Category Archives: Animations

Mr. Stickman saves the day

Hello wonderful readers!

I initially had the grandiose plan of a stop motion animation with some adorably awesome characters to introduce you to for today’s post – grandiose both due to lack of time and also finding there are a few kinks to work out. After a little trial and error, it became quite clear that the actual stop motion I’d envisioned is for a future post. This prophetic moment was not very helpful since it now left me with no animation and no post.

Ah, but it appears my sentimental pack rat tendencies have come to the rescue. Once upon a time when I was just starting to tinker with animation, I had three packs of tracing paper at my disposal, a webcam, and my trusty Compaq desktop to may my very first test of sorts. The webcam is no longer usable, my trusty Compaq has long since bitten the dust, but I still have those three packs of tracing paper and the original video I made of that first animation.


This pic was taken today but shows the three tracing paper pads that proudly withhold some of the first scribblings I ever did.


I used each page underneath to match up what my next drawing should be and placed a white sheet of paper under the tracing paper as I took a picture with the webcam.


In a way, I used the tracing paper pads as a flip book. Pics here show the left page both before (top) I turned it and after (bottom) for my little guy’s swaying back and forth.


Small problemo in just posting that ancient animation though – my original video was saved as a Windows Media Video File which doesn’t talk too well with WordPress. So, I did a little tickering to get it transformed into a GIF and…partially succeeded. No matter how much I tried to resize and whatnot, the full video was just simply too beefy to become a single GIF without getting memory complaints from my conversion program. I know part of this is may be because I wasn’t just taking pictures of each page when I made that animation, I also captured video of me turning pages and setting things up for the next shot. Rather than go all or nothing, I finally succumbed to just splitting the final GIF into two portions – which is what you see below. The top GIF (which starts with the title “Sticks” and plays until I start tracing over Mr. Stickman with a sharpy) is the first portion and the bottom GIF (which starts with Mr. Stickman holding two red sticks for his house and ends shortly after he starts building it) is the second portion. Unfortunately, Mr. Stickman does not finish his house because this animation stops on the last page of tracing paper I had available at that time (150 pages in total) but I may revisit one day and help him finish.






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