Digital Drawing Techniques (Flipped Lecture)

I am taking an animation class this semester called ‘Illusion of Life’. Most other people in my class are already familiar with digital drawing techniques and software. I find myself lacking in both aspects as I started the class with absolutely no clue what to expect, just a dream to produce animation films someday. Reading the flipped lecture for digital drawing techniques was really helpful for me. I am just starting to pick up on it and I feel like there is just so much to take in.

I have heard terms like vectors and bitmap many times over the years but was never really clued in to what they actually meant. If I wanted some designs which would be more cartoonish or outline or art worthy, I would type xyz vector on search. But that was the extent of my usage of the actual term. Jenny’s lecture explained what it really means. When saving my animation project the other day (vectors were used mostly), I first rendered it with full resolution. The file turned out to be so heavy, it would just not play right! I went back and rendered it again in half resolution, thinking the quality of my work would affected. But, surprisingly that was not the case. Atleast I could not make out the difference between the qualities of the two. Reading this lecture, I realized that vector drawings do not lose quality at different, lower resolutions. That’s when it clicked into place in my mind.

I agree with Jenny that drawing with a mouse or trackpad are just not my cup of tea. I did buy a stylus for my project which was really great. I bought it online for just $20! But, you have to be really careful while choosing your stylus as a lot of the cheaper ones (below $20) have really thick nibs. Some are not compatible with all devices either. Like, the one I bought is great when I use it on the apple devices at Uni but doesn’t work at all on my laptop, which is touch friendly.

Another thing that caught my eye in the lecture was the mention of selective erasing method. If you are using photoshop, what I would suggest is make an outline, and a copy (MUST), as Jenny suggests. Then, there is an option on the right side above your layers which will let you select that outline with just a click. That way when you use the brush or eraser tool, it would not let you go outside the boundaries. Makes for much faster and easier work. I just learnt this trick from my friend, Daven, who is amazing at drawing cartoons and like digitally. Check out his website.

All animation film work is generally done using digital drawing techniques. My favourite ones include Ice Age and Narnia.

Here is a link which might add a little to Jenny’s lecture. I found it really helpful. Goes right back to the basics.

Check out some of these amazing things people have done with digital drawings..

Jim Carrey made digitally by Patrick Brown

By Twentieth Century fox films

A site you can check out where someone has changed the genders of famous cartoon characters (pretty cool!) is..

While all of these are really advanced, I plan on using some digital drawings for my project to create characters for my story as they will be displayed on my blog. I want to do this to enhance the visuals on my blog as I understand that it attracts more audience while it also makes a blog more alive.