Week 6 – Layers to Animation


Photography in general has been influential in many different fields as a source of realistic documentation. Not only did photography change documentary journalism but it also influenced science, and the development of motion pictures and animation as well. One of the most influential and innovative early photographers who created a new science and influenced the creation of motion pictures and animation was Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge used multiple cameras that were set to trigger the shutter based on a passing animal or human. In doing this Muybridge was able to realistically capture nature in high-speed motion. By using a device to flipping through his image sequences in rapid succession one could actually see the motion. This was a precursor to the motion picture film strip. Today many animators still draw from the work of photographer Eadweard Muybridge. His images are often rotoscoped or “drawn over” to achieve animated walking or running cycles.



In the images above you can see a Muybridge photographic sequence in his grid format, and then in a auto-timed slideshow, like an animated flipbook (gif). Below you see two variations created by artists drawing on the work of Muybridge. Learn more about the importance of Muybridge, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eadweard_Muybridge and rotoscoping http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotoscoping which was used in films like Star Wars to create the light saber effects. There are many websites dedicated to the work of Muybridge.

Week 6 Assignment 1

This assignment will give you a chance to really practice with layers and selection tools, and layer masks. Create a looping animation based on the images of Muybridge. Here are the steps to the Assignment:

  1. Choose a Muybridge image sequence from the ones below.
  2. Copy and paste the images into separate layers in Photoshop.
  3. Align the images correctly based on guide lines. This will insure that your animation will not “jump”
  4. Using layer masks – mask out the backgrounds
  5. Add a background of your choice (optional)
  6. Add layer styles/effects (optional)
  7. Colorize your image overall or layer by layer (optional)

Muybridge sequences to choose from, Click on a thumbnail to open the image in a new browser window. Then click on the image in the new window to zoom in to full size, then right click on the image and do a “Save Image As” and save it to a folder on your computer:

Click here to watch my Video tutorials that demonstrate the process

Turning it in:
Due date: End of Week 8

Your assignment is considered finished when you have posted your animated gif file to the DansCourses Forum so we can all see it!

Please also send my your Photoshop file (.psd) as an attachment in an email to dan.alberghetti@gmail.com.

Author: Dan

Dan teaches computer networking and security classes at Central Oregon Community College.

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