The jump from animatic to animation was quite scary. I had a moment where I realised I couldn’t actually draw well enough to make any of the things I’d imagined actually look real! I felt pretty paralysed for a day or so, but then I realised (with a helpful shove from Steve) that it was too late to go back and I might as well get on with it.

First we filmed some LAVS (Live Action Video shoots) where I and some of my classmates acted out all the shots in my film. It was really useful to think about where characters are coming from, what their moods are and how this influences their movement. It wasn’t always easy to direct people to do these things however, I guess that’s why in professional animation outfits they use actors. Still I got some useful footage.

Then I (again with Steve’s help) set up my camera on a stand and linked it to a computer with dragon frame installed. I had a Lightbox directly underneath the camera and I taped each piece of paper to the lightbox and marked out the viewable area in charcoal. Here’s my set up:



I am using soft thin willow charcoal, a putty rubber and watercolour paper, which I’ve cut down to the right size. It’s pretty low tech. First I drew the background and then the character on top, so that as the character moved the background would get rubbed out behind it and have to be redrawn – this gives the whole thing a kind of wavy effect that I really like.

Here is my first shot. I definitely won’t use it in the final film, as I think I will need to practice this sequence a couple more times, but for posterity:


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