Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 2 (animation) - Goals and Understandings (discussions)

(I've edited this on Thursday afternoon, just prior to class)

Discussion of 'postings' on blog:
1) Did you set up your own Gmail account for access? Do you still need a Gmail account?
2) I only have seen now 2 updated posting (from Kara and Kim) - I've posted replies.
3) Other postings? Other research? How are you planning to share the information you develop for class?
4) Did you view the 1 hour tutorial/preview of how to use Flash to create a character and movement?
- I want to make sure that everyone has 'viewed' the link and is prepared with a character drawing for scanning.
- We will cover Photoshop either at the end of class - or preferably, next week along with 'importing file types'.

Review of last week:
1) Review the various softwares (applications) we are going to cover in class (February 12th 'blog' - click here)
These include: Flash, Photoshop, AfterEffects, GarageBand, Quicktime, possibly: IMovie and ITunes
2) Skill vs. Concept (or Tools vs. Ideas) / Content vs. Context - list in order going down (on board)  ADD: Form vs. Function AND Frames (times must be met: Superbowl :30sec)
3) We covered some basic tools and created a basic animation (but didn't save it)

Keywords (write these on the board):
  • Inserting a Keyframe / Control Key (point A to point B for movement), Layers, Objects vs. Shapes, (Classic) Tweening (using the 'control' key), (various) Tools - list the tools used: shape, properties (color), transform (scale and/or rotation).
  • "Double Clicking the Object" to edit it.
  • Shift key to a) keep an object proportioned b) Moving an object along an axis up and down or side to side c) selecting multiple objects in a single setting.
  • Undo key (command+Z on Macs, or control+Z on PCs)
  • Pre-Viewing your animation: CTI (current time indicator) and 'scrubbing', 'Return' key to play on Stage, (command+Shift+Return) to play as an .swf file (this is what the viewer will see).  We will 'export' our .fla files into .swf files for viewing (note the difference).

1) Today we are going to pick up where we left off - building a basic animation with keyframes (review vocabulary)
2) Bouncing a ball - (tutorial for 'tweening' - click here)
3) Our animation for today - our inspiration: "A lava lamp background"
Keywords (add to list on board):
fps, browser, .fla and .swf (file types), Quicktime (embedding/looping animations), Consider your audience and 'credibility'.

To have a finalized animation (10 sec) background for use as a 'credits' for animations we create in class.
(we'll add 'text' later - our goal is to have an 'embedable' file in both .swf and .mov formats/file types)
Examples of Day 2: "Lava Lamp" animations - click here

'Playing' is encouraged today:
  • Gradients (adding a highlight to your shape/give it depth or 'form')
  • Layers will give additional 'illusion' of depth (scale and speed) / title these / 'copy and paste'
  • Morphing your object in response to other objects
  • 10 seconds total - work with each other, ask questions
  • test the 'rendering' qualities when viewing in the 'browser' (fps, layers, speed of objects)
(taking a break around 7:15)

NEXT WEEK - Make sure you bring your 'drawing' for scanning (Photoshop) / research animation and animation 'jobs' (go over skills needed for the field AND various degrees and locations).  7 week syllabus: Click here

Friday, February 20, 2009

Final Questions: post your answers online by (4/2/09) - for Open House

Note to Students: In our 'classes' we (eventually) develop 'understanding' in our capacity to 'share' with others.  You are developing this understanding through (formative) labs/exercises and the discussions we are 'sharing' with each other (both in class and online through blogs).  As a 'final' to this class, along with 'uploading' your work to - I am encouraging your 'understanding' (sharing with others) the following response questions.

Final questions, ‘subjective and substantiative 
(A Summative Evaluation – students should post this by last class).
Prepare (and post) your answers in time for the Open House (4/2/09).  There is no such thing as a 'wrong' answer (subjective) as long as you can effectively support (substantiate) it.
  • What is animation? Use: Keyframes / movement in time / 24 vs. 30fps / layers
  • What is content vs. context? – identify using a specific example of each or together.
  • When is Flash used? (or/add) How is it different from Photoshop or After Effects?
  • Identify the following items: timeline, storyboard (what makes these items different?  Hint: Title this, "The process of Planning vs. Execution")
  • Tools (Identify on a handout) these 7 'basic' tools - indicating their function: 
(see animations/handouts/activatingTOOLS.jpg (link will be provided - soon)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The following 'responses' to "What do you know about hardware and software?" Along with: "What are your expectations?" (our '1st' post)

I've never used a Mac before, so all of my knowledge is on PC.  I've played with most of the Adobe Suites programs, but I am most comfortable with Illustrator and Photoshop [along with paint and other Office programs].  Home and school is where I use the Dell PC's.  I only know the basics of hardware: keyboard, mouse, scanner, etc.  The only expectations I have are learning the basics of animation.
I knew from the start, software was CDs and DVDs, however I actually didn't know what hardware was exactly. But now I think I understand, hardware is like the: mouse, printer, the keyboard ect. I really have 4 computers, 1 Windows and 3 Macs. What I expect in this class, is to get a general idea about Flash, PhotoShop and AfterEffects. I just want to know what I'm doing when I do these programs.
i would say i only know the basics of hardware. like i know about the mouse the keyboard, at home i have a desktop Microsoft computer. i can use it pretty well.
As for software, i have used flash, adobe photoshop, after effects and a few others that don't come to mind right now. I'm not that experienced in any of them though.

