2D Animation

L3-U37-A1Application SoftwareIn this section I will beexplaining the techniques and development of application software capable ofproducing two-dimensional animations. I will be explaining the key features ofeach application software and in what ways they can be used to produce ananimation, I will also be comparing each of the application software referringto their limitations and benefits. Animation can become a very expensive hobbydue to the equipment required to make professional looking work. programs,drawing tablets and computers are all requirements needed for an animator to createan animation.

Some two-dimensional Animation software are completely free touse. As each animator will have some differences in the way they work whetherit be their graphical style or the complexity of their animation it isbeneficial that the animator finds the perfect animation software for themwhich will not only suit their project, but appeal to them as an animator. Adobe Flash Professional (nowknown as Adobe Animate) is used as both an animation program and multimediaauthoring program.

Animate can be used to create and edit vector graphics and animations.Raster graphics, embedding (audio and video), ActionScript scripting and richtext formats are all completely supported within the program. Animate also hasmultiple format options, animations can be published as: WebGL, SVG (scalablevector graphic), HTML5, SWF (Legacy Flash Player) and Adobe Air Formats. (Adobe Animate, 2018)Adobe Animate CC is at the forefront of animation and is a very professionalsoftware that has many features to assist animators allow their ideas andconcepts come to life. Animate is advertised to help in bringing advertisementsand cartoons to life, add action to tutorials and publish animations quickly toan array of platforms.

Animate can be used to create diverse types ofanimations such as advertisements, apps, videos, games, and even full-lengthfilms. Asset designing and even coding can be done within the program. Projectsbeing created in Adobe Animate use the simple frame-by-frame method to createanimations. Animate is constantly getting new features added on a regular basis,here are some of the new features added in the latest updates of the program:Camera and layer depth, also referred to as the camera tool allows the user tomove the screen in multiple ways, this allows users to zoom, rotate and pan,this allows the user to create an illusion of depth within the animation,giving each animation extra immersion and life. Another feature of Animate isthe powerful options within timeline, this makes it much easier for the user toreduce or extend the duration of individual frames, this makes it easy for theuser to make their animation faster or slower whenever they wish. (Adobe, 2018) Overall Adobe Flashis a very professional and productive software that allows users to createanimations with ease. Adobe After Effects, which isalso developed by Adobe, is a well-known visual effects, compositing and motiongraphics application. As its name implies after effects is used during thepost-production of an animation, production of film or television.

Aftereffects can be used to composite or insert additional graphics into videofootage or an image. (Adobe After Effects, 2018) After Effects isused by many professional designers and animators to produce both visualeffects and/or motion graphics which can be used for multiple purposes such asvideos, films, and television. With After Effects users can start from scratchif they desire, or if they want a foundation they can use one of many pre-setswithin the program. After Effects can be used to turn several images into ananimation and even add audio. Much like Adobe Animate, After Effects isconstantly being updated and new features are always being added, here are somefeatures in After Effects: Immersive VR editing, After Effects allows users toadd effects to 360 virtual reality videos and has multiple tools integratedwithin the program to help users do this with ease.

After Effects allows usersto add keyboard shortcuts and associate features are tools with certain keys,this makes it much easier for the user to navigate through the program. (Adobe, 2018) Overall Aftereffects is a great program for editing animations in post-production as it hasa large array of tools and has no limitations on what the user can do, Aftereffects would be extremely helpful when creating the film title, an intro or atransition for your animation. Adobe After Effects is used for making tweaksand refining an animation rather than making the animation itself such as AdobeAnimate; both of these programs work hand in hand and are a perfect combinationof programs to use when creating and finalising an animation. Harmony is an animationsoftware used for film, television, games, etc. The software was created byToon Boom Animation, a Canadian company that specializes in storyboardingsoftware and the production of animation. Toon Boom software has won numerousawards and is in use in over 130 countries worldwide. (Toon Boom Animation, 2017)Harmony is used by many top studios around the world such as Universal, Fox,Ubisoft, DreamWorks, Cartoon Network, and many more notable studios to producefilms, tv shows, games, advertisements and more.

Harmony allows the user towork quickly and efficiently and facilitates for many distinctive styles ofanimation such as cut-out, paperless and many more. Harmony is advertised asthe most powerful software for the production of animation and it is easy tosee so due to the number of big names that use the software and the large listof features the software possesses. Here are some of the most notable uniquefeatures that are within Harmony: Harmony includes a toolset that is used forscene layout and compositing, users are guided when drawing props to ensure theprops meet the perspective of the background this makes background layout mucheasier and quicker for the user. Another feature of Harmony is recolouring;this tool is useful when the user has possibly used the wrong colour: the usercan select the colour they want to change; select the new colour and Harmonywill completely replace the selected section of the character; prop orbackground with a few clicks rather than having to manually recolour thesection they want to change. (What’s New in Harmony 15, n.

