Creating a short animation part 1: setting restrictions, finding the story and initial ideas.

So far in my efforts to learn how to animate, I have studied the 12 principles of animation and practiced them by completing a series of animation tests including the bouncing ball , falling brick , head turn  and biped walk cycle . I have also completed a few more animation tests that I will be discussing in future posts.

Now I want to do something with what I have learned. So I am going to create a short animation with an actual story!

I have a strict deadline for this project as it will be part of my hand in for my final semester on my illustration degree. I  have four weeks to complete this (a short time in animation land!) and other work to be done alongside it, so I’m going to need to set a few restrictions to help me stay on task and be realistic about what I can achieve in this time frame.

So, my animation will…

  • be a maximum of 1 minute long
  • feature only 2 characters
  • take place in 1 location

Now I need to decide on my characters and plot. I am not much of a writer, so rather than spending a long time coming up with an original story I decided to find an existing one and adjust it to fit the restrictions I have set out.

I knew I wanted my story to be about animals so I searched the internet for “short stories about animals” and came across “just so stories” which I remembered being read to us in primary school. After looking through the stories I decided to go with “the elephants child” (or “how the elephant got his trunk”).

you can read the full story here if you are interested but my simplified/ shortened version goes like this:

  • young elephant is drinking from river
  • crocodile watches menacingly
  • crocodile strikes, grabbing elephant by nose
  • a tug of war ensues and the elephants nose begins to stretch
  • elephant breaks free and now has a long trunk

here are some initial sketches IMG_1236



2 thoughts on “Creating a short animation part 1: setting restrictions, finding the story and initial ideas.

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