Traditional Animation: How to Create Smoke Effects | Johannes Fast | Skillshare

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Traditional Animation: How to Create Smoke Effects

teacher avatar Johannes Fast, 2D Animator

Watch this class and thousands more

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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

14 Lessons (1h 37m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. What is Cel Animation?

    • 3. The Theory of Smoke Pt.1

    • 4. The Theory of Smoke Pt.2

    • 5. Animating a Smoke Trail

    • 6. Animating a Smoke Cloud

    • 7. Animating a Smoke Loop

    • 8. Drawing Over Live Action Pt.1

    • 9. Drawing Over Live Action Pt.2

    • 10. Bonus! Smoke Shortcut

    • 11. Conclusion

    • 12. Personalized Feedback Pt.1

    • 13. Personalized Feedback Pt.2

    • 14. Personalized Feedback Pt.3

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About This Class

Join animator Johannes Fast for this class on how to animate smoke effects digitally using "cel" animation.

In this class you'll learn the theory behind why smoke moves the way it does, and how to apply this to your own animations to create a believable smoke effect. 

Who is this class for?

The class is aimed towards beginner or intermediate animators with some prior experience animating traditionally. It's a great class for beginner animators looking to learn how to animate their first effects, or for more experienced animators looking to spice up their work. Even film editors can use these techniques to add cool effects to their live action work! 

By the end of this course, you'll know the basics on how to animate smoke traditionally and how to apply it to your work.

What you can expect to get out of this class:

  •  How to animate a smoke trail
  •  How to animate a smoke loop
  •  How to animate a smoke puff
  •  Bonus way to animate smoke in After Effects


A digital animation program is required for the class, preferably Adobe Animate. You'll also need a form of digital drawing tablet. A mouse will work but it will make the process a lot harder. An iPad with an animation app also works great. 

Recommended apps and software:

  • Adobe Animate
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Rough animator (iPad)
  • Calipeg (iPad) 
  • Flipaclip (Apple/Android)

Instagram Feature:

Every two weeks a pick a few of my favourite student projects across my classes to be featured on my instagram. If you wan't a chance to get featured, post your work in the student community and tag your instagram. And if you share your work on instagram or twitter, tag @johanimation so I can see it! 

Want to learn even more?

Check out my other classes!

Find even more classes here

Meet Your Teacher

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Johannes Fast

2D Animator


Hi! My name is Johannes Fast, I'm a traditional animator & motion designer living and working in Vancouver, Canada. I was born and raised in Sweden, the country of meatballs and cheap furniture.

I started out my career in animation attending a motion graphics focus education at Hyper Island, during this time I took multiple online classes focused on traditional animation to hone in on my craft. After my time at Hyper Island, I went on to spend roughly 18 months at multiple internships around the world, and I've been lucky to spend time at places like BRIKK, NERDO and Giant Ant.

