Sand & Salt animation: Getting started

As any animator will tell you, there is a whole technical side to the craft that you must first understand and implement before you can actually start animating properly. For example, if you are animating on a computer, you first need to learn an animation program like Flash or Maya. If you are animating on paper, you'll first need a light table and, ideally, a line-tester of some sort. You'll then need a scanner and a computer to colour and compositite your images and animation. 

So, unless you're planning on making a flipbook, you'll need to spend some time exploring, counsulting forums, learning a program, testing, developping and implementing a workable technical methodology.

In my case, it took me a month of before I was finally able to start animating Cumulus (2011). And, while some animators love the techy side of the craft, I'd really rather be animating. So, in order to spare you some of the pain and save you some time, I've decided to share some of the stuff I learned in the process of animating three shorts films using either salt or sand. These films are: Wuji (2008), Cumulus (2011) and The Well. Hopefully my tips and tricks will help you get started or, at the very least, give you a good idea of what's in store.

So let's start with the basic equipement you'll need to make a professionnal film animated in salt or sand.

Disclaimer: I will not be held responsible for any mishap, injury or general confusion caused by my tips nor can I provide you with technical support. Thanks! © Philippe Vaucher 2013