Creative History #2


-the first cloud I made


It is always useful to do some research about the origins. Animation is the area I want to explore in Motion Graphic this area, and frame-by-Frame Animation is the field I want to begin with.  Jon Krasner concluded that frame-by-frame animation is created on a frame-by-frame basis, flip-books were one of the earliest frame-by-frame animation techniques (Krasner, 2017, p. 308). Stop motion animation is belong to frame-by-frame animation this area, researching about the difficulties and effectiveness of stop motion helps my preparation stage to a large extent. For instance, Ken Priebe believed stop-motion animation is often referred to as a medium for artists rather than for producers. As compare it with computer-generated (CG) animation, stop-motion does not typically allow for going back to make changes to please a client or producer; stop-motion productions have always relied on the dedication of talented craftsmen (Priebe, 2011, p. xv).

⧫Stop motion Studio at Home⧫

Since I do not how I to access to the Stop Motion room at Arnolfini, I tried to set up a studio at home during the weekend. Here are some important guidelines I need to keep in mind that I found online:

1. Block natural lights – I used a cardboard box for blocking lights

2. Keep the camera and light source in the same position all the time

3. Don’t move items too much each time, be patient

Robert told me about DragonFrame; and that this software works best for stop motion animation. I searched online first, wow, too expensive to afford. So I managed to edit the first sequence in After Effect, and it seems work:

I am quite pleased with the lighting of this test one, thanks to my lovely lamp. Also, I tried to add background music in the sequence as I am not sure if I could edit audio in After Effect. It works, just I found it is quite hard to cut audio though. However, I think I made a mistake moving the cloud too far each time, as the movement doesn’t look very smooth.


⧫Second Shot at a proper Studio⧫

Finally, I was able take a proper shot at the Stop Motion Studio. I was so excited that I went there at 10 am. Luckily, it is not a busy season yet. However, this place was too empty to let me find a person to ask for help. To be honest, my efficiency that day was way lower than I expected: I spent almost two hours in setting up desk, camera, lighting, etc, also, getting familiar with DragonFrame this programme cost me another hour. (I was so excited to find out the Mac Book at the studio has DragonFrame with it, but I just don’t know why I could take ideal photos in Camera Mode, but the frames looked so blurry once I turned back to Animation Mode)


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-just wondering why the lights there are yellow


Even though I found quite a lot useful tutorials at DragonFrame’s website and Youtube, I still have not figured out how to compose a sequence in DragonFrame. At the end of that day, I had no idea but copied all the high quality photos back and imported all of them to After Effects and composed another test sequence:



This test sequence is based upon the first part of the story (the storyboard above)


-I borrowed some nice coloured paper with pattern on at uni, but I don’t think it works very well
-I am happy with the lighting this time
-The flow looks smoother this time

Here are some useful links which are worth marking down:




⧫Real Item and Illustration⧫

Since I’ve exported my second test sequence, I had a thought about trying to combine the hand drawn animation and stop motion animation together, as I don’t think the paper made building works very well with the cotton clouds (I don’t know if it could be called as 2.5D animation?)

Found some interesting tutorials on YouTube. They look similar with what I mean, but it is not exactly what I want for my project. As the hand drawn parts of these clips are not part characters of the whole clip (I don’t know how to explain what I meant properly…)


I set up a temporary studio at my kitchen that day, I waited till late night for blocking the natural lights

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As I am keen on having a test sequence complete before Thursday’s section, but I don’t have enough time for another clip for the same part of the story as the second test clip. I made a quick one for a rainy cloud.

⧫Feedback from Section⧫

As it is the first time I tried animation in my life, it makes me feel sick when I started to work with different software. Terry gave me quite a lot useful suggestions about this project, for example, how to let the cloud enter the building, the workflow between Photoshop and After Effects these two programmes, how to use green screen, etc. He and my coursemates liked my idea about combining these two styles.

However, Jess (?) said if I use illustration for the building instead, it might lose the quality of stop motion animation, which I am quite confused and do not agree with. Plue, pointed out that if I do so, it is quite hard to combine the relationship between 3D/real items and flat illustrations, which is a point I did not think about before.

Anyway, as the name of this project is, ‘Creative History’, apart from clouds, line-based hand drawn animation did influence me when I just got touch with graphic arts. So I think I will use these two weeks to properly explore this new area.

Here are some line-based style animation inspired me a lot:


Based on what I learned, and what completed so far, I think, my next step will be trying to make a line-based animation clip first, then combine it with the cotton cloud if I have enough time to explore more.



Priebe, K. (2011). The Advanced Art of Stop-motion Animation. Boston, MA: Course Technology Cengage Learning.

Kranser, J. (2017). Motion Graphic Design. [S.l.]: CRC PRESS.

Online Videos 

Anik Rosenblum (2011). Commercial animation Showreel 2011 – Dancing Line. Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017].

Anik Rosenblum (2010). Outloud – Partners Naturally. Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017].

Caleb Lancaster (2013). Hand Drawing Music Video Effect – After Effects Tutorial. Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017]. (2017). SCRIBBLE Animation in PREMIERE PRO (That’s what I like – Bruno Mars) | Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017].

ForlornCreature (2015). Dragonframe Walkthrough/Tutorial. Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017].

Justin Odisho (2016). Animated Music Video Scribble Effect in After Effects! (Tutorial / How to) (CC 2017). Available from: %5BAccessed 15 Nov. 2017].

Ignacio Meneu (2013). DragonFrame tutorial. Available from: [Accessed 13 Nov. 2017].

Sam Taylor (2014). Beats Vision rough animation. Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017].

ShutterBroke (2013). Dragonframe Motion Control “How To”. Available from: [Accessed 15 Nov. 2017].


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