What is hand-drawn animation? This is what it looks like: here’s a GIF I created during the work shop. For lovers of “Office Space,” which is my favorite movie, the Initech logo will look familiar.
Here is some incredible professional work from Ami. Regardless of your political persuasion, I think you can agree that this animation of a Beto O’Rourke interview is much more effective than a traditional “talking head” video. It is more visually interesting, but the added background imagery also illustrates what O’Rourke is saying, which enhances the content.
So how does this work? For the Initech logo we used four identical pieces of paper that had the logo photocopied on it with faint lines. We used colored pencils or paint to decorate or embellish the logo any way we wanted. We then used a light box setup to photograph the images in succession and a free app called Stop Motion Studios to create the animated GIF.
Here is Ami showing the light box setup. There is a hole cut in the top of the box where you place your cell phone camera. We opened the Stop Motion Studios app on our phones and hit “new movie” and then the camera icon. After centering our phone cameras over the hole, we placed each of our four drawings inside the box within the registration marks (pink tape) one at a time and photographed them (being careful not to move our cell phones).
We then exported our films with the “animated GIF” setting. This light box setup can also be used with action figures like LEGO people or paper cut outs to make stop motion films.
For the Beto video Ami used a technique called rotoscoping, where he broke the video down into individual still shots in Adobe Photoshop and then drew on top of each one (using an iPad and stylus). He then combined his hand-drawn images. This is the same concept used to create the dancing scenes in Disney’s classic “Cinderella” and Richard Linklater’s 2001 film “Waking Life.”
You’ve got to try this. Good luck animating!