Create A Motion Comic Pt 1: Adobe Photoshop | David Miller | Skillshare

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Create A Motion Comic Pt 1: Adobe Photoshop

teacher avatar David Miller, Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (29m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Finding Material to Work With + Extracting Pages

    • 3. Breaking Apart Your Image and Basic Clean Up

    • 4. Setting Up Animation Timeline in Photoshop

    • 5. Transforming Frames For More Complex Animation

    • 6. Tweening Frames

    • 7. Exporting Your Animation With The Alpha Channel

    • 8. Exporting For The Web + After Effects Character Animator Preview

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About This Class

Bring comic panels to life in this class covering Motion Comics!  We'll be mostly using Adobe Photoshop to animate public domain comics from the 1950s Golden Age; we'll also cover a bit of Adobe After Effects for more precise animation techniques.  

Meet Your Teacher

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David Miller

Multimedia Artist For Primordial Creative studio


I'm David, a multimedia artist in Phoenix, and my studio is Primordial Creative.  


I have always been interested in the visual arts from an early age- drawing, painting, and clay- but around my high school years I became interested in photography for the social aspect of involving other people, the adventure inherent in seeking out pictures, and the presentation of reality that wasn't limited by my drawing skills.


One thing in my work that has stayed consistent over the decades since then is I have an equal interest in the reality of the lens next to the fictions we can create in drawing, painting, animation, graphic design, and sound design.  As cameras have incorporated video and audio features, and as Adobe's Creative Cloud all... See full profile

