Animated Storytelling: Create an Emotive Animation in Procreate Dreams | Smitesh Mistry | Skillshare

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Animated Storytelling: Create an Emotive Animation in Procreate Dreams

teacher avatar Smitesh Mistry, Illustrator & Designer

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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

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Storyboard and Script


    • 3.

      Select a Sound


    • 4.

      Scene 1: Characters Enter


    • 5.

      Scene 2: Characters Interact


    • 6.

      Scene 3: Characters in Joy


    • 7.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Plan and execute an animated short from storyboarding to exporting your final animation with Procreate Dreams. 

As a multi-disciplinary creative, Smitesh Mistry loves exploring his creativity through different disciplines. From illustrator to videographer to animator to content creator, he has transferred his fun and abstract creative style to tons of different projects, platforms, and softwares—now that includes Procreate Dreams. You might already know Smitesh and his work from Instagram, TikTok, or his previous Skillshare classes, but now Smitesh is here to share how Procreate Dreams elevated his creativity, unlocked new stylistic opportunities, and helped bring new ideas to life through a brand new lens. 

Now Smitesh wants to share how you can use Procreate Dreams to explore new creative opportunities and fully produce an animated story with three distinct scenes. In this class, you’ll discover how to storyboard, develop your characters and story arc, add music to your animation, and create a final animation filled with organic movement and hand-drawn elements. 

With Smitesh by your side, you’ll:

  • Create a rough storyboard to establish your idea
  • Pair music with the emotion and ideas behind your story
  • Build out your characters and background
  • Use the Performing tool and effects like Gaussian blur and glow to complete your piece  

Plus, you’ll get a look into Smitesh’s workflow as he creates his own animated short from start to finish. 

Whether you’re a natural storyteller who wants to give animation a try or you’re an animator looking to dive into a more in-depth animation project in Procreate Dreams, you’ll leave this class with the ability to plan, execute, and export a fully animated story all in one app complete with unique characters, emotional scenes, and fun animated effects. 

No Procreate Dreams or animation experience is required to take this class. You’ll simply need your iPad and Apple Pencil. Previous experience with Procreate will help you in this class but isn’t necessary. To continue your Procreate Dreams animation journey, explore Smitesh’s full learning path. This class was filmed using Procreate Dreams 1.0.6.

Meet Your Teacher

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Smitesh Mistry

Illustrator & Designer

Top Teacher

Hey, I'm Smitesh Mistry a Graphic designer and Illustrator. I like to create content that is fun and abstract that conveys a message.

During the day i am at work designing all sorts for stuff from online to print, In my spare time I enjoy learning new skills, drawing or planning my next video for my youtube and instagram page.

I plan to make many more skillshare classes on how to get started in certain aspects of design for the beginner or the intermediate wanting to improve your skills.

If you'd like to find out more, please do 'follow' my Skillshare profile, and if enjoy my content and you've got ideas for classes that you'd find useful, drop me a message/email and I'll see what I can do

