Create a walking animation in Adobe Photoshop | Marion Kapferer | Skillshare

Create a walking animation in Adobe Photoshop

Marion Kapferer, Graphic Artist. Lives with a cat.

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
17 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. Introduction to the Class

    • 2. Understanding a Walkcycle

    • 3. Setting up the file

    • 4. Explanation of the Timeline Window

    • 5. Creating the rough animation

    • 6. Frame 1 is Boss!

    • 7. Animate the Legs

    • 8. What is Timing?

    • 9. Shortcuts to improve your workflow

    • 10. Animate the arms

    • 11. Animate the rest

    • 12. Test your Animation and clean it up

    • 13. Color your Animation

    • 14. Add Shading to your Animation

    • 15. Add some fun Details

    • 16. Export your Animation

    • 17. Thank you!


About This Class

In this class I will show you how to create an animated character in Adobe Photoshop CC.

A walkcycle animation like this is extremely useful for character exploration, but you can also use the knowledge from this class for other types of animation, like 2D Sprites for a game or create gifs for your blog or website.

This class is for all artists who want to bring their doodles to the next level by adding movement, for animation students who need to practice walkcycles, which are a basic and very important skill for an animator or for anybody who doesn’t want to purchase a specific animation software but already owns photoshop and want to use that for this purpose.

So join in on this project and subscribe to this class on how to create a walking animation in Photoshop.

[I’m using PS CC 2018 but you can use older versions of Photoshop CC without a problem. I’m also using a graphic tablet to draw the character and create the single pictures of the animation.]

Background music by:
Egzod - Paper Crowns ft. Leo The Kind (Nurko Remix) [NCS Release]