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1. Intro: Hi, My name is David Miller, and I'm a multimedia artist in Phoenix, Arizona. Today we'll be talking about creating a motion comic using Adobe Photoshopped. My first experience with motion comics were the reruns of the old 19 sixties Marvel cartoons, where they essentially cut up the artwork and moved it around on the screen. A more recent example is the 2009 version of Allan Morin. Dave Gibbons, Watchman motion comic, released around the same time, is the movie in that one? The original Gibbons. Our work was enhanced. Bring the story to life on the small screen. There are a number of other cartoons that make use of this. Techniques mainly is an animation shortcut while keeping the aesthetic of the comic sequential storytelling as well as the original comic book art. The project for this class would be to create your own 32nd motion common using either public domain comics from the golden age of source material or using your own drawings. We'll be using mostly Adobe Photo Shop for a project, but at the end I'll have some tips on how to utilize Adobe aftereffects. An illustrator in our workflow. If you only have photo shop. Don't worry about it. You'll be fine. It's all that out of the way. Let's get started. 2. Finding Material to Work With + Extracting Pages: So the first thing we need to do when we're going to make a motion comic is gathered material. And if you already are an illustrator and have your own comics, you're not going to need to take this step because you already have your own material. And I am going to recommend to the rest of you that you start with something from public domain because you're not gonna get in trouble. And it's good practice. And the way that golden age comic art was made makes it a little easier to break apart. An animate. It's not as complicated as modern comics are. So one of my favorite sites is the digital comic Museum, and everything here is public domain. Uh, it has all the SciFi Detective Prime Romance War comics of the 19 forties and fifties and, uh, for my own film Innocence of Seduction. I've probably utilized over 100 comics off of this site to create my motion comic film. On the site. You pick the Siri's you want, you picked the issue you want, you click download, and you'll get either a zip file of J pegs or a CBR file and a CBR is the comic format, so you'll need a CVR reader. They have those for Windows and Apple, and the majority of them that I've ever used are free. When I'm picking out stuff. I usually look for things that have a need graphic that isn't totally covered up by other things. So in this detective funnies, maybe that I, with the laser coming out of it, be really useful. Or if I needed a woman holding a pistol firing at something from over her shoulder. I like that little character in the lower right to the one that's running away with that wacky tie. So you have your CBR reader open, uh, this particular one that I'm using on my Mac. I hit command and see and allows me to copy a page, and it will save that page as a JPEG. All the CBR readers I've ever used on either Windows or Apple computer had some component where you're able to extract the pages, Ajay pig. And even if you can't figure out how to do that, you can screen capture portion of your screen so you can get the file to actually work with . Now. If you are using a Golden Age comic, and you want to actually tell a story with your motion comic and not just have seven cool, moving gift. It's useful to get more than one picture of a character. I know a lot of the characters and romance comics are very similar looking. I wrote my story around a blond man in a brunette female. So as long as the hairstyles were somewhat similar, I could go through dozens of romance comics and pull apart pictures of the blond guys. That and, um, based on the emotions they have in their face, a sign apart for them in the story. Once you have your J pigs, we're gonna head over to photo shop and start taking it apart. 3. Breaking Apart Your Image and Basic Clean Up: and I'm going to you Open some war comics. I like to work with the covers because they tend to have eyes resolution for a single image . When you're working with the panels inside new comics, they're going to be really low rez anyways, because they're formatted for the computer screen. And also they're going to be low rest because they're much smaller than the large image on the cover. So I'm going to use photo shops, selection tools to draw Marquis outlines around whatever my main thing is, and I'm gonna pull apart thesis older on the cover with the machine gun. Here, there's more than one selection tool. So right now I'm in the Freehand Lasso, which lets you draw pretty random shapes with your mouse. There's one that's a political lasso that creates straight lines shapes, and there's the color sampling selector all of these air right next to each other in the upper part of the photo shop toolkit, and I'm gonna use which everyone works at the time. For example, to get inside this scope, I'm going to need to do political last, so because it's already a rectangular shape and it's a lot easier to just draw that rectangle and delete. Most people would think to draw the outlines around the character, but there is some cleanup involved. The edges of this paper are going to help me at all. And if this is the only layer I'm working with on the layers palette to the lower right, I'm gonna need to unlock that layer. So I get this empty space behind my guy. That's the gray and white checkerboard you see behind him. We call that the Alfa. Once I've cut out my person, I'm going to do some clean up inside, get rid of this text, and I'm using the stamp tool now for healing and cloning. There's a healing brush tool that looks like a Band Aid. And then there's the rubber stamp for our purposes. Because this is a graphic. It makes more sense to use the stamp tool than the healing brush tool. I'm gonna get deep inside the nitty gritty. I'm using the magnetic lasso in this case because it's going to conform to the edges of my character. Same thing here. Get around his knuckles. I'm gonna use the political lasso around his knuckles because I want to keep that black outline there. If I don't have the black outline, it's gonna make his hand look a