Mixed Media Animation: Blending Stop Motion and Illustration | Kaho Yoshida | Skillshare

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Mixed Media Animation: Blending Stop Motion and Illustration

teacher avatar Kaho Yoshida, Director & Animator

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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.

      Project Overview & Equipment


    • 3.

      Pros and Cons of Stop Motion and 2D Cel Animation


    • 4.

      Different Materials of Stop Motion


    • 5.

      Inspiration and Moodboard


    • 6.

      Concept, Color Palette and Materials


    • 7.

      Storyboards and Animatic


    • 8.

      Setting up Stop Motion Shoot


    • 9.

      Shooting Stop Motion


    • 10.

      Compositing Stop Motion


    • 11.

      2D Cel Animation: Refining Movement


    • 12.

      2D Cel Animation: Polishing & Textures


    • 13.

      Compositing Stop Motion and 2D Animation


    • 14.



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About This Class

Are you an illustrator looking to dip your feet into animation? Or an animator who wants to branch out into mixed media? 

Join animation director and illustrator, Kaho Yoshida, to learn the best of both worlds!

This class will teach you how to combine stop motion and 2D cel animation. You will animate clay and illustration mixed media images to morph back and forth in a creative and lively animation loop. 

You will follow along Kaho’s whole production process, where you’ll learn to:

  • Create a Moodboard to gather inspiration for your color palette and concept
  • Develop a Storyboard and Animatic to plan your movements
  • Set Up your stop motion shoot
  • Shoot Stop Motion using Dragonframe
  • Create a 2D Cel Animation in Photoshop
  • Composit in After Effects

Stop motion can be a bit intimidating to start and is notorious for it’s tedious nature. However, by mixing it with digital animation, the process can be more flexible and less scary! Take this class to dive into how fun and magical stop motion can be!

Music Credits 

Green Tea by Smith The Mister https://smiththemister.bandcamp.com

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Free Download / Stream: https://bit.ly/smith-the-mister-green-tea

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Meet Your Teacher

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Kaho Yoshida

Director & Animator


Kaho is a director and animator, with a special passion for stop motion and mixed media. Her fresh aesthetics and sense of humor bring life to every frame, and her love for storytelling makes her work relatable and approachable.


