projects during animation school, some fun, some not. But do you need to include every last one of those projects in your demo reel?
DigiCel Flipbook is an animation software package that creates an animation studio, complete with tools, on your desktop.
Considering how expensive animation software can be and the difficulty of returning software to many retailers, picking the wrong animation software for your needs can be a costly mistake. What questions should you ask yourself when selecting an animation software package?
We see animated GIFs all the time (no, really, even with Flash and PNGs, we do). But what are they, exactly?
While Adobe Flash gets a lot of coverage as a major 2D animation and rich content production package, is it the only 2D animation software package out there?
While Flash SWFs are considered one of the more advanced methods for publishing animated and streaming content to the web, there are times when using an animated GIF for smaller, shorter animations would be more to your advantage.
Use the Flash projector to make your files available to those without the Flash plugin.
It's time to take a bit of a leap in your Flash education by learning how to control movie clip timelines from within the main timeline. To do this we're going to use buttons to tell Flash when to play individual movie clip animations.
: The term "animated graphics" can cover many things, from flash SWFs to animated GIFS to banner ads.
As an animation program, CrazyTalk Animator doesn't quite fit the mold of typical frame-based animation software -- but it does make it extremely easy and extremely entertaining to apply animation principles to photographs and illustrated content.
It's time to combine the buttons and scenes created in Lessons 9 and 10, using ActionScripting to tell Flash how to behave when our buttons are clicked.
Many people don't ever notice the "Lock Fill" button, or even understand what it does until they run
Learn how to turn on and off 3D in After Effects and how it changes your project.
Three-dimensional models can possess amazing levels of detail; not only in sculpted shapes, but also in texture. In truth, what you're looking at isn't clever modeling, but an illusion of texturing.
Animation Express, a two-disc compilation of animations selected and presented by the National Film Board of Canada, offers a vivid and diverse tapestry of Canadian artistry, humor, sentiment, history, even nationalism.
Rotoscoping is an animation technique in which live action video is traced to create animation that mimics the live action.
It's hard to review a software package that you can't even run. While often program problems are a result of user errors, in this case I'd have to say to stay away.
Toon Boom Animate is yet another installation in a growing line of award-winning animation packages.
While there is, in fact, a great deal of work involved in realistic computer animation, there's less magic, mystery, and painstaking effort than you might think. Those unreal motions are, in fact, all too real, and are accomplished through the use of motion-capture technology. Many movies and video games make use of this technology to animate their digital models.
Based out of Emeryville, CA, Pixar is an award-winning animation studio famous for its computer-animated film shorts and for the feature films that it produces in conjunction with Disney, who splits costs of production and distribution by covering all distribution issues while Pixar handles production.
Beneton Movie GIF is a fairly useful GIF animation / editing / sequencing program that may not be particularly special, but at least it serves its intended purpose flawlessly.
Time to add a little color to our plain world of black and white, and start painting in shades in a process that would normally be done using cels in standard traditional animation. Flash shaves hours of work off of the process.
The third part of our first lesson in 3D Studio Max's tools covers the panel of primary tools taking up the right-hand side of the interface. These are the main tools that you will use to create, modify, and control your objects.
The Swap Symbol function is just like Flash's Swap Bitmap function, but instead lets you switch any symbol on your stage out with any symbol in your library.
Ulead GIF Animator is a nicely packaged little program that would be extremely useful for the hobbyist or casual animator.
flash instances, symbols, copies, manipulating instances, changing instances, symbol timelines, flash movie clip, flash graphic, flash symbol, flash button, flash library
Learn about an important element of character design, the silhouette!
Now, to make the button transparent, you're going to adjust the alpha. Select both the line and the fill,
Shape Hints make it easier for Flash to interpret how it's supposed to morph one complex shape into another in a shape tween. Page 2.
The frame rate is the measure of the number of frames displayed sequentially per second of animation in order to create the illusion of motion. The higher the frame rate, the smoother the motion, because there are more frames per second to display the transition from point A to point B.
Learn how to hide and unhide Flash movie clips with the click of a button and a very easy three-line actionscript, using _visible and the logical NOT operator (!) to alter the visibility state. Page 2.
While Anime Studio 5 definitely isn't a program that you can dive in and start using without at least a passing knowledge of the fundamentals of animation, it still provides a rich, full-featured animation experience that simplifies the process and allows you to produce high quality animations for less effort.
Snapping to objects means that items dragged around on your Flash stage will automatically jump to align with the vertices of the nearest objects.
You can use motion tweens to create the illusion of a panning camera on your Flash stage.
With a work-in-progress, it's always good to be able to stop and check how the overall project is coming along--especially in Flash.
There are a few differences between Flash's eraser tool and your average graphics program's eraser tool. Let's take a look at how the tool works, and the advantages that those differences provide.
Are your animations protected by copyright? Do you know, or have you never thought about protecting your work? Take a look at this article to find out what rights are guaranteed to you by U.S. copyright law, how to obtain proof of those rights, and how to further protect them.
Flash plugin Keyframe Caddy streamlines replacing symbols for lip sync and symbol animation to make your work easier and faster.
When referring to "Flash", sometimes it can be a little unclear what we're referring to, as often it
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" > Adam Elliot was
The first step in starting off your animation is to get your basic motion down. For that you don't need perfect drawings; you can use stick figures, as long as they capture your basic proportions and get your motion down. Grab your light desks and get ready to go.
While I wouldn't really call Stupeflix animation software, it does at least produce animated content in a limited form: usually composites animated as slideshows, lists, and presentations.
Whether it bounces, jiggles, squiggles, wiggles, glitters, or just sits there looking pretty, you can turn it into your own custom Flash mouse cursor to replace the default. Page 3.
You can shrink or enlarge your Flash timeline frames.
Usually when you play back your Flash timeline, it plays once and then stops on the last frame. If you
: "Dope sheet" is the informal/common term for the worksheet used by animation directors to plan the
Animating is about much more than just sequencing frames together to create motion. It's about telling a story - and it takes quite a bit of thought, imagination, and planning to make sure it's a good one.
Animated GIFs are a good way to get soundless animated images on the web without needing any additional plugins or viewers...but why are they so grainy?
It's easy to see why Toon Boom Studio has been the choice of many major animation studios for their 2D animation and 2D special effects needs. With 3D scene planning, advanced drawing modes, automated lip sync mapping, dynamic cameras and effects, and integrated sound scrubbing, it's a complex and richly-featured tool ideal for serious animators; the software is a great advance in the animation field, while maintaining the familiar and comfortable feel of cel animation methods.
If you don't know how to use maps and lighting in your 3D modeling program, you're doing yourself a disservice. If you've perfected your modeling skills yet can't get rid of that plastic look, this just might be why.
The Arrow and Subselection tools let you select and manipulate your shapes in different ways.