Tiny Bible Treasures 5

This is the fifth in this series and the first done completely with Animate Pro. I wanted to keep the animation very simple especially for little children as well as to speed up production.


I like the simple way of animation a lot. The page turning effect when Jesus tells the story is a very suttle way to emphasize it is a story. Very nice.


Looks very slick to me. The sound is exceptionally clear and professional. Another great color scheme.

However, I can’t think why small children would need simpler animated content.


Ha! Neither can I, Bob! All I know is that for little kids the simpler the better. I have a two year old that loves stuff like Baby Einstein which is so almost painfully simple to me. I think it helps them grasp things better and certainly holds their attention. We have some videos that she loves to watch over and over again on a daily basis and she reacts with glee every time we put it on–like she’s seeing some old familiar friend–ha!

Very cool. It had a slick, well developed polish to it . I also dig the page turn effect. How was that done, with video editing software?

Thanks, Tony! The page turn was done in Sony Vegas. It is called a 3D page turn transition and is part of the NewBlue effects addon.

I couldn’t stand the way you moved the characters!

I get why you did it, but it really didn’t work for me.

Other than that it was polished.

Thanks for the honest critique, James! I assume you mean the hopping? I’ve done some other limited animation stuff where the director’s criterion was to have the characters slide from place to place–ha!

Hi Zeb

The “movement” thing is very interesting. Many of the movies I look at on Youtube, Newgrounds, Vimeo etc usually have the “glide” or “hop” movements when the animators can’t do “walks”. Now we know that you do excellent “walks” and have decided, on this occassion, not to.

Makes me ponder about how much of the difficult stuff we need and for which audiences. In the UK we had Captain Pugwash with very simple movement using real cut-out animation and the characters have been taken to the heart a nation! Although the majority of “simple” stuff I can think of is aimed at children, it’s not a rule because look at “South Park”, very successful and not a fluid or graceful movement in sight.

Phd thesis for someone!

I think because of “South Park” that kind walk cycle (for lack of a better name) has become accepted as just another technique.

Great work btw!

Thanks for your comments, Roberto and Joseph! I think there are as many styles of animation as there are animators. It’s like the joke, “Opinions are like noses, everyone’s got one.”

When you’re doing limited animation you have to figure out what you will and will not do and then you stay within those parameters. Once you start animating everything–walk cycles, lip sync, etc.–then you have to follow through with it and it takes a lot of time. But then you see something like South Park and you think, “Man, that is really funny and entertaining and, for God’s sake, look how weird they move and how everyone is just done with a front pose and… and… I’m doing full animation and it’s not even funny!” Ha!

So, bottom line, whatever works for you or your project–go for it!

The hops didn’t bother me because the simple dialogue and characters reminded me of the little action figures or Fisher Price people that I played with as a kid. I’d make my own stories up on the spot and that’s how I used to make them, “walk”. The page turning transition also gave it a story time feel as if you were being read to and the teacher turned the page to show everyone the illustrations after reading.

I’m a fanboy of your work so I like everything about it, specially that clean look.

Hey, thanks, Alex! I gotta fan! 8)

the comment about South Park “making it all ok”. Well I love south park but just because they excuted it well and other people do it doesn’t make it good or enjoyable to watch. Yes sometimes it can.

I don’t mean to lay into Zebtoonz cause you know I think your work is great, but there is a massive difference between south park execution and this.

The reason I felt the style worked so poorly was because of the some static camera angles used. If you watch south park there is so much focus on timing, pacing and clever use of the camera that you often don’t realise how simple some of the animation is.

I think Bromwell high offers a good middleground in the styles.

Thanks for the compliment, James and as for the “massive difference” comment, I agree! I’m still just learning and really want to understand what makes good animation good.

As for the Tiny Bible Treasures series, they originally began as a slideshow and flannelgraph with sequential pictures showing the action. I tried to stick to the static camera angle so that it looked the same, only animated. So there was a method to my madness :slight_smile:

But yeah, timing and pacing, I still don’t have much of a grasp on that. I have been reading John K’s (creator of Ren and Stimpy) blog to learn more about that. He talks about using the x-sheet, timing real life actions in order to match with the animated actions, planning on an 8-beat or 12-beat tempo, etc. Apparently he is now using Harmony for his new animations. I’ve also subscribed to a video tutorial YT channel to learn more about cuts and angles and so on.

Learning, learning, learning, it never stops!