1. Introduction to the Class: Hi, everyone, and welcome to this class. I'm marrying an artist and animator from Germany. I do professional freelance work for companies all around the world, and they also teach art students in animation and digital painting. In this class, I will teach you how to create an animated character. Walk in Adobe Photo Shop CC, a work cycle Animation, like the ones we're going to create, is extremely useful for character exploration. But you can also use this knowledge you will gain in this close for other types of animation, like creating animated two D sprites for a game or create animated GIFs for your block or website. This class is for all you artists out there who want to bring their sketches or duels to the next level by adding movement. This class is also perfect for animation students who want to practice their walk cycles because they are a basic and very, very important skill for a future animator. And lastly, this class is for those of you who really want to get into animation but don't necessarily want to purchase an expensive and specific software just for doing animation you already own for a shop. You can also use it for character animation. My version of photo shop is Adobe Photoshopped CC 2018 but you can use an older version of photo shop, so off the menu items might have changed since the older versions. But if you have any questions concerning that or anything else, just send me a message or post into our community, and me or the other students will gladly help you. You will also need to have a pen tried to create the character sketch and the different poses for our animation. So please join in on this project and subscribe to this class on how to create a working animation in Photoshopped. See you in the next video. 2. Understanding a Walkcycle: first, I'd like to talk about work cycles a little bit and explain how they work. Every single animation is basically a collection of images off the character in various stages of the movement. He or she is doing so in a work cycle. We would drop all the different phases off the two steps the characters taking when each image is now exposed for a certain time after the one before it creates the illusion off actual movement. One image is called a frame. Classic animation contains 12 frames per second. We are going to create eight frames for our walking character as this pretty common for work in animation. Ah, walk cycle can be much more than just a figure moving forward. It can be an expression off a figures. Character traits off their goals and purposes or their emotions. You are free to incorporate that into the project. You're going to do for this clause. Make the walk elegant and dainty or strong and powerful, depending on the type of character you're going to put into movement. And now, enough with the theory we're going to chap right into our character animation 3. Setting up the file: start with a character sketch roughly based on one of the eight phases off the walk that I showed in the introduction off the cloths. If you're not sure anymore, I provided you with a Cheech ead as a PdF that you should have opened during the animation process. If you need to, you can have picketed and so get your posts right. As for your brush tool, it doesn't really matter what kind of brush you use. Just choose one that lets you sketch loosely like a pencil, for example. First I sketched out the rough pose like a skeleton to get the proportions right. Then I draw the body around that the character I chose here is a happy, cute young lady. I imagine walking to dance class or the gym feel free to make up a story about your character as it helps you getting the information right. I did it in a pretty cartoony style, but you can go as realistic or simple as you want, as long as you keep in mind that the last details you draw, the easier the animation will be and less time will be needed to complete the project. So I recommend a detail level off this sketch or less. Make sure you start your sketch on a separate, transparent layer from the background layer. I choose this red shade for a color, but it's really up to you. Name the layer sketch and put it in a group called o'War. Next, we create a timeline for the animation. Open the timeline window and click. Create frame animation for a shop conveniently creates the first train for you. And don't forget to save your files throughout the process. 4. Explanation of the Timeline Window: next up, I'd like to explain a little bit more about this timeline window that we just opened. Like with any other panel in photo shop, you can either drag it on, detach the window from the interface or, as I preferred, attach it to the lower part off my Photoshopped workspace. The first thing you see is little frame that represents the drawing we just did on our sketch layer. When you press the little arrow, a drop down menu opens, and you can define how long you want that frame to be exposed. I will talk about timing a little later in the class, so don't worry about this right now. On the lower part of the window, we have a few more Aiken's. The 1st 1 converts your friend animation into a video timeline, which we will ignore for now because we are creating a frame animation. The second drop down menu defines how often your animation is being moved. When you play it, I prefer it to put it on forever because I like to watch the looping animation over over to check for jittery movements or any other parts that I have to fix the next. Few Aikens are for navigating through your friends with the 1st 1 you can jump back to friend one. The 2nd 1 lets you scroll backward through the frames. The third born lets you play the animation. The 4th 1 lets you scroll forward through the friends, and the 5th 1 creates an interpolation between frames, which we will not need for this project. Lost to Icann's are for duplicating a frame, which we need pretty often and deleting afraid. Remember, you cannot delete a frame for hitting the delete key on your keyboard. You will need to hit that on right inside. We have another drop down menu where you can pretty much ignore all the options for now, except want to change the size of your thumbnail. You can change it here. That's for your timeline. Wouldn't know. Now let's put it to you. 5. Creating the rough animation: I know by looking at my rock cycle Cheat cheat that I need a pictures to complete the work . So now I duplicate the frame. We have a little I can in the timeline window while simultaneously duplicating the layer group Any times for for each life. The sharp cut for duplicate layer is control J or