Experimental Animation: Cycles & Replacements #1

Experimental Animation: Replacements & Cycles
Dope Sheet

For this experimental animation we have been tasked with creating an animation using cycles and replacements. I have decided to animate the colours of a stupa cycling through their sequence. A stupa is a reliquary that contains relics of the Buddha. A wealth of symbolism has grown up around stupas, especially in the Tibetan schools. Stupas are either represented in two or three dimensions.

Borobodur
Borobodur Temple, Indonesia Source

Two dimensional representations of stupas either reflect their architectural counterparts or have a more simplified expression.

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I am going to animate the symbolic two-dimensional form of the stupa which is expressed using simple shapes and colours. The colour symbolism varies from school to school. I will be using the colours outlined in Lama Anagarika Govinda’s Foundations of Tibetan Mysticism.

My idea is to have each of the shapes cycle through the colours of the stupa. Each shape will cycle through the colours at different speeds until we come back to the original sequence.

I made the shapes by drawing them in Illustrator and then printing out the outlines. Using a lightbox I transferred the shape outlines to thicker paper and painted them in gouache, outlining them with an ink brush pen.

When I began to think about planning I realised I would definitely need a dope sheet, if only to know how many frames the sequence would need. It occurred to me that the number of frames might be in the thousands so I decided that I would plot out the sequence of the top, middle and bottom shapes and then reverse the sequences of the second and fourth shapes.

I used Excel to plot out the frames. Due to an error on my part the sequence for the second and fourth shapes became swapped which means that the frequency of change for those two shapes will be reversed.

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