The title for my animation is “An Unusual Friend.” I chose to tell this story because I wanted to do something fun, lighthearted, and related to space. I also thought it would be fun depicting the balloon traveling from the Earth to the moon (since it’s highly unlikely that could happen in reality).
I thought it would be fun getting to create and animate my own characters for this project rather than looking for vector images, which is why my characters are not super amazing. This was mostly because last time I tried to work with a vector graphic, I couldn’t figure out how to control the limbs although I wouldn’t mind trying again. The typeface I chose was Kristen ITC because I felt it represented a child’s bubbly handwriting. For the color scheme, I tried to keep cool colors (like blue, green, purple), since the animation was taking place at night. The only things not in dark cool colors are the two characters, which I think helps them stand out from the background. The sound I decided to use was a happy ukulele song I found on YouTube. I wanted the animation to be lighthearted and happy since it was literally about friendship, and I think the song did its job.
The key characters in my animation were the the human child and the alien child. They were the ones corresponding back and forth between each other through the letter and the balloon. The reusable symbols I used were most of the parts in the animation. The arms, legs, and bodies of the human and alien child were symbols. The earth, the moon, the balloon, and the larger note were symbols as well. This made it easier to create characters or objects in different scenes without creating them from scratch.
The new animation technique I incorporated was to create a basic shadow behind my character. It does seem pretty simple, but I like that it made it look more than just 2D. I looked through How to Cheat in Adobe Flash CS5 by Chris Georgenes (the book in the comm lab, on page 120), and it was one of the techniques I found most interesting. The new technique made it look like more space existed in the animation. I think the next step for this would be trying to figure out how to animate the shadow itself.
One of the biggest problems I had was that I was missing a scene near the beginning of the animation, but I had already started other scenes after that missing one. I wasn’t sure how I was going to add more frames to be able to include that scene. I tried individually adding frames after the first scene, but that was putting the rest of my layers out of order, so that wasn’t working. I decided to add two seconds worth of frames at the very beginning of the animation to create my second scene, and that worked out. I’m not sure how I would have done it if I had a missing scene in the middle of the animation. I just have to make sure everything is specifically planned out before starting. Another issue I had was remembering how the shape tween worked. I googled “shape tween adobe animate” and the video How to Create Shape Tween in Adobe Flash by “Internet Services and Social Networks Tutorials from HowTech,” and that quickly reminded me of what to do.
For my artwork, I created everything by hand on animate. I don’t know if it was a good or bad idea, but I just wanted it all to be my own work. I know my characters are made up of basic shapes, but I’m still pretty happy at how they came out overall. If I could do it over again, I would try to make my characters look less squarish. I’m a little afraid to try the tablet in the comm lab, but I think it would be fun to have drawn characters to use in future projects. My characters won’t seem so “blocky” if I were to try the tablet, so that could be a good for next time.