[[TUTORIAL]] 7 Tips for Smoother Animation

[[TUTORIAL]] 7 Tips for Smoother Animation

So does your animation look sloppy, choppy? you aim in for that glib smoothness like a buttered, baby seal But for some reason you just can’t attain it It’s just out of your reach And you don’t know why? People tend to associate smooth animation with quality animation which is a completely false? Equivalence as animation quality and animation smoothness aren’t necessarily codependent You can have good animation that isn’t smooth and smooth animation that looks like garbage in Auditioning to having animation that is both or neither in the quest to pursue smooth animation I often see other animators especially newer ones make decisions and mistakes that instead of smooth a fiying their work make it look Mechanical and choppy many of these mistakes are built on misconceptions that I will be breaking down for you So this tutorial is 7 hot tips to make your animation not look like hot garbage Do note that these tips will also apply to any animation program as well well I’m using Toon Boom here the process would be almost identical in flash just for any rig stuff You wouldn’t have to worry about pegs But this also applies to Photoshop clip studio paint TV paint even if you’re just using pen and paper these are very core essential principles they’re not program specific I’m not even gonna make this part a bullet point because it should be common sense plan your stuff out Don’t just immediately start with posing a rig or drawing a full finished character in poses without first establishing The timings you want to use that is how you get stuff that is mechanically stiff and hugely inconsistent Seriously, sketch your stuff first then draw and pose over top of that stop getting ahead of yourself and just be patient By far the biggest misconception I see is that to attain smooth animation you need to animate everything at a higher FPS or in once and This quite frankly is not true. Well these elements can enhance already smooth animation. They will instead highlight faults with choppy animation Additionally faster frame rates and smaller frame resolutions greatly amplify the amount of work you have to do which is an exceptional pain for frame-by-frame Hand-drawn animation it also makes it more tedious to patch up your work, which leads me to my next point The second most common fault I see is people failing to prioritize What frames they need to actually be focusing on each motion should be expressed in as few key frames as possible? Don’t worry about the space you have to cover to go from pose a to b just make sure pose a and B are strong and consistent Captain Underpants has amazing flipper Rama technology that gets fluid animation with just too goddamn frames You can follow the same principle if your animation is legible without the frame. It’s not a keyframe. Don’t draw it yet Recoil anticipation overshoot if there is an element in motion especially if it’s fast it has inertia that it needs to deal with It’s going to need to prepare to accelerate decelerate Overcompensate and come to a rest not every single motion will do all four of these things every time But most will have at least a few of these properties in my humble opinion These should be the next frames you draw after you setup that you’re establishing keys before you actually start doing any Inbetweening inertia makes your motions a lot more organic and sometimes is even important for more mechanical objects as well Actually put emphasis on your timing You don’t need each key action to be eight frames apart from each other give different poses different emphasis in the timeline depending on how important they are at this point you should be playing back your Animation a few times to make sure that everything looks good and makes sense even though it doesn’t have any in-betweens or anything Once everything actually looks good. You’re ready to actually start drawing or posing your rigs around And now that you’re starting to flesh out your animation This is where you actually have to start worrying about easing and in-betweening Doing straight eases from point A to point B will look stiff and mechanical and stupid ease in whenever something needs to accelerate or move such as when falling or punching ease out when something is going to slow to a Stop such as at the top of a jump and ease both when it’s a more organic Translation from point A to point B such as repositioning or shifting and posture the supplies went weaning as well as with hand drawn frame By frame stuff with hand drawn you instead can attain easing an acceleration via timing charts Which can look smoother by the way because there will be more frames present or simply by adjusting the timing on your existing frames? Distortion is especially helpful whenever you have something that’s moving quickly and it can come in a few varieties such as smearing and deformation Smearing is basically a hand drawn motion blur this can help mask fast motions or even give you the illusion of emotion in Exceptionally fast cases such as when you need to go from point A to point B in just two frames keep this short I won’t tell you how to make your smears But just make sure that their shape follows the path of the motion that you’re going through Deformation is a little bit more like squash and stretch and can work in tandem with smearing or by itself you want to animate some Grade a animate it II then you want to learn how deformation works as an object accelerates It’ll stretch as if the weight is being pulled behind it as it stops It’ll squash as if the weight is crashing into it in Both cases the total volume or area should stay about the same So stretching will mean that it gets longer in thinner while squashing gets fatter and flatter Scrub through your frames as you work make sure it stays consistent Constantly play back your stuff and make sure you’re not getting any wobbly phenomena where something looks like it’s moving Inconsistently or a shaking where it shouldn’t be or as randomly pausing where it shouldn’t as you draw more frames make sure they stay Consistent using onion skinning as a checking tool it can also help to take things part by part instead of trying to do everything at Once if you’re animating a guy throwing a punch animate is fist first