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Easy, Cheap, Animated Cartoon in 10 Minutes

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I always liked to draw and was thinking of becoming a cartoonist as a kid, but the tedium of the technique at the time (1980s) drove me away. Now we have computers and everyone is making flash animations. Flash attracted me because you don't have to redraw the thing every frame, you just move it's pieces. However this severly restricts the expressiveness of ones creations. Also, you have to draw on a computer using a mouse or drawing tablet, neither of which worked ever gave me the results I wanted. So I tried claymation because this allows expressiveness without having to redraw the character each frame. Problem with this is the clay is hard to work with and a pain.
Finally I came up with a very easy and fun way to do animations which can be both expressive, do not require redrawing of the whole character each frame, and allow very easy modification: without messy erasing and without having to use a computer mouse or computer drawing tablet. For this method all you need is a 'dry erase' board ('whiteboard'), a usb camera, a computer, and some free software.

 
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Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together

You will need:

= one or more dry erase boards
(more than one is nice because you can do multiple scenes at the same time without erasing the same board over and over)

= a usb camera
I use a logitech quickcam chat, it's cheap and does the job. It also comes with a weird bendy mount which allows me to mount it on a tripod that I have.

= a computer
any old computer will work as long as it can run the software (see below)

= some free software
I use 'MonkeyJam' to make the initial animations, it's free and it's great, does everything you need to make nice animations.
http://www.giantscreamingrobotmonkeys.com/monkeyjam/download.html
I use 'Video Edit Magic' to do the post animation editing (adding music, sound effects, naration, etc). It's a very cheap, simple, and effective program.
joybrooki8 months ago
Wow, Amazing that's some cool stuff. I think we can make some nice video animation.
awesome
Interesting way to do it. I have always drawn out what I needed on paper. Scanned it to my computer. Opened it in Photoshop CS5.1. Traced the lines of the drawing, usually individual parts, like trace the hand, save; trace the foot save; and so on. Then use something like Anime Studio.
That was great, totally made my day hahaha. Please make more
Rate my first cartoon, please:

http://www.doshkolniki.com/mult/ovechki/ovechki.html
Shany1202 years ago
Cool!
vishalapr2 years ago
These animations are amazing! Very well done!
splazem2 years ago
Cool, very cool. I love animations.
neetz2 years ago
this is so neet! i do a lot of drawing and that is so cool that you can turn them into a acual short! the only thing i do different is that i use plastic paper(also called cel paper), just like the original cartoons. you can get it at like office max office depot in like a package of like 100 ,it is kind of expensive but it is worth it . sooooo cool!

hiwaarco2 years ago
We are producing a short film. Are you willing to participate?
admin@hiwaar.com
we are interested in cartoons (creating animations). Can you take an assignment? Please respond in private .peti@green-option.com
timwinter794 years ago
I've had a similar life experience with animation and illustration

http://www.youtube.com/user/UODUCK79


I like your work. 2 questions - Can you do whiteboard animation like that which was done in Dan Pink's speech on motivation? and are you currently taking new assignments?

Respond in private to pr50934@gmail.com.

Thanks,

Dave
*clap*
 You sir.. are a god.

Thats the coolest thing i've ever seen, and yes americas voting system is.. well, i've seen better (COOOOOUGH) 

 -Cheers, Chris
I wish that monkeyJam allowed me to import images from my computer so i wouldn't have to buy a web cam. maybe i can borrow my bro's when the time to capture my frames. great ible! :D
jackatronix3 years ago
very cool animations
what is your youtube name???
technoguy943 years ago
Cool. It reminds me of a free program for the Nintendo DSi, Flipnote Studio.
Anonbonbon4 years ago

this is great, thanks alot. Hey, could this technique possibly be transfered over to digital? Like, using photoshop, or a similar program and simply keep duplicating the layer, and erasing and replacing the moving parts? Probably would take longer, but would be better for things that had to look like cartoons, like a fan-animation for an anime, or something. Just a suggestion, I'll have to test it first. Again, great job explaining this, I'm gonna use this technique for a few of my first animations^^

reverser5144 years ago
you can do the EXACT SAME THING with windows movie maker
Yes, but you have to add and shorten EVERY SINGLE FRAME IN THE DAMN VIDEO. Then there is the fact that the program and the videos it makes are extremely slow. I don't see the downside of downloading something specifically made for the purpose of animating.


-Y
Whales4 years ago
 What you could do, they used to do this back in the old days, might be the 80s frame you talk about. Is that would draw the more same things, like background, static objects on wax paper, or see-though w.e then when you're ready for a shot you just lay the sheets over whats moving. that way you can actually keep things for later.

It's pretty obvious if you ever watch old scooby doo cartoons, the things that move are drawn with less detail and usally in slightly brighter shades.
Institoris7 years ago

You see i made this a month ago,i think.. for a girl in my class.I know it's not the perfect animation and that there might be some problems with the animation technique but i really had a great time making this short film :)Can anyone tell me the name of a course book or something like that for the basic things in animation,the different types,etc.?I I think that this would really help me to improve myself and i would be really happy if someone can help me with this:)
 Incredible animation! I'd love to do this sort of thing but I lost the USB cable for my camera (oops) and I dot' want to keep pressing the shutter button because the camera moves a little every time you press it.
 Oops, I meant "don't".
That is very cool!

There's an old college text called simply, "The Animation Book" by Kit Laybourne. It was printed in 1979 so it'll be hard to find but Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon, USA has it in stock as of November 30, 2009.

It has exercises, techniques and lots of stills from award winning animators including a lot of independents.

Hope this helps! You've got a gift and it would be great to see you expand it.
Could you please give me the YouTube address that will take me to your video? And may I forward the address to my friends? I know they wil "LOVE" it!!!!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MEVaqFEF_4

Enjoy watching  :P

simply click on it
Oh ! I just had to write again. If a boy had made something so beautiful and creative for me, I would ask him to marry me right on the spot! You have a ton of talent!! Please keep in touch, I want to follow your career. God bless you. Lyn
nave Institoris5 years ago
dude that was awesome how you made the globe spin
Institoris nave4 years ago
well I just drew how the continents usually move without deleting the circle :P
I think your animation is amazing. Great job.  You should be an animator or cartoonist or an illustrator. 
haha Thanks.Then you'd be surprised to know that eventually I decided to take up medicine and now I'm a medical student in my second year.However,I do continue drawing(my biggest hobby)and I'm planning to make another movie something a bit longer than last one.The only problem is time:/.Luckily many people ask me for drawing them something on T-shirts or making them greeting cards or something like that which kind of keeps in touch with the area.Last but not least if anyone here can tell me where to download a program for whiteboard animation I'd be grateful because the one I used in the above movie had a range of only hmm 1600 frames I think which for me wasn't enough :P
Thanks for the post,again. :)
Very nice.
Cool! I love the music and the lightbulb part.
this is awesome, i love it :)
You did a fantastic job! I wish i had your talent! Well done!!!!!
wow it so sweet that you made that for a girl i would get the bout the second part of the heart and think f this im having a coffey lol great animation
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