September 9, 2015

Animating a maple seedling.

Hurtling towards the deadline in two weeks, but I want to share my process for animating a falling maple seed in Adobe Flash.


There are different kinds of animation to consider in the art form: acting, action, and motion. Usually we spring from what we know, the laws of physics, gravity and so on - animators can be true to reality, or really move away from it. In this case, I didn't want to go too far, but I also didn't want it to be stiff or obviously roto-scoped (traced from live-action). And of course, it has to fit with my signature style, which is visually simple. And supposedly effortless. Haw haw haw.

Although the animation plays along the timeline, I stacked the frames here and left the pretty onion skins so you can see how I mapped it out. Using two ellipses as path-of-action guide, I created a single drawing of a maple seed and deformed it in a series of key frames.  This spinning loop sits in a dedicated symbol, which I then animated fluttering downward on the main timeline.

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