THE ACTUAL TASK of making animated cartoon characters move falls to a crew of artists known as animators, They usually work at specially-constructed desks having sloping tops, in the center of which are ground-glass windows lighted from beneath. Here the animator may pile a sequence of drawings, one over the other, so that he can check on the particular phase of action on which he is working. Ususally he is concerned only with developing the “key” drawings showing the extremes of the action. Another artist, known as “in-betweener,” takes these key drawings and subsequently draws the required number of pencil sketches needed to fill in the sequence of action between the extremes. On this phase of animation we shall go into later in greater detail.
The animation of a cartoon is handled very much the same as the shooting of a live-action picture—scene by scene and not necessarily in sequence. Each scene is timed out for its required screen footage before production—just the reverse of the procedure for live-action films. This method generally makes for more precise control over all the elements of the picture and provides a reasonably definite course for the animator to follow. Changes in timing, which will shorten or lengthen scenes, may yet occur as the animator works out his idea of the action.
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 1 - Systematized procedure, Story men and Story sketch artists
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 2 - Production Preparation
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 3 - Planning the Staging and Setting
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 4 - The Animator’s Problems
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 5 - In-Betweening
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 6 - Cleanup and In-betweening
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 7 - Animating dialog
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 8 - Inking and painting
- Animated Film Techniques - Part 9 - Animation in television an commercial film productions