Intro to 2D Animation: Frame-by-Frame for Beginners | Jack Grayson | Skillshare

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Intro to 2D Animation: Frame-by-Frame for Beginners

teacher avatar Jack Grayson, Animator & Illustrator

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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.

      The Basics - Navigating Your Software


    • 3.

      Planning Your Movement - Extreme Drawings


    • 4.

      Making it Look Real - Breakdowns


    • 5.

      Filling in the Gaps - Inbetweens


    • 6.

      Smooth as Butter - Easing


    • 7.

      Finishing Touches - Colouring,Looping & Exporting


    • 8.

      You did it!


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About This Class

In this Skillshare class you will learn the basics of 2D frame-by-frame animation and animation in
general. Classes will cover the fundamental ideas of animation including key topics such as frame
rates and navigating the software we will be using; Adobe Animate CC!

As the lessons progress, we will delve further into techniques that are used to create 2D animations,
including extreme drawings, breakdown drawings and inbetweening. You will learn what these terms
mean, and how these steps can be used and manipulated to create exciting and unique animations
using your own characters!

For your class project, we will work on a short 2-3 second animation of your own original character
smiling and giving you a wave. Through doing this, we will cover all of the basics you need to know
to get started on your very own animations!

This class is geared towards illustrators and designers with little to no experience with animation
who are interested in getting into 2D animation and turning their illustrated characters into living,
breathing creations! It will also serve as a great refresher for those with some prior animation
experience who are looking to brush up on their fundamental skills.

Very little prior knowledge or experience is required, however, some recommended skills are:
- Ability to illustrate characters
- Experience drawing digitally

This class will be taught in Adobe Animate CC, so you will require access to this program. It is part of
the Adobe Creative Cloud, so if you already have a subscription to this you will have access to
download the most recent version of Adobe Animate CC. Alternatively, if you do not have a
subscription to Adobe CC, you can download a trial version here:
Another useful bit of software for this class is SWIVEL, a free software available form

I can’t wait to get started with you!

- Jack

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jack Grayson

Animator & Illustrator


Hi! My name is Jack Grayson, I'm an animator and illustrator from Melbourne, Australia. I've been animating for 7 years, specialising in 2D animation and stop motion animation, and am currently working as lead animator at independant creative studio Sad Man Studio!

In 2019, I graduated from RMIT university with a Bachelor's degree in Animation and Interactive media, and have since continued to expand my knowlege and understanding of animation in many forms through online courses and education tools.
I've had the pleasure of working with some great clients such as Adult Swim, Canon, the Man Cave and more.

