Technicolor Explores ‘Animation For Toons’

Technicolor took a deep dive into animation creation on Oct. 31, during the 13th episode of the “Learn, Create &a Grow” webinar series, on “Animation For Toons.”

During the webinar, Lizzielet Gracia, trainer at Technicolor Creative Studios Academy, delved into the captivating realm of animation. As part of the masterclass, she walked viewers through a diverse range of animation techniques, including 2D, 3D, clay animation and computer animation.

One goal of the webinar was to equip viewers with the skills essential for crafting outstanding animated content, according to Technicolor.

Gracia started her “animation journey” in 2000 and, “as a result of her passion and creativity, she quickly found herself in the dynamic world of 3D animation, where she used her talents at DQ Entertainment,” Annabelle Catherine Pais, training coordinator at Technicolor Creative Studios Academy, said while introducing Gracia.

“Over the course of her career, Lizzielet contributed her exceptional talents and artistic vision to a variety of cartoon series,” Pais pointed out. Her “notable contributions” have included Mickey Mouse Clubhouse 1 and 2, Peter Pan, Penguins of Madagascar, and motion capture for movies including Barbie Diaries, Pais added.

“Beyond her professional achievements, Lizzielet’s interests are as diverse as her talents,” Pais added, noting they span from oil painting and sewing to crocheting  and “culinary exploration.”

Gracia then took over, telling viewers: “I’m excited to share my expertise in cartoon animation with you today. I hope this information will inspire you all.”

She added: “By the end of this webinar, you will gain a clear understanding of what is cartoon animation. What is the difference between traditional hand- drawn animation and computer-generated animation? How has technology influenced the evolution of cartoon animation over the years…. [Also:] What are the three principles of animation that animators follow in cartoon animation?”

3D cartoon animation, also known as computer-generated animation, is a modern animation technique that she said “brings characters and worlds to life in a three- dimensional digital environment.”

She added: “In 3D cartoon animation, everything is created and manipulated on a computer, instead of drawing individual frames by hand as in traditional 2D animation. Animators use specialized software to build three-dimensional characters. These digital characters and objects can be moved and posed in 3D space, just like real-life puppets. The process involves creating a digital skeleton for characters, which is called a ray, and then animators use this ray to pose and animate the characters. The software calculates how these 3D models move and interact with their environment, creating lifelike movements and actions. 3D animation is widely used in movies, television shows, video games and even educational content.”

Providing viewers with a refresher, she said: “Learning 3D cartoon animation involves mastering the software tools, understanding character design, animating 3D models. It is an exciting field with many creative possibilities and opportunities for those interested in bringing characters to life. The key priority for someone looking to become a 3D cartoon animator is to understand the principles of animation. Studying the core principles of animation such as timing, spacing, squash and stretch, and anticipation is a good start. These principles apply to 3D animation just as they do to 2D animation. Here’s how you can get a grasp of these animation principles: Begin by studying the principles of animation from books like Cartoon Animation by Preston Blair The Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams Timing for Animation by Harold Whittaker Analyze and watch a variety of animations, both 2D and 3D.”

She also urged viewers to “pay close attention to how characters move” and to

“identify how the principles of animation are applied in different scenes.” Also, she said: “Choose  animation sequences or scenes and break them down frame by frame. This will help you see how the principles are applied in practice. Observe real-life movements and interactions. Understand how people and objects move in the physical world. This knowledge can be applied to make your animations  more lifelike. Animation is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient and practice regularly. Over time, you’ll improve and become proficient in applying the principles of animation.”

The webinar followed an entry in the “Learn, Create & Grow” series in September that was focused on concept art. During that webinar,  Soumyadipta Roy, trainer at Technicolor Creative Studios Academy, discussed concept art, its significance, the various types of concept art that can be created, such as character design, environment design, and prop design, as well as how they contribute to the overall creative process.