This course was originally created for students participating in Skills Ontario's Animation Challenge (similar to the 11 Second Club), as a way to quickly get them comfortable with both the fundamentals of traditional animation as well as practical knowledge of Toon Boom's software. To do this, the course is designed to walk through the completion of a scene starting from analyzing dialogue, to story-boarding, to creating actual animation, while being sure to emphasize the core principles of animation.
With this in mind, the course is best suited for animation students that are either new to the medium, or those looking to bring their traditional skills to the digital realm, using Toon Boom. While there are many videos available online that feature Toon Boom's software, most of them focus on cut-out style animation, or puppets, rather than traditional frame-by-frame style animation. After getting many remarks from even industry pros surprised that Toon Boom can actually not only support traditional animation, but do it amazingly well, I felt it high time for some video tutorials focussing on the basics.
This course features Toon Boom's Storyboard Pro, and Harmony 11, industry standards in animation software. Although, to keep up with all the version changes, I've made sure to focus on features that are also available in both older and newer versions of Harmony (including Harmony 14), as well Toon Boom's former Animate, Animate Pro, applications. And for those absolute beginners, there's still plenty of information that can be used, whether you're still drawing with a pencil, or deciding what type of software to pick up for your next animated project.
This course includes 19, densely-packed lessons, over the span of exactly an hour.
A great way to fast-track your working knowledge of both animation and Toon Boom basics!
Let's listen to our audio clip.
Before we can start drawing, we have to listen for clues that help describe our characters and scene. I'll be analyzing the provided dialogue, and you'll get to see what type of things to look for when listening to a dialogue clip for the first time.
Discover the interface, navigate workspaces, layers, vector vs bitmap basics, and the Select tool.
Working with Tool Properties, customize the Brush tool, working with Captions, and important hot-keys.
I create our first storyboard scene, discussing staging, perspective, and adding tones.
Here, I add a second scene, discussing more on staging/layout; as well as demonstrating the Cutter tool, and an alternative way to tone your drawings.
Create the last scene, using additional panels to depict a change of action in the scene, and the Onion Skin to see drawings between panels.
Use Storyboard Pro to create an animatic from our drawings, adding our dialogue clip, and time out the images to the audio. Then, export the animatic for Harmony/Animate/Animate Pro.
I revisit the dialogue clip listening for performance cues, and discuss acting for animation as reference, including live acting samples.
Using the Brush vs the Pencil tools; and how to create and work with Harmony's unique Smart Colour System.
Drawing our first key poses (pose-to-pose), working with drawing exposure and the Onion Skin
Inbetweening, arcs, S-curves, C-curves, and follow-though
Squash and Stretch, and animating the lip sync (without using the cut-out lip-sync feature).
With the rough animation complete, clean up the drawings using a consistent line weight, and finally, add colour.
Now that the animation is done, remove or hide the unwanted layers, and export the finished animation to a QuickTime movie file.
I've worked as a professional artist for twenty years, with the majority of that time in the game industry, working with such licenses as Rifts, Robotech, Transformers, and many others. During that time, I have also had the opportunity to study classical animation at Sheridan College, and later went on to return there as an animation professor. My class curriculum focussed on the digital side of animation, including Flash, Toon Boom, Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. After that, I joined Toon Boom, as a full-time international trainer, working closely with major schools, studios, and events, around the world. While there, I was even able to help shape the professional certification program used today.
Since then, while I might sneak in a few freelance projects here and there, my main passion remains dedicated to teaching.