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How to use storyboards or animatics in your animation

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When planning out a big animation project, a lot of animators tend to have an awesome general idea of it but don’t know how to actually plan it out and convert those ideas into a full finished project. A lot of people just start animating from a blank slate, but without some kind of organization, it’s easy to lose track of the story, ideas, and potential better ideas that they could’ve had. Another point to highlight is that the term “storyboarding” is very general and there’s no right or wrong way to do it as long as it helps with your project.

A lot of people think storyboarding is complicated because of how some animation studios show it with frame numbers, camera pans, and shots, but really it can be extremely flexible and useful even for a beginner. In this blog I’ll go over my personal methods of planning out an animation from ideas in my head to finished animation. By no means is this the “proper” studio method of storyboarding, but for me it’s simple enough to get the job done and I think that’s what matters most, to use a way of planning that works for you.

Step 1: Write down your ideas in text

The first thing I do when starting a project is to put everything down in text. It doesn’t have to be paragraphs and pages of text. Just put down all of your ideas in a google document as bullet points. Every idea in my head that I would want to happen in the animation, I’ll put down as a bullet point. And this can be anything: specific dialogue lines, plot points, choreography ideas, etc. The whole point of this phase is to dump out ideas and to start organizing them into something that can be reworked and reordered easily. Since you’re not even at a drawing phase, you’re able to move, remove, and add new ideas very easily. Don’t be afraid to rework and revise until you have something that sounds good to you!

Step 2: Storyboarding

Storyboarding in my opinion is a very loose term and I don’t have a set system for it. I strongly believe storyboards have two main requirements: They have to be simple, and they have to get the idea across. After I have the general idea of my animation in text bullet points, I’ll go in and VERY ROUGHLY draw out the shots as animated storyboards, going through my bullet points and making sure the images clearly convey what I wrote. They key point is that these boards are very rough and it’s mainly to show what camera angle or main movement I want to show for each shot. Making changes at this point should still be easy and you should make changes where you feel like your shots don’t read clearly.

Keep your boards rough and simple. Don’t be afraid to change or redo them because that’s the whole point in making them.

Step 3: Animation & Polish

Final project represents the storyboards but with polish and full animations!

Now is finally the time to start animating! Because you’ve had 2 phases of planning with revisions in between, you should have a strong idea of what your animation is going to be from beginning to end. NOTE you can still make changes in this phase if you feel like you have better ideas. I’ve made many changes from the storyboards to animation and there’s nothing wrong with that. The point of storyboards is to have a solid concrete base of ideas for your animation. Animation itself takes a long time and it could take months to complete a full length project. Without storyboards, it’s very easy to forget ideas you might’ve had so writing them down early and roughly making storyboards will help solidify your animation.

So I want to highlight that this is my own way of planning out animations. There are many different ways to go about the animation process and they can get as simple or complicated as you want. For bigger projects that involve more people, the process can get much more involved and complicated, but for the independent animator, I feel like going simple is better. Either way I hope it helps a few in making some awesome animations!

Animation Workflow Tutorial and Advice

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Quick Tips Before You Begin

When I start to work, I gather the character’s personalities, setting, music (if applicable) and setting to formulate a story that can be concise. The storyboard helps keep track of all this and more.

Animation Gif
Spidey Board

For one, the story/project idea does not get lost and messy as I complete the project. Sometimes, a project requires more than a day’s work and a storyboard provides a constant flow of quality. Second, as an animator, I know my part in the process but it won’t always translate the same to the client and audience. If the client has an idea, it’s my job to create a visual that allows their idea to come to life. A storyboard does not have to perfect which leaves room for any changes. It opens the communication between client and animator to create the ideal project. 

A storyboard is a way for you to look back and redo these changes compared to when you have finished colored/line work. 

Animation Workflow Tutorial and Advise
Fnaf Freddy

Animation and Workflow Process

I animate with adobe’s flash collection so this part is particularly for that animation software. My animation process is a four step process first I storyboard , line-work, color and sound, then backgrounds. For the story-boarding process I usually use a brush paint red at opacity 50 the reason for this is it is very clear to see plus I can tell where line cross and that tells me when i need to pay attention to placement and position for example when I see a part of the storyboard that is more boldly red I need to either omit that line meaning it goes into the background or draw it out meaning it is in the foreground. A good friend told me that when story-boarding to put less priority in erasing lines and leave mistakes unless im planning on completely scrapping the frame. I now understand why a lot of stray lines have led me to realize different angle mistakes and opportunities that I hadn’t considered. It also gives me a chance to experiment with spacing and anticipation between frames. I usually do this by only redrawing the part of the frame that will change will really bring attention to the motion in the scene.

Of course when it comes to motion in animation practice makes perfect but if you ever feel stuck and need some inspiration for a scene I would recommend taking a quick trip to youtube and searching sakuga and a general  description for what your looking for for example the youtube search “sakuga run” is a great way to find inspiration for a running scene. Although do keep in mind rotoscoping is not what i’m talking about. All art is not 100% original, and most of the iconic animation sequences we see are actually a different interpretation of an inspired animation or motion sequence. For any slow motion or walk, run or idle sequences I usually create a general outline with an arrow for motion if necessary and turn it into a group. That way if I know when I come back to create that specific graphic I have a good idea of what I need to do and things don’t come out backward or off scale.

Linework

Animation Workflow Tutorial and Advise
Fnaf Chica flip over Baldi

For line-work I use the pencil too mainly because it keeps my lines smooth, clean and very distinct. An extra bonus is that the lines are very flexible and split into parts when crossed, this doesn’t sound like much but it’s actually extremely helpful. Remember when I said that I only storyboard part of the scene that moves well if I’m moving forward a frame and there is a space on one of my characters that means that I only need to go back select the lines which weren’t redrawn and paste them in place in the next scene. Another added benefit is that if the shape of said limb or objects stays the same or rotates I only need do the same thing and rotate to the new position or location.

Now line work doesn’t have to exactly trace the storyboard which is why the advice I received to not erase all the stray lines or worry about cleanup is important because the line work is were you will want to keep only the mandatory lines of your work and they may or may not line up perfectly with the storyboard. When story-boarding I usually draw nubs for the hands and feet you can detail this out in the linework. This is just a recommendation but it helps speed up the process for me but if you feel like hands and feet are a struggle then maybe slowing it down and detailing them a bit during the story-boarding process is right for you. I sometimes get the question about the pencil tool and “smears”, and the truth is smears also work with the pencil tool but in my opinion the smears that look really good are a combination of both. Remember to keep the characters consistent for example (tails, accessories and/or deformities). Another plus is, if applicable you have any background objects that are interact-able or breakable, the storyboard will remind you to work them in.

