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The Gimp: Animation

Kevin Bibo

PROJECT: The Bouncing Ball

Step 1: Storyboard

Complete a 12-frame storyboard including sketches of what you see and notes about what you hear.

Step 2: Object Definition


1. Open The Gimp

2. Select File>New

3. At Preset select: NTSC – 720×480. Under the Advanced Options select:

Colorspace: RGB color

Select Contents: White

4. Click OK

5. Create a new folder in your documents and name it Animation.

6. Save this file into your documents folder as Animation1.xcf

Create Individual Frames

1. Create 15-75 frames as layers in The Gimp.

2. Change each frame/layer in a small way to indicate motion.


3. Create a new layer.

4. Rename “Layer 01.”

5. Select the Elliptical Marquee tool (Shift+M).

6. Hold down Shift and drag a circle shape.

7. Fill the circle with any color.

8. Deselect (Shift+Ctrl+A)

9. Duplicate Layer 1.

10. Rename this layer “Layer 02”.

11. Select the move tool (V).

12. Click on Layer 2 to make it active.

13. Move the circle slightly in Layer 02

14. Duplicate Layer 2.

15. Rename this layer “Layer 03”.

16. Select the move tool (V).

17. Click on Layer 03 to make it active.

18. Move the circle slightly in Layer 03

19. Repeat these steps to create as many layers as you need to establish a realistic path of movement for the ball.

20. Save the file.

Step 3: Key Frames

1. Create a new subfolder in your Animation folder and name it “cells”. Save (Save a copy) the frames/layers individually and sequentially/numerically (ex. image01.xcf, image02.xcf, image03.xcf etc.) into the folder

2. Hide all but Layer 1.

3. Go to File>Save a copy…

4. Save the file into the cells folder as “ball01.xcf.”

5. Hide Layer 1.

6. Show Layer 2.

7. Go to File>Save a copy…

8. Save the file into the cells folder as “ball02.xcf.”

9. Hide Layer 2.

10. Show Layer 3.

11. Go to File>Save a copy…

12. Save the file into the cells folder as “ball03.xcf.”

13. Repeat for each layer created.

14. Close The Gimp.

Step4: In-Betweening/adding transisitons and sound f/x

Import Sequence into QuickTime Pro

1. Open QuickTime Pro

2. Select File>Open Image Sequence

3. Open the “cells” folder

4. Open the first file listed.

5. At the next dialogue box choose “12 frames per second”.

6. Test the movie. Go back to The Gimp and make appropriate changes.

7. Select File>Export.

8. Name your movie “bounce.dv”.

9. Select Export: Movie to DV Stream

10. Use Default settings.

11. Save the .dv movie into the DV Scratch folder on the local drive. Do NOT save into your documents.

Opening the Animation in iMovie HD

1. Open iMovie HD

2. Select File>New Project

3. Save as “yourname_animation” into DV Scratch folder on the local drive. Do NOT save into your documents.

4. Select File>Import File…

5. Navigate to and open your .dv movie.

6. Drag your clip onto the timeline and edit appropriately.

7. Add a sound clip or two from the stock footage .aiff files in DV Extras.

8. You can split the clip into pieces.

9. Copy and paste the piece together to make a 5-10 second movie.

10. Play with the speed and direction of the clips to add interest and excitement to project.

11. Save the file.

12. Export the finished movie to QuickTime as “web movie small” format.

13. Name the file “” and save into the DV Scratch folder on the local drive. Do NOT save into your documents.

14. Move the QuickTime .mov file into the hand-in folder.

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