Art: Why? Why must life be so hard?

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  1. #1
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    Why? Why must life be so hard?

    Why must I fail at every attempt at masonr- err...animation.

    Alright, so I spent some time on an animation, basic putty thing but...for some odd reason I have trouble grasping basic concepts and actually executing what I want to do.

    I looked at the help thread sticky, but all I find is theories on and about animation and basic concepts of it, and by basic I mean really basic. I can't seem to find anything that shows step by steps and post production.

    My problems are these:

    I understand: 24fps for animation. That means, 24 frames should be accounted for for every second that passes. Riddle me this though, when you animate on 2s, you're basically just copying each frame in a given set of stills, right?

    So, say you made an animation of ball rolling on from one end to the other. Say that takes 1 second, to get from point A to B. But you only have have 12 frames to account for that motion.

    For reference, let's use a ruler (12in). Double the values of everything on that ruler. So that every half inch represents one frame in a 24fps animation set.

    As I said though, we only have 12 frames, so that places a frame on each numerical value represented there. If one wants an animation, one would needs 24 frames though, we only have 12. If I understand the concept of "on 2s, 3s, etc." Then if we double each still, that shoul give us fluid motion?

    How is this different from just setting each clip duration to .084? instead of .042? Or is it the same thing? Also, just so I'm clear, this does render the animation rather...jerky, no?

    Another gripe I have is that I stated earlier.

    How do you animate? really?

    Alright, so you get your light box, your peg bar. You then draw out your keyframes. After that's done, you start the inbetweens. To set this up, you grab the the frame after (the one your working on) and layer at the top. Then grab the latest frame (the one you just did) and put that in the middle, then the frame before that one and put it in the back? Then repeat.

    How do you set the timing though? The fluidity, speed, and motion? I was reading something about dope sheets earlier, but that is for music and lip syncs no?

    I'm having a trouble dealing with this. Right now, the only way I see of dealing with this is, doing it, then when you see it's stroby *ahem* go back and put in more frames between each frame.

    But...how does one make it faster? without making it jaggy? How would you even know where to put it? Because with me, I know what I want to do, the problem is actually executing it. I just end up with everything at the same speed. So when a ball is going up and reaches its highest point, its speed is the same as when it's falling, which is NOT natural.

    I guess my main question is, what technique would one use to properly execute motions and WHEN to implement them? I don't mean the timing definition that we read in illusion of life or preston blair's book, nothing like that. I mean, how do you know when to put it in? I think I remember reading something on this, but alas, I have returned the book to the library.

    checked quickly online, but only find the usual animation theory stuff.

    Thanks for any help, and any comments AT ALL that would be useful for someone who wants to animate but has no experience.

    PS...how long would it take you guys to do a...3 second pencil test? is it just me...or is it...really, really hard?

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  3. #2
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    Ok, the first question was asking about animating on twos.

    When animating on twos, you only have about 12 drawings... UNLESS you need more. Animating on twos works unless you have more complicated or fluid movements. Then you would animate on twos, but add some parts where you animate on ones.

    How do you animate? Buy this book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Animators-Surv.../dp/0571202284

    It is the animation bible. It will answer all of your questions, and is really easy to read.

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    my understanding of using 24 fps but only putting a key frame every other one was so that when you needed the extra frames because the motion was faster or more complex you could use the spare frames in between each key frame to make the motion more fluid. ??? make sense? it is late i might just be chatting rubbish. xxx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay
    is it just me...or is it...really, really hard?
    It's not just you. It is really, really hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bai Fan
    And read it. Carefully. Several times.

    I'm not being sarcastic, I'm perfectly serious. There's a lot to learn, to animate well.

    Dave

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    Hey dude, I'm glad you started animation stuff ! I've seen your other post with your animations : it has allready being said, but try to draw a white paper ! Maybe you could save your videos as .gif instead of .avi, You will loose a bit of colors but it will be so easy to upload them directly in CA !

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post

    Alright, so I spent some time on an animation, basic putty thing but...for some odd reason I have trouble grasping basic concepts and actually executing what I want to do.
    Well, like other guys said, buy the richard williams' book. I have it's a wonderful book You will learn some basic stuff and more !

