The School of Motion’s course ‘Animation Bootcamp’ has taught me many important skills I never thought I could learn so quickly. The style of learning really worked for me and encouraged me to think smarter and more creatively. Animation Bootcamp was the next step from the previous course Animation Kickstart and has defiantly proven to be more advanced and independent. For example, In Animation Kickstart we learnt the basic animation techniques and how to develop efficient habits for quicker and cleaner production, but we were restricted in the creativity aspect. Art work and instructions were provided with a rough guide of what to do. Whilst in Animation Bootcamp minimal instructions are given, allowing me to think more about the feel, style and purpose I want to achieve.
As usual the course provided an overview of what to expect moving forward and the main skills we will need to wrap our heads around early on in order to get the most out of the exercises. One of the things made extensively clear was that I will need to understand the graph editor, shortcuts, using guide paths, and the importance of every single frame. One dodgy frame will shine through all of the other perfect frames.
The first task had little to no instructions. I was given the composition with about 50 little shapes and was told to show them what I got. I honestly did not know what to do so I just spent hours and hours animating every piece individually until I came up with a result.
The second exercise was a loop that had to be animated manually in Adobe Animate. Using squash and stretch to exaggerate curves and hills in the path added that cartoon look I was going for. Another great learning moment was doing this task frame by frame in Animate, forcing us to understand the concept of speed control. So when we started using the speed graph and value graph in After Effects we would actually know why we are doing what we are doing.
The big idea of Week 2 was to ask ourselves ‘Why is it moving?’. Thinking about more then just the aesthetically pleasing choice of movement, I was encouraged to think realistically about how specific objects would move in real life. With the use of the speed graph, value graph, alpha masks, and the parenting tool I came up with a good animation that received lots of positive feedback.
Week 3 was the hardest lesson yet and I had to rewatch the lecture a few times to properly understand it. It was all about the speed graph and how to use it to its full potential. The concept we were given was that the yellow paper aeroplane was being attacked by the other planes and was dodging them so slightly. The timing had to be perfect and had to be really thought out before starting any animation.
Ball bouncing: This task allowed me to think realistically which was important in understanding the physics behind movement. During the lecture I learnt all about ball bouncing and how to keep it consistent. Before hearing this lecture I would eyeball how I thought a ball would bounce and how big the gap would be between each bounce. It’s safe to say I will NEVER be doing it that way again. Using the value graph and only key-framing the x-positions of the ball landing on the floor, and then using bezier handles to create the y-positions provides a much cleaner result. In the exercise I got given different circumstances to create a realistic ball bounce. Such as a golf ball on wooden floor, a bowling ball on carpet, and a golf ball on wooden floor but with a few obstacles.
The second exercise in Week 4 was all about overshooting and exaggeration. Using the puppeting tool I animated an advertisement for a pool noodle company. Focusing on overshooting the movements and making them rebound, I was able to create an ad I was happy with.
Week 5 was the best lessons yet. All the skills learnt in the previous lectures were needed for this week. Emphasising on squash and stretch, exaggeration and the puppet tool I was able to create a fun animation I am really proud of. We were told that the ‘players’ had to play with the ball between them and one could score a point. After seeing my classmates work I thought I would think outside the box and give the ‘players’ some personality by not having a designated ‘winner’.
The second lesson in Week 5 was about primary and secondary animation. I’ve seen lots of projects using secondary animation and I am always impressed. So a whole lecture on the different types of secondary animation and when to use it was so great.
The next exercise was really eye opening. I actually had to revisit the exercise from Week 1 and use all the new knowledge I have obtained over the course into a new version. I received really positive feedback from my teaching assistant which was so exciting because sometimes it is hard to see the progression on a day to day basis. A side by side comparison really built my confidence in myself and I’m just excited to keep on going.
Below is my orientation submission for the same assignment for comparison!