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About the Author

David Bunting

David Bunting

Freelance Story Artist & SFX Animator

United Kingdom


Video Transcript

Hi, my name is David Bunting. Storyboarding on television shows is a large focus of my current work, but I started my career as a hand-drawn effects animator. If you've seen Tigger's Family Tree Song and the Tigger Movie, then you've seen some of my work.

I'm going to animate a small fire, in the fireplace of this watercolour background from a classic children's TV series, Microscopic Milton. And then I have highlights and shadows to give a dimension of believability to the shot.

First things first, import the fire background by going to File > Import > Images. Sets you where it's going to.

In the Layer, go into "Create this as a new layer" and call it anything at all. I'm just going to call it: BG, to keep it simple. And click OK. And there we have it. Let's pull it to the bottom of the pile.

Now, first things first, I want to go to Workspace > Workspace > Hand-Drawn to make this a more familiar graphical interface for me as a hand-drawn animator. I like it a lot better, because it's got my exposure sheet over to the right. We've got a background over to the right-hand side. Drawings in the foreground are piled up to the left. And then from top to bottom, we've got our frame numbers, from one to all the way to the bottom of the scene. I can switch my light on and off, just like I would on a light box. And just like a light box, if I go over here, I can go to Top Light Control and now I've got my set of dimmer switches. So I can adjust the opacity of, sort of, the background coming through my paper. So all that's very nice.

Now let's sort this out. I want to get my Tool Properties up here. You'll see this flashing box. Now if I just get it over to the sweet spot, you'll see it click in. And there we go and you can pull that down.

I like this because now I've got my Tool Properties right beside whatever I'm using. Makes more sense to me. It also gives me a lot more room for my exposure sheet over to the right like that.