How to get started with hand-drawn animation — Part I

A day in the animated life

“Juggling.” № 68 of 100.

First

There are a lot of animated gifs in this post. Please note that some may take a few seconds to load.

  1. 100 Days of Super Short
    Why I began
  2. Output
    What I made
  3. The tools
    What I made them with
  4. Rough Animator
    A focus on the primary animation and drawing app
  5. Recording, editing, and sourcing sound
    Where I obtained royalty-free audio and how I integrated them into animations
  1. Faves
    My favorite animations out of the 100
  2. Inspiration
    Where I got my ideas
  3. Applications & styles
    Examples of great animation out in the wild
  4. What I learned
    General and technical notes
  5. Next up
    Where I’ll go from here

1. Diving in

From April 3 to July 13th of 2018, I participated in the fifth annual 100 day project by doing #100DaysofSuperShort. I wanted to document the process for myself as well as for those who’re curious about exploring hand-drawn animation.

2. 100 Days of Super Short…

In 2016 I leveraged the project to break from creative paralysis. This year, I took it as an opportunity to learn something new.

“Launch.” № 27 of 100. View with sound on Instagram.
A late night.

3. Output

By Friday the 13th of July I had produced about 100 animations.

A selection from the 100 animations produced for the project.
The Queen sets sail. №s 41–45
Animations based on Ithaca.
Animations with audio are marked “Sound on” in the original posts. View with audio accompaniment in Instagram.
“Bankrupt.” № 86 of 100. An example of a politically-themed animation.
“The path.” № 74 of 100. An example that required a walk cycle (as lax a rendering as it is here).
“No.” № 80 of 100. An example with lip-sync without sound.

4. The tools

I drew and animated exclusively on the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil, using an app called Rough Animator. I chose this medium because I didn’t own a pen display, I love drawing with the Pencil, and portability was a bonus.

  1. Animation Desk
  2. Animation Creator HD
  3. Procreate + After Effects
  4. even Photoshop.
My animations archive in Animatic.
Animatic UI.
Rendering the animation.
“Fuuuu.” №4 of 100.

5. Rough Animator

Rough Animator is an app that seems popular with some pros but apparently doesn’t get a lot of press. It’s totally worth the measly $4.99 license fee.

Rough Animator UI.

6. Recording, editing, sourcing sound

For sound recording and editing, I used an open-source tool called Audacity on my Macbook Pro.

Audacity, with SoundFlower integration.
Adobe Premiere Pro for effects and final production.

To be continued

In a few days I’ll share A day in the animated life, Part II. This concluding post will cover:

  1. Faves
    My favorite animations out of the 100
  2. Inspiration
    Where I got my ideas
  3. Applications & styles
    Examples of great animation out in the wild
  4. What I learned
    General and technical notes
  5. Next up
    Where I’ll go from here

In the mean time

You can stay on top of what I’m making by subscribing to my newsletter. It goes out only 2 to 4 times a year and is chock-full of stories, design, art, and eclectic resources.

Always

I look forward to using animation in client and collaborative work. My developing artist’s portfolio is here: coleenbaik.com/art

Independent product designer, artist, advisor. @Twitter & @Wellesley alumna, coleenbaik.com

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