Hello This is the first tutorial I will be doing Hopefully it turns out to be helpful.
The program is Easytoon http://www.superfundungeonrun.com/easytoon/ it is free it is simle, and what it allows is the ablity to make simple 2d animations in black and white. The tools are as simple as the program, but I believe we all know that something simple is not to be looked down upon.
So getting started.
Small is not bad the default size is 160 by 120. Yes that is small but there is a handy dandy zoom function. I started my first easytoon animation at that size but seeing int three times larger makes for a large amount of detail in a small area. For a rough estimate it is this large.
The use of the program: All tool bars can be moved. This can let you zoom in to three times and see all of the image. no need to scroll.
Standard tool set
Selection: Rectangular selection tool.
Pencil: Uses with width selector Right click Black left click white.
Note: it is not effected by the Shade selector
Line tool: Makes lines of the chosen width
Line segment tool: Click and drag, a line is created. Click again another line, so on and so forth until you double click.
Empty rectangle: uses width
Filled rectangle: uses width and Fill colors.
Empty Circle: uses width as well
Filled Circle: Width and fill colors are used.
Simple enough lets continue
Width selection: Left click: pen Right Click Eraser: Width can be much higher for the eraser than the pen
The tones : Are only for use with the fill tool and the filled shapes.
Shadow Display: These will turn off and on the shadows that are left behind and remnant of frames you have drawn. The shadows left behind are helpful but sometimes get in the way if you need to go back.
Selection Scaling: This is used in direct corilation with the selection tool The corners of the selection depending on which of these you choose will alter the image in different ways when you click and drag. 1st: Free form 2nd: is to scale 3rd: is rotation and 4th: This will allow you to move the corners to shape a four sided polygon.
Loop Selection: Select what frame to what frame and you can view the looped selection of your animation.
Frame selection and Frame alterations: The frame selectors are just that you can look from frame to frame. The first of the filpstrip tools. One is insert frame: it pushes the current frame forward inserting a blank frame. Then delete frame: This will remove a frame outright. The last is clear frame erasing but leaving behind an empty frame. Use at your own discretion.
Frame Duration: The duration is very important: What it is, is the pause between frames. When you first make an animation and press play without changing durations it will be very slow. In the “View” tool bar look at the animation properties and you will see 20. Changing this number changes the delay between all frames so it does not have to be done for each individual time. We will -hopefully- come back to this.
Film navigation: If you have used a CD player you will know how to use this.
Alright Wow that is the basics of the tools, I will be getting to more meaty situations that hopefully I know or can exspress. I will be updating this later tonight in a good situation. I will be making matirial for this thread hopefully I can do animations justice.
The first part: The simple animations can easily be considered studies.
The ball bounces side to side. Take gravity sideways and the ball bounces against the wall
My take on animations, or my habits, Tend to make me make my actions in frames of three. What I mean is by nature I break the animation into parts when actions are happening The ball starts falling: 3 frames
The ball is falling: 3 frames of the ball falling
The ball bounces: 3 frames, ball hits ground moves up
The ball slows: 3 frames before stopping
The ball starts falling again: I think you get it by now.
The Duration of the overall animation is 7. This makes it fast and pretty fluid given good frames, more frames mean it is important to think ahead. At first the ball falls and in the fall the 5th frame is at a duration of 6 to make it move faster. When the ball comes back to the top of the first bounce The duration is increased to 10 to make the pause of the ball coming back believable. The fall animation from there on did not use this but the ball coming back on the second bounce is 10 and the third is 12. The creation of motion is easy because simple images are made interesting through the changes in position, motion
This ball in this version is simple but…
It does not alter and you will see that the ball stays static. It moves steadily but looks mabey a bit off and boring.
After motion there are dynamics of the actions. Emphasizing actions to make it look like it may be natural although exagerated. In this case slendering the ball during the first fall when it is moving fastest at the 5th frame and th frame, then when the ball hits it squeezes just a little against the wall before bouncing off again. The following bounces are not as extreme, there fore are not exagerated. If this was the end of the animation letting the ball stay on frame is not quite “natural”…
The ball would roll only slightly. But it would roll. The final frame is then paused for the end.
The Ball is not done. It moves down it is tired of moving in one direction. It falls down and bounces to the side. In this case when the bounce happens the ball is not left on the ground it stays in motion. The action of the ball is constant so leaving it on the ground before making it move to the side slows down the ball and to me it may or may not be the thing to do.The one part of this sequence I did not like was when it was rolling to the side I feel I drew it out too much. Making longer than it had to be.
The fun stuff.
Making motion interesting with a simple subject comes from imagination and practical techniqes. There are two examples of motion here are using the select and free form tools to stretch the ball into a different locaiton. It is simple but if it could be apllied to a fast character or whatever. The second is another way to show a very fast movent. I made this my own when I was animating something 2 or 3 year ago. It was all done in black and white siloettes So when I did this I made fast movements from one thing to the next The start and finish frame of the action and a black siloette conecting the two. Me and other viewers could see the motion siloette disolve while putting together what was happening. In this case the ball moves from one place to the other in a single frame. The movement then created is in the after effect of the ball staying still to let the disolving happen. Before the after image can finish disolving the ball moves again making for the illusion of very quick speed. Applications of this can be, like in my first use, with characters who are supernaturally fast. Not using silloettes but the inbetween images of line work can be used to show motions and then having then disolve as well.
