State Of The Animation Address: Smooth As Butter!

#Art #Animation #Drawing #DigitalArt


Sorry for the lag all the gifs might cause…

Anyways! Back story… If you follow me on Twitter you probably saw all that spam as I added a bunch of videos to my YouTube animation reference playlist. If you don’t follow me on the Tweets, well… I added a bunch of videos to my  YouTube animation reference playlist.

I have discovered the Japanese style of animation called Sakuga animation. Now although I was already aware a little bit of how they animate, I have now seen new styles that blew my mind! In comparison… I became embarrassed by my own animation and its quality. ;(

So with my current animation I’m working on I decided to clean up ALL the frames and redraw them again. I know right?! It was a pain and annoying but it looks a bit smoother now. I also added color and detail so it is slowly moving closer to the final product. I also did a small style change to make it look more… unique. I turned off the vector layer with the black lines and saw that the base colors looked quite cool on their own and gave it an almost 3D rotoscope look, so this is the new style.

But… WHAT am I animating? What is this for? Well, my brother and I write stories together (which will soon become a very complex and long series of books…. I seriously want to be the next Tolkien or George R.R. Martin!) and this animation was a scene my brother and I were talking out and writing for our future book.

I thought it was cool so I decided to illustrate and animate the scene. It will be A LOT more than just running, this one scene isn’t even very important… I just wanted a fancy running animation…. just because… The entire thing will be about a minute or two long and… there WILL be a villain! Dun dun dun!!!! But I won’t ever show the baddie in any of these posts. Spoilers. 😉

When will it be finished? Uhhhh…. The end of the year or early next year…. depends how crazy I want to get with the combat scene… O____O;

The rest of the animation will be quite fancy and I can start working on the crazy scenes I have inside my head to make them come to life. Now that I have seen how the Sakuga animators do it, I am quite confident I can mimic their style of animating. Take a look at my brother’s illustration art that I used as a base concept and my animation below it.

(I wasn’t animating it in the style that he drew this in because it has too much detail and that would take years to finish!)

He drew this with a pencil.


The evolution of my animation!

The nine Concept Art


The Nine gif
Very rough key frames


Running Animation 3
This is the rough that I used as a base just to get the animations smooth.
Gola animation 3
I added detail.
Gola animation 4
Cleaned up more frames.



Current state.






11 thoughts on “State Of The Animation Address: Smooth As Butter!

  1. ‘Looks like the start of one bad-ass RPG game. This could be the heroine or a prototype for animated sprites (versus the static sprites of the 80s video games). I see a more Japaense-influenced version of Dragon Quest/Warrior coming together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! My brother was into programming when we were kids and I actually started animating as a 2D pixel artist for small indie games. I find that to be the easiest form of animation that I can do.
      (see my gif page, there is a small sprite of another character running and shooting a gun)

      As a result, I had to adjust my animation style so that it didn’t look so much like a indie pixel art game. That is why I want to try something a bit more advanced for this animation to make it more cartoon like. And I think you will like the combat scene I have planned!


      1. Programming as kids?? I have recently heard of PC programming summer camps for kids as young as 6. I cannot imagine a kid that young programming anything. But, when I was between 7 and 11, I was thinking up schools just like that. I wanted to help design Atari games.

        I am rather clueless/inexperienced in animation other than the cel framework system/concept of “yesteryear.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well my brother is a few years older than me, so I was about 10 when I got into the basics of animating and he was about 14-15 or so and was learning C++. We started off using the program Klick&Play and that made the process a lot easier.

        Animating isn’t really hard, it is just time consuming. After you understand how key frames work the rest is pretty simple, it is just a matter of drawing what you see in your head. That’s why most professionals first make storyboard concept art before animating to help them visualize what needs to be done.

        With programs like Flash and Toonboom, 2D animatoin is a lot easier…. but both programs are expensive so I don’t use them. I do things the hard way. 😦


      3. I have spent so many hours with the most primitive of tools. I know about time consumption.

        Just a matter of drawing what I see in my head? Yea…that’s been like a reoccurring nightmare for me. Images look amazing in my head but don’t often come out that way “on paper.” There was a muppet Mozart or Beethoven on Sesame Street that conveyed my frustration when he hit his head on the piano after getting a note wrong.

        The expense of computer tools is more grief than any artist needs. It’s like affording expensive medical procedures or pills. I think it’s smarter and easier for us to just go without and do something else or find another way. You say you do things the hard way, too. Maybe the hard way is just the way that makes us stronger for tolerance.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ahaha. Very true. Programs like Toonboom or Flash are a lot easier to use for animating, but they come with expensive monthly or yearly fees. Photoshop is good for editing, but it too is quite expensive.

        I know about that frustration with creating something from scratch! I scrap so many projects and start over, you just have to keep trying until you get it right… which sometimes can take months. Its the one reason I never got into indie game development as a programmer.

        Growing up my mom would pick up my sketchbook and see that 80% of the pages had been ripped out due to failed drawings!


      5. I’m not good at scrapping. I tend to just pile incomplete projects somewhere with the intent of getting back to them. I don’t like getting so far just to start over. Sometimes, I have to start fresh because I forgot how I got where I stopped, but…

        My mom would find my “incomplete” books and drawings and toss them, even if I thought they were safe in a toy box (to reduce visible mess). She was the ultimate judge of what was worth saving, which really rubbed me the wrong way over time and hindered my desire to practice like so many here do with such ease and incessant need to post every step.

        Failed drawings, for me, were often examples to look back upon when I wanted to see what I did wrong and how to correct it. I was not the kind of guy to fill his waste basket with crumpled paper balls.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That may be even worse. The worst feeling–and one reason I hate inking–is I get so close to finishing a piece with ink and either smear or bleed somewhere. I want to scrap the piece…but I was so close! I don’t want to start over. I had this experience a few years ago with a “serial print.” [By that I mean a set of prints that tell a story.] I had drawn the perfect Asian woman’s face and ruined it in a later stage. I could not properly replicate my earlier work.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh gosh that sounds like the worse thing! D:
        I agree, it is one of the reasons I stopped with hand drawn art and switched to digital (although,using a mouse is hard to get fine details an curves). I was greatly inspired by Bob Ross because he would always say “If you make a mistake, just go with it and incorporate it into your painting” He’d make a mistake and add a black blop somewhere and somehow turn that into a masterpiece. As a child,it always blew me away! I would love to learn how to do the same thing.. but sadly my skill level is not at that point yet. This padawan still has much to learn. 😀

        Do you have a page where you post all your art?


      8. I’ve spent too many hours using a mouse to create art. I’d like to master a tablet and light pen, instead. The mouse is fine for digital editing, though. I’ve done some nice photo edited pieces with just my mouse.

        Bob Ross is a hoot. I can’t say I’ve been carefree enough to try one of his paintings or incorporate a mistake into a finished piece. That would be a challenge for me.

        I’d be a “happy tree” if I could just master that fan brush and/or pallet knife.

        One of these days…years…I will break out a canvas and paints and see where the awen takes me. [awen = divine inspiration]

        I have many of my simpler digital pieces, mostly collages for holidays (valentines and such), in my Chat Cafe Space, About Me page and…well, you can scroll through the archives like everyone else who seems to prefer that to looking at individual posts…to find some more. I have yet to post some of my best digital pieces or any hand-drawn pieces (portraits/caricatures, mostly). But, I may yet do so.


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