Thursday, 10 May 2007

...make a hand-drawn cartoon short

You've all seen Mel and Josh's sterling effort, My Aunt Jane Knows More Than My RE, and hopefully also my Untitled Accoustic Country Blues Song. Maybe you're asking, "But how did they do it?" Elementary, my dear Watson.

There are various programs you can use to help you out with animation - GIMP has a tool called GAP with its free software - but for simplicity and lack of frustration you can't beat the basics. First, hand-draw your frames. Scan them. Put them together into a movie using the editor of your choice. It's that simple.

You can create a sense of movement by drawing the key frames in the sequence of action. For example, if you draw someone with their arm drawn back ready to throw, then immediately post-throw, you'll give a pretty good sensation of the movement that's gone on without having to draw a gazillion pictures. Also check out how Mel and Josh have used the same pictures repetitively to get their character to play the piano and so forth in My Aunt Jane.

Image editing programs will allow you to add "props" and/or colours to your hand-drawn cartoon, should you so desire. And don't forget - if your next picture doesn't vary a lot from your previous one, you don't have to redraw the whole thing. Scan your copy, then take your eraser and change the bits which need changing. I know, it sounds obvious now, but I got a real buzz when I suddenly realised I could do this.

**Newsflash! Vee has found Pencil - a free, open source animation program. She warns that, as with most things open source, it's a bit buggy, but it looks like it might be worth a go! Thanks, Vee!**

More questions? Got expertise you want to share? Leave a comment.

No comments: