Anime is quite different from its counterpart in America.  For example American animation usually uses 24 FPS for the entire animation.  Avatar: The Last Airbender is an example of that.  It has very fluid and consistent animation throughout the series.  They also had a 2 million dollar budget compared to a usual 200-300,000 per Episode budget of an anime series if that.   I’ve seen much lower.

With such low budgets there is a need to take some short cuts to animation while still making it look good enough to watch and in most cases still look beautiful.

A few years back I found this great cheat sheet breakdown over at Celshader.com.  I love that site.  Check out these awesome anime cheats that you could use in your next video.

Here are some essentials, some check boxes and some tricks to keeping your anime awesome but your animation time lower.

General Tips


Essentials (present throughout the entire animation. DO NOT skimp on these)

  • Story — the foundation of your animation. If this fails, it all falls apart.
  • Direction — a good director can wring more out of less, in my opinion.
  • Storyboards — because good storyboards save you $$$.
  • Art Direction — present throughout the entire piece.
  • Character Designs — make those held cels works of art.

Next Level (try to make these as high-quality as possible)

  • Color Design
  • Voice Acting — carrying the weight of the character’s emotions.
  • Music — film-quality music lends a cinematic feel to the animation.
  • Sound FX
  • Backgrounds — the more detail, the more “expensive” it looks.

Scene Level (reducing the amount of total character animation work)

  • Convey Complex Actions Off-Screen — using editing and sound FX
  • Reduce the Number of Characters On-Screen
  • Reduce the Amount of Character Interaction
  • Intercut Complex Character Animation with Simpler Shots

Shot Level (aka: “If It Moves, It Can’t Possibly Be A Comics Panel!”)

  • Camera Moves
  • Rack Focus
  • Background Animation — ’cause you got to animate something
  • Life Cycles — minor animations that dress up a “held cel.”
  • Light FX — easier than character animation
  • Specular Animation
  • Cutting Animation with Held Cels — stretching your animation dollar.
  • Hide-the-Mouth — to cut down on the amount of lip-synch work
  • Hide-the-Feet — eliminate “foot slide” with creative cropping
  • Held Cels

Frame Level

  • Strong Poses and Facial Expressions
  • High Illustration Quality — don’t let it look “cheap.”
  • Glow — a relatively inexpensive enhancement.

 

 

 

 

Matte painting is important and a good method to use in creating your anime backgrounds.  If you read alot of webtoons, manga and watch anime you notice often times the artists will trace over real life backgrounds for speed, accuracy and a nice look.  Look if it is good enough for the pros to do then it should be good enough for you to use.  Just saying.

I came across this beautiful tribute awhile back.   I loved the style and loved all the little details.  This tribute to Hayao Miyazaki is awesome.

And now here is the breakdown.  The guy actually uses free software to make most of this.

Its a lot of work but beautiful!

I loved watching this tutorial.  It was pretty neat seeing how things are done in the making of this show.

Again the same techniques can be used for creating your own anime.    You could go about making an anime puppet in 2d similiar to what they do here.  Remember story is important.  I hope you enjoy this little workflow video.

I wanted to share some of my favorite covers to some great anime theme songs.

So why am I sharing this?  Well if you are going to make your own anime you do not want to forget MUSIC!  Music is important to any anime.  It builds the moment and builds the crescendo.    You know the hero is about to win and things are going to get excited when it happens and it connects people to your story in ways you cannot even fathom.  But how excited do you get when you hear this?

Yes music is powerful.  You want people to connect to your music.   One great thing is there are tons of musicians who love anime and would work with you on creating an awesome track!  This can be one of the most important parts of your story.   So think long and hard about creating an awesome theme with an awesome singer/songwriter.    Today it is all but possible!

Michel Victor has some cool work.

He has extensive tutorials on how to add animation to a still drawing.  You don’t have to make the whole anime frame by frame.  Why not do a manga with a little bit of pizzaz to it.

 

You can get your tutorials here…

 

https://gumroad.com/michelvictor