Coloring

Once all your line work is done it is time to move into the color/ sound part of your project. Before coloring its best to have your character sheets open or in your current library. The reason for this is it helps speed up the coloring and you have a reference on hand for consistency. The paint bucket tool in the flash software has a cool feature that allows you to fill in gap spaces and this is a major life/ time saver. When using pencil a lot of the time gap seems closed to the naked eye but aren’t to the program this feature helps to skip over having to find these invisible spaces but if you ever HAVE to fill them in then a easy way to do it is to press the outline mask in the layer tab and look for the spaces.

Sounds

Once you’ve got your line-work nice and colored its time to move into sounds. I like to Make two folders in the layer space, one for sounds/music and another for all the animation layers. It’s not mandatory and honestly it’s mainly for organization. Before placing sounds into the project you’ll want to go into the publishing settings and change the output quality of streaming and event sounds. Now the difference between streaming sounds and event sounds is how they work. Sounds are placed on key-frames and they play according to their placement now event sounds play once the initial frame is passed regardless of what happens next. For example if a sounds has been placed on the fifth frame to place and the animation is paused at the seventh frame it won’t matter, the sound will play to completion. Now stream sounds are attached to the timeline when you place a sound it shows the sound lines in the timeline, this is the attachment I’m referring to the sound is as it shows each hertz has been assigned as shown meaning if the animation stops in the middle so does the sound. This is mainly useful for projects that will have a play and or stop button maybe a menu. I just find it easier to work with sounds set to stream.

Backgrounds

Animation Workflow Tutorial and Advise

I would say backgrounds are my weakest link but on the bright side they are the most versatile. This section will be short mainly due to the fact that everything background wise that is helpful you will have to reference an art tutorial on landscape and spacing. Although there are some animation tricks for backgrounds that I can share. For backgrounds gradients are my best friend they usually help me portray a specific mood through color scheme, another plus is that with gradients it looks good to get close and what I mean by that is because the color mix without a bold outline the human eye automatically adjusts if the blend is close enough. For example floor space separated with a bold line is more definitive that a gradient separation. It’s easier to see than explain so give it a try and experiment.

Don’t be afraid to add in objects to make the background less bland, it adds character and live to any animation. Scale is important to remember as well just because to story-boarded something somewhere doesn’t mean it has to stay there. Size scale your background items to make sense. Also this is a good place to add emphasis if you need any to you animation. For example if some body were to step really hard or suppose to make a hard impact anywhere. You can add floor cracks or have an object in the back grounds shake or even break depending on how impact full the effect is you are trying to create.

Hopefully this is helpful to anyone using Adobe’s animation software, some of these tool properties do translate to other programs but all software has their pro’s and con’s. My last tip for anyone out there that decides to give flash a go is REMEMBER TO SAVE!

Check out Anim8 for some great examples or check me out at, https://anim8.io/users/quinsilva.

3D Animation: basics guide

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Blender animation tutorial, animation layout

Welcome to the world of 3D animation! A huge forest with so many paths it is incredibly easy to get lost in the middle of it. But fear not adventurer, for today we will give you a headstart to get on the right path!

Where do I even start?

The first and most haunting question of all is generally where most of us get stuck at, so first things first. 3D Animation as a whole is a tree with many branches: modelling, texturing, rigging, animation, rendering, compositing, you name it. It is extremely easy to get lost in the process by doing too much of any of those things. In order to keep things simple for today, we will only be focusing on 3D Animation software and tools.

Many people I know (myself included) spend weeks or even months just investigating on the internet which 3D software should be getting, which is the easiest to learn, fastest to work with, overall best, industry standard, etc.

My one answer to this question is this: it doesn’t matter!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some advantages some have over others, Maya is generally used by big companies, Blender is a completely free software, Cinema 4D is said by many to be the easiest one to learn, so on and so forth.

But at the end of the day they all have the same essential tools: a 3D Viewport, a timeline, a graph/curve editor and a properties window. Their keyboard shortcuts will differ, but these tools are always there (just in different places). What you learn in one software will most of the time transfer to another. The potential of what you can do with each software is only limited by your imagination.

So unless you’re at a school that teaches you any specific program and want to learn on your own by relying on the internet, there isn’t really a definite answer.

With all of that being said, I personally started this journey with Blender since it was a trending topic when I was getting into this journey (plus being free and easy to obtain); and have been migrating to Maya and Cinema 4D in my spare time, each software has a completely different layout but knowing beforehand what I need in order to do animation and just locating each specific tool or it’s equivalent from blender is way easier than you’d think. This basics guide will mainly show how to do things in blender but it applies to whichever 3D software you decide to pick. The main goal here is to get started and practicing as soon as possible, everything else will come along with time.

1.-First things first: The Viewport (/layout?)

Blender and Maya interfaces, 3D Viewport, Layout
On the left side: Blender interface, on the right side: Maya interface

Regardless of the software you chose, it is important first and foremost to get familiar with it’s layout and where your tools are. I know Maya specifically is daunting at first but trust me, it’s still all the same.

As you can see in the examples above, the main animation tools you will need are on the left side of the screen, the timeline on the bottom, and the properties tab on the right, this is of course customizable in each software.

Before even opening a file I advise you to just navigate here for a couple minutes until you’re comfortable with a 3D scene. In blender you need a 3 button mouse, and combining “ctrl” and “shift” with the middle wheel will let you zoom and pan around the scene, using the middle button alone allows you to rotate your view in the 3D space.

2.-Layout organization

Blender layouts

By default a newly opened blender file will always look like this, but we can change the layout to fit our needs based on whatever task we will be doing.

The animation layout will organize things in an efficient standard way to work, but you can create and save new ones based on your preferences.

3.-Understanding 3D

On a fundamental level, 3D animation is taking virtual objects and moving them around as if they were in real life. There are 3 dimensions/axis here and each is independent to one another, objects can move, rotate or even be scaled in any axis as we see fit.

4.- Our timeline and graph editor

Basics of the timeline

In 3D software we organize our keyframes in a window called timeline and it’s generally at the bottom of the screen. Here we insert those keyframes to tell the software where we want it to save information of an object’s rotation, location, and scale. In 3D Animation, you can insert keyframes separated by as many frames as you want, and the software will automatically create all the frames in between automatically.

