A Queen In The Making – Creating An Animated Short within One Week Challenge

#Art #Animation #Drawing #HowTo #NewYear

Happy New Year’s Eve, and for those of you ahead of me, Happy New Years! 😀

I met a pretty girl and wanted to give her a birthday gift, but I didn’t know what to give her, so… I decided to give her something art related since I am an artist, but not just any old art, animated art!

So she didn’t want a physical gift, and when I asked her what she wanted she responded that she simply wanted her library to stay open longer. That made things difficult.

As a result, I had to think of something to get her that she would like and that was unique. The problem… well, her birthday was in exactly one week from the day I asked her. We haven’t known each other long so I just found out it was her birthday, which happened to fall between the busy holidays of Christmas and New Year’s eve.


She likes classical music, specifically Philip Glass. So with that in mind, I decided to make an animation from concept to finish, within a week to give her a birthday gift.


  1. Design a concept around classical music – She likes Philip Glass… use one of his songs. I used to watch the TV show So You Think You Can Dance, so I decided to go with a contemporary dance piece.
  2. Write a poem to go along with the dance just to make it more special.
  3. Draw out the rough sketch of all the movements from beginning to end.
  4. Redraw any frames that look ugly.
  5. Come up with a detailed version of that rough animation for how the character would look. I decided to base the dancer’s appearance off of the birthday girl so that it would be like a dancing music box sort of thing of her, I just had to turn her into a cartoon. Too much detail would take too long, so I made her small and pudgy.
  6. Redraw the entire thing using the (above) cartoon concept art and use the rough animation as an outline for her movements.
  7. Edit the footage together so that it is a finished animated short that would be about 50 seconds long (to match the length of the poem).
  8. Finish the entire project within a week to show her the complete product as a birthday gift, without stopping my full time job or putting other life responsibilities on hold.



I haven’t done an animation this complex within a single week in a LONG time, I normally do simple animated GIFs for fun, or take my time doing long animations that take months to finish (like that Gola Knight heroes fantasy animation I’m still working on….)

Anyways, I went to work and decided to record the entire process from start to finish so you guys could see how it looked. In total, it was about 35 hours worth of drawing footage. A few parts I cut out because I messed up and had to redraw the backflip animation because she was facing the wrong direction, and a few frames I had to redraw because it looked like crap. sneak-peek-4-original-day-3

I noticed the animation was only 40 seconds long by the time I finished the rough, but I needed at least 50 seconds worth to match the poem, so I adjusted the frame rate to slow it down a bit (I was sad because the animation doesn’t look as smooth when it is slower, but I didn’t have time to draw more frames), so I also stretched a few frames out to hit the 50 second mark. dance-animation-final-test-footage

I was successful! I drew out the entire animation within 6 days… however… I ran into a snag when I made it to step 8. 😦

Editing the video footage was a pain! I had to use Anime Studio Pro 11, but I couldn’t remember how to do frame by frame animation using that program! The program is sometimes more complicated than it needs to be and I couldn’t figure out how to add the pictures to the timeline, so that made things difficult.

I tried watching YouTube videos for a tutorial but my wifi has been dreadful recently (thanks Comcast… 😡 ), so that was quite the challenge. I finally figured out how to do it using Switch layers to compile all the different layers for the background and animate the character for the finished product. I clicked the button to export the video and….. the progress bar was moving dreadfully slow!

I realized that my laptop is too old and wasn’t built for this type of animation and video editing, so exporting  and rendering the video was going to take 13 hours to finish a 50 second animation! NOOOOOO! :O

*Sigh* I need to upgrade my computer… 😦

There was nothing I could do to help that, so I let it render and export and let it run all night long. Sadly, even though I finished the video and exported and finished the animation on time, the rendering process and uploading it to Youtube took too long, and she was ready to go to sleep by the time the entire process had finished, so I just decided to show her the animation the following day.  Well, I was close enough.

I finally showed her the animation the day after her birthday and she seemed to really love it! Since she enjoyed it, I am happy with it as well.

If you guys have any requests or would like me to make an animation for you, hit me up on my contact page and send me an email telling me what you would like me to draw.

I get bored easily, so feel free to comment either here or on Youtube and give suggestions and I might make one of them for fun. 😉

If you would like to support me so that I can spend more time on art and animation, donate a bit to my Patreon page and I’ll make more awesome content more often. If I can get enough to do this full time I can make weekly animations like this one or maybe even some of higher quality, several times a month.

So here you guys go, here is the animation process from start to finish, as well as the final video with the poem (There is another version without the words blocking her movement on my YouTube channel). So much hard work for 50 seconds of animation! 😀



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s