First, you need an idea, a story, characters… That’s the writing phase. It’s finished when the scenario is ready and all the scenes worked out in detail. Next comes the drawing: the scenery, the objects… For each character, we even create model sheets. A model sheet is a series of sketches showing the hero from every angle: from the front, the back, the side, slightly turned away… Finally, the storyboard transforms the written scenario into drawings. With sketches in panels, the storyboard looks like a comic strip… without speech bubbles! Then comes the animation which makes everything move as if by magic. It takes a whole team to do this.
Okay, but how does animation work?
To create the illusion of movement, the images have to be shown very quickly: 24 frames a second! The more drawings there are, the more natural the movement appears. Today, most illustrations are done by computer. It’s a lot quicker than by hand. But it’s not just drawings that can be animated. Thanks to a technique close to photography, cutout paper or plasticine comes to life… That’s 3-D animation. There are some other very sophisticated animation techniques such as “motion capture”. Here, human movements are recorded and applied to virtual computer images. You see, it’s quite complicated to make a cartoon. But you can learn. There are specialised schools in many countries. Anything’s possible if you really want it!