Inserting keyframes and autokeying

In Blender you just hit the letter “I” with the object to animate selected, and choose what kind of keyframe you want to be inserted, it could be either location, rotation, scale, or a mix of them. The frames in between are animated automatically. If you don’t want to constantly be doing this, you can use an option called autokeying, which will insert frames everytime you change any of the above mention attributes of the object. This lets you just move objects or make poses without worrying about setting the keyframe after each change you make (if you don’t have this enabled and forget to insert a keyframe everytime you move, rotate or scale your object, those changes won’t be saved)

Autokeying, blender animation, timeline
Setting autokeys in Blender 2.83 (GIF needs fixing)

5.- Making a ball bounce in Blender

Here is a file to get you started with a simple (but effective) exercise to learn how to use the timeline and graph editor: the ball bounce!

As you can see, the first frame is already set for you to start playing with it! In order to make a simple bounce, you need to scroll in the timeline before the blue marker towards the frame you want the ball to hit the ground at, then just drag downwards the ball by clicking and holding on to the Z axis controller. Since autokeying is already on, blender will save the keyframe and do the inbetweens by itself.

Blender animation, move tool

From here onwards we can just move the slider in the timeline a couple frames and adjusting again the height of the ball, making it lose momentum little by little until it stops bouncing.

Now you might be tempted to hit the little play button at the bottom of your screen and realize that it looks… odd.

Blender animation, default motion

If your animation looks like this do not worry for there is a reason behind it, it is totally normal. The reason for this motion to look so weird, is that our 3D software interpolated the motion between your set keyframes automatically, this by default makes the motion ease in and out of each keyframe. For this to look right we are going to work with the tool mentioned previously: the graph editor.

As you may have noticed each window in blender has on it’s top left corner this icon, it represents what you see in the window, and by clicking it we are able to change any window we want into another one. We are going to choose the graph editor from the pop-up menu we get, in order to get a visual representation of the motion we get.

Blender window change, graph editor, animation

Do not be scared as this is a far less complicated tool as it may seem at first. These graphs are here to show us how much the values of each attribute of the ball change. The black dots you see along the curves are the keyframes we previously inserted, and they can be moved, rotated and scaled just like any other object in the viewport, and so can the pair of handles that come with them.

Blender graph editor

If you get lost in it, selecting the curves you want to focus on and hitting “.” On your keyboard will center your graph editor to what you have selected, if you want to select all curves just press A. You can also click on the small arrow on the left of your graph editor to see all the attributes you’re using, and by clicking on the eye icons of each you can filter those you don’t want to see here (for example, rotation and scale in this moment).

Here we can see how the Z (height) value of our ball eases in each time it goes to it’s lower point, which is not how balls bounce off the ground in real life. In order for us to edit these curves properly, we select the black dots in the graph editor (our keyframes), and press “S” to scale them, they can also be rotated and moved from here by using the shortcuts “R” and “G” respectively.

To achieve a more realistic ball bounce, scale up the upper keyframes in the curve, and/or scale down the lower ones; this will make it so that the ball eases in and out of it’s peak height, and immediately bounces back from it’s bottom point.

A little extra homework

If you noticed, keyframes were inserted on the green (Y) and red (X) curves too, if you drag-select them, then hit X you can delete them, and create a curve to make the ball move however you want in these axis too. Here I just moved out ball in the X axis, rotated the first keyframe of the dopesheet, and scaled the last one; try giving this a shot too!

Blender animation exercise

Rendering

Rendering is the process through which 3D software converts what virtual cameras inside it capture, into a sequence of pictures or video format. For many reasons it is typically set to render individual images which we then compile together to make a video in video editing programs; since this is a short and simple animations, just this once we will render it straight as a video.

This process DOES vary a lot within each software. In blender it’s relatively simple, you can just head to the render tab in the up left corner, and choose “render animation”; but if you do this alone it will not be saved properly.

Remember how earlier we mentioned the properties window? Here is where we setup most of the things of pretty much any object in our blender file. All of the icons in this tab represent a certain type of property (if you hover over them their names will appear). To tweak how we want to render our animation, head to the Output properties tab, and here we can set the resolution of the video, as well as the frame start and frame rate of the video. I suggest changing the frame end to the last frame you inserted a keyframe at.

Blender output properties
This is the properties window in Blender

Now under Output, we can click on the folder shown here to select where we want the render to be saved, and in file format we change it from “PNG” to “FFmpeg video”. As you can see there is a new tab under the color settings, called encoding, for now you only need to make sure your container is MPEG-4.

NOW you can go to the render menu and render your animation! Just like that. Like it? love it? feel free to share your animation with us at anim8.io or in the discord server, these are the first of many steps to get you started in 3D animation, welcome to the journey!

Rotoscoping and Referencing. Yes or No, and What’s the Difference?

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If you are an artist or an animator, then you probably know about the dreaded word: plagiarism. That terrible concept of taking someone’s idea and selling/advertising it as your own. Obviously, this is bad, because it is theft. It is literally stealing a creators’ hard work.

Then, however, we have a problem. What about references, inspiration, and the controversial topic of rotoscoping? Are they not a form of plagiarism? After all, you are using another person’s work for your own benefit. The line between stealing and learning becomes slightly skewed for many beginners and even some old-timers. That’s what we are talking about today. We will go over two specific topics: Referencing and Rotoscoping.

(note, I would like to thank members of the Animators Guild, the other Anim8 Bloggers, and some personal friends of mine for helping me get a better understanding of these topics so I could readily explain it.)

Animation by NotSoProish. Please check out his YT and Anim8 profile.

1. Referencing

Referencing is a pretty simple concept that most people will know and understand whether or not they make animations. Referencing is to refer back to something. That is all. If you read a book, start to write something about the book but then look back to see if you are correct on a specific topic, then you have referred back to the book. If you try to draw a line and do it wrong because you don’t remember what a line looks like, then looking at someone else’s’ line means you have referred to that other line to correct yourself.

This, in and of itself, is perfectly okay as long as it remains in this category, it is literally how we learn things in school. You are not copying material, you are observing it so you can remember/memorize how to use those concepts in your own work. Let’s go over an example:

Animation by Tao, the guy who thinks he can’t do anything but really can.

Let us say that you want to animate an arm punching someone. You try to animate it yourself over and over but it looks weird. So you go back and you look at something like the animation above ^ (made by Tao). Maybe you looked it up online or found it on a random website. You observed it, the motion, the double-framing, and the flow. You then return to your own animation and try again a few times and get it right (or it may take longer).

That is what using a reference means, and there is nothing wrong with it. The only thing to keep in mind is that you should use referencing as practice so that you can eventually do it on your own. This will help your creativity and experimentation.

2. Rotoscoping

This is a touchy subject so I will try to be brief. Everything I state will be an accumulation of gathered info from the animation community written in my own words. There are many different opinions on the matter, so I suggest you read as much information on it as you can and make your own personal conclusion. I suggest watching Howard Wimshursts’ video on rotoscoping. He goes over a lot of things, and I trust the man’s opinion.

