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How my doodles turned into little animations

Updated on July 24, 2013

Bored at work

Ok, picture the scene. You’re sat in an office, it's all quiet and you’re just twiddling your thumbs. You've spent hours searching the internet for anything to read or view and occupy yourself, but you need something different.

Whilst talking to colleagues and joking, I started to doodle the scene. Scribbling stranger and stranger scenarios making me realize, either I'm mad or the things we're talking about are completely ridiculous.

The next thing I know I've got an incredibly inappropriate comic strip. We're all laughing together and so I think, why not?

Taking hold of the mouse, opening paint, I start to draw a picture, then I just need to change the picture and it starts to snowball. Frame after frame until I have a few test samples to play around with in Windows Movie Maker.


Finished film

So what is it that I do? And how?

What I do is relatively simple, and can be done by anyone which is the simplistic appeal to it. The fact that what I have used is largely available to anyone with a PC. No special software, no tablets or input devices other than a mouse.

As the project began whilst I was at work it was founded on what I had to hand. So Windows XP, MS Paint, Windows Movie Maker, a Mouse and 8 hours.

With the 8 hour window, as you can imagine, there wasn't a lot of planning. I would just draw a picture and find a story from there.

The 3 frames to the right are then played through Cyberlink Power Director (as that is what I now use) at the fastest frame rate to have the black spot moving up and down.

All you do then, is change the dot into something i.e. a person, change the background and you have a different film with the same format. See how it comes together and any modifications you can make. Take it as far as you would like

1st Creation. Bang

And so it began

So I set myself a brief "what can I create in a couple of hours using only what I have to hand". With this in mind I started little 20 second long projects, a case of while working I would think of something, draw it, animate it, upload it and then go home. If I hadn't finished before the end of the shift I had failed. I'd lost the race if you like.

A couple of days later and I have my first ridiculously badly drawn cartoon. I wasn't going for looks (never have) but it was the start of something.

Without thinking twice I upload my first video to YouTube so that my colleagues can watch and enjoy what we are going to create over and over again. Anything else is just a bonus. Will anyone else understand? Probably not.

Before long I had a Series called Break Back Office, and a few Weird Projects, and something called Hammy was starting to take form.

Sumo Films

I needed a name and it didn't take more than about 2 seconds to come up one.

A while after starting a uploading 1 or 2 films a day I decided to go that little bit further and by dissecting my username started using the names Sumo Films, and Misguided Productions. Possibly because they just seem to fit with most of the upload quality, definitely "Misguided".

Viewer Interaction

Somewhere along the way I came up with the idea to involve the viewer further, add a little more interaction to the films. So "Spot the Sumo" began, try to find the little guys within the scenes and see how many you can find.

It has been a great success as people race to find them all. the only trouble I have now is keeping them hidden from people that believe themselves to know where I would place them. I have to keep myself one step ahead, otherwise where's the fun for everyone, so keep your eyes on the background as well as what’s happening on screen sometimes it's just a distraction.

50th Creation. GMan

100th film Hammy's Revenge

GMan & Hammy

As the uploads continued a project began. Make something longer than 20 seconds.

GMan was the project title and it was to be my 50th upload. I went home and I just doodled night and day for months, drawing frame after frame until I had 5 minutes of footage. Not a lot I know, but a few hundred in frames in doodle terms.

Once GMan was uploaded I upped the level again, adding sound to a series of mine called Break Back Office.

Then came the surprise, little Hammy. Requests for more and more stories which have lead to project 2, Hammy's Revenge was my 100th, and my biggest project to date.

Just as much fun to make and just as long also. Without the problems added problems that I had making GMan.

Stop Motion

The creations will continue

I've used various versions of Movie Maker which are evident in the uploads. From the version included with Windows XP to Windows Live Movie Maker being my current tool. Now that the upgrade of my studio is complete I can continue to improve my work.

Now with the new camera and software the stop motion work is starting and tests videos have been uploaded. Lego Animation an exciting new area to venture into. Building the sets is fun and fighting my children for the Lego is the biggest challenge.


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