Google's Doodle to mark the late Martha Graham's birthday caught our eye this morning. It looked really slick. We dug into the code and saw that this was one of the largest page load sizes Google homepage has ever had. It was a bit shocking to see a 321K file on such a heavily trafficked minimalist page where a change of one link gets tons of press coverage. We wanted to find out more about how the animation was actually created. We shot a note to Ryan Woodward the guy who created this animation. Here is what he had to say:
Did you manually sketch all these drawings or use a computer generated image?
Ha! Love the question. It's all drawings. There's something about the error of the human hand that makes things look alive. That's why I don't get too techy with my animations. The drawings were put into a sprite which you see below.
So how many frames did you have to create?
Around 250 frames, most of it on ones. 4 layers or so. See the higher res version below.
How did you actually create the animation?
Animated on a Cintiq in flash. Composited in after effects. Delivered to Google as a non-compressed .mov
There's a good deconstruction of the animation from a technical point of view over on Acumen Brands. What's awesome is that the way the animation is put together minimizes the page load of the doodle (although it's still extremely large for Google). What we couldn't get an answer on was how Google created the frames - by hand or through some special tools?