then the body then the arms well not Necessary this can sometimes help with preventing wobble as you’re focusing on a much smaller area at a time making sure that it stays consistent One other thing that I often see and this ties into the timing bullet people tend to want to constantly have everything in motion without Realizing what this actually means they often will do this at the expense of timing or via trying to add subtle details? I’ve already covered timing so on the note of subtle details These are things that you should do last do not make them part of your core animation They are more earth addressing on top novice animators will tend to often over exaggerate them Which defeats the purpose of them being subtle or they’ll try to incorporate them into keys? Which is not what you should be doing and too often? I see animators and non animators alike who thinks smooth means it’s constantly moving which is completely bogus Constant motion has nothing to do with smoothness This is something that is planned for from the start for certain Nation’s only do it if your animation actually calls for it such as like a walk cycle or something And if you do need to do it make sure that the movement speed is consistent And it doesn’t fluctuate randomly just like you should be doing for all your motions and animations anyway, honestly It’s best not to worry about subtleties and animation until you’re happy with the overall thing Some examples of subtle animation might include things like a slight rise in the chest for breathing. That’ll said many animations on TV We’ll still rarely use constant subtle animations They aren’t as necessary as you think don’t worry about them. Unless you actually want to deliberately do them So to help demonstrate these points I’ve had a few people send me animations that they feel need some critique This first one is by the loving fool, and it’s a good example of timing and priority the frames here are consistently drawn But their timing isn’t giving a sense of weight to certain motions and actions There are also parts where it feels like there’s too much of a pause between the motions and there’s a little reaction from the body A simple halfway fix for this is to adjust the timings here I’ve identified what I feel to be the main keyframes and have given them a little bit more time Well the rest have been sped up a little bit This next animation is by Beason is a bit more polished and finalized this is another good example to talk about timing and Priority the thing that sticks out to me is the way the arm comes out and the anticipation for the jump these feel a little Drawn-out and kind of blended into one another they feel a little slow And also remove a little bit of the impact from the jump which by comparison comes out quick This doesn’t feel as smooth as it could because some of the motions feel extra sluggish will others feel extra fast It’s kind of hard to pick out exactly what the keyframes are for this animation, but I think I’ve determined here What would be essential here is the new timing that aims to put a bit more emphasis on the jump? Here it is compared to the original Well the keys don’t show the hand out stretching stuff like that can be added as a secondary motion well in-betweening Getting your timing a salvage with your keys first will control the overall flow of your animation Working around these frames will allow you to slim down on your work and focus on ensuring each movement has the desired impact Which efficiency is highly important for an animation like this especially considering it contains a hundred and twenty frames? This last animation is by my patrons soul fire and shows how the concept of wobble can come into play and why also looking at Things in pieces helps and also why playing a sketch. Also is really important I have to report this live so that way can scrub through these frames manually, but here’s the animation As you can see it’s a little bit rough, it’s an attempt at making a dragon walk cycle First off there are a few parts that are actually missing to this overall because it’s a walk cycle It’s needs to go through four major steps Contact down pass and up if you look at the front legs for instance You can see that. There is no context step. We’ve got ears out stretching there should be a contact right here that there’s not Then it goes down, and it passes through and then it goes up Additionally this is also why it helps to look at things individually if you look at this back leg right here just watch what happens, it’s frozen here, and it’s frozen there for like a full 1 2 3 4 3 frames and then suddenly it jumps forward So looking at this frame by frame. You can really see that This movement is very inconsistent. It’s frozen here, and it skips and That’s frozen, and then it skips So yeah, that’s why it’s very important to sketch out what you’re doing first because if you have a I can tell that this animation didn’t have a Sketch to kind of go off of initially to kind of help it stay Evenly timed and to basically be planned out it was kind of just rigged straight from the get-go Plan out your stuff first especially if doing it rigged and stuff you will thank yourself for it There are a host of other tips in the light that I could give you or you could discover on your own when? Practicing, but I feel that these seven tips are the most important and most essential. I guess technically it’s eight, but whatever In all honesty, maybe you were expecting some major secret technique to unlock the ability to make fluid animations And maybe it’s underwhelming that the secret smoother work is just like Don’t try to do everything at once or organize your workflow, or don’t get a stiffy over animating on ones But in all honesty these tips have a drastic impact and are often forgotten Anyway as usual Thank you to my patreon supporters for supporting my work if you want to be included in the credits of videos like these my patreon Is linked in the description? Just do note that it is 18 plus only as I do a lot of adult content in the mix I’m planning to hopefully start doing tutorials like these again Potentially some Toon Boom specific ones as well as art tutorials for programs like that studio pain But that will all be for another time. I don’t have anything more to say okay. Bye

