All animations created by Dave Sutton

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How I make my animated gifs

Many people have asked how my 3D computer animations are made

The original model is made in Schroff Silverscreen Solid Modeler and would look like this

Tiger Barb1Tiger barb 2In Silverscreen it is possible to place a photograph of the fish onto a solid rectangle and the trace around it to get the basic shape. This outline is the basis for constructing the 3d model and it has to built using several sections or "blocks". There are many different commands and procedures for creating these sections but I will not bore you with the details
Each section of this fish was given a rotation axis and eight models were made to give the fish the swimming motion. As you can see the model is not very precise and looks "iffy" large scale but it works well for a small animation. The good thing about making small animations is the fact that I do not spend hours putting in exact details and a few stray solid objects here or there does not really matter once the image has been reduced to the size of the animated fish illustrated here. This model can be viewed from any angle and is a true 3D image so it can be used in a variety of animations. Once the hard work of building the model is over the fun starts by being able to make hundreds of different animations from one model and in many case combining several models into one animation.

Tiger Barb animatedSilverscreen has a built in texture renderer but I prefer to import the model into Artlantis and apply textures and colours to each of the eight models. This is comparatively easy if you colour code each object in Silverscreen that you want rendered with the same texture. Finally the eight JPEGS produced by Artlantis are opened in Jasc animation shop put together as an animation, transparent backgrounds created , adjusted to a suitable image size, optimized and cropped to size. It all sounds easy, and it really is once you know how each separate piece of software works, and that sadly does take a little time and a lot of experimentation but once I have made an animation the sense of satisfaction that I have made something that other people will want to use is what keeps me going on.