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How do I transition from short animations to long ones

So I do alot of animation memes (these if you dont know are short animations often going to a song of some kind sometimes depicting a short story) and I am nervous because for a demo reel I need to have more detalied/perfosional work but I cant really see myself getting out of doing short ones or having a easy trasition what should I do to help it go more smoothly #student #animation #animator #animation meme

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Ted’s Answer

You may want to start by planning first -- outline a longer story arc and storyboard your story before starting to animate.

Watch some of those [Pixar shorts](https://www.pixar.com/theatrical-shorts) and make notes of their total duration, how many shots they have, how many different scenes/sets and characters they use. These will give you an idea of how much work will go into producing your own portfolio-length piece.

With animation, since so much labor goes into each second produced, good planning will help you figure out which sequences you can reuse multiple times to add length to your story. You may find that the challenge of re-using specific elements or scenes may be a fruitful creative limitation that adds humor or interest to your story.
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Gates’s Answer

Creating longer animations can be done in a variety of ways.

One way, involves narrative story telling. If you are interested in animating characters and creating narratives, it may be helpful to create a written narrative that has a traditional, beginning, middle, and end structure. Then you may want to story board this narrative. After you have created your story board- breaking your written story into visual scenes. You can use that to create an animatic- how long would you like each scene to last? Then you can begin animating each scene. This is one way to create a longer animation.

If you are creating animations already, you may be able to cut together a longer piece by trying to focus on a certain theme. For example, it is helpful to have a walk cycle, or even several, in an animation demo reel, especially if you are focusing on character animation. The theme in that case would be walking or running. You could invent several different characters and explore different walk cycles with these characters. What does a walk cycle with two legs look like? Or three? Or a limp? Or does your character hop?

If you have trouble creating a narrative structure, sometimes having a theme or an overarching theme/ feeling/ setting/ mood/ and then creating within that, can yield positive results. You may even find that a story emerges from the shorter animations because of the shared theme.

In addition, it is helpful to remember that much of what goes into creating a visual story is editing. Sound is also extremely important in creating a continuous environment. You can imply that two seemingly unrelated scenes may be related, just by using sound!

I suggest watching "Hen Hop" by Norman Mclaren "The Elephant's Garden" by Felix Colgrave and checking out Hayley Morris's website - http://www.shapeandshadow.com - for some fantastic examples of animation both short and long, narrative and non narrative, for some inspiration.

Stay curious!
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