Animotion Stop Motion Ink Animation
Animotion (animal + motion) is a series of animated ink drawings I made for Inktober 2017, an annual art challenge that encourages artists to draw with ink throughout October.
Most inktober works I see are static drawings, so as an animator I wanted to push the boundaries a little bit and create stop motion animation of animals using water and ink.
The effect I was going for was inspired by this bird GIF from the Water and Ink ad campaign by BDDP Unlimited.
I wasn’t sure how well my idea would work out, so I bought watercolor paper, a syringe, a medicine dropper, and the cheapest ink I could find (those refill ones for stamp pads that only came in four colors…artist ink is surprisingly expensive and we ain’t got the budget for it!)
I animated the animals frame-by-frame on Flash, which I transferred on my watercolor paper by literally placing the paper on my laptop screen and lightly tracing with a blue pencil (I was so nervous I’d damage my computer!)
You could imagine my delight when my first trial— a unicorn, of course— was a freaking success! Well, except for that ink drip on one of the frames when I moved the paper while it was still wet…
I used the free app iMotion to shoot this, which has everything you need for basic stop motion (and did I mention it’s free? #notsponsored)
Then I wondered what if I showed the creation process of each frame before revealing the final animation?
And so I set up the camera on a makeshift overhead tripod consisting of a regular tripod tied on a stool with a belt, and a bag of uncooked rice as weight (again with the minimal budget) and I ended up with a total of 13 videos published throughout October!
Some line animation and final output comparison
There wasn’t much reasoning behind the animals I chose to animate, except that they should read well when drawn in ink, and that I can have enough variety in the movement so I’m not just animating the same action between two different animals.
I gotta say it’s pretty magical to watch the ink spread in the water to form each animal, which then gradually came to life as each animation frame is painted. See for yourself!
One of the original animals I animated was this pair of otters holding hands as they float on water.
Unfortunately this didn’t translate well as an ink animation because the movement was too subtle (and I’m not sure how common knowledge it is that otters like to hold hands to keep from floating away while they sleep, so people might not “get it”).
And so the idea was scrapped. But because you read this far, here it is!