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    I looked at the help thread sticky, but all I find is theories on and about animation and basic concepts of it, and by basic I mean really basic. I can't seem to find anything that shows step by steps and post production.
    I don't think you will find any step by step animation's exemples ( exept in Williams' book ) Because animation is just .... logic of movement. You know that when a ball is accelerating, there will be more and more space between each ball, it's logic ! In order to animate, you just need to know timing and spacing, the two fundamentals, you also need your eyes, to observe how an object is moving, and your brain, to think ofhow can you animate this! Of course, after that, you need some tips, as squash and stretch, some perspective tips, and other things ! But keep in mind that the most part of the animator's work is observation !


    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    I understand: 24fps for animation. That means, 24 frames should be accounted for for every second that passes. Riddle me this though, when you animate on 2s, you're basically just copying each frame in a given set of stills, right?
    I don't think you need to animate in 24 fps now ! Some animations are in 12 fps and are fluids ! It's all in timing and spacing !




    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    Alright, so you get your light box, your peg bar. You then draw out your keyframes. After that's done, you start the inbetweens - just before, you have to draw the breakdown, it's important ! .

    How do you set the timing though? The fluidity, speed, and motion? I was reading something about dope sheets earlier, but that is for music and lip syncs no?
    Didn't heard about dope sheets ( or maybe not yet ) Once again, I'll say : it's all in timing and spacing ! You really have to understand these 2 concepts, they are fundamentals to animate !

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    I'm having a trouble dealing with this. Right now, the only way I see of dealing with this is, doing it, then when you see it's stroby *ahem* go back and put in more frames between each frame.
    WRONG! By doing that, all you will do is getting your animation longer and slower ( yeah man, the more you create inbetweens, the more your animation will be slow, and the more you're creating distances between 2 objetcts, the more it will look fast ! All in timing and spacing !

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    I just end up with everything at the same speed. So when a ball is going up and reaches its highest point, its speed is the same as when it's falling, which is NOT natural.
    Yeah, so you have to vary the spacing of your object in each frames ! Just do some tests by yourself !

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    I guess my main question is, what technique would one use to properly execute motions and WHEN to implement them? I don't mean the timing definition that we read in illusion of life or preston blair's book, nothing like that. I mean, how do you know when to put it in?
    I think you are just forgetting about spacing ! Timing and spacing are working together, if you forget spacing, your animation will have no sense ! When to put it in ? Just have to observe the world around you, how movement is constituted, And when you will understand that, you will be able tu put it in when you want !

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    PS...how long would it take you guys to do a...3 second pencil test? is it just me...or is it...really, really hard?
    It's not you, it's really hard !

    I think i've said all i wanna say, Now, you have to work hard dude ! And go animate a bit, because the more you're asking question, and the less you're working

    Wow, the biggest post I ever wrote !!

    Oh and Bai fan, Can you explain me the ones and twos ( in my sketchbook, or in a pm, or here too, if metalclay need it ) because I've read it several times, and I still didn't understand it ( I've bought the english version of the animator's survival kit, because it was a lot cheaper than the french version ( about 60$ the french one !!) It will be so helpfull !

    Oh, just one more thing, if you don't want to waste some times always scan drawings, , and use this time to work, You can downlaod the trial version of tvpaint animation ! It's a great software which reproduce very well traditionnal tools of animation ! just google it ! And if you have any question about how to use the software, just pm me, ok !

    Last edited by kikindaface; December 17th, 2008 at 05:28 AM.

    contact: kikindaface.art at gmail.com

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  7. #6
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    Thanks for the comments.

    I'll place an order on the book as soon as I can.

    Guess the general consensus is that it is hard Will be experimenting more. I use that yellow paper because it's the only thing I have in abundance in my house: legal pads.

    It's just that it's sooo expensive to animate traditionally, I think I spent a month cutting up legal paper into 3x2 inch rectangles just for a couple of frames. Hopefully buying in bulk will help.

    About the whole space an timing. I know that's what it's all about, but...when animating, how do you keep track of that? how do you know what you're drawing is what's going to come out in the end? Hopefully the book can explain.

    WRONG! By doing that, all you will do is getting your animation longer and slower ( yeah man, the more you create inbetweens, the more your animation will be slow, and the more you're creating distances between 2 objetcts, the more it will look fast ! All in timing and spacing !
    Yeah, that's what I worry about, if I just go in, and add more frames, it'll just be slowing, but I think I now know what to do. Which is just take out frames or add frames from where I need.