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1. Introduction: I'm inspired by different textures and feelings I get from tangible objects. I also love illustration and smooth animation. Mixed media is a perfect way to achieve fresh aesthetics using the best of both mediums. Hi. My name is Kaho Yoshida, and I'm a director, animator, and an illustrator specializing in stop motion mixed media animation and 2D cel animation. I love stop motion, but I know it can be a little intimidating to start. It is also true that stop motion can be quite tedious. But by mixing it with digital animation, the process can be a lot more flexible and less scary. I want to invite you all to create two to three seconds animation loop using clay and digital illustration. You can be an illustrator who's never animated anything before or an animator who's looking to expand into stop motion. I think there's something really special about creating images using physical, tangible objects. I think learning stop motion can add an extra fresh spark to your work. You will be in learning the basics of stop motion in Dragonframe or Stop Motion Studio app, 2D cel animation in Photoshop, and compositing in After Effect. I'm going to share the production process that I use for my actual client works so you can apply it to your other projects too. I'm really excited to share how fun and magical mixed media stop motion animation is, and I can't wait to see what you make. 2. Project Overview & Equipment: In this video, I'm going to explain what we are going to be making in this course. As I mentioned before, it's going to be 2-3 seconds of animation loop, and we're going to be animating 12 frames per second, so it's going to be 24-36 frames of animation. We will be using non-hardening plasticine clay for the stop motion element. Plasticine clay can be found for around $4 at any craft or art supply store. I will be showing you how to make Cel Animation in Photoshop. We will create two images with two different clay shapes as the main focus and illustration that complete these two images. We will animate the two images moving back and forth in the loop. In this course, we're going to go over moodboard and concept, storyboards and animatic, Stop Motion Animation, 2D Cel Animation, and compositing. The materials, equipment, and softwares that we are going to use are Dragonframe and DSLR, or phone, tablet with Stop Motion Studio app, tripod, lights, weight, and aluminum wire, paper for background, plasticine clay, Photoshop, and After Effects. Before we get started on the actual production, I want to talk a little bit more in details about Stop Motion Animation and 2D animation and understand the pros and cons of both mediums. That's going to be in the next video. 3. Pros and Cons of Stop Motion and 2D Cel Animation: In this video, I want to explore the characteristics of stop motion and 2D cel animation. First, let's talk about stop motion. Stop motion is a very tactile and intuitive method of animation. You have an object and you move it little by little and then you take photos, you put the image sequence together, and you have an animation. The pro of stop motion is that it's very intuitive. I think that's why a lot of kids love making stop motion. You also only need a camera, or your phone or tablet to start, so it's very accessible. Another pro is that it's very tangible and magical. I think it's because it's a real life object that's being manipulated and animated. It has a very human and personal feel to it. I think people connect to stop motion immediately because of that. You can also animate many different materials, so stop motion can have many different textures and life to it. The con is that it's not so flexible in it's production process. It's very easy to make stop motion, but it's not so easy to make a good stop motion. Stop-motion is animated using a technique called straight ahead animation. You animate frame by frame instead of animating key-frames first, then filling in-betweens like in 2D animation. So once you animate a sequence and realize that one of the frame is not right, it's hard to go back and fix just that one frame. Also, it's hard to do a lot of character animation in stop motion unless you have a very good rig. But don't worry, this is why I designed this class to work around these cons. I will teach you to avoid these cons by doing a very solid pre-production and utilizing 2D cel animation. Now let's talk about 2D cel animation. 2D cel animation is a traditional hand-drawn animation method. You draw a frame, and then you draw a slightly different frame and so on. The pro of this 2D cel animation is that it still has a very tactile feel, and you can be very expressive. You can use different brush settings and add textures, or you can have very flat digital fields. You can also animate it using the pose to pose method, where you draw the key-frames, see if the timing, and then movement works, and then you fill the in-betweens. So it's more flexible in terms of revisions and workflow. Also, 2D cel animation is really great for character animation because unlike stop-motion, you don't have to worry about gravity. Con of 2D cel animation is that it's still pretty tedious and it doesn't have as much physical tangibility as stop motion. Now you know the pros and cons of stop-motion and 2D cel animation. In this course, I'll be teaching you how to get the best of both worlds while avoiding the cons. In the next video, we will be exploring different materials that we can use for a stop motion. 