Monday, June 25, 2012

Animating the Cat!

As part of my Pixel Animation Challenge, I animated a cat last week (for @musicalcat/Åsa). It was one of the hardest animations that I have ever done, as it required accurate pixel by pixel dotting over each frame - but I am really happy with the way that the final animation turned out! Here are the finished animations - one with glitter, and one without:

How it was made:
To start off with, I drew a lot of different little pixel outlines of cats in different poses. I sort of knew that I wanted the cat to pounce and play with a toy, and then to somehow return back to its original position (so that the animation would loop neatly). Luckily, Moke (my angel cat) was around to model for me =). 

After I had the basic timeline in my head, and the rough outlines of the cats for most of the frames, I tidied them up so that the outlines were clean. This meant spending a lot of time zoomed in, dotting pixels, then zooming out to check that the images still looked cat-like! 

I found that I needed to draw some extra cats (especially for when the cat gets up after lying down). Once I had the animation running smooth(ish)ly, I compiled a 2-colour .gif file of the outlines to test it out. 

It seemed to work well, although certain sections were a little fast. I then commenced colouring in each frame, shading by dotting little darker pixels... 

I slowed down parts of the animation (by adding more frames) so that it ran more smoothly, and I made sure that each frame was the same length (0.1 seconds). I then added a border, the background and the text (on a separate layer, so that I could have it showing behind the animation, and have it appearing in all frames). I also added some glitter layers over the text (transparent layers with little dots and stars in the foreground), so that I could have one glitter layer showing per frame, and cycle through them in random order. This gives the effect of glitter over the text. 

Finally, I compiled the two final versions of the animation - one with glitter, and one without: 

I really enjoyed the challenge of making this animated cat, and I am happy with the finished product =D. 

~Adrielle =)