This video is by Howard Wimshurst. I suggest you watch it.

What is Rotoscoping?
Rotoscoping is an animation process of tracing over motion picture frame by frame (definition by Wikipedia).

Is Rotoscoping real-life footage okay?
If the footage is not illegal, then yes. It would also be best to play it safe and only use footage you either made yourself or from creative commons sources (content made with the purpose of letting other people use it for their own purposes. Royalty free music is a good example). Most people will tell you this if they have some experience. There are also examples of it seen in shows like Naruto.

This is an example of something Naruto did. This could very well just be a tribute, but there are different opinions on the matter. This was mentioend by Howard Whimshurst

Is Rotoscoping other Animations Okay?
This is a very controversial part, but I will tell you what I’ve gathered from OTHER animators:
Rotoscoping animation is entirely wrong if done without the permission of the original animator, and even then it will likely garner a bad reputation from studios and anyone hiring. Unlike referencing, this is in essence copying straight from the book, not learning from the book. So getting a job with a reputation of “this person has not personal artistic style” will not help you.

What about Animation Memes? Aren’t those rotoscoped?
Yes, but there is one big difference. The animators for these always fully acknowledge the original creator as well as point out that it is merely a commemoration to the original. Plus, they tend to not be for money purposes, solidifying the fact that it is a tribute.

My personal feelings on the matter?
Rotoscoping animation is stealing, rotoscoping real life footage is acceptable sometimes. Learn from References and experiment until you get what you want.

CONCLUSION

To conclude this little essay of mine, I’ll say this. Be inspired by other artists and animators and learn from them, don’t copy them. You can learn how physics work in animation by watching animators known for their physics work. As long as the idea for your animations has passed through and been developed in your own mind, it doesn’t matter where you get inspiration from.

OpenToonz- providing high-quality animation, with a free must-have tool

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    One of the things most digital animators need for them to begin the process is good software. Whether you’re doing traditional frame by frame or digital puppetry, but for most budding animators spending a large sum of money on software licenses can seem a bit daunting. Fortunately, with the miracle of open-sourcing, we need not worry about breaking the bank for quality. In this article, I will be giving a full overview of the software OpenToonz.

On their official website

Back in March of 2016, it was announced that Dwango would be releasing the source code of Toonz, a 2d animation software developed for traditional hand-drawn animation. Toonz received most of its recognition and advertising from being used by Studio Ghibli for most of their films. The source code would be released to Git-hub under a BSD license, along with an open-source version of the Toonz software. I will of course be providing links for those who wish to experiment with any of the programs I’ll be discussing.

The Interface

The Interface of OpenToonz, as need for every software

When you first start OpenToonz the first thing that will take your notice is the layout. I won’t lie, it’s not the most intuitive design out there, especially compared to other big names. Its robust appearance is enough to strike fear into the hearts of all beginners within eyes view and is just as questionable if you’re coming from other applications.

One of the things you might notice is the timeline is arranged vertically, and that’s because OpenToonz uses an X sheet which is used in traditional animation to give instructions to a camera operator on how the animation is to be shot for all you youngins. The X-sheet works the same as the timeline except it follows a downward path as opposed to the left to the right orientation we’re all used to. This positioning could be a little trippy for those coming from other software like ToonBoom Harmony. Fortunately, in later versions contributing developers added the ability to set it to whatever alignment you prefer, in addition to creating a room tab specifically for working in the timeline.

On the topic of rooms, in OT you have these tabs at the top right that are used to direct you to different workspace areas of OpenToonz, these are called rooms. Each default room is created to serve a specific purpose related to a process in digital animation, with specific tabs and windows arranged in a certain manner that benefits UI needs for the task it’s named for. OpenToonz comes preloaded with nine rooms including Basics, Cleanup, Drawing, Timeline, Animation, Palette, Xsheet, Browser, Farm; Originally it included six Cleanup, PitEdit, InknPaint, Xsheets, Batches, Browser.

OT allows users to set up rooms with their own window placements and tabs

You can also create your own rooms if none of those aesthetically please you by right-clicking one of the tabs and selecting “New Room”. A problem I have with creating rooms, is you are unable to place windows into each other in a similar fashion to most art-software such as MediBang or Clip Studio Paint, the reason for this is because some windows come preloaded with their own tabs, such as the palette window being used for color, texture, vector presets, raster presets, and settings for your brush tool.

Functionality

Scene from Spirited away showcasing the power of the Toonz engine

OpenToonz comes decked with a lot of features that gave it the potential to rival other big names such as Toonboom and Flash. It’s no secret that this software has some big names attached to it, dating all the way back to the ’90s when it received it’s first notable break in Amblimation’s “Balto” where it was credited for providing graphical improvements to the film’s production, under the name Creative Toonz. Most people know Toonz for being used by Studio Ghibli.

Ghibli would team up with SoftImage, who originally created Toonz, in order to build a version that could combine hand-drawn animation with digitally painted animation seamlessly this version would be known as “Toonz Harlequin”. Over the years it would continue to find it’s way in many productions, some you may know of include Futurama, Steven Universe, and SpongeBob SquarePants; and Ghibli of course used it for Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponya to name a few. It was a high-profile tool and, needed High-profile applications

Studio Ghibli is known for doing most of their work hand-drawn and so they needed to be able to translate their work into digital space, in order for the animators to clean and color their cels. In Ot you can scan hand-drawn cels into the software through an extension program known as GTS.

OT also boasts a great set of brushes for both vector and Bitmap. The default version of OpenToonz has over 200 brush presets to choose from such as acrylic, water-brush, oil, OT is capable of compensating for every style and its needs. You also have 3 different layer types raster, toonz raster, and vector for drawing.

All the different tool options for each level type

In the tool options bar for raster, you are given a few different choices for how you can edit your brush tool. Size Min/Max allows you to set the minimum/maximum size of your brush for pressure sensitivity, with the min being the size of your brush pushing down lightly, and max is the size of your pen pushed down to it’s hardest. Hardness adjusts the softness and sharpness of your brush with 0 being the softest, with its edges all blurry and 100 being the sharpest. Opacity min/max allows you to adjust the opacity for pressure sensitivity, especially useful if you think your lighter strokes are too transparent and hard to see.

all these preferences can be saved as a preset by clicking the plus key on the far right of the tool options bar. In Toonz raster the opacity slider is replaced with the smoothness option this tool is used for decreasing the jaggedness of the strokes and providing smooth clean linework. Vector is the same as Toonz Raster except this time the hardness has been replaced, as anti-aliasing has been enabled, what replaces it is the accuracy slider what this does is it tells the brush tool how accurate to make the stroke and what to substitute it’s usually best to keep it set low or somewhere in the middle as to limit the number of control points. There are a ton of features for the brush tool I could discuss in another post but for now, I’m going to move on to something else.

