Trying My Hand at Animating

Lockdown certainly seemed at the beginning like a great opportunity to learn new skills. I think I had actually convinced myself I would too. Despite letting my skill share membership lapse (foreboding much?) I thought I would leave lockdown a master of something or other. The reality for me is that I ended up super busy instead. I am incredibly grateful for this, and I probably would have found myself a pile in front of Netflix otherwise. I’m accepting that I probably wouldn’t have mastered too much either way. Happily though, a commission early on called on me flexing some very weak animation muscles. With this the prompt to experiment with some animation began.

What Programme to Use?

I actually used two and they both had different benefits. I started with Procreate’s new animation function. Super easy and intuitive to use. Every layer is a frame, Bob’s your uncle. Amending the transparency of your layers creates this onion skin effect so planning your frames is nice and easy. For frame by frame hand drawn animation Procreate was perfect. For something a bit more technical though, After Effects is your guy. Allowing you to apply set animation rules to individual assists and play around with things like length, position and movement much more easily than Procreate, this is the power house programme. Where procreate is a much slower process, After effects takes some schooling but saves you a tonne of time. It also creates professionally looking movements and cleaner transitions between frames. 

And the winner is?

Ultimately though I found myself using the two. Procreate to create assets and After Effects to put them together. I do think that there are possibly some specific movements I would still create in Procreate. You can add your own personality into the movement of an object that is difficult to achieve with a set of static commands. It might well be that after effects offers this flexibility too, but it is outside of my technical understanding at present if it is. 

This was my first foray into after Effects and with Martin as a teacher it was less intimidating than it first appeared. I would certainly like to spend some more time on animating again at some point. The idea of creating moving posters always appealed to me. I even remember the first one I ever saw and how amazed I was. I also want to rekindle my Skillshare subscription. The quality of teaching is really strong and the design of the courses thorough but easy to follow. If you’re reading this skill share and want to thank me with some free months I would not say no!