Storytelling is my biggest passion, and being able to do it through drawing using characters and worlds of my own creation is a dream come true, and I can't w... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Hello!: Hi there. Welcome to "Intro to 2 D animation". My name is Jack Grayson, and I'll be your teacher. I'm a 22 years old animator and illustrator from Australia. I've been animating for about the past six years. I have a specific focus on 2 D hand-drawn frame-by-frame animation and stop motion work. Over the past two years, I've created about half a dozen short films and about 40 other short animations, loops, and projects. Storytelling is a massive passion of mine, and it always has been ever since I was a young kid. I would spend every waking moment filling sketchbooks and notepads with all kinds of little drawings and stories and comics and just anything I could come up with, really. And doing that just about every day has led me into animation, and I love animation. It let's you create all kinds of worlds, stories, and characters that would be very difficult to do in any other format. It allows for all kinds of visually unique and fun projects from all over the world. And I think that's incredible. Now, if you don't know anything about animation, don't stress, this class is actually kind of geared towards you. This class is aimed at absolute beginners. It's for illustrators, graphic designers, or artists who want to get into 2 D animation, but have never done it before. But it could also be good for people with that intermediate level who were looking to brush up on those fundamental skills. We're going to start with the basics, looking at things like frame rates and aspect ratios before we dive headfirst into animation concepts like extremes, write down drawings in-between and clean-ups. These things really form the building blocks of just about every kind of animation. But we're specifically going to be looking at it in the context of hand-drawn, frame-by-frame 2 D animation. For your class project, we're going to work together on a short little 2-3 second animation of one of your characters waving at us. And that's the best part. We're not going to use any set character model or character shape. We're going to use your characters. So if you have your own original character, that'll be absolutely perfect for this class. If you don't, you can design one. If you don't know where to get started there, there are plenty of classes here on Skillshare that can help you with those first steps of basic character design. And for this project, we're going to be animating in Adobe Animate CC. Through this, you'll learn all the skills you need to further develop yourself as an animator. You'll have all the tools you need to create your own short stories, advertisements, or personal projects of any kind. I'm so excited. You've chosen to take this class and I can't wait to see what you create. Let's get started. 2. The Basics - Navigating Your Software: We're going to start really simple. This class is going to be taught within Adobe Animate CC, which is included as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud. Now if you don't already have a copy of this program, that's okay. If you already have a subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud, you can download it directly from their desktop app. Otherwise, you can download a trial version and use the program from there, and you can find the link to download that trial version, after the description of this class. Once you have your copy of Adobe Animate ready to go, let's booted up and take a look at how it works. I'm creating my project in the 20-20 version of Adobe Animate CC. At the time of this recording, this is the most recent version of the program. When you open this version of Animate you will meet with this welcome screen, head over to the left-hand side and hit Create New. In this panel, there are a lot of preset options that you can explore to help you set up your files. We're going to take a look at the details on the right-hand side of this panel. Here, you can manually adjust settings such as your aspect ratio and frame, rate. But hang on, Let's slow down a second, and go through what those things mean. an Aspect ratio is just two numbers that represent the width and height of the stage that you're working on. Now the most common aspect ratio is 16 by 9, which essentially means that it's 16 units wide and nine units high. This is the ratio of things like computers screens, phones, TVs, all of the stuff that we watch most of our content on. 16 by 9 ratios include things like 1080p, 720p, 480, 420p, ecetera. The measurements of a standard high-definition aspect ratio was 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. Hence, for the term 1920 by 1080 comes around. Other common aspect ratios include a square, which is a 1:1, which is what you see on Instagram normally, there's also a 3:2, 4:3 the list really goes on. The aspect ratio of the file that you work in can really be whatever size you want. But there are common parameters that people tend to stick to. For our project, we're going to be working in that square 1:1 aspect ratio. That way it'll be perfect for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, all of these social media. We want to make the size of stage 1080 by 1080 pixels. So go ahead and change your files to that. Now let's talk about frames per second or frame rates. It's a fairly simple concept, that's basically a number that represents how many images appear per second. For example, if you're working at 24 frames per second, that means it's going to be 24 images that appear every second in your video file. Some common frame rates include numbers like 12,24,25,30, and 60. For our project, we're going to be working at 24 frames a second. So go ahead and change all your files to that. Now that's my preference. It's mostly