Simple effects for more dynamic animation

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Simple effects to create for more dynamic animation

When animating a fight, fall or dance scene, the animation must transcribe the energy of the action in order to touch the viewer.

However, sometimes the result is not what we hoped for... We understand the animation but this little thing is missing and we don't know what. Here we will learn how to improve the dynamism of an animation with simple effects.

Hatching for a style close to a manga or blurring for even more speed, these little tips will make the difference in your work.

Foreword

Here we will use a kick animation as the main example, a real combat reference was used to draw the action and if you are a beginner we advise you to do the same in order to have a realistic action.

Here is the animation:

#1: Determine where to add effects

Hatching, like all other effects, should not be placed randomly; it is important to think about their positioning.

Indeed, we must look at where the movement is the fastest and which parts of the body where the action is the most important.

Detect rapid movement

To do this we will use a tool from the animation tab, the onion skin.

The onion skin is the icon where two squares overlap in the timeline window (see image).

In the animation tab select “Show animation cels” then “Paper skin adjustment” (See image)

Select the settings as in the image below:

- Next image: 0

-Start: 30%

-Step Opacity: 9%

(Precision: this means how much the opacity decreases with each previous image, here each previous image will be 9% less opaque than the one before)

These parameters will allow us to compare the distance traveled by a member at several times in order to determine when a movement is rapid.

(Here we don't use it to draw, that's why the parameters are different from usual, also if you are used to animation or these parameters don't suit you, you are free to modify them )

To do this, look at when the gap between two images is greater than usual.

Let's compare two moments of the leg movement to determine which is the quick moment where we must apply an effect.

Image to study, try to guess where the movement is fast!

Let's observe the order of movement so as not to get lost.

The movement seems very fast at the leg level, look at the gap between the red and black image, it is very large. (Note that the movement is also rapid at the level of the forearm but the action being a kick, the arm is less important here.)

Then you have to determine the direction of movement.

To do this, we draw a curve following a specific point on the character.

Here the foot

On a new layer outside the timeline, we draw a point on the area that we observe on approximately three images before and after the rapid movement noted previously.

We then link them by drawing a curve passing through all these points

The effects have the role of imitating the resistance of the wind on a member, this wind therefore goes in the opposite direction of movement.

We can therefore see in the green zone where the speed effects will be placed, on the back of the member

Now that we know how to spot rapid movement, we now need to learn how to create them! We will first see hatching and then directional blur.

#2: Create a Hatch Effect

Hatching is a characteristic effect of manga or comics style animation but they can work with all types of drawings, it's up to you to experiment.

First, duplicate your animation (on the folder, right-click on PC and keep it pressed on tablet and smartphone).

Then lower the opacity of the original folder in order to erase the part that you are going to hatch on the layer of the new folder while still seeing where the line was

Once the part has been erased, you must draw the hatching. Pro tip: make irregular crosshatches

Exemple video

And here is the result, it’s much better, isn’t it?

This effect is very effective but perhaps you would like to diversify! Consider also using directional blur, it's a little more technical but we'll explain everything to you!

#3 Directional blur

Motion blur is a very effective tool for dynamic animation, let's see how it works.

Don’t forget to look at the photos so the explanations are clearer.

Select the Filter tab > Blur > Directional Blur

And there you are in front of a window, you don't understand everything? No worries, we’ll explain!

The distance is the strength of the blur, the stronger it is, the stronger the speed effect but we advise you not to increase it too much. 10 to 15 is sufficient but above 25 it can be too blurry for the purpose. animation, be careful it also depends on the size of your canvas so do some tests!

The angle determines the direction of the blur, it is an angle in degrees so at 0° it will be from left to right, 90° from top to bottom and 45° diagonally. Note the rotation in relation to the angle is done from the right (clockwise).

If you have difficulty seeing the direction you can increase the force in order to see the direction, remember to lower it when the angle suits you.

The direction is from where in relation to the line the blur begins;

- Backwards: the blur is applied after the line in the direction of movement

- Forward: the blur is applied before the line, therefore opposite to the direction of movement

- In both directions: blur is applied forwards and backwards

It’s much clearer with these examples below (the basic drawing is visible for better understanding):

The effect defines whether the end of the blur is sharp (framed) or smooth (smooth).

Here is an example :

To apply it, select the area to be blurred with the lasso then apply the parameter.

Select an area with space around it because the blur only applies in the area selected by the lasso

There may be boundaries between the blurred and non-blurred areas, so these boundaries should be slightly blurred.

If you apply it on the character's inking we advise you to blur the color too.

We therefore invite you to test this parameter and possibly create several versions in order to compare your favorite.

This is the result of the animation with directional blur effects!

You are now ready to create wonderful animations with these very simple to set up effects and the more you get used to them, the quicker you will be to perform them and you will be able to skip steps!

Thanking you for reading this tutorial, I wish you good creation!