Lesson Ten

Special Effects (F/X)!
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.

Ever play Ace Ventura Pet Detective? I did most of the effects!