because I'm bad at Math, and being an even number, it makes doing calculations pretty easy. But lots of people like to use lots of different frame rates, and it's absolutely something that is worth exploring, so that you can find your own preference. But for this class, we're going to stick with 24. Now there are some tricks to this, say you're working on 24 frames per second, doesn't necessarily mean that there are 24 different drawings every second. The first technique I want to teach you about is something I call 1's, 2's and 3's That number represents how often you do a new drawing. If you're working on 1's, it means that you are doing a new drawing every one frame. For the one on 2s, It's a new drawing every two frames, 3's. It's a new drawing every three frames, ecetera. The idea behind this is basically, the lower the number, the smoother your animation. Someone who worked on 1's a lot was legendary Animator Richard Williams. He was notoriously meticulous with his workings, and went to great efforts to make sure that all of his animation was as good as it possibly could in this clip, every single frame is a brand new drawing. An example of someone who works on 2's is me. I do all of my animation in 2's, because I find that still creates a nice smooth movement. But it's half the work. It's a technique that I use to rise the efficiency of my production. A key example of people that would often work on 3's is found on Animate. This is an example from the ruto, and in this clip there was only a new drawing every third frame, you can answer really particular style, it's kind of choppy, it's kind of loose, but it's really great for efficiency, which is what animate production always needs. Personally, I'd recommend that you work on 2's. 1's look beautifully smooth, but if you try to make a whole production like that, it will kill you. There were absolutely terms, where it's appropriate and necessary to use 1's, but I'll cover that in another class so now that we've covered that, Lets keep looking at Adobe Animate. The only thing we have left to do to set up how file is, make sure this box at the bottom is set to action-script three. Once you've done that, hit create and Animate will generate your file. Before we go through some of these panels, I want to quickly talk about workspaces. This is my personal workspace. It's one that I've worked out over time that works perfectly for me. It's got all of the tools in Windows that I need ready to go at clicks notice , Now if this is your first time working in Adobe Animate, you'll notice that this isn't the default workspace, and that's okay. You don't have to work in the same workspaces as me. However, might be easier to follow the rest of this class if you set yours out the same way that I have. Adobe Animate offers a lot of options as far as default workspace is going. My workspace is very similar to the essentials one. However, if your program is set to a workspace like Animator or Classic, it'll look very different. If you want to adjust your workspace, feel free to pause the class and do it now, the key Windows I have opened, that you'll need for this class are properties, library tools, and timeline. To reiterate, you don't have to work in the same workspaces as I do. A lot of people have a lot of different preferences of how they lay out their programs and you should absolutely figure out something that works for you. But let's keep going. The first panel I want to look at is called properties. This panel gives you a lot of options to adjust things like your files, publish settings and the document settings that we just talked about. You can also change the settings of tools you have selected or frames or objects in the stage. Feel free to explore these if you'd like, and get acquainted with how they affect your file and animations. Next, we'll look at the tools panel, which in my workspace is to the right of the Properties panel. Here you'll find all of the different tools you need to use Adobe Animate. Almost every tool in Animate has its own dedicated short cut on the keyboard. Some of the key tools that I use, and the shortcuts are the Brush tool, which is B, the Bucket tool, K, the Lasso Tool, L, the Selection tool, V, the Free transform tool, Q, the Move tool, which is the space-bar, the Eraser tool, E, the Zoom tool which is Z, or you can hold Alt to zoom out. And the Color picker, which is I. I'm not expecting you to memorize these. Feel free to take some notes or even refer back to the video later if you need to. Next, I want to look at the timeline. This is where all the magic happens. On the left-hand side of this panel is the Layers menu, this is where all of the different layers of your animation are listed. Here, we have the buttons to create a new layer, to create a new folder, or delete an existing layer. The logic part on the right-hand side is the timeline itself. It's made up of a long line of rectangles, all of which represent individual frames. When a frame has a drawing in it, it appears gray. A rectangle with a circle at the bottom of it is a key-frame. Now the difference between frames and key-frames is that frames are exact duplicates of continuations of what came before them. Whereas a key-frame allows you to create a whole new drawing or edit an old one without affecting any of the previous frames. There are a few shortcuts that are relevant to the timeline and creating new frames and key-frames. Pressing F7 will create a new blank Key-frame in your timeline. Pressing F6 will create duplicate key-frame in your timeline. Doing this will allow you to edit existing drawings without affecting the previous frames and to extend a drawing further down the timeline, you simply click on way you want it to go, and press F5. Holding shift before you press F5 or F6 will inverse them, allowing you to remove a key-frame by pressing Shift F6 or remove frames altogether by pressing Shift F5. If you want to preview your animation, you press Enter to play the timeline. That covers everything you need to know about Adobe Animate to do the project for this class, let's get animating. 