OpenToonz is a complete toolset for animating frame by frame with configurable onion skins and a motion tweening tool for the automatic creation of in-between frames by using motion paths, but it also has a few nifty options for puppet animation. Through the skeleton, tool users are able to create bones for their characters and set up a rig similar to rigging in Blender but for 2d instead of 3d, The Skeleton tool also supports inverse Kinematics and mesh deformation using the plastic tool. you can also move points of your rig using the hook tool.

Another good feature of OT is the FX panel. Most movies In today’s world use visual effects. Using the fx editor you can add lighting, blurs, warping, masks, and simple particles to your animation. Whether you’re trying to convey a character’s psychology through lighting, or add to the intensity of the scene through camera movement, or maybe create visually impressive fire effects with particles; the sky is the limits with FX.

One thing I’ll add before moving on to the next topic is I find it strange how layers work. in OT they are referred to as levels and how they work is they’re their own separate file so if you want to delete a layer you have to go into the projects folder and delete it manually.

Documentation & Community

As far as documentation goes there wasn’t really much to go off of when the source code was released to the public. The thing with most open-source programs is that the original developers aren’t required to do anything for the program once it’s already up, that responsibility lies in the community. OT has a very steep learning curve, this would be very problematic for a software that was released without proper documentation from the original developers. Fortunately, over the years more and more people began to talk about and helped the community by providing video tutorials, writing blogs & articles, and providing support and troubleshooting for people with errors. The community would also continue to work on new features and bugfixes.

Download page for OpenToonz Morevna edition.

The most popular of these instances was when The Morevna Project released its own fork of OpenToonz called “OpenToonz Morevna edition”; this version would add a bunch of cool new features that would make its way into later versions of OT. Some of these additions included An assistant tool for setting up a perspective grid for assisting in creating 3d backgrounds, integration with the MyPaint Brush Engine, the addition of the horizontal timeline in later versions of OpenToonz. Morevna also created Linux support for the OpenToonz application.

As I am writing this more is being added into OpenToonz, most of the issues I’ve touched on are being improved according to input from some of the developers; with one creating his own fork of OT to provide a more intuitive and simple UI with it being easier to use for beginners in order to level out the learning curve that is associated with OpenToonz. I cannot recommend this anymore than I already have, If you’re looking to become an animator and need a powerful tool I suggest giving OpenToonz a chance.

And of course the links to everything I mentioned

OpenToonz: https://opentoonz.github.io/e/

Source code: https://github.com/opentoonz/opentoonz

Morevna Edition: https://morevnaproject.org/opentoonz/

Tahoma Edition: https://github.com/turtletooth/tahoma

(some additional plugins for sticking around) https://github.com/opentoonz/dwango_opentoonz_plugins

Reviewing the Top 10 Wick Editor Anim8 Jam Parts

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There were many awesome parts submitted in the Wick Editor Anim8 Jam 2020 which was an animation competition using the free program Wick Editor. We wanted to highlight these entries and provide notes from the Judges. Great job to all participants and we hope to make more competitions down the road!

#10 – Aldio

Judge 1:
This was a really nice simple piece of work that represents spring and other seasons very well. There was good use of graphics and tweens that I felt worked quite nicely with the theme! I felt like a little more complexity would’ve pushed this higher up the scoreboards and maybe even some interesting ways to apply frame by frame animation to compliment the tweens.

Judge 2:
Nice idea that spring is personified as a yellow orb, and it goes around setting up everything to do with spring!

Judge 3:
What a sweet short animation! It’s so cute! There were a lot of good creative ideas in this and you made it quite entertaining to watch. It felt like a company’s intro animation so it was very professional. Very well made! Nice, short and sweet~

Judge 4:
Pretty nice, it reminds me of commercial infographic animations. There’s a particular criticism I have on the usage of tweens, and how they’re moving too robotically and linear. Nothing wrong with tweens, but please use ease in and ease out (or both) on the tween keyframes to make it a bit more organic. Another solution to robotic tweens is to make a new keyframe in the middle of the timeline between keyframe A and keyframe B, then to drag the new keyframe closer to A or B to speed up half the movement and slow down the other half.
This, used properly, will make your movements more organic.

Creativity 7
Animation 6.6
Entertainment 5.4

#9 – MPennanti

Judge 1:
I really liked the story you laid out in this part. The expressions on your characters were well done and really sold me on the horrors of allergies. Could have used some color but was still well done without it.

Judge 2:
Judge Notes: Quite a cynical take on the beauty of the spring season! The characters expressed themselves very well. I really liked the use of the shadow looming over the guy with the hose. Even though it was intended for comedic effect, the sound was too abrupt for my liking – a bit too much like “ear rape”. To make the sounds more natural, try adding a layer of ambient sound to be present throughout the video.

Judge 3:
This was actually pretty close to what I felt an actual cartoon would be like haha. You had a lot of good ideas and kept people pretty entertained I feel! Comedy was good and had very good facial expressions. The down side I’d say was the screen transitions needed some work. For example when the guy was moving away from the bee and then suddenly in the next shot he was running. Or when that guy was about to fight the one dude who sprayed him with water, it transitioned to a house from that scene that we haven’t seen before. Also the animation was pretty quiet except for the occasional sound effects, and some were a bit too loud and happened too sudden in my opinion like the water spray. I’d say fill in the quiet gaps with some music or ambient sound effects at least and try to use a bit more sounds and be creative with that! So just work on those stuff and you’ll be golden!

Judge 4:
This was so slow paced that it hurt to watch. The drawing works pretty well though, you have a lot of potential to make funny and snappy jokes with your already established skills, but first I really recommend making your animations less slow and more to-the-point.

Creativity 6.8
Animation 6.4
Entertainment 6.0

#8 – DesignDip

Judge 1:
This was a really nice simple piece of work that represents spring and other seasons very well. There was good use of graphics and tweens that I felt worked quite nicely with the theme! I felt like a little more complexity would’ve pushed this higher up the scoreboards and maybe even some interesting ways to apply frame by frame animation to compliment the tweens.

Judge 2:
Nice idea that spring is personified as a yellow orb, and it goes around setting up everything to do with spring!

Judge 3:
What a sweet short animation! It’s so cute! There were a lot of good creative ideas in this and you made it quite entertaining to watch. It felt like a company’s intro animation so it was very professional. Very well made! Nice, short and sweet~

Judge 4:
Pretty nice, it reminds me of commercial infographic animations. There’s a particular criticism I have on the usage of tweens, and how they’re moving too robotically and linear. Nothing wrong with tweens, but please use ease in and ease out (or both) on the tween keyframes to make it a bit more organic. Another solution to robotic tweens is to make a new keyframe in the middle of the timeline between keyframe A and keyframe B, then to drag the new keyframe closer to A or B to speed up half the movement and slow down the other half. This, used properly, will make your movements more organic.

