inch worm desparate newbie

I am new to TBA and am creating a math animation that involves an inch worm with some twenty segments that crawls along a ruler to assist our students with measuring skills. I am having difficulty with the crawl sequence, particularly learning how to tie all segments of the worm together so they will move in unison as the middle of the body raises and lowers to the ground. I assume the long way is to simply redraw each and every segment in each and every frame times a hundred! Is there a shorter way?

You can construct the worm as a cut-out character. Each body segment will be a separate drawing element. The body segments will then be “daisy chained” in a hierarchy created by pegging them. You will then use keyframed animation techniques to animate the worm. This is a bit advanced for a newbie, so you are going to have to do your homework and read up on keyframe animation and cut-out animation. There are tutorials available both through TBS eLearning , the ToonBoomTutorials website and through my Cartooning in Toon Boom blog (see link below).

After you have drawn your character and rigged your character, I suggest that you take a separate scratch element and rough animate the worms basic movement. This doesn’t need to be artistic but rather a series of rough sketches that captures the worm action and movement. The purpose of the rough animation is to work out the timing of the character’s movement and to get the basic flow of the movement captured. This then will be used as your guide to actually animate your cut-out character. It is much easier to work out this type of animation in a rough series of sketches then with a twenty plus element cut-out rig. Basically your rough animation can just be a single brush stroke that you frame by frame animate to represent the worm. You will then keyframe your cut-out character to match the actions of your rough animation. You can do this in several passes where each pass is used to refine the motion until you are happy. -JK