“How to Marry an Éclair: Anatomy of an Animated Tale” by Huelsman

  • ©Eric Huelsman




    How to Marry an Éclair: Anatomy of an Animated Tale

Program Title:

    Electronic Schoolhouse (Playground)



    This Playground exhibit demonstrates how a unique, cross-age, multicultural, and, most importantly, cooperative learning environment allows for producing well-prepared animation artists as well as production of animation itself that is tremendously engaging (and fun!).

    For the computer graphics student, having a strong drawing and traditional animation background provides the strongest possible foundation for developing a career in computer animation. Conversely, computer animation experience is critical to the learning needs of traditional animation students. Therefore, the Abram Friedman Occupational Center gears its program toward the holistic integration of both disciplines to provide learning for students who are concentrating solely on a career in one or the other.

    This exhibit shows how traditional animation and computer animation classes collaborated to produce an animated short. The exhibit emphasizes how computer animation techniques for producing such things as lighting, environments, and particle systems were married with traditional 2D techniques such as hand-drawn character animation to produce a seamless animation that highlights the best qualities of both.

    All steps of the collaboration are demonstrated, from developing the story in discussion to how it was storyboarded on paper, from building and animating characters using computer animation to more traditional techniques that utilize paper, cels, disks, pencil test machines, and animation stands. The use of pencil test machines, scanners, and computers to create animation tests for characters, backgrounds, and environments will also be demonstrated. How the students rendered scenes, edited, and assembled footage to develop a final product will also be shown. Team building will be demonstrated and discussed, as representatives from each class “walk and talk” observers through the exhibit. The exhibit also includes a documentary showing how the animation was made.

    This exhibit is an opportunity for students to talk about both the learning experience and how it prepares them for work in the industry, whether they are computer graphics artists or traditional animators.

ACM Digital Library Publication:

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