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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Animating Cut-Out Characters - Part 3

Here is the long awaited part 3 of my series on animating cut-out characters. I apologize for the delay. If you have not read Animating Cut-Out Characters - Part 1 or Animating Cut-Out Characters - Part 2 previously then I suggest that you do so before proceeding here.

We are doing a pose to pose approach of keyframe animating a character walking. By pose to pose we mean that we layout important key boundary poses first, often referred to as extreme poses. Then we go back and fill in between those extreme key poses additional key poses, and then we go back and fill in more in between poses until we are satisfied with our animating of the walk. An alternate approach is to animate straight ahead which is how I did the walk for my Animating a Cut-Out Character in Toon Boom tutorial. Either approach is valid and useful and quite frankly a combination of the two approaches is more natural. Pose to pose sets up the basic animation and straight ahead is great for tweaking and smoothing.

A question that often arises about the work flow of keyframe animation is "why do you not want the segments between keys to automatically be set to non-constant segments as you lay down the keys?" The answer is this is a personal choice and TBS is designed to work either way. I believe that tweening while setting keys interferes with my seeing the work evolve during flipping or onion skinning. Automatic tweens are defined by the keys on each end of the segment. So they don't really exist as a pose, they just reflect other poses which can be confusing. If we were hand animating we wouldn't see those final inbetweens while laying out our main poses so having automatic tweening turned off is just a more natural way to animate.

Most of the instructions and the actual resulting movies are contained in the slide show so take your time, navigate using the Previous and Next arrows provided and backtrack through the slides as needed to follow along. As always, read the tutorial all the way through a couple of times and then do the work on your own as that is the only way to learn. Don't be afraid to experiment and expect to make a mistake or two as you go. We all learn from our mistakes, hopefully.



I hope you enjoyed this tutorial series and learned some new skills. If you have questions or comments be sure to communicate them to me either at the Toon Boom Studio User Forums, The Discussion Area of The Cartooning In Toon Boom WIKI, or directly via e-mail or use the comments section here on the blog.

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4 Comments:

Blogger Dan said...

Thanks for all your excellent tutorials. Toon Boom Studio is a great product, but without your help is very difficult to understand. I have made a lot of progress over the last year, that would not have been possible otherwise. I hope Toon Boom appreciates you as much as we users do!
Best regards,
DanB.

April 21, 2009 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger JK said...

Dan,
Thanks for the kind words. I always enjoy hearing that my efforts are successful. TBS is a fine product and a lot of nice people work very hard to keep making it better.

April 21, 2009 at 9:15 PM  
Blogger Mr. Hernandez said...

I have a question. Is there a means of setting a cycle on an infinite loop? If for example, I want a tree to sway back and forth in the BG... Is there a setting that allows me to do that without having to calculate the exact number of frames and copying cycles? I'm an old Flash MX user. The "movie clip" characters gave me that option... Seems like Toon Boom would have something like that.

Any thoughts?

Regardless of this answer, your tutorials are an excellent resource... You are to be commended for helping so many folks out...

June 25, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger JK said...

There are no "movie clip" facilities as a part of Toon Boom, so you will need to decide the duration of your cycle and just create it that way. It isn't a huge obstacle and there are plenty of off setting advantages.

Thanks for the positive feed back on the blog. I try to do my best and always enjoy hearing that it is appreciated.

June 25, 2009 at 12:41 PM  

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