Brief 2 – GIF Animation

This week’s task involved creating a short, hand-drawn GIF animation showing a character spinning around in a chair. 

Final GIF Animation1.gif
The final turntable GIF animation

The Process

There was not really any theory or initial research needed for this piece, as the brief was a standalone drawing task that was explained to us in the lesson.

To create the GIF, one member of the group held a fixed body position whilst the other group members circled around them, drawing individual ‘frames’ at 16 different points. These drawings could then either be redone later or touched up, with the end goal of converting them to an animated sequence.

In order to simplify my own freehand versions of the drawings, I removed all of the unnecessary clutter from the illustration, keeping only the form and certain objects and items of clothing to identify the model.

GIF- Animation Frames1
Initial GIF Hand-Rendered Frames

Although not especially badly drawn, I felt that the slight changes in proportions between each frame could look a bit odd and unnatural when converted to a GIF. I am quite familiar with the 3D software Blender, and thus to combat the proportions issue, I rigged together a small, basic animation of the camera circling a man in the same position as the original model.

3D Rendered ‘Helper’ Frames

From this animation, I rendered out a 16-frame sequence into single images. I then took these images into Adobe Photoshop, and, using a Wacom Bamboo tablet, began sketching over the top of them, focusing more on the rough outlines and major shapes of the man, rather than the details such as those of the face.

The Final GIF

After taking these final drawn frames and converting them to an image sequence, I arrived at the final GIF seen below.

Final GIF Animation1
The Final GIF Turntable


The feedback that I received from my peers was generally very positive, however it was suggested that I had actually used a technique called ‘Rotoscoping’ to create my final GIF which, although giving a clean final result, was not expected. Despite this I feel that the method was a creative solution to the body proportions issue, and I am really happy with the aesthetic of the piece.

If a similar task was completed in future however, I could use a drawing workflow involving a light box in order to maintain the body proportions of my freehand sketches, while also keep the hand-drawn quality to the final piece.



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