Thursday, May 7, 2009

Basic equipment for hand-drawn animation

We'll go into more detail in other posts, but what are the basics you need to get started with traditional hand-drawn animation ?

1.) Animation desk with animation disc , or a lightbox with pegbar. (get the disc if you can , it's better.)

2.) Extra ACME peg bar for scanning or video testing your drawings. Get a thin, metal tape-down peg bar if possible because those are the most versatile.  Lightfoot Animation  has them or you can get a less expensive one from at this link:

3.) ACME punched animation paper. Lightfoot Animation or Cartoon Supplies have pre-punched animation paper (see links in sidebar) .   Ingram Bond animation paper from Lightfoot or Cartoon Supplies is recommended.   Ingram Bond paper is more expensive , but you'll notice the difference between this and the cheap photocopier-grade paper.   Ingram Bond  erases better, lasts longer, holds up to repeated flipping, the surface is better for drawing, it scans better.

4.) Pencils, various. Col-Erase red and blue.  Various brands of  Graphite pencils , HB, B, 2B .    Recommended graphite pencils include: Tombow Mono  and  Palomino Blackwing 602.

5.) Erasers:  Soft kneaded eraser (grey) , and "Magic Eraser" (white) .

6.) Exposure Sheets (free , printable X-sheet templates from  Pre-printed Exposure Sheets from Lightfoot Animation.

7.) Animation frame capture software. TVPaint Animation is recommended.  Or Digicel Flipbook or Toon Boom Harmony.  With TVPaint and Digicel Flipbook you can either scan your drawings or use an HD webcam for video capture of your drawings.  With Toon Boom Harmony you may only use a scanner .  Also look at a software like OpenToonz , which is free and can have scanned drawings loaded imported.

8.) a scanner for scanning your animation drawings into TVPaint , Digicel Flipbook,  Toon Boom Harmony, OpenToonz, etc.

The Epson Workforce Pro WF-7840 a good scanner that has both a Flatbed scanner and an Automatic Document Feeder for auto scaning up to 50 sheets at a time.

(NOTE: scanner models from Epson and other scanner manufacturers are constantly being updated , so the exact scanner model above may not be available, but look for a scanner that can handle paper size 11 x 17 , which will allow for scanning 12 Field animation paper or slightly cut-down 16 Field paper )


8 a .) a digital video camera or HD webcam mounted on a down-shooter (tripod or ideally a copy stand) to capture your drawings via video feed into TVPaint or Digicel Flipbook, etc.


A couple of resource docs:

 Traditional Animation Materials List