little weird. You can already see on his thumb that I'm missing the black outline so I might actually go back and put a stroke around my character to make sure he has a consistent black outline all the way around him. Clean up these little bits of leftover clothes. If you are the illustrator of a piece and you're not just sampling a old comic like I am, you can make life a lot easier for yourself by drawing everything in layers that you plan on animating. Or if you draw with pencil and on Bristol board, then do things like draw the hand and the guns separately than the soldiers face. So I've moved the hand in the gun to another layer, and I'm going to build up a little space for the rest of him. I'm gonna fill out his shirt, his chest area a little bit that way. When I moved the gun around, uh, you don't see the edge of the chest, it looks like there was more behind the hand on the gun. Then there really? Waas and I don't need to make a whole bunch of stuff. If my motion isn't going to be more than 10 pixels than what I'm rebuilding here is more than enough. 4. Setting Up Animation Timeline in Photoshop: point, I'm going to set up my timeline and timeline is how we do frame animation and Photoshopped . It is on my screen in the upper right corner. You see history, actions and timeline. And if you don't see timeline on yours, go ahead up to the top bars liked window, and then timeline will be active. So me click over create frame animation set the duration of my frames, and generally I either use 0.1 or point to the turning page. Makes a new frame, and you can reposition your objects like I'm doing. So I'm making it look like the machine gun is going to be rattling in his hands. One thing you cannot do is rotations or transformation, because these air rast arised images and it's going to change, uh, how all the other layers activate If you want to transform or scale or rotate your objects . A good method would be to create new layers that have those objects already scaled or transformed, and we'll look at that one in our next lesson. But for now, we're just doing the very, very basic premise of creating a set of frames and repositioning objects. So it looks like my guy eyes actually shaking alongside the machine gun, which is shaking 5. Transforming Frames For More Complex Animation: so we're going to try a little more advanced animation. And as you've noticed in the previous installments, all we were able to do is basically move sections around. I have new sections here that were taken from a horror comic and their two hands. They're each on their own layer, so and my goal here is to have the hands manipulate them. The finger is a little bit like riel creeping hands coming towards a person. So if all Aiken do is grab a hand and move it around, that isn't to spine tingling. That's not really what I want. In fact, I'm gonna position it so the hands are a little smaller than they are. Use transform just free. Transform it position like So Now this free transforming is not something you're able to do within the animation. But if I have different instances where the hands air warped and transformed, then those can be animated. I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to duplicate layer to love. First of all, I need to name these because once you get a bunch of instances of them, they are going to be very confusing. So left hand right hand. Okay. Going to duplicate left hand? Then I'm going into my transform menu and I'm going to choose. Warp work gives you this grid and you can reposition quadrants or smaller sections without affecting the rest. Just gonna move it slightly. Hit. Enter Now. I'm going to copy my copy, and I'm going to warp it again ever so slightly. You kind of see where we're going with this apply. I could continue this process and even do things like erase out fingers or reposition this finger up here. I might do that for one just to show you guys, but, um, this could get overly complex really quick. I'm using political aso to get everything underneath this finger. Move, tool. My position. It like this. I end up seeing it goes on top of my other fingers. So instead I'm going to cut it, put it on another layer with paste. That's control V control, access cut control V is paste. If you don't know the shortcuts, move that layer underneath. I can push thes fingers up, and then I need to solidify this layer. So I'm going to use command e on the Mac control E on windows. There's my this layer and layer hand copy to. The only difference is that the fingers move up. I wanted to be a little more different than that. I'm going to warp it even more. It's important that there is a difference between each one of these layers. And I don't really want everything to be in the same spot. Okay, Meaning that is. L hand four and three. Left hand, too. Left hand. Here we go. Got four instances of that going to do the same thing with the right hand work. Now I'm only warping, but if you want to do things like have it scale differently, have a larger hand or a smaller hands or you want to change the perspective you can Maybe I'll throw one of those on my next right hand copy. The point is, if you want to do transformations between frames, you're going to have to have individual layers that transform so change perspective like that 6. Tweening Frames: Okay, so I got four instances of the left hand in the three instances of the right hand. That's OK for our purposes. Our demonstration purposes going toe, turn off a background, create frame animation. Here we go can only have one hand on a time. So we'll start with the basic ones, and we'll set. Are framing 2.1 seconds each time. Create new one great new one. I've got four left hands, but only one right hand. So the looping is going to be off a little bit. And to get a more interesting animation, if you have multiple layers like this, um, make lots of changes mixed up the combination, so it isn't always right. Hand one with left hand one. I still can do movements like so Okay, let's see how this looks. We're going to do a quick loop on it, all right. Looks a lot more lively to make it even more interesting looking. We have a function here called Tweens, and this creates the interstitial animation between what happens in number one and number two. You can have a lot of Tweens and I'll show you what