Brett Hansen - Animator, Cartoonist, Musician.

Weasel Boy in: Shop Goes The Weasel (2000)

This film was made during the 2 year "Diploma of Visual Arts: Animation" course at Southbank Institute of TAFE: Morningside Campus.

All the images were drawn on paper, then scanned into the computer and digitally coloured using Adobe Photoshop. The backgrounds, characters and props are all seperate layers.

First the script was written, then the characters were designed. And action was planned in the storyboard (a comic strip-like overview of what the scenes will look like).

The soundtrack was then recorded. Along with my classmates, I provided many of the voices. The voices are all edited together with music and sound effects to make a soundtrack.

Then every sound and syllable is timed out and recorded on a "dope sheet". This is a frame by frame guide to when each sound or syllable starts and finishes so we know what to draw for each frame of animation. That way, characters will talk and move in sync with the soundtrack.

So the layouts and actual animation is done after the soundtrack. All these drawings were drawn in pencil first, then inked over with black pens. Animation is made using registered paper - that is, all the paper is hole-punched to fit a special round tablet with three pegs at the bottom so the registered/hole-punched paper can fit over the pegs (or the pegs fit through the holes). This tablet with the peg bar and paper is on top of a light box. The light shines through so when we're animating, we can see through the page we're drawing on... We can see the previous drawing, and the current drawing is slightly different from the last because when these drawings are played back at 25 frames per second, it will give the illusion of movement.

During the animation process, line testing is done - shooting some of the pencil drawn scenes under a camera attached to a computer and playing them back to see if they run properly - if not, we go back and redraw the wrong parts.

After all the drawings were complete, and worked well they were scanned into the computer and coloured using Adobe Photoshop (computer software). It's a lot of work colouring every frame! But sometimes there are shortcuts - some drawings can be held for a few more frames. So you could get away with having a couple of seconds (50 frames) with the same drawing.

Each frame was saved with a number like 001, 002, etc. For example: Womanwalk004.
The reason for the numbers is because once in Animator Studio (computer software), I could open the first frame (001) and the rest of them would open in sequence. And then all the frames can play in order. If there are some errors, that's where some editing comes in.

Later, Adobe Premiere (computer software) was used to add various effects like blur, fading in and out of scenes, and zooming in and out.

Then the soundtrack (which was just animated to) can be placed with the animation and it should all run in sync. I used SoundForge (computer software) to match the soundtrack with the animation. Again, if parts don't work properly, more editing is done until it all fits perfectly!

You can view the completed film by clicking the download link below.

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