Design Discourse 1: Reflection

This semester of Design Discourse has been so enjoyable but even though I had attended a few sessions of the 3D Dojo last year working with Maya proved a lot harder than I had anticipated. Thankfully, Alec and my team helped me a lot with the assignments this semester.

I do feel that I should have spent more time improving my skills ever the course of this semester, however the workload for Creative Elements along with my poor time management skills made this very hard to achieve. Hopefully I will have a chance to work on these skills and on applying the principles I learned about to my pieces before classes start back.

Our assignment on the 12 principles of animation was really interesting for me as it made me so much more aware of what it was that made an animation more believable and  enjoyable to watch.

Overall, I think I have learned a lot during this semester and am proud of the progress I have made, even if a lot of this was through my mistakes! Now to go practise more!



So here’s my first ever showreel with assignments done for this module!

Over this break I plan on working on the skills I’ve learned during the semester and hopefully improving a lot before the next semester!


Today we had our group presentation on the 12 Principles of Animation.

For this we all researched the principles of animation and brought this together along with examples showing where they had been used within animations.

I was very happy with how the presentation came together however when it came to presenting I got a bit nervous and forgot what I had wanted to say, hopefully this wasn’t too obvious!

Eases (Slow Ins and Outs)

Slow In and Out means adding more frames to the beginnings and endings of actions, with the ease in usually taking up slightly more time than the ease out.

Eases are important within an animation as in real life objects and humans need time to both to pick up momentum before they can reach full speed and decrease speed before coming to a complete stop.

This principle is very closely linked to timing, as the timing must be spread between the ease in and out and the main action in the middle in order to make the action doesn’t seem robotic or unnatural.

In this GIF from Snow White, the dwarfs start off slow gain speed on the way down and then become slow again on the way back up, giving an authentic feel to the weight and use of the tools.


Disney – Snow White (1937)


For this week’s assignment we had to animate a wee wormy blob in a scene with a cube and sphere. We each planned out different ideas of what the scene could be and in the end decided that it would be best to have the worm on top of the cube trying to jump on to the ball, hitting it and falling off.

I worked on the beginning of this with the worm getting ready to jump off the cube until just before it hits the ball, then Kristina worked on the rest! I found this rig quite difficult to use as the worm deformed quite a bit so it was hard to really apply the principles to this.

Today in class though, Alec helped us sort it out and here is our finished piece!

Solid Drawing

Solid drawing refers to the idea that even in a 2D drawing you must consider the character as though they are in a 3d space.

This means giving the drawings more depth by adding shadows, gradients, scale, and perspective. It also means that 2D characters should be able to be drawn from any angle in a believable manner.

An example of solid drawing is Bob McKimson’s Bugs Bunny character studies where you can see believable rotations of the character. It shows that he is aware of the weight, volume and balance of the character


Bob McKimson Character Study – Bugs Bunny (1942)


Staging  in animation refers to setting the scene in a way that makes the idea completely clear to the viewer.

It how the animator controls where the viewer is looking and can apply to acting, timing, setting and the angle/ position of the camera all of which provide context for objects within the animation.


Cartoon Network (Rebecca Sugar) – Steven Universe

There are three main aspects of staging which can be seen in the GIF above:

  • Characters and objects should have strong silhouettes to more quickly understand them
  • The environment should be interesting, without drawing attention away from the characters
  • Objects, and actions and major actions should be presented one at a time in order to prevent confusion.