A Midsummer's Dream

June 3, 2022

Just as the previous looped animation scene, I wanted to once again bring a static drawing to life by adding various animated organisms and elements that allow for endless repetition.

I started by jotting down the image I had in my head: a hot summer’s day at a forgotten patch of nature close to industry, something found all over the Netherlands.

I figured the distant factory had to have some kind of influence on the neighbouring wildlife, so the colors are tinted more towards toxic green. I also thought the bug could’ve slowly transformed into its motorized counterpart due to constant exposure of nearby industry, but it’s not ‘functioning’ properly.

The background was drawn in detail with graphite on A3 sized paper and a seperate watercolor painting was then merged with the original drawing to add color. Further enhancement of shadows and highlights were added on the computer.

Contrary to the previous looped scene, I wanted to experiment with animating on paper instead of making all the animations digitally again. Happy accidents seem to occur more often when animating traditionally.

This short timelapse shows how I go about animating on paper. I use a custom 3D printed pegbar which allows for ’normal’ office perforation, instead of having to put down a lot of money for the specialized acme perforation.

In the end I had to draw 9 layers of animation, consisting of a total of around 300 drawings. I scanned those using the incredibly useful GTS scan tool and then painted the lines with Krita. All the animations were then composited together on the background with Opentoonz.

Animating on paper is somewhat inefficient, though one could refine the workflow. But what’s more important is the serendipitous nature of this way of working. Watching the animation after scanning is like viewing developed pictures for the first time: sometimes suprising, wrong, unexpected or even better than imagined.

All sounds were gratefully taken from freesound.org.