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yaoiloverel Posted - 06/03/2013 : 2:22:34 PM
Hi everyone this is my first post on the forum, I hope it can be of some help to you. I was watching Mike Kelley's video on Youtube "Understanding and avoiding shape stacking". Great video. You should go see it. In it he showed a way of tracing a image that took up 2 layers. I'm not knocking how he does it. But I just thought I would post how I do it. As just another tip on tracing images in AS.
OK here is what you do. You have to click View, then in the drop down menu click "select tracing image". This will let#65279; you import any image you have into AS, and AS will auto fade it. The image does not take up any space in your layers window. The image also does not show up when you preview your work. When you finish tracing your image just go back to View and uncheck "show tracing image" to remove the tracing picture. Of course you can turn the tracing image back on anytime by clicking "show tracing image" again. The only draw back I have found is that you can not resize or move the tracing image around. That is the way I trace images in AS pro 9
I hope this tip can be of help to you guys.
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wendallb Posted - 01/22/2015 : 4:01:36 PM
Thanks loads for the tips Wena, I am going to try several ways and see what fits me best but I will take all ieas for sure..

Almost as old as dirt
"Hey" I said almost...
Wena Posted - 01/22/2015 : 12:54:27 PM
I have often used the tracing system in Anime Studio Pro, I have had very good results unfortunately i wanted a high resolution and but "png" is the best I can get.But I have had good results for tracing to make a characters. Just in case there is a part of the new AS that dose it for you now. I mean get the drawing in one layer and then trace it by hand. I have fount it is much better to have the art in parts. For example the head by its self and fill the screen so you can work to a fine details.

wendallb Posted - 01/22/2015 : 07:54:15 AM
Thanks hayasidist for all the good tips, I guess in the end everyone has to develope their own way of doing things and what path to take.

I am at the very start of learning so I have a long ways to go and many skills to work on.

Almost as old as dirt
"Hey" I said almost...
hayasidist Posted - 01/21/2015 : 8:00:40 PM
they're guidelines for me - no tracing. Usually they don't even have any real features whether they're character or objects or landscape

I look at (say) a scribble that shows two heads talking in 3/4 profile .. I look at other scribble shots of the same characters to see how much else I might need - e.g. do I need whole body or will just the "top half" do? Do I need other views - e.g. full face; side profiles? what actions will they be doing? - and all that guides me as to the character design: I put all the views of each of the characters in a file and then import views as needed into the animation files.
wendallb Posted - 01/21/2015 : 7:29:46 PM
So once you have your drawings done on paper do you just draw them in AS or do you trace them with your wacom?

Almost as old as dirt
"Hey" I said almost...
hayasidist Posted - 01/21/2015 : 7:23:49 PM
I too use Wacom for drawing on the computer -- but most of the time I need to have an outline idea of what I'm going to do, and those are the thumbnail sketches that I do the old fashioned way: pencil / eraser / paper ... lots of draw / rub out / cross out / throw away / re-order. IOW the first draft planning gets done offline.

(Just as a BTW - the basic premise for Little Boy Blew came to me when I was on a long and boring train journey and I drew the "five panel storyboard" in the margin of a newspaper I was reading at the time... that scrap is still in the project archive.)

If you want a longer discourse on "why start on paper" take a look at (invest in a copy of) Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams. (I have a PDF of it on every system I use and a hard copy on my desk in the office.) The bit where he talks about the top down and the "straight ahead" approach is, for me, seminal stuff... It reminded me of the value of planning and never to "leap at the computer and start drawing / animating" without doing the groundwork!

(Another BTW - I sketched out about 90 thumbnails for my Christmas 2014 video - reordered a few, deleted a few and added a few but tweaked most of them -- all these simple line scribbles just show a poorly drawn "wireframe" of the shot I wanted -- before I picked up the stylus to put a version into a computer that would form the basis of the animation.)

AS being what it is, I don't do the breakdowns to the level that Williams suggests because I feel I can comfortably deal with that in "straight ahead" mode inside AS; but I do (usually) do the breakdowns before moving onto the "twiddly bits". (That's a hang-over from art class: aim to keep your whole work at a uniform level of "finished": start from basic structure onwards, and build the whole in passes, adding a given level of detail and refinement across the whole work before moving on to the next level of detail. And know when to stop fiddling!)
wendallb Posted - 01/21/2015 : 10:53:20 AM
Thanks for the comments hayasidist. Start small is a good idea for sure. I don't really plan to draw on paper but I guess that could change in time. I have a wacom table to draw with on AS and I can use the add points system also so that is the method I plan to draw with.