3. Planning Your Movement - Extreme Drawings: So, now that you know your way around Adobe animate a little bit, let's get started with the first step of animation extremes. Now as I mentioned in the introduction at project, is to animate one of that character is waving at us and that's a fairly simple movement and extremes are pretty simple as well. They're the furthest points of the movement, or the most extreme parts of it. For example, if you were to animate a character throwing a ball, the extremes of that movement would be, the the arm being back and then the arm being forward, after they've thrown it. So for our project, the extremes are our characters sounds being down, and then up, and then every point of the wave after that. It's not quite that simple though. it's not just a straight up and then wave, because that's a little bit of awkward. If you were to wave to one of your friends, you wouldn't raise your arm up wait a second and then start waving. You lift into the wave and then keep going from there. So that's what we're going do. So like I said, at first extreme is the arm being down. But then we're going to listen to the first point of that wave and go from there. My number one tip of figuring out the extremes of your movements, is to always act them out before you start animating. It might feel a bit silly at first, but trust me, you'll get used to it. So let's get animating. You can see here in my file I already have the body of my character drawn in on a layer called body. We're gonna draw the waving on with that character on a separate layer. So I've left a gap in the shoulder for the arm to slot into. I've also left out the color in this drawing because we're going to cover that in a later lesson. So for now, we're just going to work with line work. So go ahead and call your first layer body and draw your characters body, head and left on this Layer. When I'm drawing with the brush tool and animate, I like to make sure I have pressure sensitivity turned on. The icon for this appears as a pen with a ripple around it. Having this on allows you to draw with a lot of nice line light variation in your outlook. You don't have to use it though. It's entirely up to your taste and the style that you drawing. Another key tip for drawing with the brush tool and animate, is to make sure you don't have object drawing mode turned on. The icon for this appears as a circle with a square around it and it can cause a lot of problems if it's turned on once we start coloring, so make sure it's switched off while you draw. Once you've done that, we won't need to use this life for a while. So make sure you hit lock, so that you're not drawing on the wrong line of When we start animating. Create another new layer, and call this one arm. We're going to draw the first pose of that arm on frame number one. This is the extreme of their characters arm being down. So go ahead and draw that. Once you've done that, click ahead to frame three and press F7 on the keyboard. Doing this will create a new blank key frame, which will mean that your first drawing only last for two frames, which is exactly what we want. Then click ahead to frame 17 and press F6 to create another keyframe. In this frame, we're going to draw a second extreme of that character's hand being in the first point of the wave. Before we do that though, we're going to turn on a tool called Onion Skin, which can be found at the top of the timeline panel here. But hang on. What is onion skinning? It's one of the most useful tools in the world of animation. It allows you to see a slightly transparent version of the drawing before and after the frame that you're currently working on. It's an essential tool for making sure that your drawings line up perfectly throughout your animation. You can quickly adjust the range of your onion skin by dragging the tabs on either side of the play head further down the timeline to the point that you need. So let's drag out onion skin back to frame one so we can see exactly where our characters arm sits at the stop.We need to make sure we can also see our characters body throughout the animation. So extend your body drawing by clicking on frame 17 and pressing F5. We can then use this as a guide to make sure the shoulder of that character lines up in frame 17. Remember to expand your drawing to two frames using F7. We're going to leave six frames in between each point of the wave. So draw the next point on frame 25. And make sure you keep extending your body drawing as you go. Then, because the hand is moving back to the same spot, we can copy out drawing on frame 17 and paste it on frame 33. These two points are all we need for now. So I don't add in anymore extremes yet. We'll talk about extending the wave in a later lesson. Now, this timing might not turn out to be exactly what you like and that's fine. It's timing that I like, but it might not match your taste and that's okay. We'll stick with it throughout this class though and if you want to play with it at the end, absolutely feel free to. But let's recap extremes are the first step in the animation process. They are furthest points of any movement, and it's often best to act them out before you start animating. For our project, the extremes are beyond being down, beyond being up in that first of the wave and then every point of the wave following them. For the timing that we're working on, those key frames lie on frame 1, 17, 25 and 33 and that's it for extremes, they fairly simple, but they're super important. Let's move on to my next step. 4. Making it Look Real - Breakdowns: Now we're getting a little bit of fancy. The next step in my animation processes, adding what we call breakdown forms. It Is