4. Different Materials of Stop Motion: In this video, I want to talk briefly about different materials we can use for stop motion. First, I will introduce you to non-hardening Plasticine clay. It is also called modeling clay. This is the most standard clay stop motion animators use. It's pretty malleable and fun to play with. Make sure you clean your hands before you handle them. I also use paper pretty often. With paper, I use what is called replacement techniques. We'll have paper objects that are in different shapes and sizes. Then I replace them for each frames. Small objects like stones and bees are fun and relatively easy to animate. You can also animate real plants and food if here fast enough. I have even animated water using lubricant and resin. For our project, we'll be using Plasticine clay, but I hope you keep trying different materials and keep exploring the possibilities of stop motion after we finish this course. Let's move on to the pre-production in the next video. 5. Inspiration and Moodboard: In this video, I'm going to share the step one of my production process, inspiration, and mood board. I love this part of the process because it's the beginning and I feel like anything is possible. When I start making something, I have a very vague idea of what I want to make in my head, but making a mood board always helps me have a clear idea of which direction I'm going for and what I want looks like. For this project, I have been inspired by the red sunrise and sunset I've been seeing because the Vancouver air has been so smoky from the mountain fire. I wanted to have this scene go from outside landscape to inside the house because I've been spending a lot of time inside and I was longing to go outside. Yes, so it's a very simple idea. Now, let's find inspiration and references. I usually browse Behance, Vimeo, Pinterest, and Instagram for inspirations. I knew I wanted the image to be graphic and minimal and have both colors. Based on that, I picked six images that stood out. I usually put mood boards together in Google slide or Illustrator. The first image is from Haruka Aramaki. I really loved the clean shapes and colors, but because of the organic shapes and wood texture, it looks very warm and human too. I love clean design with human touch. Second is by Ines Pagnies. I think it's made of plasticine, which is the material we are going to be using. The color of the background and the cactus are the same, but because of the texture difference, the cactus stands out well. This is a great example of keeping the color palette minimal but being playful with the textures. The next image is by Pol Sola. I love this image because unlike the first two, this doesn't have much textures, but it's still very fun. I love the details of the black shadow. The next one is by Ryo Takemasa. This one too has very cute minimal shapes and warm textures. The next image is an illustration by Camilo Huinca. I love these bold color combinations. The last image is just a photo of a hazy sunset. Mood board can have non-animation or illustration related images too. Now, let's see what these six images have in common. I think they all have bold colors, simple, clean design, and efficient use of textures. I like to write these keywords down in the mood board, especially if I'm sharing it with the client so everyone knows which direction I'm going for. Now, that we have mood board, I feel like I have a better idea of what I want my animation to look like. Let's move on to the actual concept in the next video. 6. Concept, Color Palette and Materials: In this video, we're going to get into concept. As I mentioned, I knew I wanted the first image to be a sunset landscape and the second image to be inside of a room. With that in mind, I started sketching. I have my sketchbook here. I usually start sketching on paper. Don't go straight to digital drawings. Let's draw a square because the image will be a square. The first image is a sunset, so I'll draw a sun. The sun will be in clay and it will be the main focus. Then, I need to come up with what the sun is going to morph into. It can turn into maybe a chair, or it can turn into a person inside of a room sitting, or it could be a cat on the couch. But I think I want to stick to something more minimal. How about a vase with flowers or a watering can? I think I like the vase idea the most. The shape is different enough from the sun, but it also shares round curves. I also have been trying to bring the outside inside by having flowers in the house, so I feel like it's a theme. My main shapes are the sun and the vase. Let's add more details to the images. The sun is a sunset landscape, so we need the landscape element, maybe some trees too. The vase will be on some kind of a surface, so I will draw the table line. The trees are going to be either into the sun animation, and so are the flowers. In the sun image, I imagine the landscape hill silhouette is going to be a dark color. In the vase image, I want the same dark color to be on the wall. Let's move into Photoshop to make more polished concept images. Let's open Photoshop. I'll name it Skillshare_concept. I'm making my file 2,000 by 2,000 pixels and 72 pixels per inch. Hit "Create". I'm going to start sketching. First, I'll make this an image. I'll draw a circle and a hill. Maybe I want the sun to be behind the hill. Let's try that. I think I like it not behind the hill. I'll keep playing around with the placement until I feel good about it. Then let's add more details, like trees and maybe a house. That's weird. How about a house here with the trees? Still weird. Just the trees then. Now, the top right of the image seems empty, so how about I add birds? I think it looks good. Moving on to the second image. I'm going to make the sun sketch layers into one folder, name the folder, and make it transparent. I'm going to draw the vase, since it's the main focus, but I need the vase to be roughly the same size as the sun because they're going to be made out of the same clay. I will adjust that. It looks good. I'll draw the table and the flowers. Let's name the vase layer. I need to adjust the size further because it's too big. Now, it looks fine. Let's color the images. I'm going to change the transparency of the sun sketch and start a new layer. Let's pick the main color of the clay. I think I'm going for the reddish-orange because I'm really into orange these days. Now, let's pick the color of the hill. Since it's a silhouette, it's going to be a dark shade. I want