Joey Gates shows how he animated facial expressions for a ten second cartoon. He explains how to animate shapes using points and how he used this to create a complex mouth animation. In this method there are no bones involved, so it is obviously more useful for facial expressions than for body movement. Also it is a lot more fun to work with in comparison to “Tweens” in Flash. Continue reading
A quickie: This five minute tutorial video shows an amazing technique for simple but human looking arms and legs in Anime Studio without using the free hand drawing tool or model.
Almost anyone who grew up watching cartoons has wanted to make a cartoon themselves at some point. In the modern age, people growing up around computers and other digital devices tend to retain their childlike creative urges even later in life. This is because with the aid of digital equipment like computers, people of any age have all the creative power they could ever want, at their fingertips.
Digital equipment changed the game for animation. Let’s look for a moment at how animation used to have to be done. A sketch artist would make a storyboard, made up of “key frames”. These frames showed each significant different angle or major pose of characters and objects in the cartoon. Then entire teams of talented artists would sketch all of the frames between the key frames. Then, another team would take each of these sketches, and paint a colored cell based off of it. Following this, a team of photo-implementers would use special equipment to place the cells over backdrops, one at a time, and photograph the result, to put on film.
At 24 frames per second, a theatrical short cartoon, the original format for cartoons, took thousands of frames done one at a time in this process. It was time consuming and very expensive!
Computers have changed this, with software to scan sketches, ink and paint frames, and assemble them directly into a timeline of animation. Mistakes can be corrected without having to redraw a frame, and any errors in positioning don’t have to waste film. Continue reading
In the short “Arm Animation Bone Rig” Tutorial, caddysnap demonstrates how to create cartoon arms for your character in Anime Studio Debut 7 just with your mouse. He uses the line tool to outline the arm in a drop shaped style, then creates a bone layer with bones for every part (upper arm, lower arm, fingers).
You’ll learn a few tricks with the bone tool and see how a simply drawn arm can get animated in a quite natural way within less than ten minutes. Such an arm can easily be reused and modified for several characters.
Your cartoon characters always have points and circles for eyes? Here is a nice step by step tutorial for detailed cartoon eyes with eyelashes, irides, pupils, the whole package, in a easy to adapt way.
It also shows how to animate blinking, which is important for the characters’ liveliness, and looking in different directions.
The digital millennium has brought many empowering changes to the way we live our lives, and how we experience creativity as well. With the advent of computers, and software for them to replace bulky equipment as well as teams of specialists, people are able to embark upon creative projects previously out of reach.
Among the many creative things individuals are now free to explore, animation ranks at the top. Animation is a popular form of art, which has been both embraced and admired by the masses since the turn of the century. In previous times, it took teams of people specializing in complex tasks and operation of intricate equipment to produce even the lower qualities of animation that could be achieved.
The process of making hundreds or thousands of frames, to be sketched, painted and positioned was a laborious task, and an expensive one. But, with today’s technology, there are alternative methods that can allow you to create cartoons as a one man … or lady … army!
There are many choices for technique, software and methodology when it comes to making your animations. It really depends on how patient you are, what kind of artist you might happen to be, and how you want the animation to look.
Even with the streamlined nature of modern animation technology, it’s still possible to do a frame-by-frame animation process for a smooth, organic animation. But, this is time consuming and laborious. There’s also the option of designing vector objects, and rigging them to a skeleton. This is called inverse kinematics, and its downside is it can look a bit “puppety”.
But, there is an animation technique that blends these, and if done properly, it can look fantastic. First, you need a scanner capable of high definition scans. Also, you need Adobe Flash CS4 or higher, though CS5 is far less bloated and bulky than CS4.
I present you a recording of the “Creating Characters and Content for Sale in Anime Studio” Webinar hold by animation professional David Knight (DKToons, Australians know him from this site)
Obviously it is focused on characters for sale (Smith Micro runs a marketplace for animation content on contentparadise.com where you can buy and sell anime studio characters and other resources for 2d and 3d animation). But even if you don’t intend to create content for sale this is a great tutorial for quality cartoon characters. Continue reading
This is a short tutorial on Anime Studio Pro 8 from Chad Troftgruben‘s series on new features in version 8. You will learn about the “Render Style” feature that lets you adjust the overall style of your cartoon with a few mouse clicks.
You can adjust fill style, stroke style and layer style and combine cool filter effects on these, like “crayon”, “pen”, “cutout” that will be applied when rendered. This helps for creating a unique look for your animation without having to change every model or anything in your usual workflow at all.
Another tutorial on Anime Studio Pro 8 by Chad Troftgruben. This is is about the Character Wizard, a very powerful PRO feature for rapid cartoon creation.
In the Anime Studio Character Wizard you start with a preset (one out of Man, Woman, Boy, Girl, Creature, Bighead, Manequin) and then adjust a multitude of parameters to get a unique ready-to-use character! Most parameters are adjusted with slides and you can see the result immediately while you move these slides. The presets are starting points that set the parameters to defined values but also have some effect on the possible assets. I.e. for some reason you can only chose “head prop” for the “creature” preset.
- Proportions: Height, torso height, leg length, head height, belly width
- Arms: Arm length, shoulder width, arm width, arm muscles, hand length, hand style (i.e. toon hands with 4 fingers)
- Legs: Hip width, leg width, leg muscles, foot length and finally feet style (i.e. barefoot or shoes)
- Eyes, mouth and nose can be selected from a list and then adjusted in size and position, for the head shape this is also possible but you can create an own head shape as well with the head parameters.
- Head: Head style (presets like various anime shapes as well as animals and a robot OR generic, which means you can adjust the head shape with the following parameters), neck width, head top, head middle, head bottom
- Eyes: Eyes style, size, height, spacing
- Mouth: Mouth style, size, height
- Nose: Nose style, size, height
- Head Prop: Prop (special feature), size, height
- Other: Horizontal adjustement, vertical adjustment
Today I present you a PRO tutorial by Chad Troftgruben that introduces the physics engine in Anime Studio. Do you know these online puzzle games where you have to balance stuff or do similar tasks with movable items under the influence of gravity? If not, have a look at physicsgames.net (and be prepared to spend a few hours, these can get addicting!)