I would really like to do everything i can to have a job as an animator. I have never wanted to do anything else as a career so i really hope this works out. 
Heather F:
I do not know that much about hardware and software. I know the basics. but thats where a few of my expectations come in. I hope to pick up a few things in hardware and software. I don't have a lot of expectations just to have the basics in animation.
I think that I know everything about hardware and software.
What I expect from this class....

Day 1 (animation) - Introduction, Vocabulary and Links

This is a recap of the notes given in class for day 1

click the title to see a breakdown of the very 1st day of class.
(tentative) Syllabus for entire 7 weeks - Click here 
(or copy/paste:

Parental Consent (agreeing to the format for this class requires your understanding as to the various methods the class will 'post' information on the Internet)
Please read this and let me know if you have any concerns:
Creating a Gmail (email/website/blog access) account:  Click Here (or copy paste:

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Animation Class - Day 1 (assignments)

Respond to the following 2 questions (1 in class / 1 out of class assignment):
Note: Create a 'username' at the front of your reply (eg. AnimAL: I think the future of animation...)

Step 1:  Sign in to your Gmail account (click here to create a Gmail account) and then come back to this page (bookmark it if you can)
 - this will allow for 'comments' to be posted and shared in our next class.

Step 2: Click on the 'respond to this posting' box at the end of this posting and answer the following questions:

Question 1: (In class)
"What do you know about animation, hardware and software (already) AND/OR what are your expectations for this class?"

Question 2: (Out of class/assignment - research)
"What is the direction that YOU see animation going in the future?"  Reflect on current trends if you can't 'predict' the future of animation.  Provide links (copy and paste) if possible.

I am adding the following items to your research potential. Click on the hyperlinks

(as I referenced them in class):


Adobe Flash 10 (CS4 Professional) User Guide – not a tutorial: 


Using 'motion tweens' in Flash:


Animating a character (drawing) in Flash / started in class (trt:1 hour):


Still frame artist / 3-D illustrator / Matte Background Artist (adds depth to your work):  


**Remember to bring a B&W drawing (in your sketchbook) to class. If you want to (or can) Xerox it for a color 'comp'. We'll use Photoshop when everybody has done this assignment (and we have a scanner).

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Portfolio Preparation for a BFA Interest

This class is developed with the intent of shaping understanding (through vocabulary and exercises), formulating portfolio content and encouraging application and acceptance for a 4-year BFA program.  

Scholarship is typically based on a combination of factors: portfolio submission, GPA (7th semester) and Standardized Test Scores allowing for Competitive (top scholarships) and Merit (standard scholarships) for students who have been initially accepted (as graduating seniors who are anticipating graduation).  I would encourage before scholarships are considered students first need to complete an application and application folder (includes Letters of Recommendation and Statements of Purpose).

  • Understanding of various types of Visual Arts degrees and programs available
  • Understanding of application (folder) requirements for acceptance
  • Review lessons (formative evaluations) to improve content and direction
  • Online resources for searching and submitting to a BFA
  • Scholarship opportunities and financial aid (Always file the FAFSA)
  • Conceptual ideas and Skill development for each class/projects by days

I am placing the following link (and applicable login/password) to a previously developed website: Click Here

Animation Class
(Be sure to post your replies and comments following this article)

This is a 'basic' survey course in software , hardware and computer animation vocabulary.  It is preferred that students possess some 'basic' understanding of animation terminology and have 'some' Photoshop to provide personal experience for contribution as a team of learners.  Major content is listed below and feel free to comment on each item listed (as bullet points).

  • In class lessons/examples/labs and exercises (4 projects total)
  • Online and 'Help' tutorials (answering your original ideas/directions)
  • Research and classroom contribution (provide opportunity to formulate a direction)
  • Understanding of various courses of study and potential careers (skills necessary)

We'll cover the following softwares and exercises over the course of the next 7 weeks.

Image editing software for producing layers for animation purposes.

We plan to cover:
  • Resolution, File Size, File Types (.psd/native, .jpg/compressed and .gif/for web)
  • Layers and basic tools for drawing and color addition
  • Scanning / Resolution 
  • Layers / Building depth and allowing for control (manipulation) of objects
Simple animation software along with providing expert tools for website interaction
  • Benefits: Toolbox, 'Tweening', Layers, Exporting (movies and interactive websites)
  • Drawbacks: Complicated aspects for ActionScript (for interaction)
We plan to cover: 
  • Shapes vs. Objects (basic painting tools)
  • Vector files, Bezier Curves (and the pen tool) and Motion Paths
  • Keyframes (inserting keyframes, position, rotation, color and opacity)
  • Motion 'Tweens' (=vid0124 tutorial)
  • Importing to Libraries (various file types)
  • Testing your .swf (Command + Return) and 'fps' (frames per second)
  • Easing in and out
Simple animation software allows for importing of various files (eg. .psd/image file layers, .ill/graphic and logo layers).
  • Benefits: Puppet tool, Direct Insert into software, Style Filters similar to Photoshop
  • Drawbacks: Poor paintbox, Export is only for Quicktime (.mov)
We plan to cover:
  • Layers and file types
  • Puppet Tool
  • Adding sound, music and sound effects using GarageBand
  • Publishing to the web (requires use of YouTube/online email account necessary)
  • May additionally utilize I-Movie for 'downsizing' .mov files for effective broadcast.
Two animations shown in class (using After Effects, Photoshop, and GarageBand):