Category: Characters



I have made body turns before in Anime Studio, but with the addition of smart bones, I knew I could improve them once more:

I already had the head turns before in the head layer, so after I finished with that, I preceded with the whole body.

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The good thing about smart bones is that I can edit things in between the views, and it stays that way! I have one dial that does everything. And it’s FAST. I don’t have to worry about changing layer order earlier or anything. The only downfall is that the layer order is set and cannot be changed if a smart bone is in use.

The key is to breakdown everythingThat way, the bones can be moved into a new position w/o changing points. Changing the least amount of points makes it so much simpler when I animate. W/ smart bones, it doesn’t matter as much, but the less I change, the easier it is for me to fix the problem. Here is how I set up the bones:

This way, I can do this:

apartWhich may seem silly to look at, but this breakdown is pretty much how I can do the full turn. I just change the points in the torso, the legs, and I am done! The head already has a side view which is easy to access with nested layer control enabled.

Hopefully you found this interesting, thank for reading! Till next time…

And another…


And another...

Sam


Work in Progress

Sam


Anime Studio 9.5 has a new feature that almost made me cry with joy: nested layer control. With this, and the enhancements of smart bones, I can now create better head turns! The way I did it before was adequate, but it still required me to tweak things around to make the head turn look decent. Now I don’t have to worry about it because I can change everything in just one Smart Bone Action. I started to build my new character, Sam, using this new technique.

I created this sketch during the summer time, but I was too busy with the other part of Bo the Creature that I didn’t quite have time to build the character. Here’s the initial design:

Initial Design

Initial Design

But looking at it now, the design doesn’t quite match with the character in mind. Sam is supposed to be more of a tough chick, a bit edgy, and definitely cold-hearted. Here is my second try:Sam closeupsam new

I also decided to go with simpler clothing.

This is not final yet, I think I might stick with this.

I did not create any expression actions like before, instead I am just going to use smart bones. It might seem like a lot, but I had a lot more action expressions.

Smart Bones

Smart Bones

The bones pretty much what they say. I just turned the dial and made some expressions. Together they work perfectly! It’s quite unbelievable actually. I was expecting so much problems, but it’s a lot better than expected! Very seamless. I’ll post a video sometime. If it wasn’t for the nested feature, I couldn’t have everything on one layer. I am really pleased with Anime Studio this time. Here are more shots:

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I haven’t created the body yet, but I will soon. I think that with smart bones, I will be able to create walk cycles as well by making my characters sway as they walk, something I haven’t been able to do before. So far the file is only 5mb! That is such a big difference from before! I noticed that the bigger file sizes lag more.

So far, I am pleased with my character. I like the style I made, but I notice it is a little more stylized than my other characters. That means I am going to have to make some adjustments. Also, I might make all my characters with smart bones because I think it is just so much better! All the hard work I put in before though :/ Oh well! I am aiming for improvement! Always!


A quick test with my character Farnham


New Character? Look again


Farnham's room

Nighttime


When drawing, animating, or even creating a live-action movie, the creators have to direct the audience’s eyes to what they want them to see. It can be done by having the following:

  • Visual Clarity. The content that you want to show has to be presented clearly in the structure
  • Contrast. If you have characters in mainly dark colors, create a lighter background to make them stand out
  • Focus. Balance, and position things in a way that the content that you want the audience to see is not dominated by anything else. Increasing the blur as objects become more distant can also help.

I tried keeping this in mind when I was working on a scene. Before I knew of all this, this was the background I created:

Original

Original

I was aiming for the cluttered room look. Now that I look at it, it looks like there’s a bunch of items that are screaming “look at me” and if I were to put a character in this scene, the audience would get distracted by the randomness. So I tried something new:

Depth

Depth

The characters are in focus, but I still felt something was missing, and the eye still wondered a bit.

Not too long ago, I wrote in a post about how, in a very wordy way, the “lack of shades and shadows diminishes realism and does not accentuate shapes to improve the overall quality of a scene.” I experimented with the idea here and there with what works on this background, after I realized that some objects appear to float above the floor.

I had to fix the issue of course and who knew that shading could do so? Well certainly not me. But it definitely created a more pleasing and uniform composition. Here’s the final (for now) result:

Depth, Shadows, and shading

Depth, Shadows, and Shading

Now the characters stand out more clearly, and are also more in focus. I will probably add more blurs here and there, and maybe decrease the saturation of some objects, to make the characters stand out even more.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully learned something new, tell me what you think of this in a comment, and follow me if you would like to stay updated with the adventures of Bo in “Bo the Creature.”

Mutant


Mutant

Mutant

Ice Cream Man Test


A quick test done with Anime Studio Pro 9

Spaceship Test 1



“Stage magic is like the professor’s puzzle in the sense that magic is
based upon invalid initial assumptions. The magician presents a logical
“ proof, ” but obscures the fact that the original assumption (that
no trickery will be used) is actually the conclusion that we are meant
to draw from the act. In any case, it is an invalid assumption because
the magician certainly does use trickery in one form or another. A magician’s
proof consists of visual cues.”
-Unknown Author

Bone Dynamics


Yesterday I was playing around with the bone dynamics options in Anime Studio. I applied it to a walk cycle I created with Abigail and here it is:


As I stated in on of my previous posts, I decided it is time for a change. Abigail’s change to be exact. I realized this when I started to pay attention to characters’ designs. I noticed that most little girls had big, naive eyes, almost as if they were filled with hopes and dreams. I made the decision to apply that to my own character. At first I was going to start from scratch as you can see in this picture:

Abigail's new headBut then I realized that would take me much to long. So is started adding pieces from my previous version to complete the new one. Before that of course I created several thumbnail sketches of changes I wanted to make. Among those were adding freckles, changing the eyebrow shape, new hairstyle, different color scheme and other small changes. The hardest thing to pick was a new color scheme. These are some combinations I tried:

I decided to go with the burgundy style. Overall I am happy with the new design. Here is a side by side comparison:

If you have any comments, suggestions, or anything, don’t hesitate to post! More pictures/videos to come.

