Monday, July 29, 2013

Back It Up

So at last, I have finally developed a simple pipeline to create hand-drawn animation in Photoshop.

So it's back to the basics, the dreaded walk cycle...  I've been longing to do some hand-drawn animation.  I initially tried to do this in Flash a few months ago, but I found Flash extremely difficult to draw in (not like Photoshop at least), and I hated how Flash would vectorize every line unless the settings were turned off, but then the file would end up becoming huge!  So I did some research and found out that many animators were turning to Photoshop and producing some top-notch results.  Of course, the tools to animate were not on my version, so I had to download a trial of Photoshop Extended which has the "Timeline" feature.  I started at square one and did some initial ball bounce and stick figure jump test in order to develop a comfortable pipeline.  Then I bunkered down the pass couple weeks working on this darn thing whenever I had free time, and it made me really appreciate those guys on YouTube that produce animations more frequently... it is TIME CONSUMING!

For those curious, it is certainly not the most efficient way to do 2D animation.  You have to end up creating custom actions and shortcuts in order to make it work.  The worst thing about it is the inability to flip drawings like paper, AND the fact that you can't manually move frames, you actually have to delete and insert other frames in order to actually move other frames.  In this case, it makes blocking/timing very time consuming and tidious (but not imposible).  Some benefits of Photoshop are, of course, all the tools (move tool FTW!!!), the ease of drawing lines, and color.  Plus, if you're already fimiliar with Photoshop, it beats having to purchase and learn new software, at least doing it causally like I am.

In anycase, hand-drawn animation rules!  I would like to do some more advance pieces eventually, once I get a legit copy of the right Photoshop version.  Also got to upgrade my Bamboo tablet, its too small and my hand felt like it was going to fall off by the time I got to cleanup...  There's obviously more cleanup that can be done to rid of some of the jiggle, and it would be nice to do a shadow pass on this guy, but I think I am going to leave it alone for now and move on to a new piece.  Anyways, thanks for reading this ramble, I'm sure some of you know better ways of creating 2D animation, please let me know.


  1. Chris, you're awesome. Can't wait to see what you come out with next!

  2. Chris, wow this is an amazing walk! Lots of character to that old man.

  3. Thanks everyone! All you keep up the good work too!

  4. Dude!! awesome stuff man! i need to try photoshop out because i've been animating in flash and i dont like the vectorization either!!! HELP ME!!!