it to have a good contrast to the red-orange, so how about a dark green? Then the background color. I want to make it a sunset sky color, so maybe orangey-pink. I like it already, but let's explore other options by applying blending mode and color overlay. I like the orangey-pink the best. Now, since the orange shapes will be in clay, I will add shadows and highlights to make it look like that. It's looking like an egg, which I like. I'm going to adjust the color of the hill. Then I'll add details like trees and birds. Done. Now, back to the vase image. I think the shape of the vase is a bit too boring, so I will make it a little bit wonkier. Then after that, it's the same process as the sun image. I will add background and details. I tested the textures of the flowers and decided to outline stems and leaves plus hand-filled flowers is the best look. I worked on these images a little bit longer and added a little bit more details and ended up with these two images. Now, we have two concept drawings. Now, let's move on to storyboard and the mnemonic. 7. Storyboards and Animatic: In this video, we're going to make storyboards and animatic. Storyboards are basically a series of drawings that show what happens in the video. This can also be where you brainstorm the basic idea of the movement. You can really experiment with what kind of movement you want to animate, so this is a fun step. I made this template, I will have the link to this template in the class description. The animation starts with the sun image then it morphed into a vase image, then back to the sun image. I will place the concept images into the appropriate frames. Now, let's think about how the sun shape will turn into the vase shape. Of course, I can make it very straightforward and make the circle slowly turned into the vase. But I want to make it a little bit more interesting than that. I will first draw the reference line of where the vase meets the table. Then I want the sun to melt and then hit the table and bounce up and settle into the vase shape. Now let's think about how the vase is going to turn back into the sun. Since the first morph or the vertical movement, I want to introduce a different kind of morph. I think it will be nice if the movement of the morph mimicked sunrise. I'm going to make the vase turn clockwise. But before I start turning it clockwise, I want to have some anticipation. I will start by turning the vase slightly counterclockwise and in the next frame, I need to get the vase morphed into the sun. This frame will be pretty stretchy and the one after that I can start settling a bit. Now we have the basic movement of sun to vase and vase to the sun. Now moving on to the background. I like to think of the clay stop-motion element as the main movement. This animation part should be there to support the stop motion in the animation. The sun is going down. To emphasize the down movement, I want the hill to go up. The green is going to fill the screen, then settle to show the table line. Then in the second transition, the background green should follow the clockwise turn movement of the sun but slightly delayed. Now I'm going to fill in the backgrounds. Nice. We have pretty good looking storyboards. Moving on to the animatics. Animatics are storyboards that are timed in video format. Having a solid animatic is very important for stop motion. Because in stop motion, it is hard to go back in frames and fix them. By having the movement planned out and timed in the animatic process, you will avoid having to have to reanimate the shots. Let's open after effects and start a new composition. I usually make the animatic the same size as the final video, but this time I'm going to make it a bit smaller. The frame rate is 12, duration is three seconds. Let's bring in the storyboard file that I just made. I'm going to duplicate the layer and position them so each layer shows the different frame. Now we're going to start timing the storyboard. First, let's see what happens if all frame was the same length. I will make each frame last four frames. Then I go to keyframe assistant, sequence layers. Let's play and see. It's not bad, but it's too consistent and it's a bit too boring. I want to make it have more contrast in the timing, so let's change it up. First of all, I want the main images to last the longest. I'm going to make those two images longer. Then the sun melting should have few frames too because melting shouldn't be a fast movement. Then the bouncing back can be faster. Then vase design transition timing. The anticipation can be faster, but the stretchy bit should be longer. Let's see what it looks like. It's looking better, but I think it looks a little bit too jumpy still, so I should probably add a frame. I'm going to do that by adding a shape layer. If you're not familiar with after effects, you can go back to Photoshop, draw the extra frame, and add it back too. I kept tweaking the timing and ended up with this animatic. 8. Setting up Stop Motion Shoot: Now let's set up the stop motion shoot. This is the step where we design how the stop motion element's actually going to look like, so I find it really exciting. Sometimes I spend hours just fiddling with the lights or the cameras. This process can take a long time. First thing I need to get changed into a black shirt because I don't want the color of my shirt to refract off the scene that I'm shooting. First, let's decide in which angle we want to shoot animation. Our main options are either we shoot top down or a we shoot horizontally. The benefit of shooting top down is that you don't have to deal with the gravity, which is the mortal enemy of stop motion. The downside to it is that it looks a little bit flatter and shadows aren't as nice. The benefit of shooting horizontally is that it has more dimensionality and it looks more cinematic. The downside is that you will have to combat gravity and sometimes you have to use rigs. For this project, I am going to shoot horizontally because I want it to look more dimensional. This