How to Manipulate Photos into Animated Art



Hello! My name is Hira Karmachela a.k.a BABE ODED. In this post I will share my experience in turning a photo into animated art using Clip Studio Paint. In this work I took some photos using a camera phone then edited using several techniques on CSP. In the end, I animate some objects to make them look extraordinary works of art.

I hope this post will be interesting tips for those of you who are looking for creating animated art or how to manipulate your photos using CSP.

About Manipulation Art

Manipulation art is a technique of editing photos to become a work of art that displays fantasy things that exceed reality or refers to the flow of surrealism. Photos are deliberately processed to show the impossible in the real world but still retain the photographic details that already exist.

In this work, I edit several photos into a single work that will be packaged into animated art.

#1 Determining The Idea

The first thing to do, of course is to determine the idea of ​​the work to be made. This will determine the process of taking pictures or photos which include selecting objects, poses or gestures, and maybe backgrounds if needed. The captured photo will be processed using CSP so it must be efficiently captured to facilitate the editing process.

#2 Taking Multiple Photos Using Camera

Next, take some pictures or photos using the camera. Simply put, I use my phone's camera to take pictures. Position the object and the required pose or gesture according to a predetermined idea or concept so that taking photos is more effective and efficient.

#3 Creating a New Document in CSP

Open Clip Studio Paint on your PC. Then create a new document by going to File > New.

The document creation dialog window will appear. Set the units to pixel (px) because we will be creating a work based on a web publication. Choose a preset that makes it easy for illustration/animation work. I choose FHD 1980 px by 1080px.

Set the canvas orientation according to your needs. In this work I want to publish it into a short portrait-oriented video. Then enter a title for your work in the file name field.

Additional: If you want to make your work as animated art then you can check "Create moving illustration". Then set the number of cels, playback time, and frame rate as needed. This feature can be added later not always at the beginning of document creation.

Click "OK".

If you are creating a document for moving illustrations then you will find the Animations folder in the layers panel. For the time being, please hide the folder by clicking on the eye icon in the folder so that we can focus on processing photos first.

#4 Importing Photos into Document

The document or canvas is ready. Next, import the captured photo into the document. Make sure the photos have been copied from the camera memory to your PC. Go to File > Import > Image.

The import window will appear. Select the photos to import then click "Open".

#5 Selecting and Cropping Images

Next, we will select the object in the photo and crop it, to separate it from the unused background. You can use various selection tools at this stage according to your needs and convenience.

Make sure all parts of the object needed are selected properly.

Next, we're going to crop the image to separate the objects from the unneeded background. Go to Edit > Copy.

Then paste it above the original photo layer.

A copy of the layer will appear above the original photo layer with a mask that hides the background and shows the selected object. Hide the original photo layer so it doesn't interfere with the next editing process.

#6 Destructive Vs Non-Destructive

The next step is to adjust and apply effects to the photo. However, I will first describe two techniques for applying effects.

The first technique is destructive, which means that the effect will be directly applied to the layer so that it cannot be changed again unless you do an undo on the edit menu. This technique can be chosen if you don't want to bother with too many layers.

To do this technique a layer must be rasterized first and a masking on the layer should be applied first. Then you can apply any adjustments and effects to the layer freely.

The masked layer has two thumbnails connected. Thumbnails that display black and white images are masking thumbnails. Click on the masking thumbnail then right click then a selection box will appear then select "Apply Mask to Layer".

Meanwhile, some layers that are vector or imported must be rasterized to apply destructive effects. Right click on the layer then select "Rasterize".

Let's try to apply the effect destructively. Make sure you have selected the layer in the layers panel that you want to apply the effect. Go to Filter > Effect > Artistic. You can choose any filter to try out other effects.

The Artistic effect settings window will appear. Set and input numbers for each option according to the desired effect display. If "Preview" is ticked then you can see the effect result directly on the canvas.

Next, we try to apply a tone or color adjustment to the layer destructively. Go to Edit > Tonal Correction > Level Correction.

The Level setting window will appear. You can adjust the level by sliding the existing slider or simply by selecting the "Auto adjust" feature. That's an example of applying an effect destructively that directly affects the selected layer.

Unlike the technique of applying effects non-destructively where the effect will not have a direct effect on the selected layer but the effect will be created in a separate layer that will ride on the selected layer to give its effect. Masking is one way to apply effects non-destructively.

Let's try applying effects non-destructively. Go to Layer > New Correction Layer > Brightness/Contrast.

The Brightness/Contrast settings window will appear. Enter numbers as needed.

Look at the layers panel, you will find a new layer above the edited photo layer. This layer is a correction layer that has a non-destructive effect on the layer below it. If you hide the correction layer then the effect will be hidden so it won't be visible on the canvas.

Non-destructive techniques can be utilized when we don't want to damage the edited layer directly. However, we should be comfortable with stacking layers on top of the edited layer.

#7 Posterization and Hatching Techniques

The most important thing in the process of manipulating this work is posterization which means changing the number and tone of colors to less so that the photo will appear flatter.

Posterization can be destructive or non-destructive. I choose to do it destructively on the selected layer. Go to Edit > Tonal Correction > Posterization.

The Posterization settings window will appear. Enter a number or slide the slider to determine the color effect required. You can see the changes directly on the objects on the canvas. The lower the number, the less color the object will have which makes the image appear flatter.

Now the photo looks like a drawing or painting. Next, we can add detail to the object by hatching technique using pen or pencil tools. I selected the marker tool with the dot pen sub-tool to add details directly to the selected layer.

Next, edit other photos with the same or advanced steps to combine with existing objects.

#8 Animating

Edit all photos and add the required details to your work. The following are edits for this work. I added a background and some shading details.

Next, animate some objects. But on this occasion I will explain the principle of making animation in Clip Studio Paint with the frame by frame technique.

Remember, we have an Animations folder when creating a document that we're temporarily hiding. Unhide the Animations folder, we will find there are 24 layers in it. Each layer will represent a cell or frame in the animation.

Go to Window > Timeline.

The Timeline panel will appear at the bottom of the view. Next, we have to create a split timeline first to be filled with cells or frames. Click the "New timeline" icon in the Timeline panel. Set timeline requirements.

The track for the Animations folder will appear in the timeline you just created. Next, link the layers in the animation folder with frames on the timeline specifically, starting from layer 1 for frame 1.

Now, we can start drawing frame by frame. Starting from frame 1, activate the layer editing mode in the Timeline panel. Select layer 1 in the animations folder then start drawing on the canvas.

Continue linking subsequent frames with the layers in the animations folder. To facilitate the process of drawing from frame by frame, activate the "Onion Skin" feature in the Timeline panel.

The onion skin will display the image in the previous frame transparently, so that we know the previous pose of the motion sequence to be drawn.

Complete the series of moves to the end according to your needs. Play the animation that is being created every now and then to see if the result is appropriate or not.

#9 The Final Result

After adding some details such as shading, background, texts, and animation, the results of this work are as follows.

OK! That's all I can share. Hope it is useful and please support me to make more tips.

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