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in this episode of the animating great artists series I'm collaborating with
burnt toast creative aka Scott Martin a Canadian based illustrator who creates
these wonderfully cynical illustrations that are dark and fun and hilarious he
gave me this amazing illustration of human trash as an illustrator file
I wanted the limbs to fly up and flop down and a really smooth and fluid way
this burnt toast has these amazing fluid curves and bends in his illustrations
and I wanted to capture that movement I figured the best way for me to do this
was to do a quick rough version frame by frame so I could get the movement
feeling natural and then clean it up afterwards with shape layers to keep
that clean vector look I did these frame by frame rafts in Photoshop using the
fruit plugin Anim Dessin2 to help with this handy tool bar here you can do this
in any frame by frame software Adobe animate which used to be flash TV paint
ruff animator is what I use on the iPad all of these are great
I'm just most comfortable in Photoshop first I put down two positions one with
the limbs up and one with the limbs down just to feel out the timing then I tried
an option with the limbs going up a lot straighter which felt a little more
explosive but didn't quite capture the round and curviness that I knew would be
needed for when they flop down so I found a happy medium where the limbs are
still curved but they raised quite a bit higher above the top of the trashcan on
this next path I added a few frames in between those two poses so we've got the
flopping up in the air and then a few of them just sort of flopping downwards
here already you can get the feel for the timing and impact for the animation
which is most important once you have that down everything else just kind of
falls into place and acts just to reinforce that initial movement added a
few more frames and started to think about how the limbs would really fall
and flop and I'm kind of imagining these as tubes without any bones that do have
a lot of weight so they just sort of fall down straight for the really small
movements at the top of this arc where the limbs are up in the air instead of
redrawing each frame I duplicated the frame and then use the transform warp
tool to make slight adjustments so I select my lasso tool from up here select
the limb I would want to warp and then go to edit transform
Warp I've got a shortcut made because I use it all the time and then from here
just move these points to get that slight slight adjustment that you need
now this is fine for a rough path but it does look pretty artificial and like
you've cut some corners which of course you have but it's best to hide that as
much as you can so save this tip for your ruffs I added a few more frames and
when I got to here I was pretty happy with it it's great to do this really
roughly first because you won't get it right on your first go and being able to
change the shapes and adjust the timings quickly and not worrying about the
details is important the more options that you can try and the easier it is to
adjust the quicker you're gonna find what feels right I'm relatively new to
frame by frame animation so my process requires a lot of trial and error from
here I knew that half the animation was going to happen when the limbs are up so
I needed to create those assets I redrew those sections in Illustrator and
separated all the elements that needed to be animated onto their own layers I
use references from burnt toasts other work to make sure that I was using the
same design language throughout I imported the AI file into After Effects
and converted the illustrator layers to shape layers by right-clicking and
selecting create create shapes from vector layers and then recolor our
layers over here so it was easier to navigate in the timeline I also imported
the rough animation from Photoshop to use as a reference and then move that up
and down poses in the timeline to match so this is like a blocking phase so in
the first section of this timeline we've got our limbs all facing down and then
in the second half all our limbs up in the air and I've got a different comp
over here in the project panel for each path I did of the animation on the
second part I focused on the limbs they are 95% of the movement in this
animation so I needed to get them right for the whole piece to work I toggle
down into the shapes path and keyframes at that property and then adjusted that
shape every frame with our pen tool to match our photoshop roughs and I did
this on almost every frame there's the most movement in these three frames and
then I can have some easing into this top position here it might seem like a
lot of work to do this by animating so many frames individually but this whole
animation is only 20 frames long and I'm really not having to think too
much at this point because the Photoshop ruffs acting as a clothes guide I'm just
lining things up and I'm also only animating one leg because I'm going to
duplicate that later when it's complete so we only have to animate it once on
the next path I animated the hands and feet animating their position and
rotation so they line up with each limb I also added a bit of movement on the
bin lid easing in and out of this raised position to give it a bit of
anticipation before slamming down I also have it slowing down a lot further than
the physics of this bin would allow kind of exaggerating that movement to add
some more impact to the animation on the next path I cleaned up some of the
elements that were sticking out like the top of that bin being visible during
this exaggerated slam I removed that by adding a mask setting it to subtract and
then animating it on for just that one frame then I added the shading to the
animated arms and legs this was probably the most time-consuming part of the
process to do that each shape layer needed to have three shapes inside it
the stroke on top the shading in the middle and then the fill on the bottom I
did that by duplicating the existing path of the limb remove the fill from
the top layer and then added that new shape layer in between that that I've
called a shading and then I animated the path of that shading layer on each frame
to match the rest of the arm having shading like this on an animation with
strokes it can look great but it also adds to the production time so just know
where you're getting into when designing with chokes and shading on the next path
I added some details I've got some flies rotating around the bin a little bit
of bounce in the hair and some subtle movement on the raised pinky finger both
of those animating the shape paths with two keyframes and also a little shake to
the bit and of course our second leg is now added here just by duplicating that
previous leg the next step was adding smears here I've gone and drawn some
smears with the limbs moving at their fastest smears are an animation
technique to stylistically simulate a motion blur here I've elongated the
hands and feet for one frame so they look like they're leaving a trail
because they're moving so fast these are pretty subtle as far as smears go
but you should be able to feel the smear it can add more information to a single
frame enhancing not only the speed of the
movement but also the movement of paths smears are just really fun to do we end
up with a composition here that is full of keyframes and it can look
intimidating seeing it all like this but it all follows a process building on
each element that came before it gradually and all serves to sell that
simple alternating between two frames that this whole thing started with
here's a short playlist to be animating the works of some other great artists
and illustrators little thing you'll enjoy if you've made it this far I'll
see you in the next video and please consider subscribing if you like this
video and you'd like to see more every week
subtitle: Zoe J Marriott