"How to draw cartoon animations" - Part 1

in #ntopaz3 years ago (edited)


Traditional animation is something that always caught my attention but I saw it as something only for professionals, people who dedicated their whole lives to a trade that does not know their own names. It is increasingly difficult to find something made in this laborious technique, quickly leaving room for computer animation, something that pushes the art in very different directions than we had been accustomed to for almost a century.

Written by Preston Blair, Cartoon Animation was published in 1994, this book is the definitive guide to traditional animation. The author defines animation as an American art form, the process of drawing and photographing - a person, an animal, or an inanimate object - in successive positions to create movements that simulate real life.

Animators must be able to dramatize and caricature life as they compose and plan the actions and reactions of their characters.

I find the discovery of this book an exceptional opportunity, I hope you enjoy this series of tutorials that includes trips to the emotional memory of our childhoods.

Character movement

Preston says that the basic design of the character should already give us a sense of movement that suggests to the audience the actions that this character will take. One way to achieve this is to use the "line of action" which will be the basis for rhythm, simplicity and pertinence.

Line of action

It's an imaginary line that extends through the main action performed by the character. It's necessary to plan the figure and its details to accentuate this line. Doing this reinforces the dramatic effect. That's why the first thing to do is draw the line of action.

paso 1.png

paso 2.png

Movement of body masses

These are some simplified figures in action that allow us to see the twists and turns of bodies and their variation related to perspective. Building solid figures makes the animation easier to "feel".

paso 3.png

Movement of standing figures

paso 4.png

paso 5.png

paso 6.png

paso 7.png

The fun part is when you put it together in a gif.



The basic bouncing ball animation

The ball follows a defined direction. Between 4 and 5, when the ball falls, the speed increases and the drawings separate more.
The ball "stretches" when falling and rising in steps 5, 7, 12 and 14.
At the highest point (9 and 10), the action decelerates, the drawings come together more, and the ball regains its natural form.
When the ball hits the ground, it expands and collapses (6 and 13).
Compare the similarity with the jump of the frog.

paso 11.png

Movement of four-legged figures

paso 8.png

paso 9.png

paso 10.png


Movement of front and back figures

paso 12.png

paso 13.png

paso 14.png

paso 15.png



That's enough for today, on the next part we'll start animating with more detailed characters while we analyze in detail the difference between walking and running.


Check out my previous tutorials:
"How to draw animals" Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
"How to draw manga" Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
"How to draw fantasy characters" Part 1 Part 2 Part 3


Really awesome, @siucatti ! I love this post very much since I have been itching to try and learn animation for a few weeks now !!! :D :D :D

All the poses and their eventual animated forms presented in this post is just super cool ! Love how you break the motions down into the states of movements for each piece <3

I will be sure to try animating some time soon hahaha \o/

It's cool drawing and then see it becoming "alive", it takes time but I'm enjoying it, it would be really nice seeing your character designs get animated!

Thanks for the support, Spidey! I really appreciate it.

Great stuff here my friend.
Showed my wife and she will search for the book in .pdf

Thank you, man! I'm glad you liked it. It's a fantastic book, highly recommended.

Nice post! I was a traditional animator in 1998 to 2003, before shifting to 3D animation.

This is one of the books I had back then that helped me get started in my studies, and also when I was already undergoing training in a studio.

Sadly, this and some other animation books in my collection were eaten by termites back in 2015.

I will get another copy someday, and hopefully replace all books I've lost. :)

That's awesome! I'm glad to hear that this book was useful to you, I'm really enjoying it. If you dig a little on internet you might find it on pdf.

Thanks for your comment!

That was so cool, I will check out your other posts. Fascinating. 😊

Thank you, @starjewel! I'm glad you liked it!

Hi @siucatti!

Your post was upvoted by @steem-ua, new Steem dApp, using UserAuthority for algorithmic post curation!
Your UA account score is currently 2.453 which ranks you at #17692 across all Steem accounts.
Your rank has dropped 24 places in the last three days (old rank 17668).

In our last Algorithmic Curation Round, consisting of 212 contributions, your post is ranked at #167.

Evaluation of your UA score:
  • Only a few people are following you, try to convince more people with good work.
  • The readers like your work!
  • Try to work on user engagement: the more people that interact with you via the comments, the higher your UA score!

Feel free to join our @steem-ua Discord server

This post was shared in the Curation Collective Discord community for curators, and upvoted and resteemed by the @c-squared community account after manual review.
@c-squared runs a community witness. Please consider using one of your witness votes on us here


This post has been manually curated, resteemed
and gifted with some virtually delicious cake
from the @helpiecake curation team!

Much love to you from all of us at @helpie!
Keep up the great work!


Manually curated by @veryspider.

You got a 4.40% upvote from @ocdb courtesy of @siucatti! :)

@ocdb is a non-profit bidbot for whitelisted Steemians, current max bid is 20 SBD and the equivalent amount in STEEM.
Check our website https://thegoodwhales.io/ for the whitelist, queue and delegation info. Join our Discord channel for more information.

If you like what @ocd does, consider voting for ocd-witness through SteemConnect or on the Steemit Witnesses page. :)

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.22
TRX 0.06
JST 0.026
BTC 20274.72
ETH 1358.02
USDT 1.00
SBD 2.49