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  1. "Does this work in–"
    Yes. Yes it does. These techniques are not program specific, they are principles that apply to everything from paper and pen to Blender's grease pencil.

  2. excuse me sir …i'm new to Toon boom and i was wondering what is the shortcut of extending frames without typing in the numbers of frames. I use Toon boom harmony 16 btw.

  3. The examples at the end went a huge way in showing the importance of timing n frames

    Thank you so much for this reference!

  4. I am working with GMS2 currently and honestly… this helped a lot. lol

    My animations are smoother, but i found another way for myself due to i just animate pixels and game maker studio has a good system for that(i guess?)
    Since for frames all i have to do to determine where next frame will be i just set fps to 1(1 frame per second) and when trying to tween the eyes i just use a 10% opacity model of how in the end the eye should be put at and pixel by pixel i just continue holding my mouse button from one frame to another. The problem only comes when i hold it for the restart of the frame so instead i just set it so it instead of replaying it plays it backwards so i know instantly if i messed it up instead of messing up my main creation model.

    10/10 tutorial tho.

  5. I've been meaning to learn how to animate, but I don't think I've learned enough about animation to fully understand everything in this video lol

    It was great though!

  6. I don't think I understood 2 I know about higher FPS but what does it mean to animate for 1s? I also didn't understand other points??

  7. I am using flipaclip and I cant draw on PC because I dont have a graphic tablet. Do you know any free to use animation softwares? Or cheap ones at least? Its not that flipaclip isnt a good animation software but it is not a good DRAWING software (seriously drawing on flipaclip is a pain) so even if my animation are smooth the art looks like garbage

  8. Before watching, here are my predictions.

    If not already, animate at 24 FPS or higher

    Squash and stretch characters for smoother more cartoonish effects (unless it’s not a cartoon.)

    Smear frames

    Add in between frames

    Test the animation often

    I can’t think of another 2

    Half of these were right (edit)

  9. I did a LOT of 3D mechanical animations. But thats just because for years i didnt know what IK bones was…so my advice is not to do entirely self training, always look up tips and advices.

  10. Spend every second of your life animating every single frame of the animation. Wether it be simple mouth movements to sword swings. Every. Single. Frame

  11. As a Flip O Rama user myself, I encourage you all to try the program out. It is very easy to use, and can help you make extremely fluid and smooth animations. Plus, it’s completely free! For me, the cost of the program was around 1 trip to the library. Happy animating! 🙂

  12. I want a good animation software that isn’t crappy. I use FlipaClip right now on, IOS and I’d like to know some free animation softwares. Thanks a bunch!

  13. My animation style seems kind of choppy lately, but maybe because I rely extensively on Pose-To-Pose. Observe. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1XjiyST8ik

  14. This is the whole thing that i want to explain to my friends but i cant cause its kinda complex
    So thanks for this ^^???

  15. Im looking into getting a drawing tablet however my budget isnt high enough to get a computer that can run animation software and i found a tablet called the picassotab which doesnt require a pc which is in my budget however it only runs android which mean my choices for animation software so does anyone know any good animation software that isnt flipaclip

  16. Aaaaaaagggggggghhhhhhh I need equipments to make a smooth work of animations. I know it doesn't needed if I have flipaclip but I think it's better when it's in full equipment.

  17. That moment when you have no idea what rule 7 means but you need to follow that rule like the other rules to have good animation

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