often also referred to as secondary actions. They really make movements look realistic when people move, not every part of them moves at the same time, shoulders are connected to arms, are connected to hands, and connected to fingers. So when we move, depending on which part of this is leading the movement, everything else kinda gets dragged along for the ride. This creates a delay or a lag in some parts of the body or a secondary action. So for example, if a movement was to be led by the elbow, the hand, would lag behind, and then catch up later. Breaking down these subtleties in your animation can really make your movements look convincing, in the context of our project the movement is being led by the arm and so the hand is the pod is going to lag behind. If we take a look at that timeline, I usually like to put my breakdown during smack bang in the middle of my extremes. So with our animation they would fall on frame 9, 21 and 29. Remember when setting up your key frames to move two frames forward and press F seven again, so that your drawings only last two frames. Just like we did when drawing out extremes, we're gonna use the onion skin tool as a guide to help us figure out exactly where to place our break down drawings. If we look at frame nine, this is the exact middle point of when characters arm is being raised. So we need to draw the arm right in the middle of our two extreme drawings. Just as I explained, the hand is lagging behind. It needs to be pointing closer to our first extreme as if it's being dragged along by the arm. Once you've done that, we'll move forward to frame 21, just like frame nine, this frame is smack bang in the middle of the movement of our character waving. So once again, the arm needs to be right in the middle of our two extreme drawings. Just like in in our first, breakdown drawing, the hand is lagging behind. Again, it needs to be pointing closer to the first extreme as if it's being dragged along by the movement. Repeat this again in frame 29, and that's our break down drawings finished. When you're drawing this last right down, depending on your character design, you can potentially copy the arm drawing straight from frame 21 as the arm will once again be right in the middle of your two extremes of the wave. You just need to redraw the hand. Again, making sure it's pointed towards the previous extreme, as it's dragged through the movement. This is what I've done in my project, and reusing parts of drawings like this as a great way to save time in the animation process. So let's break down what we just talked about. Breakdown drawings are the second step in the animation process, and they help you movements look realistic. They're also referred to as secondary actions. The term breakdown is used to describe a movement in which one part of the body is lagging behind another. In the context of our project, the movements are being led by the arm, and therefore the hand, is the part that lags behind. With the timing that we're working with these breakdown drawings, land on the frame 9, frame 21, and frame 29. They're drawn to make it look like the hand is being dragged along by the arm. That's it for this lesson. So let's keep moving. 5. Filling in the Gaps - Inbetweens: An in-between is exactly what it sounds like. They are drawings that sit in-between your extremes and your breakdowns. Now, I'm not going to lie to you, In between are notoriously the most tedious part of the animation process to the step where we finished the more creative side of things and we are just working to finish it off. However, I personally also find it to be one of the most satisfying parts of the whole process. It's the part where you get to see everything come together and see all of your movements fully fleshed out in their final form. Let's dive back into that project. For this lesson, we're just going to focus on the segment at the start where our characters raise there arm. We'll finish the rest in our next lesson. We have a six frame gap on either side of our first break down drawing. The first thing we need to do is create two new blank key-frames on frame five and frame seven. As you can see, that leaves us with three NDK frames that we need to fill with in between. The easiest way to work out your in between is start from the middle and work your way up. We're going to start with our drawing on frame five. Turn on your onion skin tool again and adjust the range so that you can see your first extreme and break down drawing, and just as the name implies, we are going to draw right in-between these two drawings. The arm is fairly straightforward as it'll sit dead center between the two arm's you've already drawn. Once you've done this, you're left with two more blank drawings on either side of this in-between in frame three and frame seven. Follow the same process to fill in these drawings between the extreme and the in-between, and the in-between and the breakdown. You need to make sure you pay attention to the movement of the hand. As we discussed in the breakdown phase, the hand lags behind the arm. As well as the position of the hand, you need to make sure the rotation of it is also halfway between what it is in the extreme and the breakdown. For the section after the break down, we're going to do something a little different. Rather than placing our first in-between in the middle, we're going to instead place it directly after the breakdown on frame 11. We'll then continue to fill this gap by placing out in between one after the other until we reach the next extreme, with each drawing being right in the middle of the drawing before and after it. Make sure you adjust your onion skin as you go so that you can save the drawings as you need to. Now by doing this, we're creating an effect that's called easing. What is easing? I'm glad you asked. 