Hopefully, you’re already comfortable drawing players and events on the chalkboard. In this guide, we’re going to learn how to add players in bulk, move them about and build animations.
You might have tried to draw a whole team in the chalkboard already and found it’s a bit of a pain. You can do it, but adding the players manually and typing in their names takes a few minutes. Help is at hand!
Click on the “Lookup” sub-menu and you’ll find it’s pre-populated with squad lists for Euro 2016 (unless you’re reading in a few months’ time, when I’ll have replaced them with club sides for the regular season).
Choose a team and then select as many players as you need. Clicking “Add to pitch” will draw them on the chalkboard. To make your life a bit easier, the app will put players in their rough positions of goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or forward.
The app doesn’t know which are left or right sided players and players are unlikely to be drawn exactly where you want them anyway, so we’ll need to move them. Go back to the “Add” sub-menu and you’ll see a selector for “Add Points” or “Move Points”. Switch it to “Move Points”.
Now click to select a player and a red circle will be drawn around him.
Then click somewhere else on the chalkboard and he should move to the new position.
You can use this selector at any time to switch between drawing more players and events, or moving players around. You can’t move arrows, only players. Arrows can be deleted with a double-click on their beginning and then re-drawn.
Now you know how to move players, we can get started with building an animation, but first, an important rule:
If you’re building an animation, you MUST draw every player you’re going to need on frame 1, before you start adding more frames.
The chalkboard won’t allow you to have players suddenly appearing halfway through an animation because it confuses the interpolation algorithm and it would look silly. You have to draw every player you’re going to need at the start.
Note that this also means you can’t cheat by going back through an animation later and trying to add the new player into every frame. The app won’t know it’s the same player (even if he has the same name), so don’t bother trying! You can draw as many arrows as you like later on, but make sure you’ve got those players added on the first frame.
Got that? Great.
Let’s draw Jamie Vardy’s goal against Liverpool from the 2015/16 season. Yes, this goal.
For this one, we’d like to draw enough players to show the move, without getting bogged down into trying to draw two whole teams and working out where everybody’s gone when the TV camera angle changes. To draw Vardy’s goal, we’re going to need the man himself, Mahrez who played the pass, Liverpool’s goalkeeper Mignolet and the two closest Liverpool defenders. I’ve also added the players around Mahrez, to show how the pass was played under pressure.
We start with everybody in their positions just before Mahrez plays the pass.
You can see how only the key players are labelled and the format menu has been used to change team colours.
Now select the “Animate” sub-menu and click “Add Frame”.
The selector will update to show frame 2, which starts out as a duplicate of frame 1. Clicking “Add Frame” always adds a new frame, which is a duplicate of the last one, so you can build up your animation one step at a time.
On the video, two things now happen simultaneously. Mahrez plays a pass into space and Vardy runs onto it. We can show that.
On frame 2, draw a pass arrow from Mahrez and then move Vardy to intercept it. The chasing defenders need to be moved too. You’ll need to switch from the “Animate” sub-menu, back to “Add” so that you can draw the arrow and move players.
It’s unlikely everybody else stood still while Sky’s camera wasn’t pointed at them, but it doesn’t matter. We move who we need, to illustrate what happened.
Finally, we add another frame and draw Vardy’s shot.
That’s it! If you want to, you can switch between the frames using the drop-down on the “Animate” sub-menu.
Time to view the animated version. On the “Animate” sub-menu, click “Render Animation”, then on the menu bar directly above the pitch, switch from “Chalkboard” to “Animation”.
There’ll be a pause while the animation is drawn and then…
I’ve added a title and then used the save button in the “File” menu to export the animation. Once you’ve downloaded the gif file, you can tweet, upload or do whatever you like with it.
Hopefully that’s given you a taste of what’s possible. If you build something creative, make sure you share because I’d love to see it!