Remember Dherue? He recently took a class with instructor Jeremiah as part of Game-U’s New York Accelerate program. To practice his digital drawing skills with a tablet and stylus, Dherue pulled up Piskel, an animation program, to create a .gif of Wonder Woman swinging her Lasso of Truth!
Animation works by playing a series of graduated images – or frames – in quick succession. Thanks to the human eye’s “lag time,” viewers perceive the transition from one frame to the next as motion. While traditional animators, like the creators of the original Mickey Mouse cartoon, sketched each of their frames, Dherue designed his Wonder Woman .gif using Piskel’s pixel-oriented interface and one of Game-U’s drawing tablets. Since a pixel represents one “dot” of color on a computer screen (screens are made up of thousands of pixels, each with its grid coordinates, that combine to create a graphical user interface), Dherue used the grid available in Piskel to paint each of his frames from a pixel perspective.
To determine how many frames he needed to paint for an effective animation, Dherue analyzed the motion he wanted to convey. He envisioned Wonder Woman raising her arm, spinning the lasso, and swinging it towards her target, so he split the animation into five frames. In the first frame, he drew Wonder Woman herself, with her arm and lasso poised over her head. Dherue then duplicated this frame, erased the pixels related to the lasso, and re-drew the circle of rope in a different position. He repeated this two more times to show the lasso making a complete revolution. Finally, in the last frame, he depicted Wonder Woman’s arm and lasso in a forward position, as if she flung it straight ahead. Dherue and Jeremiah exported all five frames as a .gif to create the finished product!
Great job on this animation, Dherue! We enjoyed seeing your art come to life and we’re excited to see you learn more about animation. Stay in touch so we can see all the cool things you learn in classes to come!