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Procreate Dreams has helped massively with my storytelling. With the ability to plan and execute a full story within one app, it's just game changing. For me, the best part about storytelling is being able to take your audience on a journey. Having them feel certain emotions as they're watching your work is very fulfilling. Hi, I'm Smitesh Mistry, a multi-disciplinary creative in videography, content creation, illustration, and animation. I like to use all the skills that I've picked up over the years as tools to help me with my creative voice. You may have seen my classes on Skillshare or some my illustration work on Instagram or some of my video content on TikTok. In today's class, we're going to be creating a story using Procreate Dreams. We're going to be using simple shapes as characters, and the story is going to be about friendship. Within this class, we're going to be starting off by creating a plan within Procreate Dreams, then choosing a sound to match the theme of our story. Then we'll be moving on to Scenes 1, 2, and 3, with each one exploring different emotions. We'll be using the performing tools to help us create organic motion, key frames, clipping masks, and also the drawer and paint function. Don't worry if you don't have any experience with procreate dreams or storytelling because in this class I'll be covering everything from the ground up. By the end of it, you would have animated your first story. Let's grab your iPad in your Stylus and let's get to it. 2. Storyboard and Script: Okay, so we're going to be starting off by creating a plan for this story. I'm going to run through a rough storyboard of what I want the animation to look like and feel like. Then after that, we'll run into actually creating the story. The main vision that I have for this story, like I've mentioned, the theme is friendship. Because of this, I want the characters in the story to end with friendship. But one thing I'd like to do is start with emotion and then try to end with the opposite, showing that the characters initial state has been resolved. In this case, we're going to be starting off with the character film Lonely, and then by the end, he's going to feel like he's got some sort of friendship. So the way I'm going to do this is initially we're going to have the character enter interact with some people get rejected and then he's going to feel quite lonely. We're going to introduce a second character, have them interact, create some sort of excitement and then they're going to come together at the end and become friends. Let's start off by planning out the story. I'm going to do each one frame by frame. Let's enter flip book mode, so for this first scene, I want the character because with this story he's going from being lonely to having friends. Let's start off for the first frame. I want the character coming in into frame. In this frame, there's going to be other characters there. I don't want it to be quite simple. The characters are just going to be simple shapes. We're going to represent different people with different shapes. Then one by one, he's going to go see the characters. Then they're going to leave the frame because they don't want to be his friend. Then we're just going to have the character in the middle of the frame just alone to convey this small character in a big space to help show that he's lonely and he's feeling sad. Now we're going to introduce a second character. Obviously, this is going to confuse the main character a little bit because he's expressed his interest in other people to make friends, but they've just moved away from him. He's obviously a bit hesitant. If someone comes near him, his character too, then both of these are going to be quite curious. Remember, this is just a rough plan. This is what's coming to mind of the type of story that I want to tell. Then I'm imagining after they've got used to each other, they're going to be excited and they're going to start playing. I'm going to be using the motion of the background, along with color and the motion of each character help convey the emotion of excitement. We're going to have fast motion of the background. Then we're going to have the two characters interacting and playing. Then we want to end with both the characters realizing that they want to be friends. Then to symbolize this, we're just going to have them joining together. Let's run through the frames that we just made. Okay, so we're going to be starting off with the character entering the frame. He's going to be expressing his interest to make friends, but they're all going to move away. Then we're going to have him in the center of the frame. We could even have him reducing in size to make the space around him feel even bigger, to help convey that he's lonely and he's isolated. Then we're going to have an introduction of a second character, But obviously, he'll be a bit hesitant because he's tried expressing his friendship before, but then now a new person's come near him, He's like not sure. Then he's going to go inspect, and then they're going to play, they're going to come together and then they're going to become one. This is the rough plan that I'd like for this story to have. He's going to start with the main character feeling lonely, going through a journey, and then ending with friendship. The main reason that I like to do this part before even creating or telling a story is I just want to get into the right mindset and really feel the emotions of this story. Don't worry if you can't draw, this is purely just to plan and visualize what you expect the story to look like. Okay, so now that we've roughly planned out what we want our story to look and feel like, in the next lesson we're going to be selecting sound. Then adjusting these frames to that sound just to get a better feel of what the story is going to look like. 3. Select a Sound: Now that we've planned in storyboarded what we're going to be creating, let's go in and choose the sound that I'll be using. I have gone ahead and inputted a sound into Procreate Dreams already. Let me play it for you just so you can have a listen and then I'm going to run through why I chose it, and where we're going to switch each scene. Now is going to imagine what the characters are doing. Right now, this is quite slow. Imagine the characters coming in, interacting with the last character and then he's like, oh, no one is my friend, cool. I might as well just sit here on my own. Then imagine a second character coming in now, oh, cool, who's this? Then he's like, oh, let me go explore, and then he's like, oh, cool, she's fun. Then it slows down, so I'm like, cool, they come to a rest and they're like, cool, let's be friends. Then they come together, and they join, and then that's the end of the story. Now