Cartoon Animator, by Reallusion, is a powerful but easy-to-use animation program that let's anyone animate cartoon characters, even without previous animation experience. In this series of tutorials by Jonathan Lam, you'll learn how to rig and animate talking, moving cartoon characters using Cartoon Animator and how to customize your animation using Photoshop and After Effects.
Let's get started!
How to Rig and Animate a Cartoon Character
Cartoon Animator will empower you to you make animation very quickly, especially compared to traditional or hand-drawn animation workflows. It's an intuitive program to use, and it doesn't need extensive training or experience. Instead, Cartoon Animator includes ways to work with industry-standard tools like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects to design your characters; the programs you might already be comfortable with.
The first step is to "rig" your character design into a controllable puppet using "bones," or nodal points in the design. Creating and rigging your own character designs for animation couldn't be easier. Cartoon Animator provides a fully-functional PSD in-and-out feature that lets you synchronize your changes from an external editor like Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo with character rigging in Cartoon Animator, and a plug-in to move your work into After Effects for animation, effects, and finishing.
In our first tutorial of the series you will learn the basics of how to use prepare a pre-made character design in Cartoon Animator and After Effects. CTA comes loaded with plenty of great character choices to learn with.
Of course you will want to animate characters of your own design! In the next two tutorials we show how to use a combination of Cartoon Animator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects.
In this tutorial you'll learn how to prepare a custom character design for animation, step-by-step:
- AnimationFrom Photoshop to After Effects: How to Customize Rigged Characters for Animation (Part 1)Jonathan Lam
In the next tutorial you will learn how to animate your own 2D characters with the help of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe After Effects, using the strengths of each program:
Apply Your New Animation Skills
Don't stop there! The next three tutorials will put your new skills to use to animate a photo and create a talking avatar.
- AnimationHow to Animate Any Photo With Cartoon Animator and After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Make a Talking Avatar With Cartoon Animator and After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Create Smooth Head Turns in 2D With Cartoon Animator and After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Mix Real Characters Into 2D Animation With Cartoon Animator and After EffectsJonathan Lam
Customize Your Animation in After Effects
After Effects provides many ways to customize your animation. In these tutorials, you'll learn how to add lighting, movement, and special effects.
- Animation3 Ways to Colour Grade Cartoon Animation Using After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Add Motion Blur Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Add Soft Lighting to Cartoon Animation in After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Add Soft Shadow Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After EffectsJonathan Lam
- AnimationHow to Add Special Effects to Cartoon Animation Using After EffectsJonathan Lam
Keep Learning Character Animation
This series is ongoing, so check this space for more updates!
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Photo & Video tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.Update me weekly