is my basic setup. I have two basic LED lights, a DSLR camera, and a laptop with Dragonframe software. I'm going to set up my background. It's ideal to have one big piece of paper that you can drape in an L shape. But I couldn't find the right size paper in the color I wanted, so I got two pieces of paper. I'm using a laptop stand and a painter's tape to put up the background paper. Make sure you tape everything down well. Then I'm going to wipe the surface. I need to make sure that nothing is dusty because clay can get really dusty super easily and we don't want that. Then I'm going to mix the yellow clay with the red one to make the orange color that I want. The clay can be pretty hard, but if you warm it up a bit, it gets a lot easier to handle. Let's set up the lighting and camera. With stop motion, controlling the light is very important. I close the blinds and shot this at night. As a placeholder, I made a random shape with the clay and put it on the scene. I put a small piece of paper underneath the clay because otherwise the clay leaves oil stain on the paper. Let's open Dragonframe. You can also use Stop Motion Studio app. I'm not going to cover how to use the app, but they have a very good tutorials online. Back to Dragonframe. Let's start a new scene. I'm going to set the frame rate to 12, I'm going to connect my camera to the laptop and make sure that the camera is in manual mode. I hit this film icon, and then hit the plus sign beside the media layer, then press load movie. Then I'm going to select animatic. You can change the transparency so you can see both the reference video and the live screen. Now, I'm going to set the camera so that the clay is roughly in the same position and scale as the shapes in the animatic. When I have it roughly in the right place, I'm going to click this camera icon and go into the cinematography window. This is where we adjust the camera settings and focus. I'm going to double tap this square, and then by pressing these arrows, I can adjust the focus. Despite me wiping the surfaces and my hands, the clay is really dusty. I need to fix that before shooting. Anyway, moving on, I want to go back to the reference layer and make it not transparent. Then I'm going to click this pencil tool. Here, we can create a drawing layer. I'm going to draw over the concept and trace the shapes so I know where the clay needs to go for the main two images. You can change the visibility of these reference drawing layers anytime. Now I'm going to go back to the cinematography window and fiddle around with the exposure. It's the same as photography, so play around until you think it looks good. I like to keep the shutter speed faster than 30 and IOS smaller than 800. I recommend shooting it with large, fine JPG or large fine JPG plus RAW. RAW is better for compositing later for sure, but sometimes it makes shooting slower, so I will just do a large fine JPG. I like how it's looking. I think I'm ready to start shooting. One very important note. Make sure to secure everything. Secure your camera, tripod, lights, and the background. There is nothing more sad than shooting a stop motion sequence that's going well and then knocking off your tripod and having to reshoot everything. I use rice or flour box to secure tripods and stands. You can also tape everything down too. Since we're shooting horizontally, we will need to use a rig. Rigs can be bought or you can make your own. You will need some weight and aluminum wire. We want to use wire that has no memory, so it doesn't spring back in place. I'm going to wrap the wire around the weight, twist it tightly so it doesn't move around. That is all I need to do to make this very simple rig. This is how it looks like from the side. 9. Shooting Stop Motion: Let's get right into it. We have the lighting and the camera setup. A rig made, the reference Animatic load, and the main shapes traced. I'm going into the cinematography window and double-check that it's in focus. Before I start animating, I'm going to shoot clean plate. Clean plate is a photo of the scene without any moving elements in it. We use this when we remove the rigging compositing. It is also important to capture 6-12 frames to see if there is any flicker. If the lighting is inconsistent or something is shaky, you will be able to see it here. Let's play it. It looks like there is no flicker. Amazing. Let's start animating. I'm going to start a new take. Dragonframe saves all the photos you shoot, so you don't have to hit to Save. The first frame is of the sun, so the clay is in the air. I'm going to gently stub the rig wire into the sun-shaped clay and adjust the placement so it matches the reference shape. When it's in the right place, I have to make sure that it's in focus. Then I'm going to capture frames like this. Then looking at a Animatic, I know the next four frames are going to be the sun melting and hitting the ground. I will change the shape of the clay bit by bit, and place it back in the scene and capture them. By sliding this red circle, you can't activate onion skin. Like all the animation, it is important to keep animation principles in mind when animating. For example, when the sun starts melting, I want the movement to ease in. The movement will start off small and slow. Then it will speed up until the sun hit the ground. Then the next frame is the squash part of the squash and stretch. Then it bounces and stretch back up, and it settles into the vase shape. Since we made that well-timed Animatic, we know what happens in which frame, so we can focus on getting the movement and shapes right. I play back often to make sure the animation is working. Also, make sure you check if the frame is still in focus time to time. I'm animating the vase to the sun transition. In this transition, the important thing is following the line of movement. In stop motion, it's hard to make each frame perfect, but as long as you follow the basic principles, like ease in and line of action, the animation will look pretty smooth. Let's pay it and see. It's so satisfying to play back and see the animation. I think it was a success and we'll capture some clean plates again. I take plates before and after shooting a sequence, just in case the camera and the lighting shifted while animating. Let's go to the file and then conform the current take. This conforms editorial take. This means Dragonframe place frame order numbering on the source files do refract edit such as delete and cutbacks. Yay, we're done shooting stop motion. Hope this was as fun for you as it was for me. You can also animate every frame beforehand and reference it when you're shooting stop motion. I do that sometimes when the movement is really complicated, but I love the spontaneous nature of stop motion, so I try to leave some space for improvisation whenever possible. I think it makes the animation more charming and lively. 