Animation practice

I wanted to practice some character animation/lip synch with a rigged character, so I got this sound clip from Animation Meat.

This was fun to do:

Hi Rob,

That is a cool animation, thanks for sharing. I must admit your animation is quite good for cut out. Many different techniques have been used I can see that (using the cell tab hein ? :wink: ).

If I may write one comment about the animation (maybe it will also help others to make rigged character), while the animation is playing at some point the arm that is rotating will hide part of the text on the T-shirt. Also some outlines are missing under the arm of the character because the arm layer is on top and of course if you would draw this part it would display on top of the T-Shirt.

One trick to work around this problem would be to make tree layers for the rotating part:

1- Arm layer in the back of the upper body layer (inversed compare to your animation)
2- The upper body layer and …
3- A small painted region just big enough to cover the elbow outline near the edge of the arm.

This way, the arm is behind the torso and will never hide and part of the T-Shirt. You can also draw the full outline of the arm since it will be hidden behind the torso (making the outline available under the arm when rotating the arm layer) and the small painted fill on top of both to hide the elbow outline near the join of the elbow and the arm.

It is a good idea to make the hiding layer clos to a circle so when you rotate it won’t affect other part you wouldn’t want to hide.

This technique is used to prepare good rigged characters when doing a lot of cut out animation. Of course in your scene, you could just delete a bit of the fill of the arm to fix this problem.

In Solo there is a feature called glue that make these joints automatically. This is a very cool feature but unfortunately, it’s not available in TBS so it demands more work and preparation.

Very good work overall Rob!


thanks Mathieu, both for the appreciation and the pointers. I hadn’t noticed that the text was hidden in a few frames by the bicep.

The background and the lightning effects, of course, are Toon Boom clip art from the Halloween collection.

I’m really glad I did this, because I had no commitment or concern about how it came out–I was mainly messing around and having fun. However, my goal was to improve my understanding of how to use–yeah, you got it-- the cell tab! This thing is terrific! Flash users have to buy a plugin to get that, and this one’s way better!

I drew a new piece when I needed it by sliding the cell slider back to the empty frame, which gave me a blank cell to draw in, which was then added to the end of my slider so I still had a blank frame to draw in from my timeline.

I also used the slider to work on my lip synch a little. The sound I used has music, which confuses the lip synch, so I worked it out a little that way. The eyes were fun also, with the eyelid element doing a blink when I wanted it to, the pupils on a peg for movement, etc.

Has the cell tab always been there? I remember working hard in the x-sheet to do this kind of stuff and not realizing it could be this easy.

Solo I’m hoping to get in a few years, maybe sooner, once I start getting some side work doing this stuff. I’m looking for a few local businesses to do freebies for to get some work and some exposure.

I tell ya, I’ve been

I fixed a couple of things in light of your pointers.

The timing isn’t all too great–I needed to put some time in with the velocity editor, but it still isn’t bad. :smiley:

That’s it, that is my preferred technique.

I use the same tricks with the cell tab to create new drawings and for the lipsync, eye blinks, body parts etc. I’m not really a traditional animator so I’m not using the Xsheet too much (I prefer the timeline). The cell tab turned out to be very useful for me too.

The animation looks great btw.


This little “GANGSTA” looks really great,
his powerful “Popeye arms” are just tremendous.
Very nice style – excellent work.