right click duplicate. Whenever I use a shortcut in this cloth, you should see pop up on the screen by double clicking on the layer Group name. You can rename it continuing from 02 03 up until 08 to do the next step, Draw in two lines, one for the head and one for the floor. You within my layer groups. I create an extra layer for demonstration proposes and right in the name off the face. Hi contact. Passing or low. You don't have to do it, but you can if it helps you. Here comes the trick to make it work as an animation while you are on the frame off the according layer groups, make sure that only the group is visible indicated, but a little I can next to the layer and all others are invisible So, for example, on frame to we only exposed Layer group to the last step is to shift the layer groups on the war access. According to our chief chief, the high post is obviously highest. Then it's lower for contact as defeat about on the ground. It's lowers follow when both knees are bent and higher in the passing pose, when one leg passes the other. Then the cycle is repeated for the other leg. High contact. Low passing. At this point, don't worry about redrawing, oppose or anything. We just want to make the hat book for now and spare no thought to the other parts of the body. 6. Frame 1 is Boss!: At this point, it is important to talk about the little option in your layer panel that is called propagate frame one. What it basically means is that when you are on frame one off your information, any layer you turn visible, invisible move or change in any way is also being changed in all other friends. So if you want one layer exposed on all other frames like, for example, floor line or background image, you should do it on frame. What if one layer is visible in all frames, which happens sometimes when duplicating the layer? Just go to frame one click on the I can to make it invisible. Go to the right frame, make it visible there, and your animation should be fixed. Sounds complicated, but once you get the hang up in, it's really simple. Just remind yourself that frame one is false. 7. Animate the Legs: now there are many different ways you can tackle the next steps off the animation. I'll show you how I do it. The key are iterations. I actually do the leg movement 1st 1 after the other, then through the arms, then bit by bit. Everything else. I want to be moving, used to cheat. Cheat, which is, by the way, provided as a downloadable file for your project to see how the legs behave at each point of the animation. Be mindful of the feet. When do the toast rule off the ground. When it's the food flexed or relaxed, you can see that I do not draw every single post completely from scratch and use the last ritual and transform toe a Tom. I duplicate limbs. I rotate them, etcetera. This speeds off the process tremendously, even if it looks wrong. I tried to ignore the arms and the rest of the body off my character, for now, to chest focus on the leg movement. Back in the day, artists that hand drawn animation off course had to focus on the whole body at once. Creating the key poses with all limbs and minds, so to say, But we take advantage of the fact that we work digitally and can go back into specific frames to animate in it orations. - You know, I know that the four faces off the walk repeat themselves, and I take advantage of that while animating legs. For example, I go back to my contact polls, copy the legs over to second contact post, and just have to redraw a few lines to make the other leg appear in front. This saves you a lot of time. You don't get around redrawing a few parts of every single post, but where you can save time and copy over parts of your previous animation work do so. 8. What is Timing?: let's talk about the term timing a little bit In classic animation. Timing refers to how many images are shown in a certain time during deformation in Photoshopped, timing refers to the length off each frame, which can be edited back, making on a little error here. Right now, our animation place superfast because each frame is only shown for a fraction off a millisecond. If we want to end mate in a classic style off 12 frames per second, we exposed each friend for syrah 0.1 to 5 seconds around to syrah 50.13 seconds. You can also vary the length of each frame to give the animation a different feeling, making the figure take a false at each new calls and, like them, move quicker during passing, for example. 9. Shortcuts to improve your workflow: for doing animation, optimized my shortcuts in photo shop and mapped them to my pan tablet to If you want to know how that works, please check out my other clause here and skin share on how to boost your productivity with a pen tablet. It's fine if you use the keyboard for now, but creating these hot keys will make it work so much easier. First opened the keyboard shortcuts window, go to frame animation, go to next frame and previous frame. I used to you right handed all key and period and comma. So when I pressed all comma, it would chunk to the previous frame and with all period the next one. This lets you really scroll through the animation. If you want to play your invention, just press the space bar and again to stop it. 10. Animate the arms: your character should now be moving their legs. The feet should be sliding nicely along the floor. Line everything else, though it's still stiff and unmoving. Let's change that by giving those arms a little movement. I always encourage students to get up from that chair but animating and try out of Walk themselves and be mindful off what each of the limbs are doing throughout the movement. The arm swing back and forth, bending slightly at the elbow and wrist opposite to delay left leg forward, right arm forward, right leg For what? Left arm forward. Easy, right, Samos with the legs I tried to copy and paste. Wherever it's possible, I select the arm off the character with a lasso tool. Press control T for the transform, too. Hold the old to reposition anchor point and drag it on top of the shoulder. Now I can rotate the arm almost in an anatomically correct way, which is off course again, way faster than redrawing the whole post go. It's always possible to create the arms on separate layers from the body and legs, but I try to keep my layer structure simple and to sketch only in one or two layers. Here's also where you can give the figure a bit of character to the world. Make the fists clenched for a determined war or draw long, elegant, slightly swinging hands for feminine and dainty. Walk again. Used to cheat to get the on positions right. - Drawing an arc on top can