During my career I've been grateful to have had the opportunity to work for many amazing clients and on many incredible projects like Arcane, Studio Trig... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Hi everyone. My name is Yanis Fast. I'm a Swedish animator working in Canada and I make things like this. In this class, we're going to learn how to animate one of my absolute favorite effects, smoke, using cell animation. Cell animation is the form of animation where you draw every frame by hand in contrary to 3D animation or shape animation. Why should we learn how to animate smoke? Well, knowing how to animate smoke, is a really simple way to spice up your work. You could add it to almost any media, to your cell animation, to your shape animation, to 3D, and inner live action. In this class, we'll start out by looking at the theory of smoke and how smoke behaves. We will then move on and animate a simple smoke trail and then are looping smoke puff. Finally, we will add a smoke trail to live action footage. During this class, you'll be given assignments to complete then upload to the student projects folder. This is a great way for me and for your fellow students to see your work and give feedback on it. If this is your first time trying cell animation, I'd recommend you to take my previous class on the basics of animation. You can find it here on Skillshare. Every two weeks, I pick three of my favorite student works across my classes to be featured on my Instagram stories. If you want a chance to get featured, please post your work in the student project folder and add your Instagram handle. A few weeks from now, I'll pick a handful of students to give more personalized feedback too. I'll then make a video where I do a draw rough of this work, how I would improve it, and I will then upload this video at the bottom of the video lists. If you want a chance to get this more personalized feedback, please upload your work as soon as possible. Make sure to watch the whole class. Because in the end, I'll show you a bonus way how to animate smoke. This class, is just the first in a series of cell effects classes. Make sure to follow me here on Skillshare, so you won't miss the rest. I'll see you in the next video. 2. What is Cel Animation?: In this video, I'm going to talk briefly about what cel animation is for those of you who are new to animation. Cel animation, hand-drawn animation, traditional animation are all words for the same thing. Cel animation is the animation where you draw each frame by hand instead of letting a computer do some of the work for you. This is the way they animated that old Disney classics like Lion King, Pocahontas, Snow White, etc. Back in those days, they did it with pen and paper, and it required huge teams of animators in-between artists, cleanup artists, etc. Fortunately though, today we can do hand-drawn animation on a computer using a Cintiq or any form of drawing tablet. This speeds up the workflow immensely. Shape and 3D animation let's animators key out poses and then use the computer's power to calculate the frames in between these poses. Animating this way is usually a lot faster than animating traditionally, but of course you lose a lot of the qualities that traditional animation brings. The advantages of shape animation like this is that it's a lot easier and faster to do, and that's why we see a lot of explaining videos made in this style. It's also an easy way to get started into 2D animation because you don't need to do any drawing, and it's how I started doing 2D. The downside with shape animation is that it tends to look very flat and undynamic, because you can't really turn a character in 3D space without keying each frame. If you do that, you're basically doing traditional animation. 3D animation is a great form of animation where you're going for realism. It's also cheaper than traditional animation because you can reuse a lot of the assets. In my opinion though, 3D tends to lack a lot in the creativity when it comes to characters. You don't really see a lot of extreme poses, or extreme faces, smearing or thing like that. This might change though looking at how well Spider-Verse turned out, where they blended 3D and traditional animation together. Traditional animation is great when you want to do a 2D animation that is highly dynamic, because you're only limited to what you can do with a pencil. Traditional animation also tends to have very expressive characters and extreme posing, as you can break down your characters and push your extremes very far. A big downside to traditional animation is the extreme amount of time it takes just to create a few seconds. It also requires the animator to be good at drawing, especially if they're animating characters. Personally, I love traditional animation due to the look and feel it gives. The life you see in the old Disney movies is hard to match by shape animation or 3D animation in my eyes. I also love seeing the craft behind it, when you can really feel that someone made this with their hands. There is also this feeling of accomplishment that I get when I do traditional animation, that I don't really get when I do shape or 3D animation. Seeing your drawings come to life is just amazing. When we do cel animation, we draw every frame by hand. This is one of the reasons why we mostly animate on 12 frames per second, because it cuts the work in half without it looking choppy. If you do go under 12 frames per second, the human eye can distinguish each drawing from the other, making it hard to keep the illusion of smooth movement going. It's not impossible though. You might wonder now why its called cel animation. Well, the reason for that goes all the way back when we animated with pen and paper. Once the animation team had completed their finished animation, the cleanup team would then take over and trace their work under thin sheets of celluloid plastic, thus giving it the name cel animation. That was a really short summary of what cel animation is. This is a topic I could go on about for days, but I hope this gave you some insight. 