How to Animate?

16 October 2009

This is how you animate things the traditional way...

With computers and technology rising in this digital age, many/all animators use computer programmes and graphics to create animation for realistic effects. Some of them even used 3D Modelling programmes to create them, but because of the cell shading rendering, it will look like 2D drawings. However, for those interested you can just simply make one, using your own hands.

Tools Required
- Pencil
- Pen
- Paper
- Adobe/Macromedia Flash Programme -OR- Flipbook/Book where you can flip easily

Drawing Precisely
When you use this method, there isn't really a way of drawing so precisely that every line you draw is the same as the previous one. If you want to retain any part of the drawings from the last scene, you could just draw it separately and only animate the parts you want to animate.

Example: Character doesn't move, but he's blinking his eyes. So draw the face without his eyes and draw frame by frame for the eyes.

This only applies if you use Flash. Else, if you're using a flipbook, you gotta redraw everything.

How to Determine the Frames Per Second?
The more FPS you have, the more detailed your animation is. The more slight movements you draw, the better. Just imagine that time is passing, and you are holding a camera. You are going to take a burst shot (frame-by-frame capture) and it will be what your camera can capture. Draw that in. You can also vary the FPS soon if it doesn't match in Flash. If you're using a Flipbook, just flip it slower or quicker when you reach that part.

Simple Steps
1. Draw anything on the first frame/paper, let's say a guy.
2. Put the 2nd paper on top of the first one and draw it as if time is passing. (Think of it as frame-by-frame camera shot.)
3. Repeat it until you have what you want.

Here is one simple 3 frame animation I made using this traditional's kinda boring and it loops over and over again. It explains my lazy nature =D

Right-click and click Zoom In once, then drag around for better quality/animation feel.
Yes, it looks different if you don't zoom in once because the initial resolution is bigger.

Looks dumb and ugly, eyes won't blink! I'm not a good animator anyway so this is just a rough guide. It's animated at 12 frames-per-second, which is actually good enough if you don't want to draw so much.

Search for colouring guides using computer programmes like Photoshop! For skintones, you can go to this site ( as they provide all the skintones and a few guides there!