Recently, I have moved on from html and css tutorials to a http://scratch.mit.edu/. This website teaches users basic programming such as how to create stories, games, and animations to share online. I decided to first learn how to create an animation. I had a lot of ideas but execution was extremely difficult. It is necessary to have some artistic ability and I have very little. To guide me in design I used an episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I attempted to paint my backdrop like an outdoor scene on the episode. After many failed attempts I decided to use a backdrop that the website provides for you. Getting the character I created to move the way I wanted it to proved to be the most difficult. There is a lot of graphing involved. The first time I attempted to get the cartoon cat, I wished to animate, to walk, nothing happened. I gave instructions and it wouldn’t move. I realized I had to manually add a play button and click it. After I got him to move he was walking upside down. In order to get the cat right side up I had to designate how and which direction I wanted him to travel, using the graph and understanding plot points x and y. Following, I attempted to add music to the animation. The cat wouldn’t move until the music stopped playing. I went to look at the script of the animations of other children. This is how I discovered how to make the music and motions occur simultaneously.
Like most other cats, my cat was naked. I assumed the costume button on the website was an attempt to solve this issue. After several attempts to draw clothing on my cat I realized ‘costume’ was in reference to the positioning of the cats legs and arms. In order to make the cat appear to be in motion his ‘costume’ must change multiple times in a single animation. While I was successful in making my cat walk along to a beat, making it dance in a manner that seems normal (for a cartoon cat) was something I was not able to do. The cat only had but so many costumes and the positions I could put him in didn’t make it look like it was dancing. I moved on to try to animate a cartoon character that had more costumes available. With this change I successfully made a dinosaur dance to drum music for twenty seconds.
After stressing over a cat and dinosaur for more time then I would have liked, I found a tutorial on the same website for animating letters. My name is short so I figured it would be a safe place to start with. I was able to make the letters spin, change colors, and bounce. After working with the cat and dinosaur, I was able to add music and a backdrop to my name with much more ease.
My animations, needless to say were very mediocre. I would like to get better at drawing so that I could use characters I have created myself. I would also like to get better at understanding script so that the characters will appear to be doing more.