    Which echoes what Stephen Mason said, they're just spare frames just in case. Since most broadcasts have a limit of 24 fps, going at that rate would be ridiculous, because if you wanted more complex motions you wouldn't be able to.

    If you do 12fps though, or just somewhere in the high teens, you have a refresh rate that makes sense to the human eye, but also have the possibility to go beyond and make it even more interesting. Right? lol...animation 101.

    I was also looking into Toon Boom. I know this new animation, Geronimo Stilton will be using it, and that looks absolutely gorgeous. I also think multiple animation companies use it, I'm sure there's a list to be found on google. I will try tvpaint and see how that goes, but...right now I'm just messing around with pencil tests first. Hopefully post production on these apps are easier than on Premiere.

    Heh, animations is still fun, even if it's HARD. Seeing something come to life that you made is sooo wickedly awesome.

    thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    For reference, let's use a ruler (12in). Double the values of everything on that ruler. So that every half inch represents one frame in a 24fps animation set.

    As I said though, we only have 12 frames, so that places a frame on each numerical value represented there. If one wants an animation, one would needs 24 frames though, we only have 12. If I understand the concept of "on 2s, 3s, etc." Then if we double each still, that shoul give us fluid motion?

    How is this different from just setting each clip duration to .084? instead of .042? Or is it the same thing? Also, just so I'm clear, this does render the animation rather...jerky, no?
    Just output your animations in a 12 fps movie. You won't need to animate on 1s, unless you work at Ghibli...

    12 fps should be sufficient for ANYTHING that you do.

    I think you're overthinking the math of animation! You need to grasp that the number of frames per second is not the issue, but the fact that your movement might take more than a second. A second simply a measure and your motion might take 2.55 seconds... The invariable is your frame rate.

    Alright, so you get your light box, your peg bar. You then draw out your keyframes. After that's done, you start the inbetweens. To set this up, you grab the the frame after (the one your working on) and layer at the top. Then grab the latest frame (the one you just did) and put that in the middle, then the frame before that one and put it in the back? Then repeat.
    You're missing a step. Normally, we draw a dope sheet (and no it's not just for lipsynch, music, etc.) of our timming so we know where our inbetween stands, the timming, tempo and number of inbetweens. An inbetween is rarely smack in the middle of your two keys. Read the animator's survival guide for more thorough explanation on that.

    PS...how long would it take you guys to do a...3 second pencil test? is it just me...or is it...really, really hard?
    3 seconds pencil test took me roughly 2 days when in school, shooting time included.

    Animation is not that hard, you just need to practice, practice, practice, practice, practice.

    I heard some people use flash to practice their traditional animation as a cheaper alternative than paper. I haven't tried it (Flash was a pain in the butt when I tried that a few years ago) but FYI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by egerie View Post
    The invariable is your frame rate.
    I don't know why, but that just clicked

    I will also take the advice on animating on 2s, at least until the basics are down. I was also thinking of doing this on flash, or at least in photoshop, but...I want to know the old masters ways. Not as cheap, but going to see if I get a paper cutter and cut them in fours, that way I quadruple my money, sacrifice time, but...equivalent exchange, no?

    Thanks everyone!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Metalclay View Post
    I don't know why, but that just clicked
    Yay!

    If you choose to animate in photoshop (and/or ImageReady), let me know. I might put together a small tutorial for the forum here if there's interest.

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    There is interest

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    dont let yourself be frustrated! i was planning on studying animation (now my plans look different but not because of the subject matter but just because i wanna study a bit more generelaized and not be to specialized directly at the beginning! i want to have open doors in different directions! painting and 3dmodeling as well) anyway, i took this 2 weeks introduction course at a university in Ireland (traveled there all the way to check out the prom and take this course) and we only did like 3-4 exercises spanning over 2 weeks with 7 hours of work every day. so understanding basic principles is veryvery key and yet so time consuming, its like learning to drive a car i guess, the idea behind it is simple and the traffic rules are more or less easy to understand but really putting it to use needs time just to get used to it you know? keep at it and you will definatly see improvement! it just takes time

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    Katzenminze: mm, was googling around and read just about the same thing on a lot of forums. What was suggested is just getting a good book on animation, and just start animating.

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