6. Smooth as Butter - Easing: When you're working on your Inbetweens, there is a technique that you can implement that adds a whole new level of smoothness and authenticity to your movements and it's called Easing. When people move, we usually don't move at completely consistent speeds; we usually ease slowly into movements or settle slowly out of them. Sometimes it's really subtle, but it's almost always the case, especially when it comes to animation. Easing is an important step in making sure that your movements look human. Without it, things can start to look a little bit robotic, and not in a good way. Even if you are animating a robot, I definitely recommend you try to implement easing wherever you can. So let's see how easing fits into our project. Since we've already tackled the first section of the animation, we're going to pay attention to the last part of our project where the character is waving. Now like I said, Easing happens to the beginning and the end of a movement. Our wave needs to start slow, which is called Easing In, and move faster in the middle and then end slow, which is called Easing Out. There are two ways to ease: first, is by adding more drawings to a movement, extending the amount of time that it goes for. This will make your movements look slower but that will also take longer. The second way to ease is by changing the distance between your drawings when you draw them. This means that the timing of your movements doesn't change. Instead, the distance between some drawings is greater than others, so they appear to be moving faster. For our project, we're going to be using that second approach. Now in our timeline, we already have the breakdown drawings of our wave. This is the part of our movement that needs to move faster. On either side of this, we want to draw the arm moving slowly out of the extreme, quickly through the breakdown and then slowly into the extreme again. To do this, we need to draw these Inbetweens closer to the extremes. This way, there is less distance to the extreme and more distance to the breakdown, and since these drawings take up the same amount of space on the timeline, the movement for the breakdown looks a lot faster. Make sure you draw these eased Inbetweens on either side of the breakdown and do it for both parts of the wave. Keep in mind that for this project while you're drawing your eased Inbetweens, you need to make sure that they're positioned closer to the extremes. Now this doesn't just mean drawing close to the previous drawing, which is seen as blue in the Onionskin. This is only the case if you're animating the movement into the wave. If you are drawing these Inbetweens which are located on frames 19 and 27, then the extreme will come before the frame that you're currently working on. In this case, your extreme will appear as blue in the Onionskin, so you need to draw your Inbetween closer to the blue drawing. However, if you're animating the movement out of the Wave on frames 23 or 31, the extreme will come after the frame that you're currently working on. This will mean that it appears as green in the Onionskin, so you need to draw your Inbetween closer to the green drawing. Let's recap everything we now know about Inbetweening and Easing. Inbetweens are exactly what they sound like; they are the drawings that sit in the middle of your extremes and your breakdown drawings. The easiest way to do your Inbetweens is to start from the middle and work your way back out to your extreme and breakdowns. Using the Onionskin Tool for a guide is the most useful thing you can do when drawing your Inbetweens. Easing is an effect that's used to make your movements look human and realistic. It's created by animating something moving either slowly into or out of a movement. The context of our project, Easing fits best in two places: the first is when our character raises the arm and we ease out of that movement into the first point of the wave. The second is at each point of the wave; we move slowly into it, faster in the middle, and then slowly out of it again, and that's all the basics of Inbetweening. By this point in the project, you should have all of your drawings done. Now it's just time for a final few finishing touches. 7. Finishing Touches - Colouring,Looping & Exporting: And look at that, you made an animation. That's pretty cool. There's two quick things that we're going to do to finish it off. One is, add color and the other one is make it loop. The easiest way to add color to your animation in Adobe Animate is to use the bucket tool. Again, the shortcut for that one is k. One quirk you need to be aware of when using the bucket tool is that if your line work isn't sealed off, bucket tool won't be able to fill anything. So, if like me, you have a gap at the bottom of your character's body we'll need to seal that up so that the bucket tool can fill the areas. All you need to do is draw a line of any shape that seals off these gaps. In Adobe Animate anything that's not present on the white stage won't show up in your final export, so you can be as messy as you want with this. Now, if like me, you've also left a gap in the shoulder where the arm fits, you'll need to seal that off as well on the body layer. We'll do this using the brush tool, the shortcut for which, is b, with the brush tool selected, a few options appear at the bottom of the tools panel. These options also appear at the top of the properties panel under the tools menu. We're going to look at the one on the top right here, which is a circle with a line through it. Clicking on this gives you a range of options of how the brush will operate. Paint normal is the default for drawing any lines in animate. But we're going to look at this one at the bottom, paint inside, selecting this will mean that the brush only draws in a specific area that you start drawing in. So if we were to start drawing inside a shape, the brush would not go outside of that shape. This tool is great for sealing off gaps when