“Animation is not the art of drawings that move but the art of movements that are drawn.” – Norman McLaren

Meet Steve, our Lead Animator and Senior Creative.

Steve has a varied background in animation, having been involved with traditional animation techniques alongside DISNEY animators, the head animator for Cosgrove Hall and many more.

Today, Steve leads us through the art of animation.

“My background in animation is varied, I have worked within an environment where I was lucky enough to be involved in traditional animation techniques. I worked alongside previous Disney animators, head animator from Cosgrove Hall and many more. I was taught how to use a brush and ink and how to create individual cells on animation paper, which would then be scanned in and animated within what was then Adobe Flash. This background helped me transfer my knowledge to the digital medium much quicker than going into it from scratch.

When approached by client ‘Frank Keane’ to create an animation as part of their partnership with UNICEF, we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

Watch the video below, to see the project come to fruition.

One of the issues with creating animation, is the endless supply of documented realistic movement.

In our case the character was very simple by design. I wanted to make a character that was simple but allowed the viewer a clear and concise journey through the animation.

The process, from creating all the parts of the character, individually, to then be brought into Adobe Animate, can be time consuming yet spending the correct amount of time at this stage helps the final animation process greatly. Most animators know how hard and time-consuming animating arms and legs can be!! So, to get around this problem, due to time constraints, I decided upon having his legs disappear when in movement and his transformation into a ball to roll in and out of view.

Once the Character has been constructed, the storyboard in InDesign is key.

This format of storyboarding is much quicker and simpler whilst allowing easy management and layout control of your animation frames. Some animators prefer hand drawn storyboards, yet I personally prefer the digital format for the ability to swap and change elements, whilst using the same assets throughout the animation.


The storyboard had to be clear enough for me to create the animation accurately, as this would be what the client sees and then signs off, so any changes from the storyboard to the animation stage would not be acceptable. Having visual base to work from for the animation is a massive help in the building of the final animation.


The aim was to keep the final runtime within 1min 15s, which would get the message across, yet remain snappy and flow well. Using the storyboard, I can gauge the approx. length of the final animation and work towards that as a time structure.

The build itself, is of course where the time is. It’s the meat and two veg of the animation project!  

In Adobe Animate there is a feature called ‘’Movie Clips’’ (which have an independent timeline) allowing certain animations to be used throughout the main timeline. This allowed me to create the character as a movie clip and adapt him as needed later in the timeline. For example, as a movie clip I can animate him transforming and rolling into a ball. This can be then added onto my main timeline and re-used later for the same process without having to re-keyframe the whole section.


The text would then be added at certain points to match with the visual section and of course sourcing of an audio track to suit the look and feel of the final animation.


See the final animation here.

Animation is important as it allows us to tell stories, communicating emotions and ideas in a unique, easy-to-digest format.

Animation has helped connect people throughout the world in a way that sometimes writing and live-action films cannot. Today, anyone can pick up a drawing tablet and show their ideas to the world. Drawn figures can be funny, or make something sad or serious have a playful, less intimidating feel to it to make the viewer feel more comfortable. Other times, it allows people to be united by a single passion or topic. No matter what the exact use, animation is one of the most powerful creative tools we have, and we should continue to use it as a form of uniting people, no matter their beliefs, biases, or interests.


Here at Rhino, we take pride in our ability to create a fleshed-out animation, on brand, creative and full of life, so our client can be proud to show the finished outcome in the various media channels.Have an animation project? Get in touch and see how we can help bring your ideas to life.


Head to : https://rhinogroup.co.uk/creative/video