Mammoth Memory

Animation – Making successive images - by drawing or by photographing puppets or models in different positions - to create the illusion of movement when the images are shown in sequence

(Pronounced ah-nih-mey-shuhn)

To remember what animation is use the following mnemonic:

Walt Disney's animal creations (animation) were once the most popular moving images in the world.

Walt Disney's animal creations (animation) were once the most popular moving images in the world.

The idea of animation dates back thousands of years. A drawing on the edge of a goblet from Iran dating back to between 3200 and 2100 BC shows five images of an antelope. When spun, it could create the illusion that the antelope is jumping. 

The idea of animation dates back thousands of years. A drawing on the edge of a goblet from Iran dating back to between 3200 and 2100 BC shows an antelope jumping.

Fantasmagorie was created in 1908 by Émile Cohl and is considered one of the first ever hand drawn animated films. It was made up of 700 frames and is almost two minutes long. This animation paved the way for animators such as Walt Disney who advanced the technique of animation far beyond anything anyone could have imagined in Émile Cohl's time. Although Walt Disney studios only produce digital three-dimensional animation these days, Japanese Anime continue to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with traditional "2D" animation. 

Animations is built up of "frames", which refers to each individual drawing which makes up the animation. Most mainstream animated films use 24-25 frames per second, while cartoon television shows sometimes use as few as 12 frames per second. However, even as few as 2 frames can create a fun little drawing, which appears to move.

For this example, we only need two frames. You don't need any fancy equipment to create your own simple animation. All you need is a pen and a strip of paper.

Fold your strip of paper in half and on the bottom half, draw a simple character.

Fold your strip of paper in half and on the bottom half, draw a simple character.

Fold the paper in half and draw the same character over the top, but with a couple of small changes, such as closing the eyes, sticking the tongue out and making the tail wag.

Fold the paper in half and draw the same character over the top, but with a couple of small changes, such as closing the eyes, sticking the tongue out and making the tail wag.

Next, roll the top half of the paper with a pencil, make sure the paper is rolled tight enough so when the pencil is removed, it stays curled. 

Next, roll the top half of the paper with a pencil, make sure the paper is rolled tight enough so when the pencil is removed, it stays curled. 

When you pull the pencil up and down, it should animate your character!

When you pull the pencil up and down, it should animate your character!

There are endless possibilities for you to animate, why not try a few different things.

There are endless possibilities for you to animate, why not try a few different things.

There are endless possibilities for you to animate, why not try a few different things.

There are endless possibilities for you to animate, why not try a few different things.

 

You can even try adding a bit of colour!

You can even try adding a bit of colour!

For a more advanced animation we will show you how to sketch an 8 frame run cycle of a cat. All you need is a flip-book, a pen and a light (light from your phone torch or a lightbox).

Draw your first frame.

Draw your first frame.

Lay the next page down and use your light to shine through both pages. You should see the first frame through the second page. Sketch the next frame over the top of this, moving the cat slightly for the next stage in the run cycle.

Lay the next page down and use your light to shine through both pages. You should see the first frame through the second page. Sketch the next frame over the top of this, moving the cat slightly for the next stage in the run cycle.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

Do this in sequence for the next 6 frames.

All laid over the top of one another the frames look like this.

All laid over the top of one another the frames look like this.

Your final animation should look something like this!

Your final animation should look something like this!

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