Almost as old as dirt
"Hey" I said almost...
hayasidist Posted - 01/21/2015 : 10:01:04 AM
forgive the barge-in here...

IMO drawing on paper with pencils, pens, paint ... are different techniques from drawing using the "path and fill" tools in AS. If you're just starting out in both the "on paper" and "digital" art, I'd focus on getting used to the AS tools first: those have barely changed since my first stumbling efforts with AS V6 so there's little risk of you being left far behind. Another key thing to remember is that you're drawing for animation not for still life - so other things to think about when drawing is what animation you're planning... And (and I have to keep reminding myself of this) this is "cartoon" not "fine art".

so a book (or webpage) on "how to draw cartoon people" will only go so far to help, and you may find that you need to "unlearn" some ideas they present because you'll be working in animated digital media and not in still life on paper.

So some practical ideas to get you going:

decide on a **simple** one scene 7(ish)-second project (so avoid "big" head/body turns, walk cycles, heavy perspective changes, picking up / dropping items ...) and if you can't decide what to do: watch a few classic "old school" 2d cartoons (Tom and Jerry, Pink Panther, Mr Magoo ...) and pick an idea (character / object) to animate - not to copy but to use as inspiration ... and if that still leaves you with so much choice you can't decide just ask for an idea..

with a VERY basic sketch (on the proverbial back of an envelope - as few lines as possible - such as a stick man: enough for YOU to know what you want, not for anyone else), draw the start, "middle" and end views -- and if you really can't sketch at all - describe the action in a 3 short sentences: starting view; action; end view.

Think about what is to be animated - how it changes between these "key frame" drawings - and how you're going to do that. Some ideas here for you to look into: Bones? Point motion? Switch layers with or without interpolation? Once again, if you're stuck - just ask...

odds are that it won't go smoothly - but be confident that there's plenty of help here - not to do it all for you, but to share ideas on how to make your ideas work better.
wendallb Posted - 01/21/2015 : 07:32:51 AM
Mike, I think I could prove you wrong but won't go there. Can you point in the direction of some good tutorials on drawing. I know I could search and find some but I am being lazy I guess.

I am going to be left behind here anyway because I have old version but I need to learn to use the version I have.

I just can't spring for $300.00 when all this is a hobbie and learning experience for me. I just love learning new stuff..

Kelleytoons Posted - 01/19/2015 : 2:43:49 PM
No, you can't have the title of "World's Worst Artist" -- I'm still the champ, going on ten years running. And yet... Fox *almost* had our show on the air.

Look, when you consider the artwork of things that ARE on the air (take "South Park" - please!!!) you'll see that great art isn't the defining factor for a lot of animation. First and foremost is ALWAYS the story. Then the animation itself -- if you can learn to animate something and bring it to life, more or less, then a lot of what is being animated will be forgiven.

As to drawing backgrounds -- if you can learn the principles of creating a character you can make backgrounds. It's all the same techniques. The only real differences might be if you go in for multi-plane work (the kind of thing where the foreground is one element and moves faster than background elements if you are panning across or gets larger faster if you are zooming in). And there are tutorials for that process.

My advice is to learn the basics -- learn how to easily create some simple shapes, create a character, and then look at example art you like and try to copy it as closely as you can. Trust me, you'll never get all that close and by the time you can get close enough that folks will start to accuse you of stealing you can then define your own style (just don't keep that current copying style when you are trying to sell a show. Sigh).

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"

-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
wendallb Posted - 01/19/2015 : 1:11:25 PM
Thanks for your comment Mike. I am the worlds worst artist but I have a wacum tablet and trying to get better at it.

Lot's of practice needed. I noticed there are a lot tutorials on character drawing but very little on background drawing, just curious why that is the case because cartoon backgrounds are hard to find it seems.

Kelleytoons Posted - 01/19/2015 : 12:14:27 PM
Unfortunately you can't successfully import most vector art into AS. While AS supports the import of SVG and Adobe Illustrator (old style) files, 99% of the time the results aren't worth a crap.

You're far better off learning how to use the native tools in AS to do your tracing (ultimately they end up being better tools anyway).

"Look, I made a hat...
Where there never was a hat"

-Mike "ex-genius" Kelley
Wena Posted - 01/19/2015 : 10:22:48 AM
I surtanly would like to know how to do that.
wendallb Posted - 01/19/2015 : 09:43:19 AM
I am new but has anyone tried to do tracing in inkscape or drawplus and import the image into AS?
Just Curious if that would work?

oldnovice Posted - 08/25/2013 : 12:06:28 PM
Thanks for your patience, Mike, now I finally understood, overlooked the Display Quality button entirely. A good thing to know!

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