10. Compositing Stop Motion: Now, let's import what we shot into After Effects. After Effects is a very powerful tool and there are a lot we can do in it. We can fix a lot of the mistakes that we made in stop motion. So knowing that, we can relax a little bit while shooting stop motion. I'm going to open up aftereffects and import the stop motion sequence. Make sure you have Import JPEG Sequence selected. Then I'm going to create a new composition. It will make it to 2,000 by 2,000 pixels, 12 frames per second, and three seconds long. I'm going to right-click the Stop motion sequence" in the project, select "Interpret Footage," and "Main," then change the frame rate to 12. Now, I'm going to bring the image sequence into the composition, scale and position it. Now, what I want to do is to remove the rig. The last few frames of this sequence is the end plate that we took. I'm going to bring this end plate bit on top of the main stop motion layer, right-click and go to Time, then Freeze Frame. Name the layer plate, and make it as long as the whole composition. Then I will bring the transparency down so we can see the animation layer below. Then click on the Plate layer to activate it. We're going to use the mask tool to mask out the rig. By double-clicking the square, you can change the color of the mask so it's easier to see. I masked out the rig. While having the masked path on the plate layer activated, I will go to the pen tool and select mask feather tool. This tool allows me to manually adjust the feathering of the mask. The masking looks good. I'm going to set the key-frame by pressing the stop watch icon, and right-click on the key-frame and select toggle hold key-frame. Toggle holding the key-frame prevents the After Effects to create the in-betweens automatically. Now, I will keep masking out the rig on each frame. Be mindful about the shadows because we don't want to cover the shadows with the mask. Now, all the rigs are masked out. It's like the rig never existed in the first place. Magic. I realized that I didn't capture in a frames for one of the holds. I'm going to adjust that now. Boom, the compositing is done. Now, let's render out the animation. Let's go to Composition, add to Adobe Media Encoder Queue, and render it out as H.264. Now, we are ready to move onto 2D cell animation. 11. 2D Cel Animation: Refining Movement: Now that desktop motion is in the cam, let's elevate the animation on the next level by adding some fun and sleek to the animation. Let's open Photoshop. The file size is the same as before, 2,000 by 2,000 and 72 ppi. I use an extension called Animators Toolbar Pro. It's 20 bucks and makes my life a lot easier. But you can't animate without it too. I'm going to create a video timeline and set the frame rate to 12. Then I'll import the stop motion footage we just rendered. I'm also going to import the animatic. The animatic is small, so I need to scale it to frame. First, I want to animate this green element. But before I do, let's talk a bit about loop timings. The main clay element makes one loop in frame 1 to frame 36. I can have other elements loop at the same timing, but it will be more natural if things looped at a slightly different timing so movements don't start and end at the exact same time. How do I offset the timing? I'm going to cut the loop in two and shift it like this. With that in mind, let's start animating the green element. I'm going to create a new video layer and trace the animatic at the right frame. Then I'm going to activate the onion skin and draw the in-betweens. When you in-between, make sure you don't forget to ease in and ease out. That means starting the movement slow and speeding up, and slowing down again before stopping. For this bit of table I'm moving up, I'm working my way backwards. Let's play and see. It looks good. Let's move on. It's the same thing, I'm just drawing the in-betweens. Nice, it looks pretty good. Let's duplicate the layer and fill in the color so I can get a better idea of the movement. Let me show you the trick to make coloring easier. If you use the bucket tool to fill, it leaves a little white outline that I have to fill manually and it's annoying. But we can set a custom field hotkey. First, open the action window, then using the magic wand tool, select the area that you want to fill, then create a new action and select the function key of your choice, name it fill, then start recording. Then go to select, modify, expand. Expand by 3-4 pixels. Now go to edit, fill, foreground color. Then go to select, and deselect, stop recording. You can now select the area with the magic wand tool, hit the function key that you set, and fill it without any lines. Yay, and that's how I am going to fill these frames. Done. Moving onto the trees. Let's make a new video layer and trace the animatic. Then I will make the in-betweens. I will animate the trunks first and then add branches later. Then for this transition, I want it to look like the trees are growing out of the hill, so I'm going to start small and grow the trees. Now onto the birds. It's the same idea. This is the bird loop. I cut up the loop to offset the movement. Make sure you animate each element on a different video layer. You will make fixing animation easier. The bird animation is done. Now, I'm going to duplicate the green layer and erase the parts of the green that overlaps with the clay. I'm going to do that manually because I want it to look a little bit imperfect. Boy it looks nice. Lastly, I'm going to animate the flowers. I made a new normal here and traced the flowers for reference. I didn't plan out the flower animation as well, and I did mostly straight ahead animation. The only thing I was careful about, is that I follow the movement of the clay element, but a few frames behind. I animated the stems and the flowers first, and leaves as the secondary movement. We have the 2D animation. 