Magic Astrology Animation





In this tutorial I'll show you how to make a magical constellation using the most basic functions of clip studio paint and a little bit of the advanced ones.
Even if you've never done any animation, you'll be able to do the most basic part of the tutorial and still achieve some nice astrological magic.

Setup and Overview

Follow these steps to create your new project
1 - To start, choose an animation type project, the workspace layout won't make much difference, but it's interesting to configure some things beforehand.
2 - In the part called Size of output frame choose a size for your canvas.
3 - The Title-safe Area and Overflow frame are not needed, so you can uncheck them.
4 - In Story Information do not change anything.
5 - In Timeline choose a framerate for your project, the market standard is 24 for movies and animations, but we don't need all of that so you can leave 12 or 10. PLayback time is the time in frames of your project, if you chose 10 frames per second, so just put a multiple of 10 for every extra second.

Once that's done, you can create your file, these settings you saw can be changed in the middle of the process, but it's good to advance some things.

After opening your file, make sure the timeline is visible, just go to the window tab and look for timeline.

Now a quick explanation of everything we are going to use.
• Play - To start your animation or pause it.
• Loop - Leave this on to continue looping when you press play and the animation doesn't stop on the last frame.
• Frames - The amount of frames is the same as the playback time you set earlier.
• First Frame - If you created the file as I recommended, there is already something in the first frame.
• Cel - This is called animation cel, and it exists in all animation programs, but in clip studio paint it is equivalent to a layer that can be seen in the layer window.
• Assign Cel to frame - If you had another layer inside the Animation folder you could use this button to change the cell of the selected frame.
• New Animation Cel - Next to it is the button where you can create a new cel, notice that a new layer will be created inside the animation folder.
• Remove Cel - If you don't want the cel, just delete it, but there are two ways to do that, if you delete it using the button on the timeline, only the cell will disappear, but the layer that was created with it will remain in the layer window. This can be useful for reusing cels in more complex animations.

• New Animation Folder - Animation folders will be a key part of our animation, they may look identical to normal folders, but there is a crucial difference that I will explain later.
• Enable Keyframes - Activating the keyframes will be a process that will be repeated a lot in this animation. You may notice that your folder and layer have been locked, this is necessary to maintain layer integrity and prevent accidents.
• Add Keyframe - Try adding a keyframe on the first frame and one on the last. Then leave the last keyframe's opacity at 0 and keep the first one at 100.
• Edit Layers with active keyframes - I asked you to add keyframes but inside your folder there's probably nothing, click edit layer and add anything then click edit again and press play to see what you've done, becoming transparent.

This is a small example of what can be done with the keyframes function, other things are changing position, size and rotation. But let's get down to business.

Layers Template

The process of making a magical constellation is simple but time-consuming, so it's better to keep it organized from the beginning.
Follow the template below to create your constellation:
1 - Animation folder
2 - Normal folder
3 - Layer with star or line

Remember I said Animation folders were different? In your timeline, only one thing can appear at a time in each line, that means that you can't put active two layers at the same time inside your animation folder because they are cels remember?
This is where we get around this by using normal folders, as the timeline can not only show layers but folders as well.
Try to create a folder and change the cel using "Assign cel to frame" button and see that you can activate several layers at the same time as long as they are inside the folders.

Another thing that is important to mention is that as this will be a process where you will be moving stars and lines I highly recommend using Vector layers to create the stars and connections.
Visually it may make little difference, but the fact that they are objects when you use vector layer will be useful later on.


If you ask some animators what the secret of how to animate well is, some might answer that they animate by feeling.
And in part it's not wrong since there are many ways to improvise, and with the function we're using it's quite useful.
As I recommended earlier, always create a keyframe on the first and last frame, this will ensure that your animation forms a loop.
Since keyframe mode is on, if you simply move your star with the move tool on any frame, it will automatically create a new keyframe, so you can speed up the process without having to use that add keyframe button.

And a very important thing when making your animation, create only really necessary keyframes!
Take a look at a test animation I made for this tutorial, it's 6 stars, 60 frames, but very few keyframes, the idea is to keep it simple.

As I said, it's a simple but time-consuming process. I recommend doing the movement of the stars first, and then the connections since they will require you to rotate and change their size.

On your first try you'll end up with something like this. They don't look much like stars for now, but they will, I promise.


• Integration
Even though it's a simple animation, it can be integrated into your illustrations, and the best way to deal with it is to have a clear idea of what your Background, Midground and Foreground are.
Generally you will want your animation to be in the Foreground or Midground, this makes things easier as you only need the other elements behind your animation.

• Shape
As you can imagine, the shape of the stars can be anything else, but be aware that it will add a degree of difficulty if you don't want the new star to be flat.
Remember I said to use Vector Layer as there were some benefits to using it? One is that what you draw becomes an object. And objects can be changed in many ways without you having to redraw.
Select the star object with the Operation Tool and go to Tool Property:Object then change the Brush Shape, Clip Studio Paint itself comes with great ones by default, including a star one. How convenient!
The glow you see in them now is exactly the same object as before, which I duplicated and changed the shape to a soft one.

• Size
Earlier I showed how to change the position of the stars using keyframe interpolation, but you can also use keyframes to make the stars change size.

• Opacity
Changing the opacity of a star or line can be helpful, but one of the best uses of opacity to create a magical constellation is to create flares.
Create a soft object that resembles a hard glow, make it small and invisible, then enlarge both and make them appear, and make the inverse process next. This will create a nice shining stars effect.

• Stardust
You can add colored dust behind your constellation, there is no specific way to do this, this is an easy step to do that yields a great result. When you're done with your stardust, give it a little spin if you like.

• Blending Modes
If you've been drawing for a while, you should be familiar with blending modes, some of these modes can be combined with other elements i'm showing here, give it a try.

• Orphans
The idea here is to make a constellation, but you don't have to limit yourself to connecting all the stars, make some orphans wandering around your constellation, you can take advantage of them to make your constellation stand out even more.

• Shooting Stars
The easy part is over, what we've done so far by making the most of Keyframe interpolation is already splendid, but we can still improve using the more traditional way of animation.
The frame by frame may take longer, but it will allow you to make shooting stars and any other effect where the use of objects is not enough, requiring you to draw the frames manually, and since the frames will be drawn by hand, no it makes a difference whether it is Vector Layer or Raster Layer.
The nice part is that you can rely on the keyframes you were already using for the stars as a guide. You have a sense of how fast your animation is going, so choose the moment your star will appear and the moment it will disappear, then create the necessary frames using the New animation cell button and make the shooting star trail.
Every time you create a new cell, a new layer is automatically created, unlike the previous method where we used just one layer and changed it automatically.

We barely used the create new cell tool. Well, the time has come, because frame by frame animation will require a little more patience to do, this is how your animation folder with shooting stars should look like.

• Trail
And speaking of new cels, the same can be used to create trails, sparks and other effects for the other stars. Perhaps you have an oddly shaped brush that makes a strange stroke that you rarely use, this can be useful, if the brush uses pen pressure settings even better.
If you don't have such a brush, you can look for it on Clip Studio's assets page.
Then try to make a trail for the stars using this brush, if you managed to do all the previous effects this one won't be complicated.

Once finished, just export by going to File>Export Animation. If you want a GIF choose Animated GIF, if you want a video choose Movie.
Remember to check the frame rate, size and to leave dithering enabled if this option is available.



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