Creativity 6.6
Animation 6.6
Entertainment 6.4

#7 – Dansel

Judge 1:
The chill vibes you brought with this animation was really nice. I really got the sense of being “trapped” in the winter but a transition to spring brings out that relief of finally going outside. The narrative you showed with your animation was really clear and read well. Bird animations all being frame by framed was an awesome plus as well.

Judge 2:
I think this one really went a step further with the storytelling, following the two points of view, and building to a satisfying reveal.

Judge 3:
Very beautiful and I like the atmosphere through the seasons, because usually people just start in Spring but your leading up to it was a pretty smart idea. Creative with the amount of things you manage to do and pull off with this because it potentially felt like it could be a limited concept but you had some good symbolic and lovely ideas. I like the color changing in some scenes too to emphasize on it’s mood. I think the cloth wrapped to the tree was a bit unclear to me, but that could just be my limited knowledge. Well animated as well!

Judge 4:
Pretty ambitious animation. Got a nice narrative and story going on, but around 40 seconds it starts to fall apart, it ain’t finished. It’s got a pretty atmosphere though, and the scenes you made are good. Some of the movements are also really well animated, so overall it’s not bad!

Creativity 8.0
Animation 7.6
Entertainment 7.2

#6 – Zecaanimations

Judge 1:
I really loved the animation in this. The frames were smooth and there was some really good smear framing with the bee wings and general movement of the characters. I really wish there was a better ending or that the animation had a stronger conclusion but overall it had me wanting so much more because of how well it was animated.

Judge 2:
I’ve got to say, I love the way everything moves in this – natural and free flowing. The personified plants were well considered in how you adapted their construction to move like humans. I like the atmospheric music with intense reverb, but I don’t think it fitted what I was seeing in the action. The idea was very unique – we often think of bees and flowers being friends… but three flowers trying to take on an angry bee? That’s WILD!!!

Judge 3:
Very well animated! Good job on that! I kinda wish it had more colors to it but it wasn’t too much of a biggie as I can see you wanted to focus purely on the idea and animation itself. I was still a bit confused on it really, but I guess they wanted to capture the bee? The music choice, while it was good, didn’t quite feel like it fitted the piece either. I don’t think it was that bad either though and the animation itself won me over! Good job~

Judge 4:
Is… Is that minecraft music? Very nice movements, feels organic, and feels lively. I wish it had color 🙁

Creativity 7.6
Animation 8.4
Entertainment 7.2

4th & 5th place tie – RTY

Judge 1:
I really enjoyed this animation but it made me question if Wick Editor was used in most of this part? It may have a lot of post processing in other programs so I feel like this animation might have defeated the purpose of the competition but regardless of that, the part was very well done. The concept of Spring was a bit confusing after the beginning. Maybe it was a symbol for fighting allergies but it still wasn’t very clear.

Judge 2:
the music, sound and colour choices set an overall vibe which immediately hit me upon watching. Your interpretation of the theme – with the influence of current events creating a post-apocalyptic dystopia – was refreshing and conceptually advanced compared to the happy submissions surrounding this one. This really does stand out among the entries.

Judge 3:
Man this is really well made, kinda hard to believe it was made in Wick haha.
Great stuff! Good transitions, good animation, good cinematics! I kinda had a hard time understanding what was happening though which is my only criticism but if I had to take a wild guess it’s forbidden to have spring / nature so it was destroyed in place of more modern society? Very deep message but I’d try to make it somewhat more clear and work on the pacing between scenes so as to not feel too much rush between them! Regardless, nice job!~

Judge 4:
my favourite part was how 30 seconds of the video wasn’t animation but title screens. That’s a joke. I like how it took a pretty dark turn a few seconds into the animation, the kind of turn that makes you go “what just happened, I kinda wanna know a bit more about this.”

Creativity 7.8
Animation 7.8
Entertainment 7.8

4th & 5th place tie – Mayru

Judge 1:
The camera rotation and pure frame by frame animation for this part was very impressive. I like how you challenged yourself to go for this kind of animation but I think it turned out very well! I know you had issues with making it longer but it’s understandable with this amount of detail you put in each frame. Great work overall!

Judge 2:
Some solid animation here! I love the double meaning of the title – worked well as a punchline. Short and sweet.

Judge 3:
Lmao that was very well animated, I always loved spin around animations and you did a magnificent job! Very simple and short idea. I love that if you can freeze frame it on the right frame, you can see her face warp in the sneeze process haha. Great stuff and a lot of attention to detail! Just wish there was more to it than this but considering the time you had and it is a bit hard to animate in Wick as of right now, what you pulled off is great in itself!

Judge 4:
Oooooouhh Nice spin!! Appealing drawing too! It’s the kind of animation that I like.

Creativity 7.0
Animation 9.0
Entertainment 7.4

2nd & 3rd place tie – dann

Judge 1:
This was one of my favorite parts as the level animation, drawing, and just the overall feeling you get when watching this animation. I really appreciate the frame by frame animation you put into this and it’s definitely something that you put in a lot of time and effort into. Can’t wait to see more of your work!

Judge 2:
From personal experience, I know how hard it can be to animate a plant growing! I think the movement of the mouse was particularly observant. The music elevated the emotions of the piece – well chosen. Overall, very impressed!

Judge 3:
Very cute! I love the ending when the little mouse goes on an adventure with the fairy girl haha. I think the animation was a tiny bit janky in some scenes especially around the start with the hopping mouse because the spacing felt a bit off but still very well done! I still consider Wick a tiny bit hard to animate in seeing as it is still in beta, so taking that into consideration then what you did make is really great! Good music build up as well, fitted the animation well~

Judge 4:
The line quality feels a bit scratchy but generally pretty nice drawings! As for the animation itself, the movements feel a little slow and lack a bit of snappiness. This kinda makes it a little painstaking to watch. The transform sequence is lovely though and it’s quite creative. I think you should have focused more on making flowers grow from the spirit of spring instead of going on a wild ride with a cute animal lol. Overall, pretty nice!

Creativity 8.4
Animation 8.0
Entertainment 7.4

2nd & 3rd place tie – happycrazywild

Judge 1:
The colors, the characters, and just everything about this animation had an awesome POP to it. Very awesome drawing / animation ability and the characters looked very appealing. Kind of wish there was a little twist at the end or some kind of extra movement with the characters but I enjoyed this animation!

