My Animation Experience So Far

By Syd Proudlock

Because my present camera includes all the standard accessories such as the single frame release, I decided to make an animated title for a holiday film. Using cut-outs, a piece of art board, and my Velbon tripod I carefully planned and began the task.
The final result when projected was satisfactory, the only mistake being not to allow a wide enough strip around the sides for a safety margin, thus giving a parallax effect.
It was following a second attempt in which I corrected my error that I became really interested in animation.

Another experiment was the use of toys, these being an excellent subject for animation, and the use of background sets gives plenty of scope to see what can be accomplished.
In the Film Making magazine Sheila Graber began a series on animation and from instructions given I made a light box and an animation stand. Although modifying the design of the stand slightly. I’ve realised that the build up to and preparation for film cartooning involves a considerable outlay of time, after this it needs imagination and patience.

In my first attempt at a cartoon I made up the storyboard and then began page by page drawings of the cartoon using A4 paper. After completing only one part of the cartoon I decided to colour my drawings using poster paints. The result was terrible in that the paper wrinkled, so I decided to shelve this particular attempt due to the time involved, in favor of a more simple Cartoon.

Using cels where necessary and partly coloured drawings only to avoid wrinkling, good progress has been made.

When all the drawings are complete and it’s time to film them, I intend to zoom in, in order to close the field for a safety margin.

I would appreciate any tips on colouring my paper drawings.

EDITOR: Broad point markers will colour most types of paper without causing too much wrinkling as the surface does not get as wet as with watercolour paint.


If you are making a title with rub down lettering (Letraset) on a cel then graph paper is very good for lining it up.

Originally printed in Animator’s newsletter Issue 1 (Summer 1982)