Fish in a Phenakistoscope


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Here I present to you my phenakistoscope, which was made for my Foundations class. The project was to create an animation on matte board and present it to the class as such. As seen above this was my final product for this project.

In this assignment, not only did I have to consider artistic elements but also animation principles as well. In terms of the elements of art my overall line weight is very stable. For the most part I just have basic line for my entire drawing, however I gave the bubbles a thicker line to help them show up more in the animation. Looking at shape, I found more difficulty with this, however I expected it. For each slide of the animation, there were parts of the slide that did not move or change. For example the bottom part of the clam and the general shape of the fish were not meant to change in shape. Normally in an animation you could use an onion skin or a light table to draw and trace the new layers. However, since all of the “slides” were on one piece of paper, and on thick matt board not less, it would have been impossible to do this like I usually do. Instead, for the nonmoving shapes I created mini stencils which I roughly traced to keep things as consistent as I could. Moving onto the color, in the places I did color I focused more cool colors at the middle of the piece and warmer on the outside, with the exception of the bubbles. I did this because I felt that it was almost as you go “deeper” into the piece the colder it would get just like in the ocean. The bubbles originate from the cold center so they keep their cool tones even as they invade the warmer sections. Finally, I left a good amount of empty space in my project to help keep things from being too busy. With so many different things going on, I thought it might get too confusing is there was nowhere for your eyes to rest, hence the large white space.

Looking back at this project, I am pleased with not only my finished product, but also the process as well. There were quite a few challenges that I encountered while working on this piece and after solving them I believe I have grown as an artist and animator. Those challenges included everything to figuring out what I could do in the constricted number of frames, finding a way to keep shapes consistent each slide despite not being able to trace like normal, and working with GIFs on photoshop. That last one I had minimal experience working with and it was definitely a trial and error learning process to get everything moving. Being able to play with the timeline feature in photoshop will definitely help me later as an animator as I have already worked past the beginner problems. Overall this project was a good learning experience that will help me in the future. I believe that understanding how something was done in the past is important to understand how things work now, and that applies to animation as well. Thank and keeping your mind open and pushing through problems that occur are both good lesson for life and animation that I picked up from the project. Life is not alway gonna be a smooth road so make sure you have experience keeping an open mind and creating different solutions. In the end, great project and I am happy to have taken part in it!


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