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Make a Sprite Animation (Disney-Style)
Grade: 4-12
Subject(s): Animation
Required products: MultiMedia Lab V
  • MultiMedia Lab V
    Draw three frames of animation, assemble them into a sprite, and play your Disney-style cartoon.
    A sprite animation is similar to a flip book. It is made up of individual drawings which are very similar to one another. They are played in quick succession and give the illusion that the character may actually be moving from one frame to the next. Your eye fills in the the blanks between frames, and your brain is tricked into thinking a character is actually moving! We are going to create a sprite animation (also known as an animated GIF).

    To create a sprite animation, there are 3 steps:
    1) Draw your frames.
    2) Assemble them in succession.
    3) Run and tweak.
    Let's look at each step carefully.

    You have to use a paint program to draw three frames. We'll use Tool Factory Painter.
    1) Double click on the Painter icon on your desktop.
    2) Draw a face using simple shapes. Draw both eyes opened.
    3) Do a FILE>SAVE AS and call it "Frame 1"
    4) Now we're going to make him wink and smile! Draw one eye half way closed.
    5) Draw half of a smile.
    6) Do a FILE>SAVE AS and call it "Frame 2"
    7 )Draw one eye all the way closed.
    5) Draw a complete smile.
    6) Do a FILE>SAVE AS and call it "Frame 3"
    Be sure to take note of where you saved your frames, because we'll have to go get them in a minute. I saved mine in the "My Documents" folder.

    1) Open MultiMedia Lab V.
    2) Click "Start the Program Directly".
    3) Go to the object toolbar down the right side of the screen. Click on the third to bottom icon. It looks like a man running.
    2) A submenu of icons appears. Click on the second to last one on the left. It also looks like a man running and says "Sprite" if you hold your mouse over it.
    3) Click on the page to drop it off. A window called "Sprite Editor" appears on the screen.
    4) Click on the "Add To" button.
    5) Select "Frame 1". (you may have to browse to "My Documents" to find your frames).
    6) Select Open.
    7) Repeat. "Add To", "Frame 2", "Open".
    8) Repeat. "Add To", "Frame 3", "Open".
    9) Click on the "Start Button to preview your sprite.
    10) Select "OK" to close the sprite editor window.
    11) Drag your artwork onto the white page (it may be falling off the edge!).
    12) Now "Run"....Congratulations! Watch out Disney...here you come!
    13) Select "Esc" to return to construction mode.

    My animation was too fast, so I want to slow it down.
    1) Click on your artwork. A box appears around it.
    2) In the upper right hand corner is a tiny little icon. Click on the icon to open the sprite editor again.
    3) Increase the interval to 300.
    4) Select "OK" to close the sprite editor window.
    5) Now "Run".

    Have fun!!
    Downloadable Worksheets
    Mac users: To download, ctrl-click on the worksheet and choose "save link to disk"
  • See the animated sprite!
  • Download, install, and play an animated sprite.
  • Post your project on the internet.
  • Make a CD-ROM with your project