Morphing in Animation: Create a Frame by Frame GIF in Gimp | Hadis Malekie | Skillshare

Morphing in Animation: Create a Frame by Frame GIF in Gimp

Hadis Malekie, Animated Films | Mystery Genre of Cinema

Morphing in Animation: Create a Frame by Frame GIF in Gimp

Hadis Malekie, Animated Films | Mystery Genre of Cinema

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9 Lessons (34m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:08
    • 2. Your Class Project

      5:18
    • 3. Making Thumbnails

      2:52
    • 4. Morphing Tips

      4:47
    • 5. Stop Motion

      4:14
    • 6. Reverse Trick

      1:54
    • 7. 2D Animation & Making GIFs

      8:41
    • 8. Converting to Video

      2:29
    • 9. Final Thoughts

      2:02
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About This Class

In this class, I’ll be teaching you how to create a morphing frame by frame animation. We’ll be choosing a shape, a form or a character to morph into another. To demonstrate the process, I’ll be using a software called Gimp because it’s free, open-source, and easy to use! Though, feel free to use whatever software you’re most comfortable with, like Photoshop or Krita for example.

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So what’s a frame by frame animation?

Consider a flip book: have you ever tried doodling on the edges of a notebook? What happens if you flip through these pages? An animation is seen!

In Gimp, layers are like the pages of a notebook. If you draw an illustration on each layer, that’s like making a flip book. And there you go — you’ve got a GIF! 

In this class, I’ll be teaching you three ways of making key frames for your morphing animation:

  • A 2D Digital Illustration Technique
  • A 2D Traditional Illustration Technique
  • And a Stop Motion Technique

For the 2D digital technique, we’ll be drawing frames directly into Gimp. For the other two, I’ll walk you through the process of importing a sequence of illustrations or photos into Gimp to then be transformed into a GIF. The process and principles are pretty much the same for all three techniques.

The main focus of this class is bringing more creativity into your morphing animations. I’ll be going over my best tips and tricks throughout the process. We’ll be taking a look at famous works in the history of animation, and talk about where and how to find inspiration for your project subject. 

You can use morphing for storytelling, making a logo-motion, adding appeal to your films or commercials, and adding creative transitions to your visual storytelling. I hope this class helps you find a new way of sparking ideas for film making and developing your creativity in other fields, and that you're inspired to incorporate animation into your own work. Practicing morphing and focusing on not just the destination, but the journey between two states, shapes and forms can be a practice to:

  • Empower creativity,
  • Develop a sense for problem-solving, and algorithmic thinking.
  • Develop patience and enjoying more of the journey, and
  • Experiment with ideas from other mediums and fields such as painting, graphic design, architecture, or industrial design.

So let's get started — see you in class!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Hadis Malekie

Animated Films | Mystery Genre of Cinema

Teacher

 


Hi, and welcome! 

My name is Hadis , a pocket-sized traveling filmmaker from AnimationLand with a luggage of shapes, patterns, algorithms & discreet data.