3. The Theory of Smoke Pt.1: It's time we explored the theory of smoke The reason I always like to look at the theory first, instead of just diving straight into animation, is because it's very important to have an understanding of your subject before you start animating, especially when it comes to cell animation, due to how labor intensive it is. Back in the old days, animators would get months to do research and planning before starting animating their scenes. Even though most modern productions doesn't have the luxury of months of research, I still highly recommend to research and plan your animations as much as possible before you start animating. Let's look at smoke. Smoke can be made out of a lot of different things like dust, water vapor, powder from a fire extinguisher, etc. The type of smoke and the source of the smoke will affect how the smoke behaves and thus, it's something you need to take into account when you animate. So let's take a look at a few examples of smoke, and let's try to find some key attributes that we can apply to our own animations. Here we can see a classic chimney smoke coming from a fireplace. Because hot air is lighter than cool air, this smoke rises if it's coming from a heated source, like a fire. As the hot air is rising, the cold air around it is pushing down on it and cooling it. This progressively slows down the smoke as it's rising and it's making dissipate into the air. This cushion of cold air also gives a smoke its beautiful rolling motion. As the cold air flows over the hot air, it creates turbulence that we can see in this rolling motion here. If we look down here, it's very obvious that the smoke comes out really fast and then slows down as it rises. Here's an example of a heavier smoke that could be coming from an instance stick or a cigarette. This smoke is heavier than the chimney smoke because it contains a lot more particles than the water which chimney smoke. This causes it to form these thick, beautiful trails that holds together in contrary to the smoke in the previous video, the quickly dissipated. This smoke was still as in as it's rising, but it will tend to stick to its shape as you can see here. Here's a video of the smoke coming out from one of the space shuttle launches. This smoke behaves almost like the smoke from the chimney. Even though the smoke is coming out of the engines at an extreme speed, the smoke will still slow down incredibly fast and start to form this huge rolling clouds. This smoke is really thick and slow because of the immense amount of water vapor than it crates. Now we looked at some reference footage of smoke, and in the next video we're going to see how we can apply this to our animations. 4. The Theory of Smoke Pt.2: Looking at the footage in the previous video, we could distinguish a few key factors to smoke that we can apply it to our animations. Smoke exits a source fast and slows down rapidly and exponentially. Smoke tends to have turbulence to it. Rolling and waving motion. Finally, smoke dissipates with time. How do we recreate this in our animations? Well, an easy way to break down smoke and add some turbulence to it, is to break it down into upward wave pattern of rising circles that slows down and get bigger and dissipates the higher they rise. This is a great exercise to get comfortable on how to animate smoke. If you haven't animated waves before, I recommend you check out my previous class where I show you how to animate a flag. Knowing that will help a lot in animating smoke. A smoke can effectively be broken down into simple wave motions. When animating a small cloud like this, I like to think of it as two-way patterns. One standing wave creating a zigzag cloud and making it look dynamic. Then waves on the side creating peaks and valleys, making the smoke look like it's rolling. To make smoke feel organic, it's important that you don't make it feel uniform. Make sure that the sides of your smoke isn't mirrored. Here's an example of a simpler cigarette smoke. This one can basically be broken down into just a wave animation that is east at the top. To summarize this, smoke tends to exit a source at a high speed, but slowed down very quickly. Smoke often has a lot of turbulence to it and it's easily affected by the air around it. Finally, smoke dissipates with time. That's summarizes the theory part of this class. In the next video, we're going to start animating. 5. Animating a Smoke Trail: It's time we animated our first MOOC. We're going to start out simple by animating smoke trail like this. During this class, I'll be working in Adobe Animate 2020. You can use any program you want. But if you want to follow along in my workflow, it's easier for you to work in Adobe Animate. Will start out by creating a new project by clicking up here. Here, we want to make sure that our width and height is 1080 by 1080, and make sure your frame rate is set to 24 frames per second. Leave the platform type as ActionScript 3.0. Here's our workspace, I've set it up so that every time I click a button, you will see it down in the left corner here. I've set it up so you will find all my files in the project and Resources tab, so you will find this artwork, you will find all my animations that you can use as reference. I want to extend this layer here by a few seconds, so I mark the layer here and I click F5 to add frames I'm just going to add a random amount of frame here and then lock this layer so I don't accidentally draw in it. Up here I have all the colors I'll be using. To create a new layer, you click the Plus button up here and you get a new layer here. To easily split this up into sections of two, you can right-click and go to Convert to frame by frame animation and then Keyframe every other frame, and now you have frames here being held for two frames each. For this MOOC, I'm going to use this green color here, and I use a Brush tool and I animate. As we've touched upon in the theory apart is that smoke slows down as it rises. When we draw our first frame here and we want to make sure that the spacing gets tighter the further up we get. I am going to draw my first frame here, something like that, and as you can see here, the spacing gets tighter the higher up it gets, then we can break this up a bit to make the smoke dissipates. Now I'm going to draw my next frame, and of course I want to see the previous frame, so I go up here and enable online scaling. Now I'm going to drama next frame here, I want to make the distance in between the last growing bigger here in the beginning, and then smaller as it rises, and then easing out these little smoke trails here. Then I go to the next frame, and because this is a way by kinda want to bending this wave here. We're doing an organic movement now, some going straight ahead when I'm animating, which means that I start on the first drawing and yes, and go from there instead of having key poses that I'm trying to hit. I'm going to