Monty has created his own Anime series here in my hometown of Austin.  I thought that was so cool.   Here are some behind the scenes videos I hope you enjoy.

 

You can glean so much by watching others work.   I learned so much from watching him work and will be employing them in my animated series.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Here is one of the latest Anime’s.

You can do this too.  This would be great for a comedy style anime.  Less drawings, with a lot of detail.

This is just another example to help inspire you to try different things and tell stories more simply.

 

I love Cinema 4d and M Dot Strange.  He is what you call an UBERECTOR.  He has created 3 full length animated films all by himself in 10 years.    That is amazing.

He can definitely give you a bunch of tips in this Filmmaking Workshop.

Yes you can make your anime in full 3d animation.  I am here to tell you it is not as hard as you think.  In fact it may be a little easier than 2d style and give you the full on animation. Remember I shared several different methods with you.  Each method can be used to quickly and creatively produce a visual story.

I personally like 3d animation because once the assets are done the creation of animation can move so much more quickly.  I will mention though that a few tricks you would use in 2d would not work as well.  For example a common trick in anime is to pan a 2d picture and hold that one frame.  In 3d you almost constantly have to be moving unless celshaded or if it is more 2d rendered in nature and even still it may look a little weird.     Another drawback is creating all those assets.  It is very difficult and takes a lot of time.

BUT….

Once you create those assets you can reuse them over and over again and in any angle and even change the entire style.  And that is where you can really take off.   A ton of lone animators work using 3d to speed up the pace but also to raise the quality level a bit that might not be achievable in 2d.   2d does have a certain warmth to it but for the visual storyteller 3d may be your best bet for speed and quality.

But then again I think this 3d rendering of Snoopy in 2d captures it really well and adds a depth I do not think possible in 2d full animation.  It feels so warm and fuzzy.

snoopy

So imagine the above if you have a 3d model.  You can easily reposition it, move it around, animate and render it in any angle and have them do anything.

3d can give you a real advantage if you do not want to draw frame by frame and do not want limited animation or the 2d tween/puppet style animation.

M Dot strange was able to in the last 10 years create 3 FULL Length animated features using 3d.

Dave was able to make this in about 18 months I believe.

Jeff Lew made this full animated feature in 3 years.

The World Gone Mad was created in 5 months.

The point is that you can make a series or a full fledged movie and it will not takeyou an eternity to do it utilizing 3d.   I would say if you use some shortcuts and tricks you would greatly speed up you work and could possibly get a good average of about 3-6 minutes of animation a month, maybe even more.   All it really takes is the models that are rigged and ready to move.   The quality really depends on you.

I made this in less than 3 hours.

I mean it is not a master piece by any means but it gives you the idea of the speed and quality that can be achieved using some shortcuts.

The question is “What if I don’t know how to 3d model?”

Well the answer is there are tons of resources out there that provide you with 3d models that you can “Kit Bash” or just find the right outfit.

Poser, Daz 3d, IClone, MMD (freeware Anime making software).

All of these can be used to make an animated series, cartoon, anime, etc.

People may laugh, especially in the CG/Special FX and 3d community for using pre-made models and a program that seems like a toy or digital Barbie doll but the tools are what you make of them. (That is another post all together)

Here is an example of Poser being used in Animation

Mac Wave Studios has some great work.

Could your movie look like that?  YES! Using pre-built props and characters.   I don’t want to make it sound so easy but basically the scene above looks like Victoria from Daz 3d, background looks like something StoneMason created which you can purchase at Daz3d.com and some Mocap files with some great rendering and lighting in Cinema 4d.

All those things are now available to you.

What? Even MOCAP.  Yes.  Mocap has gotten cheaper and easier to use.

http://ipisoft.com/ here is a link to cheap Mocap Sofware.

http://brekel.com/ here is a free Mocap Software.

IClone’s pro package has MOCAP built into it.

Both of these 2 software packages use a Kinect Camera connected to a computer. Go to Amazon.com and get one for 45-150 usd.

Or if you do not have Mocap you can do something like this.

Addressing the folks who may laugh at you for using Poser, Daz3d, IClone, or MMD please check out the animations below.

Rosa was made using what looks like Aiko 4 or 5.  Definitely Daz characters.  This animation was made in about 1 year by 1 person.

RWBY is now a very popular US made Anime series created by Monty Oum.  He uses Poser to animate with more custom characters.   He has some great making of videos and tutorials.  You can glean a lot from watching others work.

One of my favorite up and coming artists uses FREEWARE MMD to create animated shows.  Kel-Chan is featured here.  She uses “Kit Bashing” which basically is using bits and pieces from one character to the next to make original characters.

http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/650267

KelChan

The point is you can do some really cool stuff using 3d and you can get alot done.  Add some imagination and creative thinking and you can create something worth watching.

 

 

 

I wanted to share this method with you.  This is for folks who cannot draw as well.   Even if you cannot draw you can possible trace.  That is where rotoscoping can be a god send for you.

