my main interest was to create something with matching colors, and to draw a chicken/rooster (dunno where that came from tbh). while i paid a lot of attention to how it looks in general, i didn't notice how, well, incomplete it looks. 64x64 pixels (original size) are not that huge, but i left most of the available space pretty empty.
and more important, the rooster doesn't really move somehow. his neck does, but the rest ist just a fancy still image. if you take a while to look at the animation (like, four or five loops), you'll notice that you're pretty much just watching the left-middle side of the thing, because that's the only portion where something happens.
i've highlighted the area in which the animation happens here:
super small, right? there's not much to look at in there, too.
while it's completely fine to keep animations minimalistic, in this case, it's just boring. i don't have a super awesome background you can look at. there are no cool details hidden somewhere. hell, the rooster doesn't even have shading (okay, one leg is a bit darker than the other, but that's it. and lol, i noticed i didn't correct the lighting... well, whatever). if you think about it, it looks like i gave up in the middle of making this.
correction 1: a more dynamic animation for the rooster
the neck animation looks kind of ridiculous (aka exaggerated), but that gets lost because the movement doesn't affect the whole rooster (aka, our character). i wanted to make the guy look like he was taking a deep breath and throwing himself forward to release a very loud noise (roosters are super loud btw).
the neck already does the "bend backwards slowly -> go forwards really fast" thing, but the body doesn't. i left out the "backwards" movement for the body (when i tried it out, it kind of moved the focus around in a weird way; i didn't like it) and just moved it down a bit, frame by frame, following the existing animation.
the second part of the animation got both forward and up movement. the neck already stretches out pretty far, so i decided to add to that movement. the rooster even stands on his toes!
neat, huh? if you compare this one with the original animation, the guy suddenly looks more energetic and even louder. the whole middle part of the image is moving now, not just the left side. also, the rooster's neck doesn't seem to be separated from his body anymore. but for some reason, the rooster looks separated from the background (especially from the hay stack he's standing on).
[NOTE: i wrote a ton of additional stuff in the description of this thing on sta.sh; if you're interested, check it out by clicking on the gif :3 it's pretty unformatted though ._.']
correction 2: un-separate rooster and environment
the rooster is doing a lot of movement now, but his environment doesn't give a damn about it. so, is he a ghost rooster..? he shouldn't be, but it kind of looks like it.
luckily, i decided to put him onto a hay stack. hay is pretty light stuff if it's dry, and little pieces go flying very easily. the rooster's movement should be enough to set a few pieces off, so i added some:
there's also a bonus coming from this i didn't expect: the lame one-frame-still at the end got some (tiny) action! so even if the rooster isn't moving anymore, there's something else going on.
[NOTE: this one also has additional text in the description. most of the text is me writing away though, so i don't know if it's useful or not ._.]
correction 3: audio to visual
my roommate suggested something nice when i showed him the animation from correction 2 (i thought i was finished by then): visualize the noise and loudness of the rooster. since the rooster wasn't moving anyway at the end, and the timing of the straw pieces falling was more even than the rest of the frames, i gave it a shot by moving the head a little around and got this:
the head only moves by one pixel, but 64x64 is small, so moving something even a tiny bit has a bigger effect than on larger canvases. my first try (moving the head down by one pixels and left by two pixels) made the dude go all over the place. adjusting the neck (i tried moving it, it looked... weird) took a while because some pixels were just wrong. if you pixel small things, a single "wrong" pixel sticks out a lot and turns everything into a mess. the left edge of the neck still flickers, but i'm too lazy to fix that up (anti aliasing is a nice technique for such things though!).
corrections/improvements i didn't do (and the reasons)
aside from the flickering neck, i could fix some more stuff like:
animating the background: the sun is rising so some light effects would be cool. i didn't do this because the timing of the animation is all over the place. i'd have to split some of the 200ms frames and figure out how to connect that one 80ms frame with the ones that follow. this would take some time, and i don't think it's worth the result.
shading (and correcting the lighting): one funny thing that happens a lot to me when i do the foreground before the background: i mess up the lighting. the smaller hay stacks could use some light borders, and the rooster's leg closer to the sun is darker than the other one. the rooster's body has no shading at all, but the background has (because it looked super flat). while fixing the non-animated stuff is easy (i merged all the background layers when i was satisfied with the them, and the resulting layer will change throughout the animation if i change it), i'd have to edit (almost) every single frame for the rooster's shading. another time consuming task i don't want to do.
additional characters: wouldn't it be cool if some hens in the background raised their heads at the rooster's scream? ...probably, but that'd be a lot of work. if the timing is off, it'd look strange. if they'd all look the same, it'd look boring (copy-paste sticks out a lot). if they'd look more interesting than the main character, they'd distract the viewer. if they'd look boring, what's the point of even including them? there's also a point where an animation becomes overcrowded.
all in all, i'm pretty happy with the gif from correction 3, so i left it like that :3
so, uh, well, that was my process of correcting that animation ^_^
since my explanations tend to be weird and hard to understand sometimes: if you have questions or want to correct something i said (my english skills crap out sometimes, ugh), don't hesitate to comment ^_^