coloring without affecting your line work. Making sure that you have a color selected that's not the same as your line work. Simply start drawing in an area that's not on line work and seal the gap. You can draw over the lines, because again with the paint inside tool selected, the brush tool won't allow you to draw on your line work. If there are small gaps in your lines, that's okay, there's a way around that. Once you have the bucket tool selected, a button of a square will appear in the bottom left of the tools panel and in the top left of the properties panel under tool. If you click on this, it'll open a menu that gives you four options. You have the choice between, don't close gaps, close small gaps, close medium gaps, and close large gaps. Selecting them will mean that your bucket tool automatically interprets gaps that you want it to close. So if there are small gaps in your line work, choosing close more gaps, meaning the bucket will automatically seal these off for you and fill the areas that you click on. Now we need to choose some colors, to do this, simply click on the colored square at the bottom of the tools panel. There's a default swatch available in Adobe Animate. However, if you want to customize your colors, you can click on the color wheel icon in the top right-hand side of this panel. Doing so will bring up your color picker menu. If you're familiar with the color picker of programs like Photoshop, this one might look a bit strange. It's easy to get it looking the same though. All you need to do is click on the h at the top here, which will then display your color picker by hew. Down the bottom of the color picker panel here, is a text box with a hash next to it. This is for inputting the hex code of colors. If you already have a digital file of the character that you're animating in a program like Photoshop or Illustrator, you can open the color picker in these programs, select the colors that you've chosen there, copy the hex code and then paste it straight into Animate. Hex codes, are universal throughout all Adobe software, so it'll recognize the color instantly. From there, it's a pretty simple process. Go through and choose the colors that you want and add color to your animation. Remember when coloring in your arm, you might need to seal off the end of it that's underneath the body layer, otherwise the bucket won't be able to fill the areas you click. You'll notice throughout the process of coloring my drawings, I'm adding shading to every frame. To do this, I'm using that same paint inside brush tool that we use to seal off the gap in the shoulder earlier. This is another great use for the paint inside tool. It allows you to shade areas one at a time without having to worry about putting the wrong colors in the wrong places. For example, I can start coloring inside one of these blue sections with my dark blue. And then I'm free to draw as far into any of the other areas as I want to, since the paint inside tool will restrict the darker blue to the blue sections. Now that we've got some color in there, let's make it loop. This process can be a little bit complicated, so feel free to rewind and re-watch as many times as you need to. The part of the animation that we're going to make loop is the wave. The wave starts in frame 17. So select your drawing that's in this frame and press F8 on the keyboard. Pressing F8 is the shortcut to create a new symbol in Animate. Symbols can do a lot of things in Adobe Animate, but they mostly act as containers for animation. They allow you to manipulate a whole section of animation at once as one single asset, rather than just being able to work with one drawing a time. If you double-click on a symbol, the timeline panel will open into the symbol's timeline. Each individual symbol has its own unique timeline inside of it, which allows you to put animation inside the symbol so that it can be manipulated as a whole in the main timeline. There's a lot that you can do with symbols and they can get fairly complicated. I'll cover the rest of it in another class, but for now, that's all w need to know. Call your symbol wave, and make sure it's set to graphic, as this is the only variety of symbol that previews in the timeline. All other symbols only preview in export. The next thing we need to do is put all of the frames from our wave inside the symbol. To do this, highlight all of the frames from frame 19 to 34, right-click and hit cut frames. You'll notice we didn't highlight frame 17 or 18. This is because these frames currently hold the symbol that we're about to place our animation inside of. You can't place a symbol inside itself. If we were to copy frame 17 and try to paste it in the symbol, we would get this message. Once you've cut your frames from the main timeline, double-click into your symbol. We need to make our first drawing during last two frames. So click on frame two and press F5 to extend it. Then, click on frame three, right-click and hit paste frames. Now you have all of your wave animation inside that symbol. But there are still a few hiccups that we need to deal with. Here's how to fix them. The first thing you might notice is that all of the frames that we just pasted a slightly out of place, but that one's an easy fix. The only drawing that's in a different place to the rest of them is our first one. But if you remember back to when we were doing our extremes, the last frame in this sequence is actually a copy of the first frame. When you're creating a loop, you need to make sure that your first and last frames are not the same. Otherwise there will be a delay in the loop and the timing will look very awkward. This is because the loop will be repeating this frame, meaning that it lingers on this on the storing for twice as long as it does for any of the others. So with this fixed, we're going to get two birds with one stone. Select your first frame and hit delete. Then