Introduction to Animation

In order to understand the mechanics of animation we have to understand how movement is recorded by a live action camera. The movement of an actor can be recorded through a traditional cinema camera or digital cinema camera but regardless either way the camera is capturing those images at 24 frames per second. When the 24 frames are play back quickly the images appear as motion. You take any video clip and open it up in quicktime  and then pause the video. Then you can use the arrows on the keyboard to move forward frame by frame on that particular video clip and them you can see the individual pictures with in the video.

In traditional hand drawn animation instead of taking pictures of an actor artist draw the individual frames for each shot of the movie. An animator will sit at a light table and that will allows them to see several different frames at once so they can keep track of the movement of their character. When these images are played back a regular speed if will give the illusion of movement.


For a better understanding of the traditional process an animation grab a stack of post it notes and take a pencil or a pen and create one drawing on each post it, then flip through the stack. The advantage of using a computer for animation is you can select an object and set a key frame at the beginning of the clip and then move that object a set distance and set another  key frame at the end of the clip. Then the computer will go in and place that object on each of the frames that are need between the beginning and end to complete the animation for you.Even with the help of a computer animation is an extremely slow process. In order to figure out how many frames we need for a feature length movie which is around 90 minutes you have to 24 frames per second and multiple it by 60 seconds which gives you 1440 frames per minute.Then take the 1440 and multiple that by 90 for a 90 minute movie and you end up with 129,600 frames. This shows how much work it takes to make an animated film.

The Twelve Principles of Animation

In 1982 Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, both Disney animators defined the twelve basic principles of animation in the their book “The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation“. This was the cumulation of techniques used by Disney animators over the years going back to the 1930’s. The purpose of the twelve techniques is to produce the illusion of life in an animated character using the laws of physics.

 This book has been a great assest to new and experienced animators and if even referred to today with the use of computer aided animation.



Animation Timing

What is good timing ? Animation gives meaning to movement. Isn’t movement just getting from position “A” to position “B”, this seems like a good answer but it isn’t necessarily always the case. In nature for example things don’t move just in straight lines, and in animation and in the movies you don’t just see a flat screen, you see all sorts of different angles, different perspectives and this something all animators have to consider. When thinking about movement and timing we have to first of all think about the object we are creating. A simple circle for example can be anything from a cannonball to a soap bubble, the audience will only know what it is by the way it moves interacts with its environment. In order to animate a character from ‘A’ to ‘B’ the forces which are operating to produce movement must be considered. Firstly gravity  tends to pull a character down towards the ground. Secondly, their body is built and jointed in a certain way and is acted on by certain arrangements of muscles which tend to work against gravity. Thirdly, there is a psychological reason or motivation  for the action,whether they are dodging a blow, welcoming a guest or threatening someone with a revolver.

An animator has to worry about making their drawings and characters seem real, weighty, and solid as well as make them act in a convincing way. Now animation and timing is all cause an effect. Understanding the mechanics of actually movement is really important. This might sound really obvious but for example if a heavy object where to land on a see-saw with a lighter object on the opposite side the lighter object is going to fly into the air. Now that’s the natural reaction but as animators we tend to emphasize and over exaggerate things. Every object and character has weight and moves only when a force is applied to it. This is Newtons first law of motion. An object at rest tends to remain at rest until a force moves it, and once in motion it tends to stay in motion in a straight line until another force stops it. Also the lighter the object the less resistance it has to movement as well as less momentum. However the heavy the object the more force is required to move it as well as having more momentum. The way an object behaves on screen and the effect of weight that it gives, depends entirely on the spacing of the animation drawings and not on the drawing itself. It does not matter how beautifully drawn that cannonball is in a static sense if it does not behave like sane and the same applies to the  balloon, and indeed to any object or character.


The Most Popular Rangefinders for Hunting

In short, a rangefinder serves as a tool allowing someone to measure the distance from their current location to another point. In hunting, it allows a hunter to better calculate his or her ability and necessary tools to take that final shot. In the current market, rangefinders range from very simplistic to extremely technologically complex in their nature. Three types of rangefinders dominate todays market; those being Ultrasonic, Optic, and Laser.

An Ultrasonic rangefinder utilizes sound waves to measure the distance between itself and an object. Sound waves are sent out to “bounce off” of the object, and those waves are received by a hand held receiver. A downfall of these rangefinders is the fact that any outside noise has the ability to interfere with the receiving of those sound waves, and therefore the accuracy of the finders reading. Certain Ultrasonic rangefinders with shorter ranges of measurement (1-60 feet) have the ability to measure units as small as 1 inch, if of course outside conditions are optimal. Of the three types, these are a much less popular type of rangefinder, as the machine does emit a sound wave, and many hunters are concerned with how sensitive animals are to sounds of any level and frequency.

Optic rangefinders utilize a series of mirrors and lenses to actually double the image. These rangefinders then merge the two images together, and the distance between the two is read off a dial on the machine. These rangefinders stand towards the more technologically simplistic side of the spectrum, hence the reason some models don’t require a battery to operate. However, for those looking to hunt in areas of dense brush and forestry, one should recognize that these rangefinders rely on a clear line of sight to operate, and therefore readings can lose accuracy when other objects obscure that view.

laser rangefinder

The most prominent and widely used type of rangefinder is the laser rangefinder. These impressive machines send out laser pulses at certain intervals, and measure the time for a pulse of infrared light to travel to the target and back. Many pulses of light are emitted as a target is being measured, therefore increasing the accuracy each time a pulse is sent out and received. As for accuracy, laser rangefinders are usually regarded superior to the other types, as of course the results are returned almost instantly (the result is based off the speed of light) and are constantly made more accurate as more beams are received and measured.These tools require the hunter or operator to aim with a fair deal of accuracy, especially for the models that have the ability to measure very far distances. The distance in which these rangefinders can successfully operate depends heavily on the reflectivity of the target, as of course the clarity of the pulse of light received will determine the accuracy of the reading.

As for choosing the best rangefinder to utilize while hunting, many factors come into play. Locations with consistent wind or heavy weather normally would create excessive outside noise in conjunction with the tress and forestry, and therefore would interfere with the readings of an Ultrasonic rangefinder, leading one to be better off choosing a Laser or Optic tool. Considering most shots are taken between 50 and 150 yards, depending of course on the species being hunted, most rangefinder reviews would convey that almost all mid-level rangefinders will serve their purpose in the field, it simply depends on the preference of the hunter, and the conditions offered by the location one is hunting.