12. 2D Cel Animation: Polishing & Textures: Now that we have figured out all the movement, let's color and polish the animation. I'm going to create a new video texture layer for the green animation. I'm going to pick the noise bar brush and just go over the green bit. I'm going to mask it an after effects later, so no need to keep it in the line. Okay then. I will create another video layer and trace the bird animation. I wanted to have a bit of texture, so I'm going to pick the pencil brush. Then I'm going to do the same for the trees. Then I'm going to make another video layer and trace the flowers. I'm using the same pencil brush. Then I will fill in the flowers. I want it to look hand-drawn, so I will keep it imperfect. Cleaning up and filling in the colors doesn't really require brain work, so I usually listen to podcasts. Then I want a little pollen dot effect, so I'm going to animate dot. It's subtle, but I think it adds a nice texture to the whole animation. I'm going to add a bunch more pollen dots. Now, I like to save Photoshop files in different stages, so I'm going to save it as version 2. Now I'm going to add a little more subtle texture. I'm going to add a hand-drawn shadow texture to the clay element. I think it will help the clay element look like it's part of the same world as the illustration element. I will make a new video layer for the texture. I will use the Quick Selection Tool, select the clay shape, and draw the shadow texture on the texture layer. It's really easy to draw the texture on the video reference layer, so be careful. It's really subtle, but I like it. This is it for adding textures and colors to the cel animation. Cel animation is very time-consuming, but it's okay. It's going to take time, but it's going to look good. Now, let's go back into After Effects and combine the stop-motion and 2D cell animation. 13. Compositing Stop Motion and 2D Animation: This is the final step of our project. We are almost there. Let's open After Effects composition. Then let's prepare the Photoshop file ready to import. I forgot to do so, but you should save it as the new version. Then delete any layer that's not animation and textural layer. I'm going to delete the roughly users file. I will save it and go back to After Effects. I'm going to import the Photoshop layer. Make sure to import as composition and have retained layer sizes on. Now I'm going to create a new composition with the stop motion composition and bring the cell animation composition on top of the stop motion layer. I forgot to delete the white background layer, so I'm going to do that now. Now let's apply marked to the green texture layer. I forgot to delete a bunch of layers that I don't need so I'm going to do that now, and then make sure the solid green layer is beneath the green textural layer. Then I'm going to activate Alpha Matte texture. Then I'm going to pre-compute the green layers. So again, adjust timing easier. I don't want the texture do move when the green shape is still. So I will chop up the layer and apply freeze frame. Let's see what it looks like. Nice. Now, I want to adjust the colors a bit. First I will bring in the concept image to the composition for reference. I'm going to create a new adjustment layer. Then apply curves to the layer. Then I'm going to adjust the contrast and colors to bring it closer to the concept image colors. My thinking is to be more orange in general. Also the green texture looks not dense enough, so I'm going to go back to Photoshop and add more density to each frames. As long as you don't change the layered structure, the changes you make to Photoshop file will be reflected in After Effects. I am going to save the file and go back to After Effects. It's looking better. I only want the color correction to be applied to the stop motion footage, so I will move the adjustment layer down beneath the cell animation layer. It's done. Let's render it out. I will create a new composition. I'm going to make it 2000 by 2000 pixels and nine seconds long, so that the loop can loop three times. I will duplicate the layer three times, select them and right-click, Keyframe Assistant, Sequence Layers. Then go to the composition add to render queue and make it rendered H264. Select the place to save and hit Render. Then I'm going to make a smaller version for sharing on social media. I will create a new composition that is 1080 by 1080, nine seconds long. I'm going to bring the composition we just made now and scale it down and render it out as H264. It's all done. There we have it. This is our mixed media animation loop. 14. Conclusion: We made it. Last video. Now let's recap all the processes that we went through together. We made mood board and concept, storyboards and mnemonic, stop motion animation, 2D cell animation, and video compositing. I know animation is very labor intensive, but I hope you enjoyed the process as much as I did, and I hope you like what you make. I don't always love what I make, but that's okay. We just have to keep trying and exploring, and sometimes we make something that we can be very excited about. I really can't wait to see what you make, so please post your project onto the gallery. Thank you so much for letting me be your teacher and following me along on this creative journey. Bye.