 In 2002, when I decided to start learning and making animations, I was not aware of the different aspects of animation such as storytelling, cinema, teamwork, etc. I just felt that I liked animation and I wanted to pursue it, so being a software engineering student, I started learning 3D Max and Flash by myself studying books and learning from tutorials besides the software. Back in those days it was the era of limited dial up internet, in the meanwhile I started teaching extraordinary project-oriented classes on software and programming to students from 10-14 years old... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Changes in seasons come and go, and when winter retires, then melting begins and spring arrives. We see the process of changing by shapes, color and sound. What happens during the changing of shapes is what we will focus on in the wprld of animations, the world of imagination, exaggeration and humor. Hello and welcome. My name is Hadis Malekie, and I'm a little filmmaker from the land of animation with a backpack of numbers, shapes and patterns. Talking about shapes, morphing is also about shapes. In this class, we will animate a morphing frame by frame. What is morphing? Morphing is about changing a character, a form, or a shape into another. Why morphing? Morphing is a great way for storytelling. Also, you can use it to add more magic and appeal to your animation or your commercials. In this class, first, we will review some morphing examples in animated films to find inspiration for your class project. Then we will make tumbnail sheets together. After that, I'll provide you some tips about how to make your morphing more alive. As to animate in its archaic meaning means to give life to. Then, we will learn how to make our frames in two techniques, first, stop motion and then 2D drawing. After that, I'll show you how to convert the sequence of images, into an animated GIF using a free and open source software called GIMP. Then I'll show you how to make a video out of your frames. Your project in this class is to choose a shape , a form or a characters and morph it into another. If you are at a beginner level, you can deliver a sheet of sequence of images. If you're at an advanced level, you can work more on your animating to make it more alive. Are you ready to embark on this journey? Let's get started. 2. Your Class Project: What a better way of practice morphing rather than choosing your projects. But before that, you might ask yourself three questions. What am I going to produce exactly? Where can I find inspiration to choose my projects? What technique can I use? Before we talk about these questions, let me show you some examples of morphing and work of masters of animation. 1926, Penwiper. Norman Mclaren 1950, Le Merle. Norman McLauren, 1960, Opening Speech. Look how morphing of the microphone tells the story. The Street by Caroline Leaf an oil paint animation technique in 1976. In 1977, Ishu Patel, made this animation by beads, The Bead Game. Dimensions of Dialogue -1982, by Jan Svankmajer. Bill Plympton and many uses of morphing. Your Face, 1987. The Tune,1992. The Old Man and The Sea by Aleksandr Petrov, 1999. 2000, the amazing animation, Father and Daughter by Michael Dudok de Wit. Look how morphing while walking tells the story. Question number 1, imagine you want to travel from one place to another. But you cannot fly suddenly from that place to the destination place. You should walk all the way in between. What do you prefer? Do you prefer to just think about the destination or enjoy the journey?, the middle images and between are also important. At any level you are, you can deliver a project. That's important to consider that skills and ideas are pulling each other's up. Ideas makes to improve your skills and the skills make you have more creative ideas. So just start and let them pull each other up. Second question, where can I find ideas? Finding ideas is easier than you might think. Prepare a pen and a sketchbook. Because soon you will overwhelm by rush of ideas that you might have for morphing. Please consider not to choose complicated shapes, for two reasons: One, beauty is in simplicity, and second, the more simple the shape is, you can focus more on the creative in between. Your project can be in very different styles. It can be comic, serial, or realistic. Look for objects around you, in your kitchen, in your office, at home, in your room. Think about making a commercial for products of one of your friends. Open dictionary and choose a random word. Look at nature, mother nature has great ideas. Think about logo of a business or one of your friends. You can make your morphing logo motion for that. Consider human emotions such as sadness, anger, or happiness. Also, you can think about psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder. Break the rules of Physics such as gravity, it might bring new ideas in other fields such as architecture, industrial design, or painting. Question number 3, what technique can I use? There are two main categories of techniques. I explain them to you and you choose whatever you are more comfortable with. First one is done by drawing. You can use a digital pen or a touchscreen tablet. In this one, animators use softwares such as TVPaint, Toon Boom, Photoshop, Krita, Synfig or applications such as Procreate. If you do not have digital pen or you prefer to draw on paper, you can scan your work. No scanner? That's okay. You can use applications such as free CamScanner on your phone. The second category is stop motion. These works by having an object, seeds, beads, Play dough clay objects in front of camera, making slight changes, and shooting further. This can be a 3D scene with decoration or in professional animations, they use puppets with skeleton inside. Or it can be a flatlay, which I recommend to you because you have more control over everything even gravity. Please take it easy and just start. Choose whatever subject or technique that you are okay to start with. There is always time to try other techniques or choose other subjects. For the next video, please think about the subject of your morphing shapes, the beginning shape, and the final shape. Write a sketch all of your ideas, discuss them with your friends and other students, and choose whatever you are more comfortable with. You enjoy working on it, and it's a good start. See you in the next video. 