the next frame here and remember to think of it as a wave, so basically it should move something like this. I'm pushing this up and then easing these little puffs out here, and I want to use them pretty slow because smoke is a very slow movement. The nice thing about smoke is that it doesn't have to be perfect because it is organic movement is affected by wind, heat, and all these other things, so it can speed up, it can slow down, it can wave around and move in all different ways. This is what I have this far. Here we have a few seconds of a really simple smoke trail, so now I'm going to show you how to export this animation hasn't give. Go up to File and then Export, Export Animated GIF, and then this window will open. You can turn off transparency up here and then set looping to forever, and when you're done click Save. For this assignment I want you to animate a smoke trail like this. I'd like your animation to be at least three seconds long, and once you're done, I wanted to export a gift at 1080 by 1080 pixels in 24 frames per second and animated on twos. That means that every drawing is being held for two frames. Once this is done, I'd like you to upload it in the student project folder so I can see it and give feedback on it. Good luck. 6. Animating a Smoke Cloud: Now I'm going to show you how to animate a more of a traditional small cloud like this. This small cloud won't be looping so when I do this, I usually just go straight ahead and I animate as many frames that I will be needing. I've prepared this style frame here. I've also made a little chimney reference to know where my smoke is coming from. Before we start animating, we want to figure out what smoke we're making. In this case here, I'm thinking that this is coming from a small fireplace in a cabin. The smoke will be pretty light. Looking at this smoke here, you can see the S-shaped going through it. I don't focus too much on this shape when I animate. I used to use it as a reference in the back of my head to keep the smoke dynamic. We get this shape to the smoke. Instead of it looking uniform. My main focus is on these waves here. As we touched on before, the smoke is going to come out pretty fast and then it's going to slow in really fast. This area down here is where it's going to come out fast and then it's going to ease in and go slower and slower. Usually, when I animate smoke, I have a lot of action happening down here. But then as it goes up into the middle here, it all gets together and slows down. Then up here, it all melts together really slow. I'm going to animate on 2's. I'm going to cut up this layer here like that. The good thing with smoke is that if you animate your smoke too fast, it's very easy to go in afterwards and just add the frames in between. I'm going to start animating this smoke now. Through that I'm going to use onion skinning, so I turn that on. Then up here, I want the smoke to move really slow. I draw the next frame really close. Then as I go further down here, I'm going to space the smoke out a bit more. You also want to think about the smoke disappearing to the sides. Down here I wanted to move pretty fast so I'm going to make this bump here up here. Then we have this smoke coming out here and so we will probably be up here already. To give the smoke turbulence, you can cut in the corners here. They usually start doing that like around this area here. Here we have two frames. Then go ahead and move to the next one. I'm going to continue drawing really close together up here. As I go down, it's going to be spaced out even more. I'm going to cut in here so we get the turbulence. As I push these shapes out here, I also do these holes, I'm kind of dig into the shape. I'm drawing the turbulence, imagining it going like this. Now I'm seeing that this looks pretty even here so I'm going to fix that. Then moving on to the next frame. I'm going to cut in even more here. That's going to help us dissipate the smoke. I'm going to cut in here too. Because what we want to end up with, we don't want to cut these shapes off in the end so we can make them disappear into the air. I'm thinking of this like a wave here. This is the previous area. Then I'm thinking that this is getting pushed from here to here. You can play around by merging shapes. Here we have these two smaller ones. We can push these together. I'm going to slowly dig in here. You want to keep in mind that the higher up you go, the slower the movement is going to be. When you dig in here, don't do it too fast because it will look weird if this is all the way over here now. You can push the sides out to here, but pull it in here. Your easing doesn't have to be perfect. You can play with the speed going up and down. Here you're seeing it's moving really fast down here. But as soon as it gets close to the middle, it slows down really fast. Now I'm going to start breaking this shape up here. Now I have these little puffs here. I'm going to ease these out as they disappear. I'm going to take away quite a big shank at the bottom here. But keep them pretty slow at the top. Now I'm going to break this part off. You can play around by melting together shapes. I'm going to put this shape back into the big cloud. When you animate smoke, don't ease out too much with the small ones. You don't want your frames to go from this and then go smaller to infinity. The final drawing of a small puff can be this size. I'm going to continue adding some more smoke on the side. I also try to vary when I take away these last frame. Here I'm only keeping this one to make it a little bit more dynamic. It doesn't look very good if all of them go out at the same time. I'm also playing around a bit with ease in here so it's going a lot slower here in the beginning, then here it picks up. Because this is an organic movement, you can go pretty crazy with your easing going up and down. But you still want to keep the main idea of it moving faster at the bottom and slower at the top. Here I'm starting to tie this shape off. Something that also helps with the turbulence is to make it go faster as it cuts in here and then slower on the top. You get a quick rotation like that. Here we have about almost two seconds. If you feel like your smoke is moving too fast when you play it, it's really easy to slow it down by just adding frames in between. I add two frames, I cut this, delete that, and then I use onion skinning to see the frame before and after. Now I just draw the exact frame in between here. Then I go to the next one. I'm going to do the same thing. Now you can see that where I added those frames is going to move a lot slower. That's how I animate our basic small cloud straight ahead. Your assignment is to animate a small cloud like this. I want you to animate on 2's. I want you to animate at 1920 by 1920 pixels on 24 frames per second. Once you're done, please export a GIF of your smoke and upload into the Student Community. 