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How to4.14 Make linear and circular backdrops


It is not always necessary to have a background drawing for your animation - you may not want the viewer to be distracted from the main action, for example. Often a single line to indicate the horizon, or a shadow under a character to indicate the ground will be enough. But backgrounds can add extra value to the production and make a big impression without demanding too much skill.

In the 'Pond life' animation, you saw how the water and reeds were static throughout and only the characters were animated. However, it is often more effective to animate your background scene as well as the character action.


In the 5-second 'Down 2 Earth' animation illustrated, the red rectangles and dotted lines show the placement of the visible animation frame, which measures 400 x 300 pixels. The space backdrop measures 800 x 300 pixels and sits on a separate layer below the probe. The red arrows indicate the path of the probe object, which moves two thirds of the way across the frame; while the blue arrow shows the direction of the backdrop drawing, which moves left between the first and the final frames, making the probe appear to travel slowly through space towards Earth. (The animation is composed entirely from clipart and does not attempt to represent the actual position of the planets.)

The tutorial 'How to make and animate backdrops' describes how to create and tween a linear backdrop like the 'Down 2 Earth' space scene. There are also instructions for an extension activity creating a more advanced a circular backdrop that rotates like the 'Lost in the city' animation.

Pushpin How to make and animate backdrops - tutorial

video Serif Video Tutorial : Working with Layers

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