Judge 2:
The facial expressions were fantastic. And the timing of the humour worked well – with enough space to read the sign before the music starts. Made me laugh!

Judge 3:
Hahaha, very funny and cute! I like how not much happens but it was still very entertaining regardless. Well setup and beautiful color choice! Face drawings on the bee were great too. Good job!

Judge 4:
Lovely colors and pretty quirky humor, the expressions are also nice, it’s pretty simple but you pull it off pretty well, good job!

Creativity 8.0
Animation 7.6
Entertainment 8.2

1st Place Grand Prize Winner! – 5J8

Judge 1:
Loved the animation and the vibrant colors! The attention to detail with all the particles, the reflection with the bee on the window, and just everything about this animation was about the attention to small details which I really love.

Judge 2:
I was surprised with how well polished this was. Nicely timed with the flowers sprouting out of the head at the last second! This is a really strong overall entry. It brought a big smile to my face and made me thankful for the spring season we have had.

Judge 3:
Freaking rock solid, this is amazing and truly is hard to believe you made this in Wick. Outstanding job dude! I love the little details like the reflection of the bee in the window’s glass and the little sparkles when they fly by or jump around. I don’t really have any critics on this and you’re an amazing animator. Keep it up and would love to see more stuff from you in the future! Hopefully with Wick!

Judge 4:
Charming background, smooth movements, quirky humor, good visual effects, fitting sound effects, made me smile

Creativity 8
Animation 9
Entertainment 8.6

Great job to all the participants in this competition! You can see the top 20 results in the google docs judging sheet HERE for those who didn’t make top 10. Happy Spring and happy animating!

Wick Editor Review by CryoLogic

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wick editor review
wick editor review

If you are reading this than you are probably either an animator, or an animation fan looking to get into animation as a hobby or career.

If either of those sound like you, than you have probably started down the difficult path of choosing your animation tools.

The classic tool of choice for 2D animation is Adobe Animate (previously known as Adobe Flash) – but it carries with it a hefty price tag of over $250 dollars per year. This might be acceptable for a pro animator, but is way out of line for a hobby or beginner animator.

This is the target audience for Wick Editor – beginner or hobby animators looking for a quality animation tool that is well documented and reasonably powerful, but without the extreme price tag offered elsewhere.

Wick Editor is a tool developed by Luxapodular and a team of animators. Wick Editor is 100% free and open source, unlike Adobe’s tool but offers nearly the same feature set for 2D animation.

Let’s look at some of the features commonly requested that are shared between both Wick Editor and Adobe Animate:

FeatureWick EditorAdobe Animate
TweeningSupportedSupported
Robust TutorialsFreePaid – Third Party
ScriptingSupportedSupported
2D Game DevelopmentSupportedSupported
Video Export FormatsHTML5, MP4, GIFSWF, DV, F4V, FLV, MOV, MPEG, Quicktime

Adobe’s solution offers a plugin system and additional export options for video – but this can be matched with some additional free tools in Wick Editor. First off, Wick Editor is open source so you can develop your own plugins and run them directly in Wick Editor.

Additionally, after exporting to MP4 in Wick Editor you can easily convert to other formats using free tools like Handbrake.

Perhaps the best feature of Wick Editor for beginner animators is the robust library of high quality tutorials that are freely available and built by the developers of Wick Editor. You can find dozens of tutorials on the Learn Wick Editor website:

wick editor tutorials

As far as community goes, Wick Editor has a robust community of animators and animation fans that regularly contribute feedback to the development process of Wick Editor.

You can join this community on our Discord – likewise, you can share your Wick Editor created animations easily via Anim8 and even make money off of them!

It’s simple to share Wick Editor animations on Anim8, all you have to do is sign up for free at https://anim8.io and click the “Upload” button.

anim8 wick editor upload

Will Wick Editor replace other expensive tools like Adobe Animate or Animaker?

Only time will tell, but as of right now Wick Editor is already the best free 2D animation tool – so start learning Wick Editor as soon as possible, join Anim8 to share your animations and unleash your creativity.

— Additional Wick Editor Resources —
Example Animations Made with Wick Editor
Wick Editor Review by Hyun
Wick Editor Shortcuts by HeartOfTheStorm

Best Drawing Tablets 2020 – Which one is right for you?

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In the year 2020 there are tons of tablet brands and models out there. As a person who has used multiple tablets in my lifetime and also doing a lot of research on different tablet brands, I’ll try my best to recommend some good models that you can’t go wrong with. A lot of the decision making process is really up to what your budget is and what specific features suit your needs as an artist or animator.

Best Overall Tablet – Huion Kamvas Pro Series ($250 – $380)

Huion as a company has come extremely far and I’ve actually switched from Wacom to Huion which is something that I thought would never happen in the past. If you want an overall good screen tablet for a reasonable price, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Kamvas Pro Series. It comes in multiple sizes of 12, 13, and 16 inch variants, a nice battery free pen, and the tablet itself is well built. The reason why I switched from a Wacom tablet to a Kamvas was because of the price and also the size. The 16 inch version of the Kamvas pro is small enough to fit in my backpack while the Wacom Cintiq 16 inch is much larger and bulkier. I would say the only thing that keeps the Wacom ahead of Huion is that they have a superior pen and pen accuracy. Being almost half the price of a Wacom Cintiq, this is a great buy for someone who just wants to buy a good drawing tablet without breaking the bank.

Best Performer – Wacom Cintiq Series ($650 – $1200)

The king of all drawing tablets has always been Wacom and for good reason. When it comes to accuracy and performance, Wacom has always been the best and in most cases they still are which is why many of the professional artists will always remain loyal to this brand. With the reputation comes a cost as this brand is the most expensive out of all tablet companies out there. One thing is for sure though, you’ll be getting very reliable performance and driver support. Furthermore, Wacom does have more options to customize your tablet pen. There are more different kinds of pen tips and even different supporting pens you can purchase separately to really choose how you like to draw on the tablet. The drawback to the cintiqs is that they are quite bulky and they are not meant for quick and light travel by any means.

Best Bang for your Buck – Huion Inspiroy H640P & H950P ($45 – $70)

If you’re new to animation or art and you’re looking to start somewhere to dip your toes into the field, I would highly recommend the Inspiroy H950P by Huion. At the time of this article it will only set you back $45 USD for the smaller model which is cheaper than most video games out there! With that you get a solid tablet with a decent drawing area, a battery free pen with 8192 levels of pen pressure, and good support / drivers. It doesn’t come with a built in monitor, but many artists agree that a display tablet is not necessary to get a natural drawing experience. You can’t go wrong with this tablet if you’re looking to get started!

