Figure construction using
cylinders, circles and lines of action.


Step 1:


First begin with a LINE OF
ACTION. The LINE OF ACTION should always be active. Avoid vertical lines — they
are still and can make your character wooden. Try a sweeping curve, a diagonal
or horizontal LINE OF ACTION.


Step 2:


Add some simple shapes to the
LINE OF ACTION. Think of these shapes as three dimensional, i.e., as FORMS with


Step 3:


We now need to build some
STRUCTURE in our character. Draw simple lines for the structure of the arms and

The hips are always attached across from each other and they are
always opposite each other. If one is forward, the other is back. If one is up,
the other is down.



Step 4:


Create forms around the
line of structure for the arms and legs. Most of the time you will be using

Experiment with
different shapes of cylinders. Curved lines against curves or, better yet,
curved lines against straight lines form more dynamic and interesting shapes


Step 5:


Know which direction the
cylinders face.



The neck is always on the
front side of the body and not on the top of the shoulders.


Step 6:


Finally, hang the clothes over
the forms. The details are the last elements you add to a character design.


Work RUFF and LOOSE; it will add more action attitude and
spontaneity to your designs.


Key Points

  • Start with a LINE OF
  • Define the character’s
  • Add the FORMS.
  • Finish off with the
    clothes, fur, etc.
  • Details are added last.


Character Construction with Line of Action and Silhouette Theory:


The concept of line of action
and silhouette helps in creating dynamic poses so that animation will look more
appealing. Line of action is nothing but the imaginary area that exists in the
centre of the character on which the entire character is built. Silhouette
concept enhances the animation, to project the action of the particular pose
even when there is no light put on the character. Silhouette can be defined as
the shadow of the character in the darkness.



Basic Head Construction: 1



Step 1:


Character Design for the Head
is very simple. Like all character design is it based on simplified anatomy and
construction. All characters can be broken down into basic 3D shapes or forms.


Step 2:


Once we have the ball. We draw
an eyeline horizontally around the ball. Then, draw a line vertically, the
centerline, perpendicular to the eyeline.


Step 3:


The bottom of the eyes is
anchored to the eyeline. The top of the nose is anchored below the eyeline. The
eye lines show the up and down and tilt directions of the head.


Due to perspective the eye closer is larger than the eye
farthest from us. The centerline shows us the left and right direction the ball
(or character) is facing.


Step 4:


Add the pupils and the mouth
and bottom lip. Bottom lips are very important to expressions and dialog.


The mouth is drawn slightly to one side – it keeps the design
asymmetrical and it makes the character more appealing.


The pupils are always drawn as
complete shapes (a) – and not as cutouts (b). Add the ears (c)
for human characters they generally begin at the eyeline. Find the crown of the
head at the back and draw the hair forward from there.


Think of it as covering the ball shape of the head. Continue to
cover the sides of head (ball) and you have the basic head construction.


Step 5:


When drawing eyes begin with
the pupil and let the eye shape and the eye brow radiate from it.


Step 6:


Using the same principles of a
simple head design, let’s create other characters.


Again, draw a ball, and then
draw the eyeline and the centerline. Remember, these lines always curve around
the ball. In fact, draw 2 or 3 balls with eye lines and centerlines. Now add the
eyes (anchored above the eye lines) and forms for snouts or muzzles below the
eye lines.


Part of designing characters is play so play with different
forms (3D shapes).


Step 7:


Draw a ball with the eyeline
and centerline (a). Draw the eyes above… and the snout below… (b). Note in
drawing (c), the bottom of the snout or muzzle is the top of the animal’s mouth.
Also, when the character has really large eyes, you can draw brows above the
eyes. These brows parallel the eye shape.


Basic Head Construction: 2


Obviously, not all character’s
heads are designed as perfectly round. This section shows how to create more
complex character head construction.


Step 1:


We can accomplish our task by
adding to the ball shape below the eyeline – a combination cheek and jaw line –
that extends from one side of the eyeline to the other side of the eyeline.


This cheek/jaw line comes in handy for squashing and stretching
the cheek/jaw line during lip sync (dialog).


Step 2:


We can combine both the
cheek/jaw line with a snout to create even more complex characters. Let’s take
LaMatt the dog and construct him. Again, we begin with the ball, eyeline. Center
line and cheek/jaw line.


Next we add a 3D form for the


Then we draw in the eye sockets
and a nose.


Finally we complete LaMatt by
adding a mouth, ears and fur and other assorted details.

Just remember that the details
are always added last.


Character Construction with
Basic Shapes:




2D Animation

 What is 2D Animation?

