Curriculum Animation
Optical toys: making drawings move using techniques based on optical toys
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Types of materials

We normally think of materials as falling into three categories of Solid, liquid, and Gas, but though iron and wood are both solid, they act in different ways when animated. Here are some examples of different materials:

  • Rigid/breakable
  • Viscous (glue)
  • Rigid/malleable
  • Liquids (taps, waves, rain)
  • Flexible/breakable
  • Bubbly (foam, froth)
  • Flexible/unbreakable
  • Gases (steam, clouds)
  • Plastic
  • Fabrics
  • Powders
  • Weight and shape, how do things fall, leaves
  • Anticipation and overshoot
  • Walk cycles
  • Cut outs
  • Puppets
  • Punches for puppets
  • String animation, cel, computer animation


A storyboard is a visualised story, rather like a comic strip, except a comic will illustrate a sequence, while storyboard will show how one image moves to another.



Search: Storyboarding



An Animatic is a storyboard with sound added, and timed out so that you see the complete movie but without the movement. It gives a very good idea of what the final movie will look like.


Animation exercises

  • Anticipation and overshoot
  • Speeding up and slowing down
  • Shooting under the camera
  • Effects, snow, rain
  • Animation cycles
  • Ball bounce
  • Wheel turn
  • Propeller spin
  • Pendulum
  • Clock hands
  • Frog tongue
  • Light switch and bulb
  • Two leg walk
  • Yo-yo
  • Bike pump
  • Piston
  • See-saw
  • Spring
  • Scissors
  • Lid open
  • Box roll
  • Box turn
  • Ball turn
  • Worm emerging
  • Flag wave
  • Smoke and funnel
  • Ball spinning on the spot
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