Rotoscoping is basically tracing video.   Who can’t trace?

You can get really natural motions and it is a lot of fun.

You have seen rotoscoping in old school Disney films, Ralph Bakshi films and in many action old school 80s cartoons like He-Man.

Here is an idea of what you can do.

Here is how they did it.  This will give you the basic idea.  I know it is not anime but again the concept is still the same.

I think Ralph Bashki’s work has to some degree stood the test of time at least in a cult following type of way.  It has a look to it that is all his own and yet for many is still watchable. The cool thing about today is that you can do the same thing but have that crisp, digital look as well.  It can look pretty slick.

Here are a few examples.

Is it possible to do something like this?  Could you rotoscope your animation especially if you may not be as good at drawing as you’d like?  It worked for Disney plenty of times.

rotoscopesnowwhite

 

Disney used a lot of live action reference and almost copied straight from the video.

Oataking777 has made some really cool modern day looking animations using Rotoscoping.

Here is one where he recored himself dancing funky and made a funny quick animation.

In the below video he shows you a method of rotoscoping using 3d reference.

I hope some of you run with this idea.  Rotoscoping can be tiring but remember in Anime they animate on 4s, 8s and 12s.  In other words you can do some parts with only 4 frames per 2nd, 8 frames per second or 12.

So what are you waiting for?  Get your friends dressed up as your characters in cosplay style, go out and film the scenes in live action and then start tracing away.

Okay I haven’t yet started to talk about software and actual HOW-To but there is some great software out there that could really help you out.  Right now I’m not talking about that just yet but Crazy Talk Animator gave me an idea of creating animation more quickly and giving you a certain style.

Of course you can also use Smith Micro’s Anime Studio, Adobe Flash, Toon Boom and Synfig (freeware).

Crazy Talk and all the others allow for a 2d puppet like animation.  It is pretty popular on shows created for Adult Swim.  Titmouse uses it alot.  I think they use Flash for their work.

But cutout animation can work for comedy style anime.  There are so many tools including 3d packages that can do the cutout animation style.  With a little creativity you can create some cool work.   You can even include motion capture.

Here are some shows that may give you an idea of what you can do with cutout style animation.

You can use a combination of tweening and puppet style animation to get things done more quickly.

I hope to get my hands on Crazy Talk animator because it has some sweet shortcuts I could really use in combination with After Effects.    You can do a 360 of the character in 2d and apply motion capture.

If you are not a great artist you can send the template to an artist you find on Deviantart.com or Fiverr.com and have them create all the angles for you with the template.  Easy as that.

All you have to do is add a little imagination.

I noticed that cutout, skeletal rig looks be be used on the below animated video game.  It is called Broken Age.  While it is not an anime per se the concept is still the same and can be applied to any style.  Notice earlier I mentioned the cutout and tweening can be used very well on a comedy style anime but with a little imagination and a lot of story it can also tell more serious tales like Broken Age.  I personally think it is a thing of beauty.

Your anime can be funny or even a thing of beauty using this style and animation!

So far I’m trying to give you several ideas on where you can go in making your anime.  All these methods can help with Time, Money and Ability.    I hope this is helping you to think outside the box and not simply try to tackle a frame by frame animation which would be really hard especially if you are not the greatest drawer.

This can give you an option to farm out your work to someone with a better skill set than you.  I guarantee if I looked in my usual places I could find someone who can create all the parts you need for the template used by Crazy Talk.  I’m even thinking within $45 USD per character at a quality rivaling Broken Age.    The cool thing is when you have a rigged asset character you can use it over and over again.

Check out www.Deviantart.com and www.fiverr.com to find artists on a smaller budget.  You could collab but that is a whole other subject which I have a serious negative take on it but I think I may help you find collabers.   Maybe in the next couple of articles.

Okay so when you think of telling a story visually, especially in animation you may be wondering what kind of animation can I make especially if I am a single person working on a project.

I wanted to show you the different styles you can work on and actually get things done.  Here are some different types of animations you can make.  Hopefully this gives you ideas on telling your stories visually.

1.  Minimum animation.

This style is one of the easiest because it takes less drawings and less art and is yet still beautiful and fun to watch.

Here are some examples of the Minimum animation style.

D7 Peacemaker

Technical Dave

Broken Saints

Afterworld

Now I know these are not anime per se but the concept is still there.  Could you tell your story in a minimalist style?  Notice Afterworld which is about 13 hours long.  If your story is good could you tell it with minimum animation?   Could you concentrate on telling the story with great visuals doing it this way?  Could you hire an artist who can draw just a few drawings and tell a whole story?

Anime incorporates a lot of pans and slides all the time.  This is just a simpler form of that.  I use the above examples because they are entertaining and tell a very big story which otherwise might not have been possible any other way.

What kind of story could you tell this way?

PS here is a nice version of that.

Less animation but still visually stunning.  I think if you have limited time and money you could go this route and still tell an awesome story.