3. Making Thumbnails: In this video, we are going to prepare our thumbnails. It's like making the foundation of a building, or preparing the ingredients of cake. We should plan what we are going to make for morphing so we need to sketch the in-between frames. Regardless of any technique you want to use or at any level you are, this step will help you. It helps you to make better decisions about the place of camera or way of shooting, or about the scene even if you are going to make a spontaneous animation. Film directors usually use thumbnails to tell their teams what they're going to make. This is the pre-production phase. A storyboard artist turn the thumbnails into storyboard, which are detailed drawings with arrows and descriptions. What is the difference between drawing and thumbnails? I have here some comic and manga. This manga is from Yowamushi Pedal that my pen pal has sent me from Japan. Look at the frames, the frames are three rectangles, some are squares, and in different size, or this one is another manga of One piece. But when making thumbnails, you should think in cinematic frames. Every frame should have the same aspect ratio and the same size. You yourself can draw frames of your thumbnail sheet, or you can use the file that I have uploaded in the project file. You can draw your thumbnails digitally or you can print it and draw them by hand. Here, I have printed that and I want to draw my thumbnails with you. Here I want to morph this eye shape into the ancient pattern of a good bridge for zone ancient potteries. I fill in the info, name of me, date and description, and do not forget to add a number for each frame. A lot of blink. Then I extend the end of the eye and make a little change like teardrop. You can write words or use arrows if you need to mention some movements or other ideas. Now let's turn it into a tail. Now I scan the thumbnail sheet. I will use a free application on my phone that is called free CamScanner, Location scanner, you can use that too. Please upload your thumbnail sheet in the project file. So next time we will make the frames for our thumbnail sheets. 4. Morphing Tips: Now that you have prepared your thumbnails, I know you are interested to turn them into images and then convert the sequence of images into a video or animated gifs or jifs. But first let's talk about some tips because it worries having your revision over the thumbnails. For project of this class, just making the keyframes of the morphing as enough. It's not necessary to fully animate the morphing. But here are some tips that you might consider for your future projects or in a team or you can ask your animators to consider them. Tip number 1, play with size and place. That's totally okay to change the size of the object while morphing. Imagine your morphing an object while still in the place that has a constant energy. But if you morph that while jumping from a place to another, it tells that there is some inside or outside power and that or over that, or for example, imagine you morph an object while melting or falling off. It tells something like unwillingness or laziness. Tip number 2, acting in animation. Imagine you want to morph a phase into another, how you can make it different from a morphing made by a software. You should give it more character. For example, you can show some changes in the phase, while in the eyes, or making it by the lips. This shows some pressure. Acting in animation is necessary and a mirror is the friend of animators. You should always practice acting before making the animation and changes and morphing. For example, when amateurs or when filmmakers want to make a film about a crow with the broken wing, or about a cat looking eagerly to the hands. They have characters, so an actor plays the role. We record that and we use the footage as the reference for animators to animate the emotions and the character better. Tip number 3, play with timing, control over the timing and having both fast and slow changes during the morphing make it really different than automatic changes done by software. Have you ever head about principles of animations? If not, I recommend you to search for that. Having anticipation, I made a little movement before the start of the morphing. This helps make the morphing more dynamic or having an adding squash and stretch to the shapes. This also make it more dynamic and more alive. Tip number 4, use color, sound, and action lines. If you think using color might help you then use that. Adding a red color, while morphing might tell some pressure, anger or shyness. Also consider adding sound. For example, if you morph a sphere into a cube, and you add a middle sound. We feel that it's made of metal. Although the material might be clay. Also consider having action lines. You might have seen action lines in comic books or graphic novels, especially that if you want to use stop-motion techniques, you need to consider that before start off shooting images. For example, if you want to swell a circle and morph it into another shape, adding some drops, leaving the circle improves that. Tip number 5. By far, I have told you morphing is changing a shape, a character, a form into another. You might ask why one shape to another. Why 1-1? That's okay. You are right. You can morph multiple objects into one object or vice versa. That's a great way to make, for example, locomotion or to have juxtaposition as one of the characteristic for surrealism. As you might know, surrealism is an artistic movement founded by Andre Breton in 1924. Considering the tips we talked about, you can have a revision over your thumbnails and get prepared to shoot their images. 