Tag Archive: cartoon



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!

Bo the Creature – Part 2


 

I have finally completed the second part of my video. It took a while, but here it is. Enjoy!

 


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.”


When animating a character, a lot of animators observe subjects from reality to create particular movement. It could be from a live-action video, or even watching themselves in the mirror. Whatever technique they use, is fine, as long as the outcome is a believable. A believable animation, does not have to be realistic. It is important to distinguish the difference. The animator’s goal is to convince the audience of the character’s existence. If the animator manged to do so while still creating illogical movement, then the animation remains believable. When watching a cartoon, we might not realize that what we are seeing is not quite realistic, but still accept it because the structural work is below our threshold of awareness.

The animator’s work is to create movement that is a result of a character’s thought process, or a reaction to a stimulus. As long as the character’s weight and volume in space is consistent, the animator can get away with doing a lot of things. The key word here is consistent. Consistency is important throughout the whole animation. If you have been animating quite a realistic animation and suddenly bring cartoon violence, it will confuse the audience and it will start to ask questions, that don’t relate to the plot. As I have mentioned before, the animator’s goal is to convince the audience of the character’s existence. Rules need to be set up from the beginning, and need to be followed till the end. You can’t be selfish, and not think of your audience.

 

 

Mutant


Mutant

Mutant

Voiceovers


image

Unless I want to end up with a silent film, I need voices for my animation. Unfortunately, I can’t hire voice actors, so I just need to learn on my own for now. I purchased a microphone recently and started to practice yesterday. I believed it was going to be easy. Boy was I wrong. I found that reading children’s books helps with my little girl voice however. After reading the same passage several times, I improved. I will try to do different voices to continue progressing. Everything else is much tougher. Especially making a guy’s voice. Even after I change the pitch, the voice I hear still sounds off. Really strange actually.

At first I planned on using a voice changing software, but I find that the quality of all programs do not meet my standard. It’s too bad since I actually liked some of the voices I got from it.

I played around with audacity’ s options, but none really seem to do what I want. I don’t know if it’s because there are limitations, since it is a free software after all, or simply because I don’t know how to use it. I am after all not an expert in the audio department.

I will try to find some good books to read, since YouTube hasn’t been much help. I guess I can’t rely on software after all. I actually wish I started voice acting earlier because learning in the short amount of time I have is going to be tricky. Nevertheless, I will persevere.


Every time I draw, I always aim for improvement. As I read tips from books and articles, I found a great lot emphasized creating depth. One of the ways to “kill depth” is by drawing lines similar to the horizon. Making them go in other directions not only creates more depth, but makes a scene more interesting to watch. Lately I have been experimenting a lot with shadows and shades. It is something that I did not really include before in my drawings. Well shadows of course, but shades, not as much. As I look back at my previous work, I realize that the lack of shades and shadows diminishes realism and does not accentuate shapes to improve the overall quality of a scene. Even though my animations are cartoonish, I think having more depth cannot hurt it. My previous post exemplifies my point. Hopefully I will continue to learn more about the topic, and share more tips on this blog. 


Background of a park

Before

 

After

After

Ice Cream Man Test


A quick test done with Anime Studio Pro 9

Spaceship Test 1


Decisions, decisions


Making a series is going to be very difficult. Today I thought about it for a bit, and I realized that I have spent a long time just making Bo the Creature so far. I was planning to make a series, but now I am not so sure. Perhaps it would be easier to have a movie instead. It would take less energy and I could spend my time focusing on other things as well. I did not make a final decision yet, but I am considering switching my path. Stay updated, bye!

Spaceship


Spaceship

Bo’s spaceship (in progress)


“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:

Farnham


Farnham

It is I, Farnham the great

How it started


thought

As you should know, I recently posted the first part of the pilot of my series, Bo the Creature. I started the show by creating the main character Bo, the little alien creature, about three years ago.

alien yeahAt the time, I had only a vague idea of what I was going to do as always.I knew that the alien had to be cute, but I did not have a concrete story line to accompany it.

abigail and farnham I soon decided to create a supporting character, Abigail. Still I had no concrete story line, but having another character narrowed my options. Even after I created the final main character, Farnham, I had not developed my story. I only figured out what I wanted to do after I created Abigail’s mother.

determined

I was hesitant to start a series since it is going to take more work then a movie, but I am now willing to try.


