Friday, 7 November 2014

Beginning the Zoatrope animation

     I receved the brief for this term's animation topic whiich was to create a Zoatrope. Because this project's endpoint is at the end of the year I thought I'd try something festive for the zoatrope which was also a suggestion by Meg, the animation lecturer; a zoatrope being a 24-frame looping animation on a single reel of paper that comes alive when the reel is spun and viewed under a strobe effect..

    Talking with Meg on what to do after coming up with some ideas I feel settled on a looping animation of a child pulling a fake beard off of santa. My other ideas were Santa being hit in the face by a bird falling off the sleigh and then falling back in, a simple animation of a clock and a fireplace (not fun at all to develo pwhen I thought about it) and an animation of a guy playing peek-a-boo with a child and quite literally vanishing.

    A common thing amongst my ideas that Meg warned me about was making my details too small - her chief concern with the animation of Santa getting a bird in the face - which may not show up well during the looping. One thing I decided would help and something Meg agreed with was making the movements more visaul and exaggerated. With my solidified idea I considered having Santa flail his arms and the child leaning very far back. One early idea being he would fall off and another child land in his place but I then settled for him simply tryign again after snapping the beard back.

    When I experimented with facial expressions for the child the second one I tried (the smiling face underneath the chubby-cheeked face) was said to be a bit creepy by other students due to the large eyes. I'm not sure what made me think of doing so but the expression on the child In the test image in the bottom-left corner of the above-right image makes the boy look positively malicious, and neither does Santa look very pleased. After this my next steps included experimenting with Santa's body and examining which would be my key frames which I looked at in the bottom-right corner of the above-right image. I also noted down the dimensions for each zoatrope frame (7.2mm horizontal, 10mm vertical), which for experimentation purposes I have discovered I can easily make roughly double-sized versions of by folding a sheet of animation paper in two places so that the vertical sides meet each other in the middle, using the top-centre punchmark on a standard sheet as a guide.

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