5. Stop Motion: Now it's time to make frames for what you have planned in your tarnishes. Here I have two lessons for those who prefer stop-motion technique. After that, there's lesson for those who prefer 2D technique. The following lesson is about how to convert the sequence of images into a video. For stop-motion technique, the first step is to set up the scene and the camera setup. In this lesson, we will setup a flatlay setting. The flat setup can be in very subtle scales. Here I make a small top tables set up, but let me tell you some interesting other possibilities. Real persons in full shot can also be the subject in front of camera. This technique is called pixelation. In 2011, Nokia introduced a phone N8 to the world by two animations made by that phone and produced by Nokia and Aardman animations. While [inaudible] Dot the world's smallest scale stop-motion animation that was made by attaching the microscope to the phone, and shooting a tiny 9 millimeter gear. The other was Gulp made on the world's largest stop-motions that was made by suspending the phone over a beach. To setup or flatlay scene you need background. It can be a cardboard, a DIY painted boot, or vinyl backdrop. I do not recommend clothe or anything that my change during shooting frames. There are important tips that you should consider about shooting. First, use a tripod, not to have a shaking frame. If you do not have tripod, you can use books or shelves to make a fixed position for your phone or your camera. The other very important tip that will prevent from flickering animation is to switch from automatic to manual. As more as possible, change every settings from auto to two other options. For example, auto white balance to shadow, auto ISO to a number, and switch off autofocus on the lens. If you're using your phone, you can try holding on the screen for some seconds to lock the settings, or if your phone supports pro setting, you can switch to pro settings. Your setup is ready, so it's now time to patiently move and change and shoot the frames. For this class project, just shooting their keyframes is enough. But for your future projects, please consider that eight frames for one seconds of animation is good, 12 frames is better. Shooting 24 frames for once it can result in a very soft and full animated animation. Another hint for animating, some software's, for example, Dragon Frame or software for your camera might have a feature to tether camera to your monitor. That means to have the viewport of camera in your monitor. Then in that software, you can turn on Onion skin, which lets you see the previous frame, but with lower capacity. it can help you have a better animating. For those who prefer 3D setup rather than flatlay setting here is an interesting thing for you. If you want to make a movie while the object is floating in there, in this case, animators use rigs, threads or woods to hold the objects in there. Then after that, in post-production phase, they emit the rig, the thread, or the wood digitally, by digital softwares. Do you remember Penwiper and the project video? In the next lesson, we will talk about reverse trick in stop motion. 6. Reverse Trick: The stop-motion techniques, pre-production and planning is really important. Here is a trick and that is about the order of shooting. You do not need to shoot their frames exactly as the orders and animation. Let's consider an example we had in the first video. A pomegranate is changing into an orange. First, we cut the pomegranate step-by-step until it's in half. But if you want to change a half cut orange into a whole complete orange, that's difficult. It needs maybe a lot of oranges at the same size and the same shape. The trick is, to have the complete orange and more fit into half-cut orange. Then play it in reverse. Then we have a pomegranate cut into half and a half orange turned into a complete orange. You can use that and do these technique for anything. For example, imagine we wanted to turn the world into the shape of a snail. You can do this trick. You can change their rows and letters and to the circle and then change the snail into the circle. Play the second part in reverse. If you prefer to make your project for this class and in stop-motion techniques, please set up your scene and start shooting the frames. In the next video I will explain to you the technique for those who prefer that, but please do not escape that. Because at the end part of it, I will explain how to turn the sequence of images into animated gifs, which you can use on your website. 7. 2D Animation & Making GIFs: This video is about 2D technique. I here introduce you with a software that is free open source and easy to draw. Its name is Gimp, and we can make animated GIFS by that, but if you are a user of other softwares, use one of the software that you're more comfortable. It's just a suggestion, and if you prefer to draw directly on paper, please draw on paper and scan your images. At the end part of this video, we will turn images into animated GIFS. The end part of this video is also helpful for those who have made their images in the stop motion technique and want to turn them into animated GIFS. Here I will show you two ways for making animated GIF. First, drawing digitally frame by frame and the second way that is importing the sequence of images that you have prepared or you have scanned. Let's start. Here I have installed Gimp and I open that. I go to 'File New'. Here you can choose the size of your project. I have made a new project and here you can see layers, water layer. Remember when you were at school, have you ever tried sketching on the corners of a notebook or on a book? What happens if you flip that notebook? Animation is seen. That is because the persistence of vision which is according of how our brain and our eyes works. Gimp layers are like the pages of a notebook. If I draw, drawing on each layer, that is like making your flip book and I can make an animated GIFS by those layers and here is layers. If you can see that, you go to Window, document dialogue and then layers. Here, I want to choose the brush that I want to use, and I select brush, then I draw. Now I want to delete this layer, I don't need it. I select this end here, this cross, delete the layer. In other softwares that might've been like a recycle bin. Now I want to create a new layer. Here by clicking on this icon, I make a new layer and a dialogue opens. Here you can choose whether you want it to be transparent or in other colors, I want it to be white. I start drawing. It might be a little slow because I'm recording. For example, this. Now, we want to have another layer, another page enough flip up. Another layer and you cannot see the layer beneath it. I change the opacity from 100 to a lower number and now I can see the layer underneath. I draw this frame. Then for another layer, I change their opacity back to 100, make a new layer. Change the