Much of the guide was transcribed by things that I learned from talking to the Dunkasaurus.
As you might note, however, the Dunkasaurus is an imaginary character that I invented, so in all actuality, I taught myself flipbooks and all these techniques by familiarizing myself with the Dunka through a series of trial and error.
The flipbook which helped me out the most, in terms of learning skills that were easily applied to others, was the Turtle On A Bicycle. I thought it was soo cool, the first one that I made. I got in line at the Yale Bookstore and went up to Ralph Nader at a book signing and gave him it, because I thought it was kind of crazy that he was running for President of the United States, and was actually being mentioned in the national news as having at least a calculable percentage of approval points, but his political party didn't even have an animal mascot. So I offered him the idea that since slow and steady won the race for our green friend, the turtle, it might also work for him (or other Green Party candidates in the future).
I've never taken a class on drawing. I just kind of fudged around in my notebooks in high school and found that doodling was actually helpful. In fact, pretty much my entire graphic style, like many others who discovered the same, had been derived from illustrating my note-taking in high school. Later on, I went to home-school myself through college and became a self-taught illustrator, animator, web designer, musician, and whatever else it was that I felt like doing and getting better at.
In the process, I worked at bookstores, movie theaters, and coffeeshops. Then, I found jobs working on farms and for community gardening programs. I even got a job as a solar electrical technician, and became a lead installer.
Not to say that I am amazing at all of those things. I still have much to learn, when it comes to many of the things that I taught myself. In the process of delving into these subjects with no guidance or instruction, I simply tried lots of different approaches, and then documented the ways that actually made my styles improve. This led to a series of instructional guides I wrote, which came from some kind of internal desire to share what I learned. In knowing that I am self-taught, it saves me the hassle of siting references, since there aren't any, and it renders me immune to plagarism. I didn't read a single book on animating. I never took a class on it, or studied the works or techniques of other animators.
That doesn't qualify me to consider myself to be the best at flipbooking, because I've seen many out there that contain skills that I don't have. It does, however, put me in a place that I have called "Flipbook Island."
Non-Animated Books That Relate To These Flipbooks
|The skateboarding flipbooks work with "Skateboard Music" (another title in the series)|
Flipbook Island is a place in your mind that you can go to, where everything is a cartoon and most of it is in primary colors. Anything that happens on that island is conceived by humankind in the form of hand-drawn flippers, neatly bound in little orange notepads. Yes, I want to start a movement, not just within the pages of these little notebooks. Indeed, this is about getting away from computers a little bit.
But it's also about having skills that no one else has, which people want. I don't believe that people just want a dunking basketball dinosaur. If it were me, and I walked into a store and saw that, I would definitely think it was cool, but I would hope that an ambitious individual would see it as a challenge to create their own in a similar style and quality. The Instruction Manual is intended to help with that.
The main techniques described in the guide are the concepts of timelining, object/layer, and sequences. If you can get a grasp on what I mean by those terms, your flipbooking skills will increase exponentially.
|The musical themed flipbooks work with MIDI language.|
This is descibed in more detail with the title "Audiomatic Expressions"
If you're too young to understand the language in the book, just look at the pictures and you will understand what the words are trying to explain. When you get older, maybe you can read the book again in 5 years and the words might make more sense, and you might understand the concepts in a little more detail. It's still written to help improve your skills at any level, for people of all ages.
The animation skills require the use of a graphic design style which I've also constructed around my explaining process, called Analog Basic. To put it simply, everything you can draw with a pen (each line, connected to other lines), is a geometric shape. Those geometric shapes need to stay consistent throughout the course of a flipbook anyway, in order to maintain the identity of the image. It's basically a very 2D style, but it's a great platform to learn from, and you can give it 3D characteristics but it looks and works like a 8-bit or 16-bit videogame.
Making those shapes move and work together can be difficult, but there are lots of ways to make it simpler. They're all listed within the text of Flipbook Island's Guide to Flippers, narrated by Dunkasaurus Rex.
You can teach this in classrooms if you want. If they taught this stuff in high school, maybe I would have payed attention. Kid Analog is where books meet computers on a whole new level.
Taking sides (and choosing books),
Kid Analog (Ian Applegate)
Next Title: Learn How To Sequence Literature!