Animation Discs & Oldskool Gamerz

A 2D animator’s best friend– their animation disc– is quite a versatile tool.
One can use it as a pillow…
One can use it to soften the sun.
One can use it as a tray on which to eat…
Or, more than anything, one can bring flat drawings to LIFE with the help of its pegbars and smooth, semi-opaque surface! (All the while, losing sleep, not getting outside to see the sun, and forgetting to eat).
You and I live a full 24 frames a second. We may even think every action in 24 frames a second! 2D is alive and will never die so long as our friend, the animation disc, is around.
(Which isn’t to say that 2D is impossible through computers… But the satisfaction of bringing paper to life is unrivaled!)

Consider yourself a king of the arcade?
Do you exchange your pennies for quarters at the bank?
Or would you consider throwing an all-Atari pizza party?
Perhaps the sight of these buttons induced oldschool gamer flashbacks.
In the event that any of the above statements apply to you, look no further: you’ve found the button set designated for you!

Cheap animation disc desk instructions!

Hey all you animators that just took off for home and plan on working on your films but don’t have fancypants desks that lift up at angles! This one’s for YOU!

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I figured I wanted to animate and clean up in comfort, so I scavenged around and found a backing to an 18×24″ Biggie pad that was sitting around, waiting to become useful. I came up with this contraption, which requires no more than said piece of cardboard (non-corrugated, this is really tough stuff!), a box-cutting knife, packing and duct tape (though you could probably get away with just good ol’ duct tape).

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  1. Here’s how it works. Take the cardboard and cut strips approximately 2.5″-3″ thick strips down the long way.
  2. On one side of these, make a light cut into both ends, approximately the width of the packing/duct tape you’re working with. Fold the board on these light cuts; now, turn over the board and make a light cut exactly in the middle of the strip. Fold the board back on these new cuts. You should have your strips shaped as you see in the following illustration, by the massive “x2″ (as you’ll make two strips like this, one for the left, and one for the right).
  3. Get your packing tape ready! line up the “feet” of the strips vertically with one of the long edges of the remaining part of the board that you originally cut the strips from. Tape the feet on flat. Now, with the strips bent in an upside-down V, place your disc on them and figure out a distance (with the board pushed to the edge of a table against a wall you plan on working against) that you’re happy with your disc being propped up at. Translation: figure out the angle that you want the strips to be bent at; an angle that you’re comfortable with. Once you’re happy with the angle, make sure the remaining “feet” are about lined up and tape them in place… when you tape the feet, tape them on the front of the board and wrap the tape to the back. (Hence the overhang in the illustration).
  4. Now, get a little sliver of duct tape and fold about half an inch of it over itself and tape it down lined up with the start of the angle of the bent strips. This piece of duct tape will hold your disc in place.

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That should be it! You’ll work with the entire “contraption” pushed up against a wall so it doesn’t slip away, though I’m sure you could tape it down to a desk instead. There’s plenty of room for a desk lamp to be used as a backlight as well, which also helps weight down the entire setup.

Improve on it as you wish; this is the first thing that popped into my head and it’s working so far (though I’m only on day 1 with it!) Feel free to post comments and suggestions– I hope the instructions are clear!