Changes


Just like I did for Farnham, I decided to work on Abigail’s design to  enhance her overall appearance. It is not easy for me to part with old characters, but I think it is for the best. I made changes to her hair, eyes and color scheme. I will post pictures soon.

 

New Farnham


Ok, not completely new but definitely improved. Gave him more…shape I guess.

Turnaround

Turnaround


A room in Farnham’s movie:

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Farnham stars in his own movie (that’s what all the backgrounds are for actually). Some sketches of costume ideas:

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Farnham


I edited Farnham a little to give him a better shape overall. Here it is:

Farnham edit

Farnham

Spooked much?


A video of Bo!


Here’s Farnham’s room. As you can see, he lives in  a basement. I was going for the messy and cluttered look when I was designing this. When I actually create the backgrounds, I will of course make it more polished and actually follow perspective rules (in the sketches I did not!) Sorry for the poor quality:

Front

Front

3/4

3/4

side

Side

I am not sure yet what I will be using to compose the background yet. Photoshop’s brush properties are intriguing but lacks the vector manipulation aspect. I will probably be using Anime Studio in conjuction with another software.


I finally made a complete 360 turnaround of a character. And it is Abigail’s mom! Here’s the result:

 



Farnham

Abigail


Here’s the completed front view:


Here’s what I have so far. More pictures to come after I’m done with my mini project 🙂

Playlist


Playlist of some of Bo’s videos!

Farnham Run Cycle


Opinions and suggestions are welcome 🙂

 

Personality walk


Proportions!!!



Farnham turnaround


Just the sides put together in motion:

Sides


I am finished with all the sides for Farnham. Next will be the hands probably. Here it is:

3 Head poses!


Title is self explanatory. Here’s Farnham:

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Full Body


Here’s the completed version of Farnham overall. I made the legs longer. Luckily I didn’t rig both sides first. I might add some details or textures later but right now here’s what I have:

Limbs


I created the right side of the body for Farnham. I did one side first and once I am done rigging and adjusting points I will just duplicate the arm and leg layers for the other side. I am not quite satisfied with it yet so I will probably change it around. The difficult part is the upper part of the arm because the points have to be in certain places for the arm to move correctly when the bone is rotated. If only I could just copy arms from other characters. That would change things sadly though.

Half body

Half body

Emooootions!!!


Unlike with Abigail, I made the emotions before I made the body. However I will start with the body before I do the head turns. Here are some samples of Farnham’s emotions:

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I started worki…


I started working on a new character. I’m not going to write to much about him mainly because I haven’t figured out what I am going to do for sure with him. His name is Farnham. Here’s what I have so far:

Image

Update!


I will be starting with a new character today! Which means I am done with Abigail yay!!! I will post pictures of my progress just as I did before. 

Abigail: Back head turn


A real quick head turn of Abigail. I just have to check the front head turn and I will be done with Abigail!

Progress: Abigail


It’s been a while since I posted. I added some actions to Abigail like running, jumping, skiping. In addition I made different hand positions. The only thing to do is check that everything works together well. I will post some samples asap.

A drawing of Abigail


A quick drawing I did using Prismacolor Color Pencils of Abigail:

Abigail’s first steps!


The first video is  a generic walk. The second has more to it as you will see.  The first one was edited a little after I posted this.


Here is the different body views with gradients for Abigail:

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Progress


Done with body turns, added more head turns to Abigail. Now I need to do walk cycle and other body actions. I will post pictures soon. Hope to be done this month and move to the next character.

Views


I finished creating the different head views for Abigail. This is not final since I still need to add details and move some points around. I didn’t include the Back View because I didn’t like it very much =p Here it is:

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If you click on the images fast enough, it looks like a head turn!

Emotions


I finished creating the actions for Abigail’s emotions. Here’s a few of them:

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I decided to make the pants longer because of how the leg looked before. I also added gradient to the skin and eyes. I added a bow as well. Here it is:

Here is how it looked before when you bent the leg:

And now:

I will add gradient to make it look better. I have been having problems with gradients in AS. I had to bind every body part to a bone using the Bind Layer tool. I will keep searching for another way to do it though.

Here’s Abigail!


I started working on Abigail in AS8 two days ago I believe. I have finished drawing her as a whole. The colors are not final, I will add gradient to it. I already added bones and made all the layers. I still need to do the following:

  • Add gradient
  • Head turns
  • Body turns
  • Lip positions
  • Expressions
  • Walking, jumping, etc actions
  • Hand poses
  • And probably something else I can’t remember right now.

I made two noses because at first I didn’t like the first one. What do you think I shoud pick?

Abigail

Abigail

What have I been up to?


I have finally started making Abigail in Anime Studio. I didn’t start earlier because I was testing some things out with my character Amy which you can see here. I will just use her to model Abigail. You can see it all under the category Abigail under Characters. I plan to post my progress here so please visit often.

Spooked much?


just a quick test

Bo in his saucer


Drawing of Abigail


I have finished drawing Abigail (digitally) and here’s the result:I don’t have a lot of experience painting so it’s the best I could do. When I start making her in Anime Studio it will probably not look like that but similar at least.

Abigail


This little girl is Bo’s biggest fan. I just drew a sketch of her and will start “buiding” her soon. Any suggestions are welcome.

Abigail

Bo needs your help!


Bo in BP


A longer animation of Bo:

Bo walking


Walking test

Bo


I have officially finished working on Bo. I will post videos of tests later. And here is the results:

Bo

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