Other Good Tablet Recommendations

Apple iPad Pro with Apple Pencil 2 ($1000)

The Ipad Pro has increasingly been a more popular choice for artists and even animators as the portability and performance is unmatched compared to other portable solutions. The apple pencil 2 has received awesome reviews from artists and has been known to provide an extremely natural drawing experience. Not only is it good for drawing and animating, the tablet has such good specs that it can even be used as a mini laptop if you buy the extra keyboard attachment to do a lot of other tasks. If you can afford one, and you want to draw a lot on the go, this is all you would ever need.

Wacom One ($400)

The Wacom One is a newly released 13 inch screen tablet designed for the budget buyer who still wants Wacom’s famous support and reputation. Being priced at $400, the Wacom One is essentially a stripped down version of the older Cintiq 13HD. While other tablet companies do have better specs for a better price, it gets the job done and it will reap the benefits of having Wacom’s great driver support and performance. On top of that there are many different types of pens you can use that will work with this tablet with the addition to having the support to connect to mobile phones.

Conclusion

Any of the drawing tablets mentioned in this blog are all good buys and they will all serve you well. There are also other tablet models that were not mentioned in this post that I’m sure are very good. When it comes down to it, make sure to do your research and read on the specifications that each tablet comes with. Watch as many reviews as you can and compare and contrast with other similar models that you are interested in. Once you narrow down your top picks, pick whichever tablet you think serves your personal needs the best.

Anim8’s new Theater! Our plans with live premiere

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Anim8’s newest feature “Anim8 Theater” was released with Gildedguy’s newest animation “Gildedguy vs Oxob” being our very first live premiere experience! The Anim8 Theater is a place where users can gather and watch a release of a specific animation together. There is a live chat, a countdown timer, and even our very own Anim8 mascot “N-8” that users can interact with VIA chat commands!

With our first premiere we learned many lessons and we’re already hard at work to make the next premiere run as smoothly as possible! On top of that we’ve had some awesome ideas on how to improve the Theater experience for both the animator and the audience!

A live virtual theater experience

Viewers on Gildedguy’s twitch premiere peeked at over 2,500 viewers!

One of the best experiences I’ve had myself when it comes to animations, is the excitement of watching animations together with a group of people. There’s just something magical about a live viewing and I think that’s just in our human nature to enjoy things together. That’s why people go to live concerts or the movie theater with their friends; sharing the experience of a live event creates an environment where viewers can just hype each other up and enjoy a lot more!

Gildedguy’s live premiere of “Gildedguy vs Oxob” was an awesome example of this when we turn the focus on animations and live viewings. The livestream peeked at over 2,000 viewers and the entire event had me feeling so much nostalgia and appreciation of how I used to feel about animation releases back when I was a kid.

This is something that we want to reproduce to all animators to create more awesome moments when we watch animations together.

Live premieres = Money for the animators

Another goal we had for the Anim8 Theater was to provide new fun ways for the viewers to donate to the animators. We want to push animators to do their best and push for booking live premieres as a source of income, inspiration, and boosting their following.

This will start with making donations on Anim8 a lot more intuitive and a fun experience for the viewers. Much like twitch and bits where the user’s can use it as a fun interactive experience, we wanted to build up a system similar in that sense. Interactivity is key and we’ll try to push that for the theater experience to make it entertaining for the viewers while supporting the hard-working animator who provided the animation.

More updates coming soon!

There’s a lot more behind the scenes that we’re working on and many more updates will be coming soon! If you haven’t already, consider making a free account on Anim8.io! Also consider becoming a supporter to help the animators!

Useful Shortcuts + How to Animate a Ball Bounce in Wick Editor

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After you’ve watched how to Get Started in Wick, these tutorials will give a glimpse into the depths of the program. Plus they’ll help in the Anim8 Jam!

How to Animate a Ball Bounce

This is accurate to real-world physics and will teach you a ton!

1. Watch how to tween:

2. Open Wick and crank the Framerate

24 Frames Per Second (FPS) means the anim will play 2x faster (and 2x smoother) than 12 FPS.

Then click outside the box to close it.

3. Draw the ball

Using the ellipse tool, hold shift to draw a circle. I went with a basketball.

4. Make it a Clip

Using the Cursor tool, drag-select it all and click Make Clip (Clips are similar to Movieclips in Flash). Click Edit Timeline to edit the ball’s internal timeline.

5. Clip it again!

Redo step 3 (Drag-select the whole ball again, click Make Clip, then Edit Timeline).

You just made a clip inside a clip… inside a project, meaning you stacked 3 timelines on top of each other. I’ll explain why later.

6. Make a tween

Select the first frame, Add Tween, extend the frame a bunch (shift >):

Finish your tween with a 2nd tween keyframe.

Press 9 to hide these blue boxes:

7. Rotate the ball

The ball’s gotta rotate while it’s bouncing.

If you’ll be making your ball bounce towards the right, click the ball on the first frame and change its rotation to -179°. Click the final frame, then click the ball and change its rotation to 179°.

Press play, it rotates 358° clockwise!

However if you’ll make your ball bounce to the left, rotate it counter-clockwise (from 179° to -179°).

Explanation for nerds: Currently Wick can’t tween an object past 180°, so if you were to set an object to 181°, Wick converts 181° to -179°. Therefore it tweens the shortest path from -179° to 179° which is 358°, basically a full rotation using one tween.

8. Apply gravity

Exit that Clip by clicking Clip 1, shown below:

Make a tween of the ball moving straight down (use shift + down for precision). To accelerate it towards the ground, click the first frame and change the easing to in.

This is loosely the speed it should fall (depending on how far it falls):

9. Bounce

Decide how bouncy it should be. A real basketball bounces to 60% of its previous height each time.

Bouncing uses 2 tweens, ease out on the way up and ease-in on the way down.

10. Finish all the bounces

Remember, each bounce is 60% as high and takes 80% the time of the previous bounce (unless your ball is less bouncy).

11. Horizontal movement

When you throw a ball sideways, it doesn’t lose any horizontal speed (it will roll forever if you ignore drag and friction).

In the project timeline tween the ball right or left, no easing.

The lines show that the clip is moving only horizontally.

You can also change the direction in the middle of that tween to make it bounce off stuff. This is made with only horizontal tweens:

HECKIN DONE

How could you expand on this?

  • Make the rotation in Step 7 loop perfectly. It currently doesn’t because it starts and stops on the same frame, meaning there’s two frames in a row of the same position. You could fix the loop by starting at -180° and ending at (180°-360°/(# frames in rotation))
  • Think of how to make it bounce off a slope
  • If you took grade 10 physics, and if you know the size of your ball and the distance it falls, you can adjust the time of the first tween based on how much time it would take an actual ball to fall using the gravitational constant.