d.) Overall I believeHarmony is perfect for creating episodic television projects; producing filmswith large artistic control and even creating two dimensional animations andassets for games professionally. On the contrary, I believe if the user is notworking on a large project then they should use another software/program due tothe insane amount of features Harmony possesses and the large chunk of time itwould require to understand and learn how to use Harmony productively. Pivot, also reffered to asPivot Animator and formally known as Pivot Stickfigure Animator is a completelyfree application which users can create animations using stick figures. Pivothas a very simple user interface making it very easy for users to learn anduse. Pivot only has a few features, this will limit the possibilities of manyanimations but allows inexperienced users to learn how to animate at a slowpace. Pivot uses ‘sticks’ which are a fixed length in order to ensure that thesize of assets and characters remains consistent throughout the span of theanimation.

Pivot is constantly getting new features added, these features arevery simple yet make the users work much easier. On the 2nd ofJanuary 2013 Pivot 4.1 Beta was released which added multiple new features, figureopacity options, keyboard shortcuts, the ability to copy and paste selectedframes, undo and redo and the ability to rotate and scale figures are allexamples of the recently added features. (Pivot Animator, 2018) Due to thesimplicity of the application it is very easy to create animations in pivot,the process of creating an animation is quick and simple, the user mustposition the red and orange handles associated with each of the stick figure’slimbs, save that frame and then repeat this process. (PivotAnimator, n.d.)One of the most helpful features in Pivot is the onion skinning feature whichallows the user to see multiple past frames whilst creating each frame, thiscan help the user to make decisions on how to edit or create each frame basedon the previous frame in the sequence.

Overall, Pivot Animator is an extremelysimple application with limiting features, yet it can act as a stepping stonewhen a user is learning how to animate and is aiming to use more complexapplications in the future. Pivot Animator is also completely free unlike theapplications previously mentioned. Microsoft PowerPoint can alsosurprisingly be used to produce animations and has a few features which allowsusers to create animations within their PowerPoint file.

The artwork of theanimations done it PowerPoint are usually created with the AutoShape feature,these are then edited on each slide to give of the illusion of an animation orthe user can use the custom animation feature. These animations can be sharedby sending the PowerPoint file, no other format will have the ability to showthe animation. Custom Animation refers to a set of effects that can be appliedto shapes or text within PowerPoint, these effects will then animate within theslide-show of the PowerPoint. PowerPoint also has transition effects availablefor use, these are similar to the custom animation feature but only onetransition can be applied to each slide.

Another feature of PowerPoint areEntrance and Exit Effects, these effects can be assigned to objects within thePowerPoint so that the objects enter or exit the slide show with animatedeffects. (PowerPoint animation, n.d.) Animations can becreated easily within PowerPoint, yet it would be a tedious task to create afull project in PowerPoint due to the simplicity of the program, the animationeffects within PowerPoint are a feature of the program in order to make user’sslideshows more eye-catching and interesting when presenting an idea ratherthan producing an animation project. Techniques In this section I will give aclear explanation of the techniques used to produce both traditional anddigital animations, along with the impact they had on the world of animationwith examples of where they are used.Traditional 2D Animation The earliest device which wasknown to create an illusion of moving images and animation was first known as Phenakistoscope, this was a small machine which wasshaped like a drum and cylinder, images were pasted on the inside of the drumand when the drum was rotated and viewed at a certain angle the illusion ofmotion could be perceived.

This device was invented by Joseph Plateau in 1829.Years later, a Zoetrope (first known as a Daedaleum) was invented by a mannamed William Homer, this was essentially an improved version of the Phenakistoscopeas it could allow more than just one person to view the animation at once. Theword Zoetrope means “Wheel of Life” and you can understand their reasoning fornaming this device this. This was extremely revolutionary for the time andinspired many more inventors to create similar devices.   A flipbook uses an assortmentof images which are intended to be flicked through, this gives the illusion ofmovement between the images and produce a physical animation with a small bookrather than a machine or program.

 (History, n.d.) The images of aflipbook can be a drawing or a photograph, but the images must be completely motionlessin order for the flipbook to work correctly. When the pages of the flipbook arebeing flicked through it will appear that the images are moving.

Flipbooks usethe same principle as digital animations as they both use individual frames andsingular images to give of the illusion of movement, this takes place due tothe term persistence of vision. This term refers to the optical illusion ofmultiple images blending together that is perceived by the human eye and mindas motion. The first ever flipbook was patented in 1868 by John Barnes Linnettand was referred to as a Kineograph (the Latin term for ‘moving picture’), thiswas the first ever form of an animation which used an organised sequence ofimage which was designed like a booklet rather than the spinning drum. Thistechnique of animation was experimented with largely from 1875 to 1900, and inthis time many pioneers invented technology incredible for the time.