Have you ever thought, "Hmm...I wonder how the people in the movies animate these characters?" Well, now you don't need to wonder. This Instructable will show you how to animate your own drawings, images, and even yourself. This Instructable is sponsored by TuffyBear (tuffybear.org) and Vibrant Movies (vibrantmovies.com).
Step 1: Find an Image
This is one of the most fun steps. You get to choose what you would like to animate!
You will need an image which is broken up into parts. For example: If you want the arms and legs to move, the arms and legs have to be separate.
In my example, I am using one of our sponsors' characters' sketch: a sketch of TuffyBear. I want to animate the base, and the head, so my head and base are separate from the rest of the body
Step 2: Add a Bézier Mask
You may be wondering why we needed a picture with separated. Wonder no more, we will use a bézier mask to mask out each of the pieces. Fun fact: They were named after the French mathematician Pierre Bézier.
Note: Please duplicate the image depending on the amount of pieces (e.g. 2 pieces > 2 images) then you can put the pieces how they should look.
Step 3: Add a Background
This is not required, but hey, who doesn't want a nice looking animation, with a pretty background.
The background I used is from TuffyBear's game, TuffyJump. Get creative, enjoy!
Step 4: Adding Anchors
In order to animate, we will need to add anchors. Anchors are somewhat like joints on our bodies. Select anchor, and then drag the anchor where you would like the part to move, shoulder area for arms, etc.
Be sure to rotate the part and make sure it is where you want it.
Step 5: Adding Keyframes (a.k.a. Animation)
Now for the moment you've all been waiting for...Animating. This may be easier than you think. You first have to add keyframes, they are essentially where an object has to be at a certain time. Don't worry if the animation is not smooth at first. I'll show you how to fix that in the next step...
If you want the entire character to move, you will see a thing that says group. If all of its parts are in the group, you can control all its parts at once.
Get creative with this step. After this instructable, you should be able to animate anything
Step 6: Refining Animations
If your character's movements seem unnatural, this step will show you how to tweak the waveforms, thus creating a smoother animation. If you like your characters' movements, then you do not need to do this step.
To open the keyframe editor, you will need to press "Command - 8" Then, to tweak the points, you will need to right click (Control - Click), and then under interpolation, click bezier.
After you are done with that, your animation is ready!
Step 7: Sharing & Publishing
Once you are done with your finishing touches, you can share and export your project to YouTube, FaceBook, Vimeo, and More. You can even export as a .mp4 or .mov file.
Under the share menu in the toolbar, click on the desired option, and then you are done!
I hope this instructable helped! Please vote!