Monday, Feb. 3: History of Animation



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Gertie the Dinosaur – (1914) First “cartoon” to be made using keyframe animations. Over 10,000 drawings on paper were made to create this 13 minute film.

Edward Muybridge

Simple thaumatrope – a simple optical illusion working with the principles of Persistence of Vision (is the commonly used term to describe the optical illusion whereby multiple discrete images blend into a single image in the human mind and believed to be the explanation for motion perception in cinema and animated films.)

Flip Books: 

Juan Fontanive

Flip books with secret compartments

Flip book

Contemporary Examples of Artists using Historical Animation Techniques:


Matt Collishaw: this is unbelievable. We exhibited a work by this artist at the gallery I also work at and I was blown away by the amount of detail, technical skill and historical references. Amazing.


Lecture: History of Animation + short videos

In class mini assignment: Create a basic flip-book

Discussion: 12 Basic Principles of Animation + animation vocabulary + Illusion of Life

Homework: Watch these videos:

  1. What is Animate?
  2. Learning the Timeline
  3. Importing from Photoshop or Illustrator

Next week I will do some intro to Animate technical demonstrations as well as we will discuss the parameters of our first project: the Commercial Project. Start thinking about the components of your Commercial Project (logo, web ad, banner)… we will build them in Photoshop/Illustrator.

We are doing great so far!

Homework: 12 Laws of Animation/Motion

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Hello students:

Please read/watch the following:

12 Principles of Animation through Disney

Key terms: slow in and out, arcs, overlap and follow through, squash and stretch, anticipation, exaggeration, staging.

and check out this article and links including Wiki

We will discuss these videos and principles next class  – use your week to observe and take note of how objects move around you!


The Illusion of Life examples

Basic Principles example number 2 animation basics


FIRST CLASS: JAN. 27: Welcome back! Happy new semester.



Above animations from Florian de Looji

Hey students.. Let’s spring into action with animation this semester! 

I’m thrilled to be teaching this course as we work our way through the history of animation, learning how to generate frame-by-frame motion and paths, adding sound to our animations, using grids to design the stage, using the 5 basic questions to guide our design process and applying animation effects to objects.

In this course, we are focusing on using Animate for our animations. We will use Photoshop + Illustrator and import as symbols. We will cover both the conceptual + technical skills and requirements of animations.

Please click here for our syllabus and always refer to this blog for our assignments, video tutorial requirements and due dates.

Things to go over today:

  1. Syllabus
  2. Schedule (see below)
  3. Introductions + special interests
  4. Adobe Tutorials
  5. Homework: 12 Laws of Animation

This is our tentative schedule – but again, absolute deadlines + assignments are always going to be posted here. So check back regularly as I build this site.

WEEK ONE: Syllabus, intro, introductions, online tutorials, blog, HOMEWORK.

WEEK 2: HISTORY, STORYBOARDING, THEORY. Two intro projects: Thaumascope and flip book Homework: online tutorials

WEEK 3: Wireframe, mockup, begin + tutorial videos (Animate)

in class lecture: commercial project

in class lesson + technical demo: intro to Animate + creating effects

WEEK 4, 5, 6: COMMERCIAL PROJECT: logo + web ads + banner

Using Photoshop/Illustrator + Animate.

WEEK 7, 8, 9: ARTISTIC PROJECT: Animate your favorite painting: Make an object come to life, jump, simple things by using the drawing tools + onion skinning in Animate.

WEEK 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15: CHARACTER PROJECT: Character Animation with Action Scripting. Creating and Editing Bones

Walk cycles


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List of Flash/Animate animated television series

Fun videos to watch: 

Frame by frame on gallery wall

11 Paper Place (created on Blender, the open-source 3D animation suite)

Google Doodles


HOMEWORK: See next blog post + bring a good pen and a small post it pad.