Animation: Pictures in Motion

We love cartoons. From the earliest days of animation to the computer animation of today, animation has captivated us all. There is a sense of wonder and amazement about watching our most imaginative characters come to life. Animation is an art form for everyone, the young and old alike.

I wanted to learn how to be an animator was I was a child. I made up characters and put them in stories. When I got to college, I did take a course in traditional animation and I loved it. The only hang up I had was how tedious the process was. In film making, there are 24 frames per second. Divide that by 2 because you will take 2 pictures of each drawing. Out of the 12 drawings, there is a process of ‘in-betweening’. Drawing 1 is the beginning and Drawing 12 is the last of the action. Drawing 6 is the middle drawing. Then in-between 1 and 6 you make drawing 3 and so on. So for a one minute film there will be 720 drawings. Yup. You ever see that movie ”Up”? I realized that my attention span was the equivalent to that dog who says “Squirrel!”. Anyhow, I still love animation but I’ll stick to making storyboards and drawing my characters.

My son asked me if I knew how to do animation. I showed him how to make a flip book. He was inspired by the books he was reading which included a Flip-o-Rama in them. Yes the books are from the “Captain Underpants” series, and yes they are hilarious! He made all kinds of little flip books. Then he asked me if I knew how to do computer animation. Well, that is where I was stumped. I never took a computer animation course but I took this opportunity to explore this topic with my son. He wanted to make animated GIFs using a program called Procreate for the IPad. We have the program but I didn’t know how to make an animated GIF.

So we took to the internet and found all kinds of YouTube videos that demonstrated how to create animation and animated GIF’s in Procreate. After we were done watching, my son looks at me and says “You got this? Because I don’t understand a thing they said”. “Yeah, I got this.”, I said. I may not know how to do computer animation, but I do understand how the Procreate software works. I showed him how to make the GIFs and off he went. Every five minutes he came to show me his newest creation. Watching my son make his doodles come to life is priceless. It makes me happy that not only do I get to share my creativity with my son, but I am able to encourage him to develop his own.

I really enjoyed learning how to create GIF’s with my son. It was a creative bonding experience I’ll cherish. I may not have the time or patience to hand draw an entire feature leangth film, but I do have all the time in the world to spend with my son.

I highly reccommend making a flip book. It is very satisfying! And if you have the Procreate App or know someone who does, try making your own animated GIF. You’ll be laughing for hours!

Artfully yours,