have correct Swing of the arms way. 11. Animate the rest: now that we any made it the legs and arms and had bumping movement. It's time to look for any areas that also need to be moving for it to be a convincing walk cycle. I call this secondary animation, even if the term is not 100% correct in this case, it explains well enough what we are about to do. My character carries a sweet flower in her hand, which needs to follow the movement off the hand and arm to be convincingly swinging back and forth. - You know, go next. Her ponytail should be swinging enthusiastically to give the animation the spark and liveliness it needs. Rule of thumb is any appendix. The character has, like hair. A tape on a 10 a feather a tale. Basically anything you can think off need secondary animation. It follows through the movement off the walk. When the character is in high post, the appendix is going in the opposite direction, being dragged by the movement and gravity. If you are not sure with your animation, just post a question in the discussion part of the class and I are the community will gladly have you 12. Test your Animation and clean it up: Like I said previously, I any made innit? Orations on animation is never fully done. There's always something to improve, like tweaking the timing or correcting a slightly wrong post. For now, only two things are important. Make sure the limbs head and body off your character keep the same volume all through the animation. No legs should grow longer thinner. No had should magically blow up to bigger size in one friend and shrink in another. The second important thing is to make sure the loop is working correctly. If you use the Cici I provided for the poses, chances are high that your animation does not jiggle when it loops, but make sure to keep friends ate consistent with friends seven and friend. Want to make it a smooth movement? If you're happy with your sketched animation, clean up the lines as good as you can. They don't have to be perfect Leinart, but I always erase some stray sketch lines and thoughts because it makes the animation look . Lena, if you want the sketch looks, just keep it that way. It's up to you in time 13. Color your Animation: the color layer is created the same way we created the animation. Go to the frame you want to color, create a new layer in the correct layers group and fill in the figure with a color off your choice. I use fled colors for this first step. To paint it all by hand seems a bit tedious, so I have a tip for you to do it more quickly. Use your magic wand in the options activate, continues and all layers, Then select the outside off your character, the white space. Inverse the selection by going toe selection in worth selection and now for the selection by pressing old backspace. Or just use the pill bucket tour. By the way, if you want to see a list off the shark cuts I used in this class, I'm providing a PdF for download with a comprehensive list. Now make sure you're not on Sketchley when you do this. Now repeat the process for the other seven images and just use the paintbrush in places where the selection didn't catch the whole figure. If you want to create different colors for the different parts of the character, like skin, clothes or hair color them in like you would in a normal illustration. Just be sure to be on the exact right layer for each frame to prevent calorie on another layer when you are on a different phrase used to shortcut control to make for shop jumped with the exact rightly immediately during coloring. I always clean up the sketch a little more. By the way, you don't have to use the same colors. It's me. I just recently found enough for unusual skin tones. 14. Add Shading to your Animation: This next step is really optional. But if you want to additionally, paint some shadow on your character, you can easily do this with Liam Oats. What I do is I create a new layer on top of my sketch layer and draw a solid shadow shape wherever I think the light doesn't hit my character directly. So on the back of the hat hair, the arms and the legs, I choose a blue color tone because that contrasts nicely with the skin color I chose. But you can also just use great for this. Now I put the layer on the layer mode, multiply via the drop down menu on top off the layers panel. I choose Anna passivity off around 25 or 26 but you can play around with this slider a bit if you want to shadow docker or life for the rest of the frames. I just duplicate my shadow layer and painted on top of every single post, you know, go 15. Add some fun Details: to make my walking animation even cuter and more interesting. I add some little details, like the shadows under the feet when they touch the ground, or maybe even a emoticon. For my sport ago, I chose a musical note that is really, really small in frame. One get slightly bigger, rises up from her and then pops like a soap bubble. You can do the same thing or choose something that IHS more accurate for your own character . It's all up to you where you want to take it. Ever seen a really said cartoony walk with a rain cloud about the figure? You can add funny things like that to really exaggerate the idea you want to convey. 16. Export your Animation: Congratulations. If you made it this far, you've finished your walk cycle. Now, off course, you want to show it off either on social media or, of course, he on scale share as a class project. I'd be so happy to see yourselves to export animation as a Jif or GIF. I'm not sure how to pronounce it. Go to export, say for Web, choose gift in the drop down menu and play with the settings a bit until you satisfied with the result. Click Save. Simply choose a folder in the name and you are done. I sometimes prefer toe export my finished animation with the transparent background because it gives you more options where you can use it. For example, in a block post or your personal website, or wherever you want to make the background invisible. Simply go to your friend one because remember, frame oneness, boss. Make your white background invisible and export again. I also crossed the image of it to have the former match the actual size of the character better 17. Thank you!: thank you very much for enrolling in this class about how to create a character animation in Adobe Photoshopped. I'm so excited to see all your results. So please share and also give feedback on your colleagues. Burke, if you want to see more of my work, please follow me in social media, especially on my YouTube channel, where I talk about animation and ardent painting all the time. See you there or see him the next cause Fine.