that we've visualized and imagined what the story is going to look like through the sound, with the frames that we drew in the previous lesson, I'm going to expand them and change them where I feel like the emotion is changing. Let's just get into it. Let's start off with Frame 1. We said right now the character comes in, he's exploring each friendship, but he's just getting rejected. I'm going to fill it to the duration and then I'm just going to cut it, it'll be easier that way. So filter duration, and let's find whereabouts we want that to change. Right now he's exploring. Let's split that there. Delete that, and let's go back to the next frame. Let's include the character in this, just so we can see it a bit better. All the characters are leaving him. The character is moving around, exploring these friendships, and then these guys don't want to be his friend. Now he's like, cool, I'll just be on my own. Let's get the next frame. I'm just going to fill that to duration. Remember there was that slight peak in the sound where the second character comes in, cool, just there. I'm going to split the clip just before it. Now let's pick the frame where the second character comes in. What I'm going to do, I'm just going to put each of these frames on a new track just so it's easier. He's on his own, and then the second character is introduced. I'm imagining character coming in, then him being like, oh, who are you? I'm going to turn off the other layers until we get to it. Right now he's a bit curious. He's like, who are you? Then after he's comfortable, then they're going to go off and play. Let's turn on the next frame. I'm imagining them just moving around the frame quite freely, quite organically. The second character comes in, he's curious enough to be like, who are you? Then, they're going to play, moving around the screen quite freely. Let's turn on the next frame and then they come back together in the center, and then the end is one. Now I'm going to walk through and imagine just how it would feel. The music is quite slow right now, so starting off the character is going to be coming in and see all these other people around. He's is going to try to entertain here by going over, but then get rejected, so they're going to leave the frame. Then the main character is just going to be alone on his own. I think at this point I will want to reduce the scale of it, and then with the spike in the music, I want the second character come in, and the main character to be curious enough to see what's going on, and then he feels comfortable with her. Then they're going to have a little chase. Really try to create a form of excitement within the scene. A lot of motion with the background and the characters. Then after these, they're going to feel quite close to each other and want to become friends, and the way I'm symbolizing this is them coming together and really confiding in each other. Now that we've added sound and roughly planned out how we want this story to feel, in the next lesson, we're going to be creating Scene 1. 4. Scene 1: Characters Enter: For this scene, we're going to be starting off with our character coming into the frame. Let's start off by creating our character. I'm going to go on the drawer and paint tool. I'm going to use the Blackburn brush and the colors. For this, the color palette that I chose, I wanted the main two characters to be contrasting colors. So for the main character, I'm going to go for a blue to kind of imitate like lonely, sad. Then on a new track above it, I'm going to be adding in some texture. This will be clear later on in the class, because I'll be using the texture in there to help convey some emotion too. I'm going to select a darker color and then change my brush. Then holding on that layer, I'm just going to turn that into a clipping mask so it stays within the main shape that we created. Then I'm just going to group those two together. Perfect. Let's rename him. Deselect timeline edit, rename, and we'll call him character 1. Then we'll just change color to blue. There we go. Let's zoom out a bit and then let's just extend this content. There we've got a character. Now what we're going to be doing is using the performing tool to bring him into frame and then having him move around the frame. Let's start off by moving him out of frame first. Like in the way that we planned it, we did have characters in the scene at the time. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to just play around with the motion of the first character just to get a feel of how I want the character to move around the frame, and then I'll introduce the characters. I'm just going to press the performing tool, zoom out a bit on my timeline, and then I'm just going to gradually bring him in. Like I said in the plan, I'm imagining the character coming in, interacting with a few people, and then realizing that no one wants to be his friend, and then just come back to the center. So let's watch that back. Perfect. One thing I do want to do is, I want to turn on a bit of motion smoothing. I'm just going to undo that keyframe that I did. I'm going to go onto the performing tool. Up here on Modify, I'm just going to add a bit of motion filtering just to smooth out the motion just a little bit. Let's try that one more time. The good thing with the performing tool is it doesn't start recording keyframes until your stylus interacts with the screen, which is nice. Let's watch that back. Stop the performing. I'm really using the sound to help move the character around. Perfect. Now that we know where the character is going to be going, it's like far left, below, and then to the top of the frame. So now we can go in and add our characters. I've already prepared a few of these characters, so let's just drag them into frame. What I'm going to be doing is just adding a little bit of motion to each of these characters, almost like they're floating. Some I'm just going to do this by just moving my stylus around ever so slightly. You want to create some form of hesitation initially, and then for the characters to retreat as if he's been rejected. Let's do the same for the other characters too. I'm just selecting the track to watch that back. Perfect. Let's do the same for the final character. To press the performing tool, and let's add a little float. Let's watch that back now. The great thing I like about the performing tool is that you can match the rhythm of your audio to your movement. As you saw with mine, as I was moving the characters out of the frame, or even the main character into frame, I was slowly bringing him in, and then as he moved towards a character, I sped up my movement matching the flow of the song. Now that the character has tried to interact with different people and is now realizing it's quite lonely, I'm going to