The Clown Animation

The Clown Animation

Learn about the Clown Animation

Check out the playlist on YouTube

An Allegory

The Clown Animation is media.

It has size and order.

Stop-motion | Entropy

We can modify its form and presentation to match our needs.

This might have consequences.


I used Procreate to create the Clown Animation.

Procreate is nice because of how it cohesively fits into the Apple Pencil user experience.

There are a lot of ways to gain meaningful fluency while exploring Procreate, and I've found animation to be a good excuse to learn more.


The exported filesize of The Clown Animation varies wildly based on how it's handled.

Format ExtensionFile SizeFormat Name
.PSD95.9MBPhotoShop Document
.PDF (layers)187.4MBPortable Document Format
.PDF (image)1.4MBPortable Document Format
.HEVC30.6MBHigh Efficiency Video Coding
.GIF15MBGraphics Interchange Format
.PNG (layers)~30MBPortable Network Graphics
.PNG (image)587KBPortable Network Graphics


The largest file size came from exporting the file as a PDF with layers.

This is not unusual; PDFs make relatively few assumptions about the content they contain.

The reason for this is that the PDF format is designed to be a container for a variety of content types, and it's not optimized for any one of them.

Therefore, compression is not a priority in the PDF format.


Exporting the image as PNG files invoked network conditions as a point of workflow friction.

While it is something I've done before, the number of files and the context of their handling made it a bit of a pain to manage this time.

In checking the filetype file sizes for this article, not all of the PNGs were successfully transferred from my iPad to the cloud to my computer.

As I uploaded the images to the cloud, the aggregate data size and the number of items in the batch caused a processing error, and I ended up with a partial download of 270/342 images.

The network failure wasn't because of the file size or format here, but the number of files and the context of their handling.

Because each layer was exported as a separate PNG file, this 342 frame animation stretched the limits of my bandwidth with an files that were only ~65KB on average.

Perhaps if I were using a different device, different application, or different location, this wouldn't have been an issue.

A different device might handle network connections differently by default. Power settings might be different, or the device might have a different network card.

As a developer, I need to be mindful to consider my own devices with a grain of salt as they can be quite different than what my audience is using.

A different application might spawn a lower number of more reliable connections, or it might have a more robust error handling system.

The application I used uploaded the files one-by-one, and it didn't have a way to resume the upload after the partial network failure.

A different location might have a more reliable network connection.