move to your last frame, right-click and hit cut frame, move back to frame one and paste the frame there. We still have two excess frames at the end of this sequence, so highlight both of them and hit shift F5 to remove those frames from the timeline. Now, we have a perfect loop. We've still got two more very small problems, but they're both very easy fixes. Back in the main timeline, a symbol undergoes for two frames, which is not long enough to show us our entire animation. There is a blank keyframe left in frame 19 from when we cut our frames at this start. Simply click on this keyframe and hit Shift F6 to remove the keyframe. Now our symbol can play in full. You'll also see that the whole arm is out of place. But since this wave is in a symbol, we can move the whole thing at once. Click on your symbol in frame 17 and shift it back into place. This will move the whole wave animation into the right place. All that's left to do now is extend our timelines so that the wave can loop for as long as we want it to. To do this, simply select the frame on your timeline that you want the loop to extend to and press F5. Make sure you do this for the body as well so we don't just have a floating arm. And that's it, we're done. Remember that if you want to preview your animation in the timeline all you have to do is press Enter on the keyboard. The last step we have is to export our animation so that we can post it online and show everybody. The first step to doing this is simply by hitting control Enter on the keyboard to export a dot SWF file from Adobe Animate. This swift file is actually a format that can only be played in Adobe Flash player. So we need to convert it to an MP4 before we can post it anywhere. An easy way to do this is to download the software Swivel from It's a free software that exists purely for the purpose of converting Swift to MP4 video. You can find the download link to it in the description of this class. Once you've downloaded Swivel, open it up, load in your animation and hit convert. Let the program do its thing and it'll quickly spit out an MP4 for you, ready to post any where you please. And that's it. You've made an animation and it's ready to post. Well done. Let's recap what we learned in this class. The easiest way to color your animation in Animate it to use the bucket tool, shortcut k. The bucket tool will only work if your lines are sealed off, so make sure you do that. If you're having trouble with small gaps in your line work, all you need to do is turn on close more gaps and the bucket tool will do the work for you. Choosing your own colors for your animation is as easy as clicking on the square next to the bucket, clicking on the color wheel in the top right-hand corner and then click h. If you have a file of your character already colored in another Adobe program, all you need to do is copy the hex codes from that program into animate and you'll be able to color it exactly the same. When creating a loop in Animate, all you need to do is create a symbol by pressing F8, you can easily cut and paste all of the frames from your main timeline in this symbol to make them workable, but you can't paste the symbol inside itself. When you're creating a loop, you have to make sure that your first frame and your last frame are not the same drawing. So if they are, make sure you delete one of them. Once your animation is inside a symbol, you are able to manipulate the whole thing at once. And making your animation loop down the timeline is as simple as clicking where you want it to go and pressing F5, and that's it. Those are the basic fundamentals of two-day frame-by-frame animation. 8. You did it!: You just made your first animation, congratulations, through that project alone, you learned the basics of Adobe Animate, some core concepts like framed rates and aspect ratios and the animation fundamentals of extremes, breakdowns, in-between, a-sync, and even some fun extras like creating loops, all of these things are the basic skills you need to know to make your own animations. And it'll take a bit of practice, but you're absolutely on your way. There is one thing that I want to touch on very quickly though, in this class, we started by going straight into the final outlet for animation but this isn't the usual process. Typically, animators use rough drawings to work at the timing of their animation before they jump into doing their final cleaned up hard earned work. In fact, I did exactly that while I was developing this class and this is what my roughs like, I streamlined the process a bit for this class, but keep in mind when doing your own animations that it's good to use rough drawings to plan things out of it first before you commit to your final hour. But now that you've finished tour animation, make sure you post in the project gallery of this class so that I and everybody else can see it. I would love to see your work and give you some feedback and I'm sure everybody else would as well, if you enjoy this class, please make sure to leave a review to let me know what you thought and make sure to follow me for any future clauses, if there's anything that you're confused about and want to take a closer look at there is a few resources that you can download from the project section of this class that might help. The first is my version of a class project that you saw me create through out this lessons and the second is my Adobe Animate working file from this class. Feel free to download these and dig through them if you'd like to have a closer look at how I created my version of this project. If you have any further questions about animation on the basics of today, feel free to reach out to me. The easiest place to find me is on Instagram @jackhgrayson. Thank you so much for taking this class. I really appreciate your time and doing so and are really heard you got something good out of it. I'll see you next time.