KNOW THE RULES: Traditional Animation

Traditional animation is the practice of drawing a series of images, each one slightly altered, so the images appear to move. This technique was used in some of the most unforgettable films of all time, from “Snow White” to the early “Looney Toons” shorts. There are multiple softwares that allow you to create traditional animation digitally. This is a very time-consuming process that requires patience. Stay calm and you’ll have a good animation in no time!

First, you need a good animation app like FlipAClip or AnimationDesk. Adobe Animate is another great animation program, but you must pay a monthly fee to get it.

Next, draw a picture. This will be the first frame of your animation.

Now add a new frame. Most good animation apps should have a feature called an “onion skin.” This shows you what the last frame looks like, so you can copy it.

Copy the onion skin as best you can, but change the image slightly in the way you would like your animation to move.

Repeat that a few times. The standard number of frames per second is twelve, twenty-four if you’re really ambitious. Hopefully the images should morph together nicely enough to create a good animation.

Want to have a backdrop for your animations? If your app has a feature called “layers” then you’re in luck. Just add a layer, create a backdrop by drawing, and duplicate the frame for as long as you need your backdrop.

Keep it up and you’ll have a great looking animation in no time! Want to share it? You can export it as an MP4 and send it to your friends! Do you want to get it out into the world? Try setting up a YouTube account and posting it there!

Traditional animation is a fun, precise, and time-consuming hobby. But keep a clear head, and soon you may be able to look at a beautiful animation, and have the wonderful feeling when you know it is yours.

By: Brig Larson

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