that looks like. So I'm gonna add five frames in between step one and step two, and, uh, it's really slow. It's ghostly, too. And I conduce, um, repositioning within the Tweens if I want. I think five is too much. Let's look at it now that I move some things around, so I'm going to back up. This is totally subjective. So if you want five frames in between because you like that slow, ghostly movement, by all means, go ahead and do it. I'm going to position just two frames. I couldn't tell which ones they are. This is my next full frame minute position. Two frames here, two frames on seven on the very last frame. Instead of tweeting to the next frame, I'm going to Tween to the first frame. That's a choice in the drop down menu here, So OK, now let's view are creeping hands. Animation looks pretty good. I see a flaw that is this area right here. All I did was move this hand up and down and I'm not happy with that. So going, Teoh, switch the hand so I have a couple options. One is to simply cut my loops to the last part that look good through all of these in the trash. And then also these Tweens. And I'm going between number 10 with the first one. And the other option is, if you put this in a video editor, cut out the offending portions or third option, leave it as it is and call it a happy accident. I'm going to cut out those offending frames loop with the first frame. And as long as the effect is what I want it to be, I'm happy with it. I still have my creeping hands. They still change size and position. 7. Exporting Your Animation With The Alpha Channel: at this stage, I'm going to show you how to export your animation file. Export Render video. Now, I think it's a good idea. Teoh, export all your bits of animation as unm matted quick time files because then you can layer them up in a video editing program. These creeping hands can be chasing a person running. For example, If I wanted to create that scenario on a single photo shop file, it would be a lot more layers than you see here. A lot larger file and a lot more complicated. Teoh animate both the person running and the hands in motion. So let me show you how to do that. Export descent Export Render video. If you are on this choice H 264 you don't have a choice to get the Alfa Channel, which is this empty space here, this sort of Ah, great checkerboard area. So for me working on a Mac, I have to choose quick time Alfa Channel straight, UNM added, and it will create a short video file that is still kind of large because of the pixel dimensions of this. It'll be a dot move file three being hands. We will render this Teoh this place. And just to show you what this looks like in a video editing program, I'm going to open Premier. Here's my creeping hands. It's only 31 megabytes in size and has a black background currently because there's nothing underneath, and that's what Premier gives you when you throw things in there and it's very short, it's only one second long because I have a 30 frames per second. Of course, I could slow things down and premier or I can loop them. I'm holding also clicking on my footage and then stretching it out, doing it again. And if you're working in loops, it just makes sense to create smaller files and then loop them in the program of choice you have, rather than creating 10 seconds worth of the same loop over and over. Because if you can imagine, one second is 30 megabytes in size than 10 seconds, beat 300 megabytes in size or larger, and it gets larger and larger from their bigger files. Harder to work with. If I wanted to add backgrounds or other animations, I can plop them on the underlying video line just like these photo shop players. Or if I wanted to throw any background in photo shop and have that be a featured part of my animation. Can I just know that when you put something in after the fact it's going to appear on every layer? So putting this sort of explosion line in is a background. Now it's in every single layer of my animation, which may or may not be the desired effect. So up to you, my main recommendation is designed all your animations independently in a photo shop for your motion comic and then use a video editing program that allows you to have multiple tracks. But if you don't have that, you can compile everything in photo shop. Just be aware that you'll be using a lot more than the, uh, eat or so layers I have in this section. 8. Exporting For The Web + After Effects Character Animator Preview: So those are the basics of creating a motion comic animation in Photoshopped. And if you are going to do your project and for your project, I would love to see what kind of looped animation you come up with. The way to get an animation that you can post on the Web is file export render video, and we are going to choose H 264 This is going to create a lot smaller file that you'll be able to post on YouTube or video or any of your other favorite video hosting sites would set your document size to be something in the neighborhood of 10 80 pixels tall. And since this started as a square is gonna be 10 80 by 10 80 and then you go ahead of him render before we go. I did want to talk about future installments of the motion comic Siri's because, as you can see, this is a lot more involved than just creating some loops in photo shop. So in the next installment will be opening of after effects, and we'll be using to special functions of after effects. One is the general animation in after effects, but We're also going to be using a sub program called Character Animator. This allows you to create characters that can lip synch to audio that you import into the program. It's the same program they used recently on The Simpsons when they wanted to have Homer speak live to an audience, and it's still in beta at the time of this recording August 2016. But I have been using character animator for almost a year, and I love it. And I feel like character animator as a feature of after effects is what really got me going in my own motion comics, because it allows you to control the character using your head movements through your webcam. And when you have motion capture, that saves a lot of work animating, swapping out mouths for key frames, etcetera. So we'll see you in that next class. Don't forget to post your animations to the skills share project page and have a great day