Have you tried substitute animations before?
The typical animation technique is to move an object, take a picture of it, then move it back slightly and take another picture. This is the case for hand-drawn Animation, where each drawing serves as a frame, and stop-motion animation, where each photo serves as a frame in the animation.
But what if, instead of moving the same object around, you can create a duplicate object that is a little different? Then it becomes more of a “POP!”
Replacement animation is an exciting and efficient way to do this. It’s a form of stop motion animation that brings all of the fun of preschool crafts into the creative and complex work of the film!
Check out this video from The oblique lens for a full tutorial on how to do this living form of animation. animator Trisha Zemp guides us through the process!
Before taking photos, you need to consolidate your surface so your paper designs don’t move if you don’t want them to. Zemp decides to mask every corner of their surface to prevent movement.
When placing the paper, you may want to prepare tools like rectangular blocks to add some depth to the frame. However, these will come into play later.
Setting up your shot
Getting the first picture is easy – it’s just blank!
For the most effective / lively animation, the next recordings that lead to the great “pop” effect are overlaid. Starting with a small-format paper, the artist adds different blocks under different pieces of paper for each shot. This physically brings the shapes closer to the camera.
Each shot is in the same place, but the paper shapes vary in color, shape, and size. One key to getting that vibrant, colorful end to your animation is adding a new color from your color scheme with each shot until a pattern is created.
You can also use two sheets of shaped paper to make the design appear larger in the final cut.
Show progress by size
Since the subject of the video is an animated explosion, the artist’s goal is to create the image of something that is rapidly growing in size. Now that the colors and layers have been set in the previous shots, it’s time to move on to the final images.
Along with a big piece that eventually turns into an animated cloud of smoke that says “POW”. Zemp added small clippings of blue stars and white puffy clouds around the explosion. Think comic book style!
The last couple of shots will add the final layer of cloud which is the explosion effect. When this last shape is added, the stars and clouds that were added towards the end are shifted shot by shot to create a movement effect within the video.
After everything has been filmed, the animator shows an edit hack in Photoshop where artists can “invert” the footage to create something like a GIF. Instead of doing the whole animation process in reverse, just reverse the images you already have. Easy!
This is a very simple but effective introduction to the art of replacement animation.
Do you have any other tips on how to achieve incredible animation? Leave us a comment below!