7. Animating a Smoke Loop: It's time we tried to animating a looping smoke cloud. I've prepared this acid here that I'll animate. If you want to animate this same smoke cloud, you can find this file in the resource tab. Looking at this smoke cloud here, we can break it down into the same wave pattern that we did in the last video. But in this video we will add volume to it. Once we get volume to it, we can start to get the rolling motion that we witness in the live footage. When I animate a smoke puff like this, I like to keep the shape like a diamond, so it expands as it rises and then at the top, it comes back in again. Remember that the smoke will come out fast, they will slow down as it rises. To do this, we're going to do a combination of post to post animation and straight-ahead. We'll start with this drawing. I'm going to cut this here and delete that. We're also going to end on this drawing. We will be going straight ahead. Then somewhere around one second to one and a half seconds, we're going to aim towards hitting this post again. What we can do is, we can take this frame and put it in the middle here. Now we can flip it around like that. I'm going to make it look a bit different like that. Now we have three frames here. Now we can start animating. When you start animating your smoke, makes sure you don't space your frames too far apart because it's easy to animate a smoke cloud way too fast. I'm going to our second frame here, and I'm going to turn on audio skinning. In the beginning here, I'm going to make the smoke move really fast. This part here, will now be up here. Remember to think of this as a wave animation, you've got a wave going here. I'll push this up here, like that. As the smoke rises, it will start moving outward and it will start eating in here too. To get the rolling motion, I like to offset this smoke a bit so it rises faster in the middle, and slower out on the edges. Like this. Here we've got our second drawing. If you get these ugly edges here, you can smooth that out by selecting your drawing and going to modify shape and then smooth. I've set this as a shortcut to shift x. Here we have our second drawing, and see how fast it moves in the beginning here, and how slow it moves up here. This part here then moved fast, I'm not going to slow that down so that the smoke here, will be up here now. Like that. Remember this step, your animation back and forth to make sure you spot any errors. When this smaller smoke puffs, I don't like making them too small because it quickly looks messy if you start breaking up your clouds into old these tiny, tiny dots. Don't be afraid to take them away when they're this size. I'm getting closer to this frame here that I'm aiming for. I'm going to start thinking a lot about hitting this post now when I animate in the next couple of frames. What I think I'll do is, I'm going to try to aim that this part here, will become this part here. We're going to have to add a few frames in between here to be able to hit that post. Now we're getting a bit closer to this frame here. I'm going to start easing this part in, to become more like this part here. I'm going to introduce a bit more smoke to create this shape here, and this shape here. Now I'm just going to fix this last frame a bit so that looping is smoother. This is what we have, this far. Now for the second half of this smoke, because we took this first frame here and flipped it over to use as the last frame, we're now able to take the animation we did here, in between these two frames and duplicate it and put it behind the last frame. To do that, you hold 'halt' and you drag it over, like that. We also want to go and flip all these frames over. To do that, we click this button here, edit multiple frames, and you pull out here the frames you want to move. You then select all these frames and go to 'modify', 'transform' and 'flip horizontal'. Before we play this, we're just going to extend this background here. This is how it's looking. We can see a small bump as the loop goes around. We're going to have to fix up now. The bump is right here in the middle. To fix that, we're going to just go in, turn on your skinning on, and smooth out the in betweens here. Let's see how this looks. It's looking a lot better. We can see that the smoke slows down here. What we can do is we can try to delete a few frames here. I'm going to do some more fixing here. I think it moves a bit too slow here in the ends too, we'll try deleting this frame here. Now we've got a bit of a puff here, we're just going to fix that. To do that, I'm going to put the first frame in the back here to make sure that I can see the frame I'm aiming for. We also want to add the smoke train here. Here's our looping smoke. For this assignment, I want you to try your hand at animating a looping smoke like this. Once you're done, I'd like you to upload a 1080 by 1080 pixels GIF at 24 frames per second, animated on 2's into the student project folder. If you find this assignment difficult, you can always ask a question in the discussion tab, and me and your fellow students can help you as best as we can. Remember to upload your assignment as soon as possible if you want a chance to get more personalized feedback in the upcoming feedback video. Good luck. 8. Drawing Over Live Action Pt.1: So for this final animation, we're going to take everything we learned in the previous lessons and apply it to live action footage. The footage I got is of my animator friends Taylor Peters jumping down a set of stairs on a skateboard. If you want to check out his work, you can find it here. If you have your own footage, you can use that too. I'd recommend you to use some form of extreme sport video, with someone jumping, so you get the most out of this class. If you want to use this video, you can find it in the resource tab. To import a video into animate use drag your file over. This window will open and here you click ''Embed H264''. Here you can de-select include audio, and if your video isn't centered, you can center it up here. So I'm going to do a few things with this video. I'm