Day 27: Some Experiments with Animation

A very rough walk cycleI know I know, I’m supposed to be practicing drawing, not animating.  Today’s sketch it the worst one yet by far.  It’s a super rough walk cycle and all of the figures are brutal because I was focusing on the cycle and positioning of limbs rather than any kind of sensible anatomy or figure proportions.  This is what happens when my one track mind gets one-tracked.  It was after midnight and I hadn’t sketched anything yet and all that I could think of was walk cycles.  Tomorrow I’ll try to actually draw something and get some practice with … well, not sucking at art.  Today was an animation day, which I’m obviously bad at due to the whole sucking at art thing.

Here’s how it went.  I started the day off with a pretty bad headache.  I figured I would see how reading went since I was sick of watching TV.  So I started reading a book on animation and wanted to try out some of the different examples.  The next couple hours were spent looking up video editing and animation apps for my phone so that I wouldn’t have to use the computer.  Then the fun began.  I did the first couple experiments, which were ball drops.  That was already quite entertaining and I was hooked.  So I kept reading until I got to the walk cycles which I just had to try … about 5 different times in different way.  That’s around when I realized I should be in bed and here we are.  So here are my other artistic endeavors for the day, pretty much in the order I did them:

Ball Drop 1
Ball Drop Animation

This was the first experiment I tried.  It just involved moving a coin across a sheet to simulate a ball drop.

Ball Drop 2
Another Ball Drop

Attempt at the ball drop with slightly different timing and spacing.

Squiggle squirming around

This was just my first time playing with the drawing animation app, Animation Express.  I didn’t have any particularly inventive ideas so I just drew a squiggle ad then made it dance around.

Rubber Ducky
Rubber duck swimming along the desk

When I showed my mum the ball drop she asked me how I did it so I showed her the app.  Then she wanted me to do one with the rubber duck.  This was the result.

Walk Cylce 1
First attempt at an animated walk cycle

I just had to try the walk cycle out when I read about it.  Even just with a rudimentary stick figure it was still fun to do.  He kind of looks like he’s shrinking and growing though so I wanted to give it another shot.

Walk cycle 2
Second Walk Cycle Attempt

This was my second try with the walk cycle.  I thought it might look better if he actually walks across the page.  I should have started him at the front of the page though.  I might do another one like that later.

Link takes a walk
Action Figure Walk Cycle

I wanted to try out the walk cycle with the stop motion animation too so I grabbed one of my action figures.  This was around the time my husband was trying to get me to go to bed.  Wait, just one more thing!

Conclusion: animation is a ton of fun even though I am still very bad at it.  I must get much better at drawing so that I can play around with this more.  Of the apps I used, I love the stop motion animation app, which was call iMotion.  It’s free and lets you set constant exposure and focus which helps things look more consistent.  The drawing animation app I used, Animation Express, I was much less impressed with.  I don’t know if it’s just my phone but it seemed very unresponsive and it’s a bit basic.  I had a lot of trouble even getting a stick figure on there and I’m not quite that bad at drawing.  Nonetheless it was still lots of fun.  I’m sure I’ll be playing with these more.  Definitely still need to focus on my drawing though and not neglect my sketches so that I can get better :).


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