The ability to tell a story through an animation without sound is hard. And this program does not allow sounds, it makes GIFs, and from start to finish You as the animator are the director. Technicals can take you so far when animating They give you ground work that gives you a tool to create. I am not a master of any of this But I have had experience. As I was told observing ordinay actions in every day life for animating humanesc charaters is a great way to study. Today taking a walk, I concentrates on what comes so natural to all of us, Walking. The ability to break down motion no matter how complicated will allow for You to do as you please.
I will post the finished animation some of you may have seen alreay and try to break it down. As you all can see I have a tendency to ramble ALOT but If it could be helpfull I will do it soon, mabey tonight.
People have already seen this. But it demonstrates the properties of what the ball was doing. From the start of the animation things changed in 5 frames from the original Idea. I wanted the camera to pan around the characters. That changed real fast but I gave a motion to “Quick” in the 3rd frame and I went 300 or so frames later to make it what it was. The action that made me continue at that point was the running.
The run: Over all: I had never made a beliveable run before but I made this hyper extended run of him booking it.
Three frames: From when his foot first touches ground to the next step. The break down was natural, mabey even lucky.
Duration: The overall animation was done before I knew I could change the duration so every frame duration was hand done. I clicked a lot. This also let me customize the action for how the action flows.
I did not think I could keep that up long so when I saw the opportunity I made him turn and crouch when I could.
The hand spring:
Overall: The back hand springs are a continuation of the momentum created from running. The crouch for the build up of the power in his leap. The weight of the character moving and carrying him the direction he needed to go after becoming air born and returning to the crouch for an opposite building of power.
Three frames: In this case the turning around to crouch 3 frames. The spring carried him out and from there I did not per say, throw it out the window, but the acitions required more than three frames to remain constant and simi belivable.
Duration: I slowed him down to build power in the jump. The constant duration of the animation for the most part is 7. I changed it to 10 then 9 when he bent down to crouch.
Knee to the uppercut:
Overall: Not terribly pleased but I ended up liking it. This is the first real cut to change the view of the action. A power build to a knee to “Power’s” nose. This was when I desided to show him getting hurt. It is fast and a little bewildering, but from there (it gets a little confusing) i put the camera behind Power and showed him rearing up for an uppercut. It was not terribly clean when I did it but Oh well live and let live. I built power in his hit by exagerating the motions of a leaping uppercut ( or I play bunches of Street fighter WHATEVER). From there the cuts were many and they were actionably what confused most of the action for me.
Three frames: Three changes to four in some cases and this is so it is a little smoother. The Leaping knee is 4 frames to contact. The face cut is 3 frames. From then on it is Quick jumping off of Power when he is preparing to uppercut him. From then on it is about letting power build and release not about constant motions.
Durations: The pauses are before power and the speedier moments are during power. After hits are made pauses are again used to make impacts feel like impacts.
Direction: Cuts were used to put thing in different perspective to emphasize what I wanted made closer to being known. The face shot, behind shot, wide shot, and ultimately the shot behind his foot. The uppercut’s hit and the foot are my favorites about these actions.
CQC, Close Quarters Combat:
This is hard to break down. By now I have preached my methods but this is me when I have ABSOLUTELY no Idea what I want to happen. This flowed naturally from frame to frame. When I had Ideas I betrayed them for other better Ideas that came from what was happening. This was slowed down so sense could be made of it. Breakdown of this part Is hard. But I do semi Like what came of it. If I could polish anything spesificly This would be one of those times.
The slam: This leads into Trying to make sure everything stayed moveing. In retrospect I would not mind putting little breaks but the actions of this I like. This was energy being transfered after Quick is tossed against him. Power “flys” and slams him into a wall. These things Were not very well represented in ways. Again This I would extend to make this more recognizeable for what it is.
The Evasion: By far for me, This made the entire animation worth it. Quick motion with a large sequence with “Quick”. Constantly moving with the action IN YA FACE… Im sorry it wont happen again. The principals already discussed helped make this but the need to have this done and done well was not hard when I saw the first 6 or 7 frames in action. This drove me to complete it.
The rest: From there 1 or 2 days past before I touched it again and the flows changed. Discution about further about this animation are some of the parts that Were a challenge some parts came out smooth others definately not. Quick is hit after evading for so long, rolls down a hill, power prepares another blast, misses, and gets kicked in the stomach, Quick, shown from the perspective of the ground lands, runs, and then it cuts to power. Power Throws up blood and gets kneed in the face. This was confusing for my bro and got confusing for me as well. Quick plants on hand on the ground and Rams his heal into Power’s throat. You cant tell in motion ( mabey you can) but the blood says the end.
Well that is it if there is anything I can add I will. The stability of Easytoon is very nice. It does not crash very much if at all. There are a few bugs and if you think you need to know ask and Ill post the ones I have found. Otherwise I hope that this was helpful I would not mind if anyone wanted to give me pointers they have not already given me. Thanks for stopping by, and sorry for the Ranting.