going to animate a smoke trail as he rides up and a smoke puff as he takes off, and then I'm going to do a trail as it goes through the air and finally an impact smoke as he hits the ground. We're also going to step this up by another level by shading our smoke. So with this footage there is a few things we need to think about. First of all is that Taylor is moving forward. But we also have the camera following him. This is going to affect how we animate our smoke. Because we need to track the smoke to the skateboard, but we also need to track it to the ground. At the same time the smoke has its own momentum. I'm going to start out by animating the trail as he rides up to the stairs. I've selected some crazier colors for this smoke because a white or gray smoke won't be very visible on the ground. When I animate a small tree like this, I like to think of it as skewed wave, like this? Even though he's far away I'm going to make the smoke pretty big otherwise we won`t to really see it. An easy way to shade our smoke is to use a paint brush tool, by pressing ''Y'' and down here, you can select the color of your paint brush tool. Now you can draw in strokes on top of your smoke like this, and you can then select your paint bucket tool and select the shadow color. You can now delete the strokes, like that. I'm going to turn on screen home, so I can see where my previous drawing was. So as I mentioned before, we need to track the smoke both to the ground but also to the skateboard. At the same time, we need to look at with the previous smoke was so we don't animate a stationary smoke like this. Remember to think of it as a wave. So now I am both tracking the smoke to skateboard, I'm looking at this bump here, to put it in here and I`m also thinking about tracking the smoke to the ground. Now I'm going to animate the smoke puff assay takes off. So the force is going this way, like this. So I'm going to make my smoke follow that shape and I'm going to add the smoke trail to enter the wheels here. Then for the next frame here, we need to track the smoke, but also think about the momentum of it. This is how it's looking this far. Now I'm going to start dissipating the smoke, above when I look at where this frame is, but I also need to track it now. I'm going to make it small right here and then I'm going to look at where the smoke was in relation to us. I'm going to make it dissipate. I'm also going to look at where the trail was and I'm going to start following the trail now like this. A trick to get rid of all these lines is just to draw over them like this. Looking at the onion skinning again, I'm going to track the smoke towards where it was going. I'm going to add some lines to this smoke so we can now feel the drag of it. Now I'm going to make these smoke puffs slow in here, start dissipating. Even though the smoke was under in this frame, we're looking at the onion skinning. We want to put it on top now. Otherwise the smoke will bounce around. It wouldn't make sense if this smoke was down here now. You can make the smoke drag more by animating as closer to where it was. As you can see, I'm doing a combination of both tracking, but also following the onion skinning when I place my smoke. As he's falling faster I'm going to make this small smoke puffs come out of the trail from the wheels. The beauty with this animations is that you don't need the thing so much about the wave animation. You just need to make it random because it's so fast you're not going to see it. These smoke puffs I want make them follow the momentum downwards. Now we're going to do the impact smoke. An impact smoke like this is similar to the smoke that we saw from the spaceship video. Because he is falling down here, his force is coming down onto the ground and then outwards like this. As we learned, we want to make our smoke come out fast and then slow down. For the first frame here, I'm going to make the smoke pretty condensed and because this is live action footage, we need to take into account the 3D space. We can't just make a smoke cloud like this. We need to look at the ground and place the smoke on the ground. To help with that, I like to draw a circle like this and that will be roughly how I'll place my smoke. I'm going to start out the smoke pretty close to the skateboard and then it's going to shoot out fast and then slow down fast. I'm going to make this pretty condensed and now I have my circle here. I'm going to go around the circle and add how the smoke looks like on the ground like this. This outer line here will be the bottom edge of the smoke and now I'm going to add the cloud itself like this. As we talked about before, the force will make the smoke roll. The force going outward like this, is going to make the smoke roll backwards. I'm going to make the smoke look like it's rolling backwards and then I'm going to fill this in, then I'm going to erase where we shouldn't be able to see the smoke. Here we have a rough smoke cloud. I'm going to add a secondary smoke into the outer edge here and this is going to move even faster and dissipate faster than this big smoke cloud. 9. Drawing Over Live Action Pt.2: Now I'm going to go ahead and shade the smoke so we can see the shape of it a lot better. We still need to take into account the smoke is pushing outward. So here I have my shoulder frame. This is what it looks like right now. For the next frame, we need to track it onto the ground. But we also need to think about the force that it has shooting outwards. Then we also have the force of Taylor riding through the smoke. First I'm going to track it through the ground. Fortunately enough, we have the squares. We know he was in the middle of the square. I am going to make a larger circle here. Something like this. It's going to expand out really fast here. Looking at this, I see that the edge is over here and the edge is still over there on this frames. We probably want to move it a bit further out. Like this. Now I'm doing an in-between of looking at where my previous drawing was, but also where the ground is on the previous frame, so that the smoke cloud doesn't follow him as he rides but it's still needs to go outwards. All right, now I'm going to do what I did in the last frame I'm drawing the bottom of the smoke. I'm going to make this a bit smaller now because the smoke is shooting up really fast, It's going to be disappearing a bit faster. All right, like this. Now when the smoke is coming out, we can add these lines to drag the smoke from where it