opacity so I can see the layer beneath, under. Now I have prepared the layers here for you. Here we want to see a preview of the animation. We go to filter animation and then playback. Here a window opens. I choose some lower number. Yes. That's good and here I play that. It's a little bit slow. I change this to a faster one, for example, four times. Let's play. We now export our file, file, export as and here you choose the address. Important tip is that you should choose file extension or file type. Here we choose GIF Image. Yes. Here. I give it a name, eyes good. I press export. Look at here. Here's an important tip. You should check as animation. If not, you will just have an image, a single image. I press export, lets see what we have. We have a file here. I open that and yes, that's good. If you wanted to change a layer for example, delete one, you can use this icon or you can duplicate your layer. For example, I right-click on this layer and choose duplicate layer. The second way that was my importing images, I go to file, then I choose open as layers, and I choose where I have stored my sequence of images. Now, I should select all of these images then I choose open and look at here, we have all of the images, each one of them as a separate layer. That's like a flip book with each image on a separate page. Now that we have all the images in separate layers, we want to have a preview. Do you remember? Yes. Filter animation, Yes and then playback. Let's play. That's too fast. Let's slower the speed and play it again. Good. Here we go for exporting that, export as yes. Here, you should always choose GIF image, for exporting animated press export and we check that as animation is selected, you see here, look forever. I have selected this because it makes the animated GIF play and play and play forever. You can untick this if you wanted to play just once, export and we wait. Let's see what we have here. We have fruit and let's play that. Yes, that's good. Let's practice another project as practice makes perfect, if done correctly. Here I choose file, open as layer. Here you go and choose the folder that you have your scanned images there and we choose all the images, open and the magic happens and here we have each image in a separate layer. Let's have a preview. You now can tell me what to do. Yes. filter animation, yes, playback, yes. Here it goes. Let's play it. Good. Good, fine, exports as, select file type, GIF image, export. We make sure as animation is checked and here let's see what is this. Delay between frames where Unspecified 100 millisecond. If I type 500, that will be half of a second. You can choose these to play with the speed of the play. Use the layer entered above for all frames. For all frames, I will have half of a second delay. I press export and let's see what we have. You see each frame is played after half of the seconds of delay and you have now an animated GIF of your morphing project. You can share it on your website or you can upload it into sites like GIFY and use them, for example, in the story of your Instagram or other places. In the next lesson, we will convert our sequence of images into a video. 8. Converting to Video: Now that you have prepared your sequence of images, it's now time to turn that into a video. There are many ways, and here I introduce you with some free and open source software's Make AVI is what I will use and Windows Mac users can use frame-by-frame. Linux users who are more comfortable retyping can also use FFmpeg, and if you are a mobile user, you can use free stop-motion applications. Here I open Make AVI and I choose Add Files. Then I open their folder of the sequence of images that we have prepared. I select all of the images, choose Open, or I can add files one by one. Here you can also change the order of images or delete one of them, or add an image in between FeS, that is frame per second. You can also change frame rate if you want or less just try it. I press begin, I choose where I want to store the final result and press save. You can choose the codec and the compression of the images. You can play with that. Here I choose Microsoft Video 1, let's see if that works. Here we have the video, let's play that. Using this way or other alternative ways, you can convert your sequence of images into a video, upload them, and please share them in the project gallery. Hints for other softwares. In Premier, you can import a sequence of numbered images by selecting File Import and makes sure image sequence checkbox is selected. You can export your Photoshop timeline into a video by selecting File Export, render to video, and other animation software such as TV paint or [inaudible] you can usually render video by selecting files export. In the next video I'll be recapping what you've learned and presenting final thoughts. 9. Final Thoughts: Congrats for finishing this course and thank you for participating in my class. I can't wait to see your project and read your commands and questions. I really appreciate that. In this class we learn what is morphing in animation and what are the applications of it. We talked about how to find inspiration for morphing project. Then we learned about making Tomlin's sheets, after that, we discussed five tips on how to level up morphing from a single change of shapes into unbelievable dynamic change. Next, we learned about how to make our frames and stop notion unto the techniques. We learned how to turn the sequence of images into a Gif and into a video. Hope you have find morphing as a great way to reach into ideas in filmmaking and also as a good way of practice creative thinking. Have your sketch book for morphing ideas everywhere video, either you're on the bus or you are waiting to meet your friends. This sketchbook might help you to reach into ideas for filmmaking or other fields such as Architecture and Design, Industrial design, or Graphic design. If there's something I hope you can take from this class, is the joy of expressing your ideas with animation, and that you now have a way to easily unleash your creative ideas with morphing. Also, if you are a teacher at school, I think practice morphing is a good way to empower children's imagination. Thank you, and I hope to see you in my next class, bye. Here, I want to sincerely thank Gabriela Goulart and Skillshare team.