exaggerate this by playing with the hue and the saturation of the character. So I'm going to go through and listen to it just to see where I feel it will work, because remember, I need to wait for that spike for when the second character comes in. Perfect. Around here. For me, it's around 26, 27 seconds. By then, I want the character to be smaller in size but also desaturated. First, I'm just going to perform a bit more motion, just so it looks like it's still floating. Gradually reducing my motion. Perfect. It's around there. Now let's go in and desaturate the character. I'm going to put the playhead to where I want it to desaturate, tap on the playhead, filter, and then HSB. I just want to create a keyframe there, and then let's desaturate him. Let's just see what that looks like. I want that to start a little bit earlier, so I'm just going to drag the first keyframe by holding and then just drag it a little bit earlier. Perfect. Now for the scale like I mentioned, so I'm just going to go in and reduce the scale so it matches to where I added the hue keyframes. Perfect. Now to add a bit of life to each of these shapes to make them look like characters, I'm just going to add a little rotation keyframes to all of them just so they look like the are interacting with each other. I will be using the performing tool again for this. Let's go over to the main character first. Let's make sure the anchor point is in the center, and using the performing tool. As I'm watching and listening to it back, I'm just going to be doing the motion of the rotation as I feel. Let's watch that back, so wanting to look like the characters actually facing these people as he interacts with them. Then reducing the speed of which I rotate to help add to the sad and loneliness. Now that we've animated the first scene, where we've got the character coming in, interacting with other characters, and then realizing it's quite lonely. In the next lesson, we're going to be introducing this character 2, and then we're going to explore excitement. 5. Scene 2: Characters Interact: Building upon scene 1. In scene 2, we're going to be creating some form of excitement. First, let's start off by introducing the character 2. This character, I wanted to make sure she was a circle as well. I just wanted to change the outside of it, so I use a different brush to create this character. Now I'm going to be listening to where I want the character to be introduced into the scene. I'm just seeing where I think just before, this is like here because I want the first character coming to the second character when the sound peaks a little bit. Before that part of the audio, I need to make sure the character comes back to the center again. Let's introduce the second character now, so I'm just going to tap, move, move, and scale. Then I'm going to introduce using the performing tool. With this, it is a matter of just playing around and having a feel for where the introduction of character 2 works best. I'm happy with that. Now let's animate character 1. When the track comes back in, that's when I want the second character to be introduced and the first character to be a bit wary and move away from the second character. I'm going to put the play ahead back onto the group and make sure the performing tool selected and let us listen to it through to really imagine what the motion would look like. It's curious, so it's like perfect. Now that we've played with a motion, I want to re saturate character 1 just to show some form of like, who is excited. When he realizes this new character isn't a threat, I'm going to saturate the character back again. Now that we've got both characters in the frame, now I want to create some form of excitement of both characters almost chasing each other through the frame. I'm going to start off with character one first. Again, the motion that I'll be doing will be following the flows of the music. Let's do the same for the second character to almost create like they're chasing each other. Press the performing tool and then again just try follow and follow the music. To add the excitement that we've created, we're going to be adding a moving background and we're going to be changing the scale and the clips itself to make it look like they're rotating around each other. Let's start with the background first. Let's select to track below the main character, but above the background. Then I'm going to go on the draw and paint tool. With this, I'd like to turn the stage sideways just so it gives me more real estate either side to draw rooms to the backstage, I'm going to be using the colors of the character. It's changed to blue now. It's had a bit of both, because what I want to create with this background is their friendship forming. That's why I'm using their colors. Starts off quite light on the edges. Closer they get to the middle, just a bit darker. Then I'm just going to finish off with some white. One last trick that I'd like to do is just in the center, I'm going to add using the smudge tool just to make it look like there's a motion blur. Now that we've got a background, let's move it to the start position. I want it to start around here just as they start dancing or chasing each other. I'm going to find the frame I drew on hold and then fill duration. Then I'm going to start the track around there, and then deselect the drawer and paint tool move the track, so I'm going to start this background at the top. Then there's a key frame that by going to move, moving on scale and then let's drag it to get the finish. Add another key frame there, and let's drag the background all the way to the top. Let's set the easing to ease in and ease out, let's just see what that looks like. The way I illustrate it, I think it's slightly one key. I'm just going to use some more key frames to make sure it stays straight. There's two things I want to do now. One of them is add a scale to either character to make it look like they're going around each other. Then secondly, I want the background to go from dark gray to a off white. Just before they start dancing, I want to start the keyframe there. By the time they get to the end of it, the background has changed as well. I'm going to add a keyframe there. Then by the time we come to the end, I want the background to have changed. Let's go in and let's play around with the scale using the performing tool of both characters, so I'm going to select character 1 first, go into the key frames and then click on performing. Then as the character is moving around us, I'm just going to scale in and out. One thing I want to do is as scale character 1 up on a scale, character 2 down as if they're rotating around each other. Let's watch that back. Right now it just looks like they're overlaying each other. One trick I like to do is to duplicate the first