came, like this. All right, then we can play this before we start going any further. It's moving up really fast right now. But we're going to slow this on the next frame. Now I'm going to add the little smoke clouds here. To give the smoke force you can bend it like this so you feel the force going like this. We can also cut into the smoke like this. Right, so I'm not going to shade this smoke now, I'm going to go ahead and do a few more frames before I add the highlights. You don't have to watch me sitting clean this up. Okay, so for this drawing, the smoke is going out of frame now on this edge here. I'm going to throw this cloud. I'm going to slow in these strokes here. I'm going to say making it a lot smaller. I'm also going to think about starting to break up the cloud. The smoke here will start rolling over the edge here. Okay, so let's play this and see how it's looking. Okay, so I guess I'm going to draw the next frame now. On this edge over here, I'm going to keep on looking at where the smoke was before. Slow it in even more, I'm going to start dissipating it. I'm breaking up the cloud pretty fast now. On the side of this other smoke, don't forget to curl the smoke around following the force of the impact. All right, I'm going to keep on erasing this smoke out. All right, so here's a rough of the impact. I think when it hits here, it's probably following the onions skinning a bit too much. What I want to do is I'm just going move these smoke puffs here. I'm just going to move them a bit to the side like this. I'm using this pole here as a reference. But I still want to make sure that I'm following the onion [inaudible] a bit. All right, let's see how this feels. All right, so I'm going to go ahead and shade this smoke now and after that we're going to look at adding the trail to the skateboard. Here's the impact with the added highlights. Now I'm just going to add a final smoke to it behind the wheels. I'm going to do what I did in the beginning here, and just add this little smoke puffs coming behind. I'm going to think of them as a wave. I'm going to try to track them to the previous frame here, but also think about where they were before. But I don't want them to go behind where they were. I'm trying not to draw my smoke like this with a sharp edge. I want to get the wave motion, but I also want to get the motion of the smoke on the ground. Okay, so here's our finished smoke animation. I think it's looking pretty cool. Okay, so your final assignment for this course is to animate a smoke like this. Go ahead and use this footage if you want or you can find your own. Once you're done with your assignment, I'd like you to upload a GIF into the project folder. If you're not familiar with the animator and after effects workflow of compositing your animations. The easiest way to export a GIF is to download GIPHY Capture. Once you download a GIPHY Capture you just drag the window over and don't record too big of a GIF or it will be too big to post, to Skill Share. Then you select the area you want to record, and hit the red button. Once you're done, you double-click your GIF. Then you select the area you want to see. Down on your frame rates select high its only 23 frames we'll be missing one frame. But in this case it will have to do. Then click "Save as" and save you GIF. Here's your finished animation. All right, good luck with your assignment and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with. 10. Bonus! Smoke Shortcut : As a bonus, I'm going to show you how to animate a smoke trade and after effects. Here I have a composition that is 1,920 by 1,080 pixels and 24 frames per second. I'm going to start out by making a new solid like that, and then I'm going to go over to effects and preset and look for Particles Systems II. I'm going to apply that to my solid. Right now we're going to tweak this system here to create the smoke. First I'm going to change the particle type from line to a faded sphere, and down here I'm just going to make these white, like that. I'm going to lower the birth rate here, so we only get a few. Now we want to tighten these together, so to do that, we go into physics. Here I'm going to pull down their velocity, so now it's falling a lot tighter. Then I'm going to up the gravity a bit, like that, and I'm going to add a lot of resistance to slow it down. It's looking like this now. I'm also going to change the life of the particle, so we get a shorter trail, like that. In here you can select the size of your particles. I'm also going to tie them together their emitter here by changing the radius, like this. This is what it looks like now. I'm now going to just rotate this layer like that, and now I'm going to add some levels. That in levels I'm going to go to Alpha, and now I'm going to crush this together and you'll see what happens. Now we have a more flatter looking smoke. Then I'm just going to add a transform to this, and then with the transform, I'm going to skew it like that. If we don't want it to start up like this, we can take the layer and scooch it over like this. So now it's just going. Then as a final thing, I'm going to make a mask for the smoke. I'm going to draw a rectangle like halfway through, and then I'm going to mask it out like this. That was a really quick way to make a smoke trail. Hope you find this useful. 11. Conclusion: You're animating your first smoke. I really hope you found this class helpful, and as you know how to go about animating smoke now. So in this class we've covered what cell animation is, we've gone through how smoke behaves in real life, and we've animated our first few smoke puffs. We even animated a smoke fatal live action [inaudible] , and as a bonus, we've learned how to animate smoking and its effects. