Though I have the experience of working with After Effects before, I could have never imagined that I would use it to make an animation!
The process of making an animation is extremely time-consuming. My first step was to create the character by collecting assets from the Internet and photoshopping them together to make it a little earth that is traveling around the world. Then I searched for “country road” images on Google and found many high-quality photos of roads with beautiful sceneries aside to be the background pictures of my animation. I used a guitar music at first, however, I found another piece of music from an Japanese animation later that is better for my animation since it’s more energetic and spirited. I had to make some adjustments for the part I had already done since I changed the music of it. Once I start animating, the two biggest problem were how to let my character drop from the sky and land without breaking the rule of physics and how to make him walk naturally.
I asked Marianne about the first problem. She showed me how to do it with an example and it was very helpful. However, I solved the second problem all by myself. I asked Helen to walk towards me and recorded it to observe how her legs move. Later I found out that the characters in animation don’t actually move as normal people do. Fortunately, when I was taking the subway one day, there was an animation playing on the Metro TV with a character walking towards the audience, showing me exactly what my character should look like when he walks. Though the legs of my character are just two incredibly short sticks, they managed to walk like a normal cartoon character! It doesn’t look perfect, but I did my best and I’m happy with the result.
One thing I regret most is that I didn’t draw a complete storyboard before I started animating. So I had no idea what should happen next, forcing me to think about the plot while I animated. Anyway, I’m glad that I did it at last.
I can’t believe this semester ends so soon. I really enjoy spending this semester with all the amazing classmates and our incredible professor Marianne to learn so many useful skills! Wish you all a wonderful winter break.