Basic Animation 2D - Dragonframe

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Getting ready

  1. Sign the Logbook
  2. Set up the lab for shooting:
    1. Secure the pegbar to the animation stand and position your artwork.
    2. Turn on the camera and table lights.
  3. Set up Dragonframe
    1. Power up the computer and log in.
    2. Launch Dragonframe from the Dock.
    3. Select Create New Scene from the dialog box, or open a previously created scene with Open Scene.
    4. Name your production, 5 characters maximum, and click OK.
    5. In the new window that opens select a folder on the Storage drive.

Configuring Dragonframe

  1. If you do not see the live camera feed from the animation stand press command R to refresh the live camera feed.
    • a red outline will appear around the window signifying that live view is enabled.
  2. Set the frames per second for playback speed:
    • 1's = 30fps
    • 2's = 15fps
    • 3's = 10fps

Set the aspect ratio for the project

  1. Go to View > Composition Guides
  2. In the Broadcast Safe section check Show Broadcast Overlay
  3. Choose High Def. 16:9 (rectangular), or Std Def. 4:3 (square) depending on the requirements for your assignment
  4. Set Size To: to Aspect Mask
  5. In the Aspect Ratio Mask section set the Aspect Ratio to match the 16:9 or 4:3 setting above.
  6. Check Show Outline
  7. Click OK

Adjusting Grids and Overlays

  1. Turn the TV-safe (A) overlay on or off as needed.
  2. Turn the Grid (B) overlay on or off as needed.
  3. Adjust the Opacity (C) of the Aspect Ratio mask as needed.
Alt text
A: TV-Safe Overlay B: Grid Overlay C: Opacity

Set Up Artwork

  1. Arrange your artwork on the table.
    • Adjust the framing by moving the camera up or down the column, and position the table using the cranks.
    • Check framing so that the artwork overfills the screen and make sure any content, and titles, fall within the boundaries of the Action/Title Safe reference guides.
  2. Turn off overhead lights.
  3. Check for reflections.
    1. Adjust polarizing filter on camera by hand.

Cinematography Window

In Dragonframe click on the camera icon Camera icon dragonframe.png on the top right of the screen to enter the Cinematography window.


Camera Settings

On the Camera

  • Set to Manual Mode
  • Set lens to Auto Foucs

Cinematography window

While still in the Cinematography window confirm the camera settings are:

    • Picture Style - NEUTRAL
    • Image Quality - LARGE FINE JPEG
    • White Balance - TUNGSTEN ISO
    • External Flash - OFF
    • Stretch - NONE
    • Exposure Preview offest - 0
  1. Set the ISO dial to be 100

Focusing

  1. Set the focus by first placing one of focus guides on the table.
  2. Set camera lens to either MF manual focus or AF autofocus. Focusing - Dragonframe
  3. Click the focus check button.
    1. For manual focus slowly turn the focus ring on the lens until everything is sharp. Click on the focus button again to zoom back out.
    2. For auto focus click the focus buttons in Dragonfram until everything is sharp. Click on the focus button again to zoom back out.
  4. When using the multi-plane, rotate the outer polarizing filter until there is a reduction in glare.

F-Stop and Shutter Speed

  1. Adjust the f-stop and shutter speed dials by clicking and dragging to the right or left to adjust exposure.
  2. Take a test shot after each adjustment to confirm the exposure.
  3. When the image is in focus, and exposed properly (not too dark, not too bright), click on the animate button to return to the animation screen.

Recording Animation

  1. To begin capturing frames press the enter key on the numeric keypad.
    • This will take a moment to transfer the still image file from the camera to the computer.
    • Do not capture frames too quickly - this will cause Dragonframe to crash and may corrupt your last captured frame.

Playback Animation

  • Activate the hi-res button on the remote to set the playback source to preview the hi-res stills instead of the lo-res video assist images.
  • To playback your captured frames press 0 on the numeric keypad,
  • or use key 1 and 2 to step through frame by frame.
  • Press the home button on the keyboard to go to the first frame.

Onion Skininning

Onionskinning is a technique used in animation that allows an animator to see several frames at once. Check the Onionskin article for more detail