Monday, 3 August 2009

Animating Art

Here is something I did a long time ago, but I came across it recently and thought it would be nice to share it.

I did this pencil drawing of the Spurn Lightship, which I saw in dock at Hull a few years ago. I scanned the image and then opened it in Paint Shop Pro. I added a new layer to the image and filled it with a dark grey. I then adjusted the transparency settings of that layer until I'd created an image that made the ship look as if it was a thick fog at night.

From there it was a case of 'painting in' some lights. I painted the lights as if the main beam was pointing to the right, and saved the image. Then I undid that light and repainted it as if the beam was almost pointing at me. I repeated the process until I had 8 'frames'. These were then pulled together in PSP's Animation Shop, where it was then just a case of adjusting the frame timings to give the right effect.

I've slightly oversimplified the process for the sake of a short explanation, but I'm sure you get the general idea. The result is an animation that brings a new dimension to the static drawn image. Regrettably, hosting the animation on the net causes some problems with the frame speed, and it will sometimes run too slowly, and sometimes too quickly. If anyone is interested in seeing the original, drop me a line and I'll happily send it.


  1. John, I just came across this and I cannot get over how this looks.
    The light blinking on and off (well yes, I'm sure you already know that) No I dont understand it but I do like it..

  2. Thank you Barbra Joan. I'm glad you like it. It isn't as difficult as it might sound when you actually get into it.