Animando Emote / Sticker con Clip Studio Paint

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BrayanMenchu

BrayanMenchu

Introduction

Stickers are a great help when transmitting an emotion, and if the sticker is animated they help much more.

In this tutorial we will learn the basics of animating an emote / sticker like this, using Clip Studio Paint. But what you learned in this tutorial is not only limited to emotes, it can also be used in any type of animated project.

To make animations in Clip Studio Paint I recommend using the EX version since it has all the animation features enabled, you can also use the Pro version but this version is limited to only 24 frames of animation.

Keep in mind that this tutorial is to teach you the process I use to make animations and is not a tutorial on how to achieve this animation step by step.


There is also a video version if you prefer this format.

Basic concepts

Animation

Animation is a succession of images that, when shown at an appropriate speed, transmit the sensation of movement.

FPS

FPS is the acronym used for frames per second and indicates how long each image will be displayed during a second. If we say that an animation is at 4fps, this means that there are 4 images showing one after the other for 1/4 of a second each.

Timeline

The timeline is a graphical representation that controls how long each drawing is displayed in the animation.

With these basic concepts we can now move on to animate our character

Animating the sticker

Preparing the sticker to be animated

This animation was made using the cut out technique, which consists of separating each of the pieces of our character into different layers to then be animated, modifying their transformation characteristics such as: rotation, position or scale, using keyframes to animate it. . This makes animation easier and avoids having to draw each frame multiple times. A bit of stop-motion animation is also used to create the character's blinking.


The first thing we will do is draw each of the parts of our character in separate layers or folders. For this step we must take into account each of the objects that we want to animate.

Personally I like to work each piece of the body in separate folders, with one layer dedicated to the line and another to the color, the number of layers usually varies depending on the amount of detail needed.

Animating each of these pieces separately can be complicated when using folders, because each of the layers must be taken into account. Fortunately we can fix this using File Objects.

Converting folders to file objects

A file object is basically a Clip studio paint document inside another document. and by using this we reduce the number of layers in the timeline and maintain the option to edit if necessary.

To create a file object, just right click on the layers or folders that we want in that file object, and select the option File object (X) > Convert Layer To File Object…

This will ask us what area we want for the file object, I recommend using the Drawing area since this will adjust to the area that has drawn pixels, I also recommend disabling the Keep Original Layer option to eliminate the layers and have the cleanest document. When you press OK it will ask us where we want to save the file object. In this step it is advisable to save the original document and the new file objects in the same location, this is in case we want to change the location of the files later we would only have to move the folder and in this way we prevent the file objects from being misconfigured.

When we import a layer as a file object we will have this icon over the name of the layer that indicates that it is a file object.

By converting each of the folders we will have something like this, with each of the separate pieces ready to be animated.

But before starting to animate we must do an extra step for the eyes since there will be a frame-by-frame animation within the file objects, and for these to be reflected in the timeline of our main file it is necessary to import them again as a “Movie” file. ”.

Import file object as Movie

This is an easy task to accomplish and only takes a couple of clicks. To import a file as a movie you only need to go to File> Import> Movie and select the file you want to import as a movie, in this case it will be the file object file of each eye and they will be imported into the file as fileobjects and in separate layers. We place each eye in the desired position and we can continue working.

Now with each of the pieces separated by file objects we can start animating our character using the timeline.


Timeline

From this window we will control which layers will be shown in the animation and how long each one will be shown.

To open this window we must click on Window > Timeline

A window will open showing us all the controls necessary for the animation.

Now we must create a new timeline, to do this we will click on the New timeline icon and here we can configure parameters such as:

 

Time line name: The name to identify each timeline.

Frame rate: here the frame rate for the animation is defined (This is how many frames per second the animation will play)

Playback time: The number of frames enabled in the timeline, these can be modified later from the same timeline.

Scene number: The scene number for the animation, useful for organizing work when working on large productions. This is only used as a label and does not affect the timeline in any way.

Shot number: The sequence number that is being worked on in the scene. This is only used as a label and does not affect the timeline in any way.

Division Lines: Used to specify every frame how many frames a line will appear to improve the visualization of each group

This will automatically create a timeline for each of the layers and we can modify their transformation properties using keyframes or using animation folders to make frame-by-frame animations.

As you can see, the eye layers have a movie icon, this is because I have imported them as a Movie file, which is used to view the animations that are in that file object. We do this this way because within the eyes clip we will create a frame-by-frame animation to make the character blink.


Frame by frame animation

A frame-by-frame animation is basically placing different drawings consecutively to generate the illusion of movement; each of these drawings in Clip Studio Paint is known as a cel.

For the eyes we will use this type of animation since we need two different drawings for the eye, one drawing for the open eye and another for the closed eye. We will do this animation in the file object of each eye.


