The Magic of Animation

Today, I want to write about the 2D hand animations I have been making for Bewitching Baking. I will reveal how I make them.

We decided to run the animations at 11 frames per second. It saves me time and keeps the size of the game more manageable. I have finished four of these animations thus far. The shortest one is 18 frames, while the longest one consists of 42. All in all, I have painted 114 frames to date. Most animations are of a single hand moving, but in some, I have had to animate both hands.

My painting style is pretty realistic. To make my process at least a bit quicker, I rotoscope the base movement off a video we filmed. I import the video to Adobe After Effects where I lower the frame rate to 11 and then export the images. Initially, we decided on the 11 frames after testing the frame rate on a video.

First, I do a quick line art trace of each image. Then I use the photos as a reference and start painting. I often copy the last set of hands while painting and first try to cut and warp it to fit the next hands' shape. This procedure ensures I keep the coloration approximately the same for each frame.

A few rotoscoped frames.

All the hands for a clapping animation.

After I have painted all the hands, I import the layers back to After Effects where I assembly the animation. The first time I was doing this, I was pretty nervous: what if it doesn't look any good? I was so relieved it worked. I then export the layers in png for Anniina to move into Unity.

Unlike the hands, I mostly animate Wynona's head in After Effects. I will write a post about that process later.



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