The long awaited video. At last it is here. After 5 months of work, it is complete. It might seem like a little, for such a long span of time, but I have been busy, and this was a side project. Enjoy!


Prk_tbl

First Background Done!


This is the first background I finished for the start of my cartoon series: 

wldI created it using Anime Studio Pro and Photoshop 🙂

Spooked much?


A video of Bo!


Planning, Planning. Making a cartoon requires A LOT of it. Here’s some of my notes (excuse for the messiness it is only my first draft – no edits):

Scene 1
Farnham is looking through dumpster of movie producing company. Finds better hat. Bo crashes gets scared off by some cats. He runs and crashes into wall or something. and gets momentarily knocked out Farnham spots Bo (same alley) pretends to be the nice guy. Pretends he can help bo but real intention is to report him to the city to get recognized and get money. But then when he gets home and looks around he realizes that he can use Bo in his movies and make a bigger fortune.
Takes him home makes him comfy, makes him believe that he is going to help. Doesn’t get along with granny’s
dog so granny didn’t like bo and told him to stop playing with toys and get a life.  after getting bo on his side, he tricks bo into making movies.
Then Bo gets separated from the guy
(Abigail’s mom tells abby to say thank you) Bo meets Abigails as she chases her balloon (with icecream) and he runs away to find his spaceship. They collide. At first she stares at him and he stares back


Steve and the Alien


Contest entry

WARNING DO NOT WATCH ENDING IF YOU HAVE PHOTOSENSITIVE EPILEPSY.

My 2nd full animation!!!
Special thanks to Chad from LilredheadComics!


Farnham

Abigail

Playlist


Playlist of some of Bo’s videos!


Farnham turnaround


Just the sides put together in motion:

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:

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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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:

Body Views


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.


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.

Bo in his saucer


Update!


If you read my previous posts you know that I decided to make a movie with Bo. However I changed my mind and decided to make a series instead. I drew sketches of the new characters but I’m not gonna post it because it will not look that good (and you may know that if you’ve see sketch of Abigail). I’m actually debating still if I should start working before or after Anime Studio 8 is realeased, I’m not sure yet. I’m still experiencing with Anime Studio 7 with the time I have (not a lot hehe). I hope I get something done by the end of summer though. I guess we’ll have to see. Bye! Come back again!

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.

The story of Bo so far


Bo was out playing with his childhood friend (name) jumping from astroid to astroid. Everything was going great, but then creature slipped because he was trying to show off. When he fell he was pulled by earth’s gravitational pull but somehow (how) survived the fall. He ends up on a deserted street. He wonders around a bit looking around. Then as he turns a corner he sees some angry cats. They start chasing him, so he starts running. But he turned on a not a through street and was trapped. Luckily a girl (name) was walking at that time back from school. (she usually doesn’t go this way but wanted to get home early and it was a shorter way). At first she thought what a strange looking toy and wanted to continue but  then creature looked so scared as the cats started closing in on him that she knew he was alive. At that moment all she wanted to do was to save him. She scared the cats away looked at the creature thinking “What is this thing? Is it a rabbit? But rabbits are not blue.” She took it home anyway hiding it from her family. Creature starts really liking the girl. He always wants to spend time with her. But one day he started looking at pictures of space and started to get home sick. He thought about his childhood friend and his parents. He started crying a bit. Then he did different things to try to go back home. It sually involved him running away. Girl always found him except one time when his parents (who are like the king and queen) found him first and took him away. Creature was happy but a bit sad to leave. He was going to miss the girl and all the food. One day on his home planet, he heard his mom and dad talk about destroying planet earth because creature was exposed. Creature didn’t want that. He had to warn the girl. So he took a spaceship and rode to earth. Girl was happy to see him but creature was panicing. Since he didn’t know how to talk, he had to assemble different items to show what he meant. Girl understood and said what can we do? Creature thought of a plan and called his childhood friend. And then I don’t know what should happen so you tell me!

P.S help fill in the blanks. Even one would be great help!

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