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with, so please post your work in a student project folder and keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming feedback video. Remember that this class is just a first in a series of cell effects classes, so make sure to follow me how SkillShare. I'll see you in the next one. 12. Personalized Feedback Pt.1: For the feedback video, I've chosen three student works to give more personalized feedback too. The first one I'm going take a look at is this one by Shuto Yamazaki. I think this one works really great. There's just some minor tweaks I would do to it, mainly regarding popping. I've imported this GIF into Animate CC. I have a layer on top here where I'm going to do my draw over. There's a few things that catches my eye on this one. Mainly it's the popping that is in this area right here. I also want to east these smaller smoke trails here, so they don't feel like they're following the smoke, but rather that they are staying and dissipating. I'm going to start by fixing some of the popping. There's a big pop right here where it pops into place and then stays and then pops again. I'm going to smooth that out a bit. I'm stepping back and forth here to see where I should put my drawing. I'm going to pull this one in a bit. Now this part here is flowing a lot better. I'm looking in this area right here. We also have a pop right here, which shoots out and then comes back. I'm going to east that quite a lot. I'm going to change the color here so we can see this a bit better. Here we've got a really fast movement coming out. I'm going to want to slow that down quite a bit. I'm going to smooth this out a bit here. I'm doing a really rough draw over here just to get the point across. Let's see how this looks. We still have a bit of a problem right here. There's a too big of a movement in between these two frames here. Then I'm going to pull this down a bit here. That's looking a bit smoother. We've got some issue up here. The smoke goes out here and then it goes in, so I'm going to keep the smoke out at this point here. That's looking at bit better. Now I'm just going to slow down these particles up here. The problem here is that it looks like they're following the smoke instead of dissipating. We need to make them stay in place for a bit to give the illusion of the smoke dissipating. I think it works pretty well in the first few frames here, but here, it looks like they're starting to follow the smoke this way. It's also important to vary the size as in how many of these particle you leave behind. If it's too even it'll look like this trailing here. What I would do is I would pick some random ones and keep them dissipating and I'll make a big one here. Then I'll east that won out in the same spot so it doesn't follow the smoke at all. Let's see how this beginning looks. I'm just going to do the same for the last part here. Let's see how this looks. That was just a quick way to smooth this one out a bit. Otherwise, this is a really good example of a smoke trail. 13. Personalized Feedback Pt.2: For the second draw over, I've chosen this smoke puff by Ajeet. With this one, I really like the smooth easer of the cloud, but we're missing the force of the stone hitting the ground, pushing the smoke out. I've imported the GIF in to animate. What we're missing here is this air pocket that gets created here as it hits the ground, and this should be forcing the smoke out and around. In this case, what I would do is I would probably go straight ahead and do something like this. Because the stone is really heavy, I'm going to make this smoke shoot out pretty fast. Then now I'm going to make it ease in really fast. I'm going to make these frames on the force so I don't have to draw all the frames here. I'd slowly make the smoke start dissipating here. So I'm breaking up the smoke cloud here. So here, we have a smoke puff that reacts to the stone. I'm just going to ease into this a bit more. I'm going to draw in this here dissipating. So that's a quick draw over of how I would improve this smoke. 14. Personalized Feedback Pt.3: All right, so for the third and final draw over, I've picked this gif by Muncie. Here we have a chimney smoke, and with this one there's a few things I'd like to fix. I have the gif right here, and I'm going to point out a few areas. All right. First of all, we have some strobing down here, and that's because we're not easing the smoke puffs coming into the major smoke cloud. We also got some pulping and wobbling in the smoke cloud itself. The smoke cloud goes down and then it pops back up again. The third and final thing is these smaller puffs breaking off from the main shape. All right. I've drawn over at the beginning of this cloud here so we can easily see what's wrong. If I turn on onion skinning and stepping here, we can spot the problem. First of all, we see right here that this line pops in and then back out again. Here I would move this line and put it in between here, and then we have this smoke puff here that just shows for one frame. We're going to want to ease that in, and same with this next one here. Then here we have a really big pop up here, and the important part with this smoke cloud is that they slow down the higher they get. We actually want to pull this down really far, because we're easing this out. For the next one, what we're going to do is same, and I'll pull this closer. Then we also have a big pop right here, and we also have some popping down here, and we have some popping here, and I'm going to continue to pull this in here. Now we have popping here, pushes out and then goes back in. I'm going to fix that. To make it a bit easier to see, I'm just going to turn off the original for a second here, and just go in and make sure that all the lines are in-between. It's really important to make sure that your lines are going smoothly in between here, or you will get this popping and boiling effect. Another beginning is moving a lot smoother. Let's take a look at these smaller puffs coming out from the cloud. The problem here, is that they're coming out a bit too fast and they're shooting downwards. The heat is making the smoke rise. We want to keep that main movement of the smoke rising. To fix this, first of all, I would make this a lot slower, and I would try to keep the movement going upwards, because if you shoot it down too fast, it won't really look like a smoke puff breaking off, but more like a piece of jelly. I will cut this off, and slowly ease it out. The problem with this one here, is that it's shooting outwards like this, when it should be going this way. Rather than going this way, it should go with the smoke. All right, that's a quick draw over of how we try to improve this, and here you can compare the original to the draw over. In general, it's really important to make your smoke feel really smooth. It's a very soft movement and you want to be very delicate on where you're putting the line, and make sure that you're always in between the first and the last frame when you place your lines. That's it for the feedback video. I really hope that this pinpoint on a few areas you might be struggling with. I really like seeing your work, so keep on posting in a community and I'll see you next time.