Pencil Animations

One of the add-ons to twitter is the Vine app - a fairly basic video app that allows you to take six-second, looping films. You record by touching the screen. It stops filming when you take your finger (or whatever you're touching the screen with!) off. There's no editing; you can't upload ready made footage; sound is recorded live. Part of the joy is its limitations. People are doing some incredible and funny things with it and testing its capabilities. For example, using stretched sound samples so that when they play back they are more or less at the right speed.

The human mind always seeks out playgrounds for its ingenuity. Vine is like twitter, in as much as you need to dig around to find the people you like. A good way to do this is to see what people you like… like (if you see what I mean - check out what vines they've 'liked'). There's a link to a selection of my favourites - which I'm gradually adding to - at the bottom of this page. Be careful: like twitter Vine is really for adults.

Despite the limitations, it's quite a good way to make simple stop motion animations.

I've been playing around with it for a couple of months and recently have started making short animations with pencil drawings: draw > tap the screen > rub out > draw > tap > etc. Each one takes between 10 and 45 minutes to complete, depending on complexity. At first I just recorded whatever sounds or music I was listening to, but recently I have started to create little musical loops to create the sort of feeling I'm after. I like to see them as (relatively) quick and dirty animations. I haven't got time to mess around with lighting levels, and my set up is an ipad balanced on a box!

Vine have recently added a 'ghosting' feature which means you can see a faint image of the last thing you captured, a clear acknowledgment by Vine that people are using it for animation.

As I say people are doing some amazing things with it, so I was chuffed to bits recently to have won the Grand Jury prize (!) at the NOWTV 'Worlds Smallest Movie Festival' for my 'Horse' vine, which you can see on the site.

You can see some examples below and I've gathered lots more of them here.

You have to activate the sound by clicking on the most appropriate icon.




You can see ALL of my Vines here and peruse a selection of Viners that I enjoy here.


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