BOLD, SIMPLE and FUN. Powerful Animation for Advertising and Branding.
Congrats to the VPA Richmond chapter for a very successful move to Gallery 5 this Sunday.

I had the honor of speaking at the event, which included a rare opportunity to show off my early work. My first piece of animation EVER, actually.

18 years ago I got my first chance to animate by gaining access to a 16mm film stand at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).  I didn’t have a short film idea.  Like a lot of young filmmakers and animators, I had a feature film in mind… so my first film, and first animation ended up being a movie trailer for “The Celestial Knight.”

The animation was done on paper and shot on film.  In order to get a clean look, I would draw with soft blue and red colored pencils and then draw all my lines in ink rather than pencil.   The ocassional soft look is stacked sheets of paper. Multiple layered of animation was created by shine a light through them from underneath.

Only a four short years later programs like Flash and After Effects would gain wide popularity along with faster computer speeds. This instantly revolutionized the way all animation was produced, followed by even more specialized industry specific software. My first experience was the lengthy and tedious processes of traditional paper animation… and more importantly, training me to plan and envision my results. Drawing on paper wasn’t the only step. Film had to be purchased, time on the animation stand had to be scheduled, and each frame had to be placed under glass and photographed. Then the film had to be sent out for processing and development. After your film finally returned you had to wait until class to string it up on the film projector and see what it all looked like… for the first time… in front of the whole class.

I like my computer!

So I my experiences with the VPA, and brought in my heavy stack of paper (720 drawings) that was used to shoot a mere 60 seconds of animation (at 12 frames per second. Today we frequently animate at a full 24 frames).

In addition I showed off several newer pieces from both my advertising and entertainment experiences. Special thanks to Michele Lombardi for the invitation and to all the members at VPA Richmond.

It was an awesome night with an impressive turn out of actors, filmmakers, producers, crew members, and photographers.  Reach out, join, and attend!


Elias Dancey

Director of Animation



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