Editar file object

To edit our file object we must right click on the layer and click on File object> Open File of file object, this will open the clip studio paint file in another window.


New timeline

Now in this document we will create a new timeline following the same steps that we followed in the main document and we will prepare it to make the animation


animation folder

To make a frame-by-frame animation we need to use an animation folder and to create it we must click on the New animation folder icon (A) in the timeline window, by doing this we will obtain a new folder with this icon (B), inside this folder we will add each of the drawings that we want in the animation.

In this case I will drag the folder with the eye that I already had drawn to the animation folder. The folder with the eye will remain hidden since the animation folder controls when to make it visible based on the timeline.

Now we will assign the eye folder to our timeline, to do this we will place our cursor in the frame in which we want to link the eye folder and we will click on the Assign Cel to frame (A) icon, when doing this A window will appear asking which layer within the animation folder we want to assign, in this case we will assign the folder with our eye.


Creating a new cell

Now we will create a new cel by moving the cursor to the frame we want and click on the New animation cel (B) icon, this will create a new layer within the animation folder, the great thing about this is that when creating A new cel includes the existing layers, for example, in the case of this eye the folder contains a folder with five layers inside and when creating a new cel a new folder will be created with the 5 layers in it.


Drawing new Cel

In this new cel we will draw the closed eye, to place the cursor over the new cel, in the layers window we will select one of the empty layers and we will draw the new frame in it.

Here we can use the Onion skin (C) option to see the previous drawing, making it easier to draw the new frame.

This is the basic way in which a frame-by-frame animation is created. If you want a more complex animation, you just have to add new cels and drawings.

To modify the duration of each cel, just place the cursor in the first frame of the cel and drag to the frame you want.

Now if we go to our main file we can see how our character winks.

We already have one eye animated, now we just need to replicate these steps on the other eye.

Now we will animate the rest of our character's body using keyframe animation.


Animation with Keyframes

Key frame animation consists of saving the transformation properties of a layer in a frame, and by having two frames with different data clip studio paint will be in charge of making the transition between each of the intermediate frames, facilitating the animation process.

The transformation properties are: position, scale and rotation and we can save this data using the key frames.

Let's see an example modifying the rotation of our character's body.

New keyframe

To create a key frame we must first enable the layer keyframes by clicking on Enable key frame on this layer (A), then we can create a keyframe by clicking on Add keyframe **(B)* *, clicking on this icon will create a keyframe at the position of our cursor.

Now we only need a second Keyframe to create the transition. To create it we will drag our cursor to the position where we want to place the new keyframe and with the object tool we will modify the parameters of our layer.

If we want to modify the duration of the animation we will only need to drag the final keyframe to the frame we want.

Creating a loop

To create a loop we must first create a keyframe at the beginning of our animation and copy this same keyframe at the end. Then we can create the rest of the key frames in the middle, if we place the cursor on any frame and modify any of the transformation properties, a new keyframe will be created automatically, this helps a lot to speed up the animation work.

As you can see, when the body rotates it rotates from the center, we can modify this by changing the position of the pivot.

Pivot for rotation

To modify the pivot you only need to select the Object tool, place yourself on the layer of our object and drag the pivot to the point where we want the object to rotate.

We will follow the same steps to animate the eyes, mouth and cheeks, but instead of modifying their rotation we will modify the position of all the objects.

We can follow these same steps to animate the other hand.

Modify several layers at the same time

Just like the rest of the body, we will now animate the missing pieces but instead of modifying their rotation we will modify the position.

Only this time we will modify them at the same time by selecting all the layers and creating the keyframes while the layers are selected.

By following these simple steps we can play with the pieces of our character until we get the animation we want.


The last thing we will do is make the blush on the cheeks appear and disappear by modifying the opacity of the layers.

Modify opacity with keyframes

Opacity keyframes are represented by a small triangle at the bottom of the layer timeline. You must take into account that these keyframes cannot have their position modified after being applied as is done with transformation keyframes.

To modify the opacity we must make sure we have the keyframes active, and in a similar way to modify the position we must place our cursor where we want the first keyframe. In this case I want the blush on the cheeks to appear and so I will reduce the opacity of the layer to 0% from the layer properties in the layer window, this will automatically create a keyframe. Then we will place the cursor where we want the blushes to appear and set the opacity to 100%.


Final result

And this is how our animation ended. You must take into account that the animation will look better the more attentive you are to how each part of the body reacts to the movement.

 

Take as much time as you need to fine-tune each of the keyframes to get the desired result.


Tell me in the comments if you found the tutorial useful and feel free to ask any questions you have, I will gladly try to answer.

 

 

 


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Thank you for reading!

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