Online Class: Lesson Eight

Special Effects (F/X)!

Here is the fire effect I animated in the demo video!

And here is the really quick wind animation I did… not too shabby for just guessing where it was going!

Often, special effects cycle. Sometimes the cycle is already in progress (and doesn’t end) like in scenes with snow or rain:

The idea here is to have a constant cycle of snow. Just like our walk cycles or bouncing ball cycles, if it can be looped endlessly, it’s a cycle!

Sometimes the cycle needs to start up from nothing, cycle, and then dissipate:
(Click to view larger)
Here is the same special effects animation slowed down:
(Click to view larger)
The trick here is to create the cycle first (and make sure it works). Then animate UP to the cycle and then animate OUT of the cycle.

This is an interesting article about hand-drawn special effects:

With all types of effects, the trick is to know how the element functions in the real world. If you’re animating an explosion… explosions are fast- so you won’t have as many drawings or the elements within each drawing will be further apart than in regular animation.

If you’re animating something more subtle, then the movements are going to be very slow and the elements are going to be closer together.

For the class assignment, you may EITHER animate an effects cycle (like the fire) OR animate an effect straight ahead (like the wind). The number of drawings is up to you. This effect may also be something you need or use in your final project.

As always, this class assignment is due Friday by Noon. If you need more time, please email me to let me know!

For the homework assignment, continue animating your final project. Remember, if you make 35 to 50 drawings this week, you’ll be in good shape for finishing your project by June 4th!

Re-watch the homework video from Lesson Seven, if you want a refresher.