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Digital Imaging II
Class 12: Animation


    • Animation
    • Animation Types
    • Assignment 05

Don’t run from class 12



Photoshop is the industry standard for raster image creation and editing. It is capable in many other areas such as motion and video. It is possible to use it as a video editor, create keyed motion, or traditional frame by frame animation. Once completed you may export out video, image sequences, or a GIF.

The Velvet Underground Played at my Highschool:

A large portion of the film to the right was animated through the process called rotoscope. Using video as a backdrop you draw frame by frame to produce a complete animation. This process has been used in such famous sequences as Snow White’s dancing and much of Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings film. In this case we did it in Photoshop.


Although Photoshop is not necessarily the preferred tool for developing an animation its robust layering and brush system make it a viable option for creating simple movements with strong visual aesthetic components.
Animation is the illusion of producing movement in video by manipulating non-moving elements generally to give the imitation of life.

Animation Canon:

Canon is the accepted history or set of standards. In animation there is certain canon that an audience accepts or even expects when viewing it.

At its core animation is simply pose and time. Specific positioning at certain moments through time.

Keyframes (pose):

This is the method of creating animation wherein you first produce positions at the most extremes.

Anticipation, Action, Reaction:

These are generally the best place to start placing your key positions.

This is the motion before the actual “meat” of the desired movement. Usually this is an opposite movement that hints at the direction and strength of the action.
The main movement. Generally the largest most direct and fastest aspect of the motion.
After the action the motion relaxes and settles. Often a bounce, wiggle, or sway depending on the abruptness of the stopping of force.

Once you know your poses you have to determine how long the transitions between them should last. This is called timing.


Natural organic motion does not simply start and end. It will build up speed and and slow down to a halt. This is called easing. The closer the subsequent frames are together the slower the motion. The farther apart frames are the faster the motion. This is another facet of time.

When a motion gains speed.
The motion slows down over time.
Motion gains speed and eventually, slows down as well.

Almost all actions follow curved path. Generally speaking, and aesthetically especially, the path should be a ‘C’, ‘S’, or figure-eight.

Squash & Stretch:

When forces are transferred between objects the result is typically a shift in volume. This gives a sense of flexibility that exists even in objects we usually think rigid.


Remember that all complexity is made of many simples. This is especially true in animation. Often there are many elements moving at once but each is following the same rules we discussed above.

Animation Types

Animation Types:

There are three primary categories:

  • Stop-Motion
    • Claymation, Puppet, Pixilation, Experimental
  • 2D Animation
    • Traditional Hand-Drawn, Cut-Out, Experimental
  • 3D Animation
    • Computer Generated
Here are some interesting examples of animation that may inspire you:
Hand-Drawn Traditional:


The Old Man and The Sea

Assignment 05


Utilizing Photoshop you will create either a hand-drawn animation, rotoscope, stop-motion or pixilation.

You will be graded on the following:
  • Project Cover Sheet
    • Thoroughly completed and thoughtfully written with little or no grammatical errors.
  • Animation Principles
    • All principles present. Well-weighted. Textured and polished.
  • Timing & Posing
    • Nicely textured timing with interesting and correct rhythm. Excellent and unique posing.
  • Craftsmanship & Creativity
    • Very unique and interesting. Something very different from others.
Project Cover Sheet
You may download the project cover sheet here.
Assignment Video Tutorials
You may watch the tutorial videos below to help you complete your assignment.

Assignment Video Tutorials

You may download the images and video used in the tutorials here: videoForRotoscope and imagesForPixilation

Wait! Before you go!

Did you remember to?

  • Read through this webpage
  • Submit Assignment 05 animation on Blackboard
    • Animation and Project Cover Sheet
  • Post your finished animation and description on the Assignment 05 Animation Critique Discussion Board
    • … and reply to at least two of your peers’ work on the Discussion Board