Dope Sheets

With previous modules and tests I had never really used or had understood the use of the dope sheet clearly within animation until adapting it more in this current module. Hopefully I have gained a greater understanding of how to use and how to adapt it to each animation.

In the gallery of images below are, first of all, the original layout of the dope sheet that I made within Microsoft Excel which I then put into Photoshop so I could draw onto the boxes as I find it easier to use my tablet and write into the spaces, the things I need. The other sets of images are how I have used the dope sheets since creating it, the two images with the blue writing are from the first and second of the six dope sheets I had to create in order to write out each frame I needed and then the dialogue that runs along side that frame.
From the research I’d done previously and the more recent further studies into the initial development and then the traditional implementation of techniques to animate, I have realised where I had previously gone wrong and why I had such a hard time understanding it in the first place. Although it seems like a very simple sheet, when you put it towards animation and you start to actually write the information down that you need to create it, it becomes a lot more complex, unnerving and confusing. With the dope sheets below I had originally started to use them as you would have expected with any other hand drawn animation, but then I began to change a few odd things to suit them for my own use.

Usually the drawing that is needed to be shot on a certain frame fits into column 1 and the other columns are used as each layer, so the first column is the first layer, the second column is the second layer and so on and so forth. With the dope sheets that I have created however is to write down what frames I would need to draw within the first column in two’s although I am drawing the animation in one’s. This way I wouldn’t lose track of what frame I was drawing or I am on as I tend to forget things easily and it feels more organised. I then placed in the dialogue as I heard it and saw it within Toon Boom to make sure it was on the correct frame and timing. This meant that any repeat frames or changes I need too add is within the other columns, so when it comes to capturing the drawings to make the animation I knew what order and where I needed certain drawings.

This use of the dope sheet and layout means it has sped up the process and improved my organisation and understanding of traditional animation. This has also meant that I have had more time to experiment and play with different ways in animating but still keeping with the traditional methods that hand drawn artists have always used but I have just never been able to try for myself.

I’m of course constantly referring and editing my dope sheets as I work through the animations with new ones being printed off due to the amounts of changes I’ve had to do.


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