, 21 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Welcome back to our last discussion on animation.

I hope you've already learned a thing or two today, but let's talk about ways to get started with animating.

A quick question before we get started.

How do you want to use animation?
Glad to see we have a group with a good mix of ambition!

I think we'll probably hit the full spectrum of options here, but feel free to jump in with questions!
As I mentioned earlier, I got started animating pretty young because I wanted to see my characters come to life. I started by drawing two images and flopping between them. I used “Ulead PhotoImpact” back in the day.
I think starting with a small project like this is great bc you get started easily and get a “finished product” very quickly. Then that good feeling can keep you going until you learn something harder.

(Start with triumph bc it just gets hard and frustrating)
CW: animated violence

Today, you can use any drawing tool. Draw the first image, save it. Then SAVE AS & change the first image. Do this as many times as you need to.

Here's the only GIF I can find right now that I made this way. Sorry it's kinda morbid.
We’ll talk about tools more tomorrow, but really...you can do this with anything. Pen & paper (take a picture with your phone), Photoshop, GIMP, Microsoft Paint, Crayon, Powerpoint….whatever.

Take pics with your phone if you do it on paper, line them up when you crop them. 👍
Once you have your images, you can use an online GIF maker (If you do a google search, there’s only like a million of them) to animate it. I just checked out ezgif.com/maker which seems fine. Anyone have one they like better?
You can also make GIFs straight in Photoshop using the Timeline (go to Window > Timeline). But however you do it, this is a perfectly valid way to get a quick high off of getting something done!
After your first success, jump up and down and celebrate! You deserve it!

But now you want more. You can do it!

The next thing I would suggest is to learn a new tool or technique. Challenge yourself!
Maybe instead of a 2-3 image GIF, you make a longer GIF (20-30 images with smooth animation). Maybe buy the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite or Anime Studio. You have to decide what’s right for you.

Not sure what next step to take? Message me. I'm nice!

The real trick is to always start small. Learn one thing at a time and succeed and celebrate. Then move onto the next thing.

Here's some examples of my progression.....
These are all Adobe After Effects, btw, and all part of #SciComm #SciArt projects.

I first started with just moving things around and looping that motion.
Then I played with scale. The "bad cells" below get small (they die). ☠

Then I moved on to altering shapes. Notice how the mouths and eyes change shape. That took me way longer than it should have to figure out, and I'd definitely do it differently if I redid this!! 😂
This one was me learning how to animate joints (using inverse kinematics).

This was also a huge lesson in organizing my assets!!!!!
(Assets == all individual pieces needed for an animation)
In this one, I was learning how to use the Pin tool to warp a static asset. I did some stupid stuff in this animation that was so ridiculous, but I learned so much.

And it's such a subtle animation!!!!!
This one was probably the first where I started reusing assets, pre-composing an animation (meaning I can reuse the animation over and over).

I'm way too proud of this one. 😂
And this is the last one I'll show from After Effects, where I started using EFFECTS like blur and wiggle!!

(I feel like I'm the only one impressed by this, tho, bc I remember animating this kind of thing by hand) 😅😅😅
Here's one of the first Character Animator outputs.

I just wanted to create a proof of concept that I could expand on in the program.

(It me when I had my skunk stripe)
My more recent Character Animator projects are nice, too.

Here's DARWIN the Jelly (from the live video).

This is still a work in progress, but will be one of 5 chars used for a series of cute #SciComm pieces (and available to talk about others' science)
And here's my latest in Character Animator.

Babi the Bacteriophage.

Babi isn't one of the 5, but I'm in love with it, so.....it'll get used somehow. 😍

Again, available if anyone wants to collab with Babi for their #SciComm project.
I want you to succeed, too!

I’m happy to brainstorm with you (@gaiusdivifilius), or if you need more help, you (or you and a group of friends) can hire me for private/group #SciArt tutoring, or a workshop for your dept/program.

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