Animation Pipeline – continued


Time for the third and final part. For obvious reasons, this one gets a tad theoretical, just a warning.

So I’ve already talked about a woeful faaailure of a time line, though the original pipeliny part of it was still pretty good, and I definitely have blathered on about my suspect character design process.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to talk about here.

Most of my research on animation pipelines has come less from actual studios and the like and more from small groups or individuals making short films. This is mostly because that’s a little bit more relevant to the way I work – sadly I have neither money nor staff to do stuff for me.

This tutorial/guide has basically been my guide since I found it. Obviously her work is of a hilariously higher quality than mine, and I’ve only gotten through the first concepting stages and storyboard stages, but it’s still super useful.

I really like the idea of doing a colour script as well, I have such good ideas for how I want the colour of a shot or an illustration to look, but it never seems to turn out right. A colour script might just help cut down on the amount of time I spent tweaking and retweaking the colours.

Of course  I did have to pick the person who actually does use After Effects to compile her scenes, just to spite me. I really do like the way AE handles camera pans though, so I will quit prevaricating around the bush already and learn how to do it. It’s amazing how a camera move makes things look slick and polished when it really, really isn’t. That’s sure to help me out quiiiiite a bit!.

I also intend to make full use of this little tutorial. Probably a little less with the colouring – I have a different style in mind, but definitely with the using a 3D program to build a background base, even if it is just using really dodgy blocks and cylinders to get the perspective down pat.


I’ve added a basic break down of my animation pipeline, such as it is.

basic sketch

Basic walk – just getting the actual poses of a walk cycle down, not worrying about speed or mood

mid level sketch

Continuing on from the basic sketch – adding a bit more mood and character to this, plus some extra tweaking to the body

better sketch

Fixing up some of the magically shrinking/elongating limbs, and making the staff actually function as it should, instead of waving all over the place. Also started some inbetweening on the torso

clothing sketch

Getting some clothing ideas down, this would also be the stage where the secondary animation would be added, like hair bouncing or clothing swishing. Everything up to this point was done in Toon Boom

done sketch


And some clean up and colours – I took the images from the previous gif and imported them into photoshop. I prefer colouring in photoshop, mostly because I like doing the lineart with some of the pencil brushes I have, plus so far it’s easier to wrangle potential shading. After that, I re-exported the images as individual psds, and then re-imported them into Toon Boom to fix any timing issues. It’s not exactly the most efficient manner of working to be sure, but until I do some more playing with the brushes in Toon Boom, it’s what I’ll be sticking with.




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