Posted in Writing

Chapter 8 Summary

Chapter 8: Technique

Consider Format

  • “First thing to consider when choosing an animation technique is how it will be viewed” (114, Blazer).
  • Nowadays many content is being viewed on computer screens, phones, and tablets. That means that big-screen masterpieces can also be enjoyed on a smaller screen, so technique must be chosen that is legible in that format.
  • With that being said, formats can also be very big. Film festivals and advertisers are being shown on screens the size of billboards and they are found everywhere.
  • To figure out which technique to use it’s best to suit it to the format you believe it will be most viewed by.
    • If you produce YouTube content or make movies for YouTube Red, you’ll probably want to use Techniques that fit a computer screen or smartphone.

Translate Your Story

  • “The most important consideration when choosing an animation technique for your film is all about the story” (116, Blazer).
  • You want to use a technique that best suits what you want to convey to the audience.
    • For comedies, stop motion or After Effects works well for comedy

Animation/Motion Graphic Techniques and Styles

Hand Drawn

  • “Hand-drawn animation can be executed with a variety of materials (such as pencil, paint, ink, and charcoal)” (117, Blazer).
  • There are many techniques as well, such as rotoscoping, Disney Cel animation, or a hand-drawn approach.

Stop Motion

  • Stop-motion animation can be shot in both 2D and 3D. The technique is similar but the way they’re shot is different.
    • Both are shot by a camera, shooting frame-by-frame.
    • “2D stop-motion is shot with a camera held over a flat surface” (117, Blazer).
    • “3D stop-motion utilizes a tripod to shoot incrementally moving objects on a ‘set’” (119, Blazer).


  • “2D CGI is animation that is created in a flat or two-dimensional software environment” (119, Blazer).
  • “This technique is clean, is highly scalable, and reads well for type, which is why most broadcast graphics are done with 2D GCI animation” (119, Blazer).


  • “3D CGI is animation that is made in a three-dimensional software environment” (119, Blazer).
  • “The elements are modeled, rigged, textured, puppeted, and animated in a virtual space” (119, Blazer).


  • Hybrid methods: If you’re unable to find a method that works for you, you’re going to have to get a little DIY. “Still images, live-action footage, and hiring help are all good moves” (123, Blazer).

Workaround 1: Import still images

  • One of the most common workaround animations you can use is putting still images into your work.
  • If you use editing tools, like masking and camera panning, you can make it seem as if the still image is moving like it is animated.

Workaround 2: Shoot live-action footage

  • Once you’ve capture live-action footage, like a match (for fire), or moving clouds, import them into your chosen program and composite it into your project.
  • A lot of old animation was done this way, using rotoscoping. Disney animators would use real-life footage and draw over it.

Workaround 3: Staff up

  • You’re producing your own film, you can’t do everything on your own.
  • If you don’t have the money to hire people, use favors, or barter with people.

Case Study: Live Action and Hand Drawn

  • Using live action and hand-drawn animation is a great way to separate certain aspects of your film.
  • For example, Sensory Overlord directed by Miguel Jiron was an animated documentary about autism. It follows a boy who struggles with autism. The documentary starts out as live action but switches to hand-drawn when the audience is experiencing what the boy is experiencing.

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