layer, put that above. Then on the parts where I want the first character to be in front of the second character, I'll just make sure that's visible on the track. But one thing I want to do before that is I want to change the hue of the texture within character 1 looks at, the moment it's the dark blue. But through this journey of excitement and chase, I want the cold to go from a dark blue to match the color of character 2. Let's select the texture layer and let's add a HSB key frame. I've put one there, and then let's go to the end, and let's change the color of the blue to red. If you watch that back. What I wanted to do with this scene was to create some excitement through a chase, but at the same time having two people, or two characters who seem like strangers initially after they've gone through this exciting little chase feel connected. Which is why I changed the hue of the characters 1 texture to match characters 2 to almost emulate what it feels like to be connected. Like I mentioned before, a way to create a depth within this animation. I'm going to be having them rotate around each other 'cause right now they're just overlapping each other, so let me show you how I do that. With character 1 I'm going to duplicate it and then put it on top of character 2. Let's find where I wanted it to overlap. Let's split this here. Whenever character 1 is small, I don't want that to be there. I'll be clipping it just so the red characters on top. Then when I want the blue one back on top again, just make sure that track is visible just here. I want it to switch behind the red, so let's split the clip and then it goes behind the red and then comes back in front, just there. Let's split the clip again, then delete the middle and let's just see what that looks like. Perfect, so let's just do that for the rest of it. I'll spend some time playing around with the animation. Let me show you what I've got. Perfect. In the next lesson, we're going to be wrapping up this whole story by having them come together and unite. 6. Scene 3: Characters in Joy: Moving on from Scene 2. In Scene 3, I want both the characters to be coming together. What I'm going to be doing is just listing out for where I feel best that the characters should come together. Perfect. What I'm going to do is just move Character 1 and 2 gradually to the center using the performing tool, and then do the same for Character 2. Then let's add a slight rotation too. Then as they come together, I just want to split both the clips. Now on a new track, let's make a new character. Let's only use essence of both of the characters. So only use the outline of character two and then the insides of Character 1. Let's extend this content just to fill the duration. Let's position it in the right place, just where the previous two characters were. Then on the track above, I'm just going to add a new track, add the texture, and then turn it into a clipping mask. As you've realized, I've changed the color of the main character, so now the base is red and then having the blue texture on the inside to show that above come together and connected. Let's fill that to duration. Let's turn that into a clipping mask. Let's just group these two together. Now what I want to do is want to create a glowing effect as the two characters come together, so with a separate let's add a glow with a soft brush. I've just selected the soft brush, selecting a white, and I'm just going to draw a circle in the middle. I want the glow to appear as the two characters are coming together. Let's split that so it ends just so the new character can show through. Now let's go in and add a few scale key frames. So it starts as small and the center, it's the biggest between the transition and then it ends small again. I'm going to go to the middle, add a keyframe there, then go to the start, and let's reduce the size. And then same for the end, now we just have to move just as the middle. Then let's add a Gaussian blur and opacity keyframe too, so in the center on it to be at full opacity. So on filter opacity, and then let's drop the beginning to zero, and then let's end it on 02. Then let's add a Gaussian blur too. What we can do is we can change the len mode of the glow to add. I've just added the glow, let's just play it back and let's just see what it looks like. Perfect. What we're going to do is add some motion to our final character. Let's select it, use the performing tool, and let's just have it floating initially and then somebody moving around a little and then come to a stop. Now what I'm going to do is add a glowing effect to the final character. So I'm going to duplicate the layer, put it below the tract, and then I'm going to add a Gaussian blur, and then I'm going to perform the blur as it's moving. Let's hold the content duplicate. Let's drag that underneath it. Let's add a blur, filter, Gaussian blur. So I'm going to put on about 3% at the moment. Then let's perform the rest. Now if we watch our back, it will look like the character is pulsing. Then to end off, let's just add a rotation to the main character. Let's click the performing tool. Beautiful. Now let's watch back the full story that we just animated. We've got Character 1 entering. It's a bit unsure and it's like, let me try and make some friends. He tries a triangle. Triangle does not want to be his friend. Tries with the semicircle. No. Then he's like, maybe I try to square. Nobody wants to be my friend. I might as well to stay here all alone by myself feeling sad. Then, who's this? New character enters pulling away, so I'm a bit curious. [inaudible] okay, let me go closer. The change in color was to represent him being alive again. Then they've interacted, he trusts her so playing around, chasing, getting some excitement. The reason to change the color of his texture was to show that he's connected and he feels safe, and then to become one. 7. Final Thoughts: Congratulations, you just completed your first animated story within Procreate Dreams. You learn a lot in this class. From planning initially to using the performing tool to really help capture the emotion and the movement of your characters, and then finishing off by having the two characters come together with a slight glowing transition. The thing I really like about in Procreate Dreams when it comes to creating a animated story is the performing tool. Having the ability to use your own movement and capture that into the animation that you're making. For me, it has just been revolutionary, and then being able to go in, alter those keyframes, and even add key frames as rotations, the colors. Just being able to really dial in the emotion and the mood that you're trying to create. I'm really excited to see what stories you've animated. Please do share them below in the project gallery. I can't wait to see them.