 The creation of moving pictures in a two-dimensional environment, such as through “traditional” cel animation or in computerized animation software. This is done by sequencing consecutive images, or “frames”, that simulate motion by each image showing the next in a gradual progression of steps. The eye can be “fooled” into perceiving motion when these consecutive images are shown at a rate of 24 frames per second or faster.

2D animation figures are created and/or edited on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics or created and edited using 2D vector graphics. This includes automated computerized versions of traditional animation techniques such as of, interpolated morphing, onion skinning and interpolated rotoscoping.

2D animation has many applications, including analog computer animation, Flash animation and PowerPoint animation. Cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of an animated GIF file of which part is animated.

This is 2d

Famous 2d animation characters/show

  1. Disney Characters such as Snow White, Goofy, Mickey Mouse
  2. Popeye
  3. Mexopolis
  4. PHineas and Ferb
  5. The Simpsons

This is 3d

Famous 3d characters/show/movies

  1. Shrek
  2. Toy Story
  3. Finding Nemo
  4. The Incredibles
  5. Megamind

2d has x and y axis only

What are the elements of a 2D Animation?

  1. Planning – plan your animation, dont even start drawing without a plan or a storyboard
  2. Clear Message – make sure viewers can understand what you want convey 
  3. A Good Story – even a simple black and white animation (disney did that) would be effective if the story is good. In contrast, even the best animation tools and techniques would not be effective if the story is dull or not interesting. This also means you need to create a storyboard before even starting to animate.
  4. Good Grasp of Motion Principles – 12 principles of Animation
  5. Your drawings, or photos
  6. Animation Software

Softwares used for 2D Animation

There are a lot of softwares that can be used for 2d animation. workflows varies depending on the artist. You can even use photographs to depict animation.

Two dimensional (2D) animation software adds movement and action to static images. These programs use eithervector drawn or bitmapped images as objects. The motion of animation is perceived by the viewer from a series of frames. For the motion to appear smooth a minimum of 15 frames persecond (fps) is generally required.

The list here is short but are some of the popular tools around.

  1. Photoshop – CS 6 is just around the corner as of this writing but CS 5 can do a heck of a job producing simple animations. By default the animation window is hidden. To show it , Go the menu bar at the top – Window > Animation to enable and see the animation panel
  2. Adobe Flash
  3. Adobe After Effects –
  4. Adobe Premiere
  5. ToonBoom  – see wikipedia
  6. Pencil (free)
  7. Claymation Studio
  8. Animation Workshop

2D Animation Software: What to Look For

2D animation software should provide you will all the tools you need to get your project done and out the door in the formation you want it to be in while also being easy to use and having enough help and support options to answer any questions if they may arise. Any program that doesn’t meet all of these criteria is likely one you should pass over unless it has some other redeeming quality that makes it warrant a second look.

With any program that caters to artistic, technologically savvy people out there, the more features a program has, the more likely it’s going to go over well with even the pickiest animator. The features have to be useful and functional as well. Companies shouldn’t seek to boggle people’s minds with a bloated set of features. A quality over quantity approach should be the plan before all else.

Having a lot of options when it comes to bringing files into your projects and saving your project as certain file formats can help expand what you can do with 2D animation software. The program you choose must allow you to import many types of files and save your projects in several different file formats. It’s better to have a large amount of options in both areas than not enough.

Ease of Use
Animation is a very complex and intricate process that requires a lot of steps and time to complete even a fraction of an overall creation. It’s important that manufacturers do all they can to make learning how to use and master their product as painless as possible for the home user. 2D animation software that’s easy to use can draw a lot of people into the animation field that otherwise wouldn’t be interested in the craft

Types of 2D Animation

  • Cel Animation –  (traditional animation) is based on a series of frames or cels in which the object is redrawn in each consecutive cel to depict motion. Cel comes from the word celluloid (a transparent sheet material) which was first used to draw the images and place them on a stationary background.

A brief history of cell animation

  • Digital Animation – paperless version of traditional animation where drawings are drawn straight unto the computer
  • Path Animation – Path Based animation is the simplest form of animation and the easiest to learn. It moves an object along a predetermined path on the screen. The path could be a straight line or it could include any number of curves. Often the object does not change, although it might be resized or reshaped.

Western Spaghetti – a stop animation film

  •  Sand Animation – sand is moved around on a back- or front-lighted piece of glass to create each frame for an animated film. This creates an interesting effect when animated because of the light contrast.
  • Cut-out animation, is made by cut  pieces of paper card fabric e.t.c. They are place under glass then a frame is taken then the cut out is moved slightly and a new frame is taken. Probably the  most well known of cut out animation is the Monty Python sketches.

Methods in Animation

  • Onion Skinning – Onion Skinning is used in the process of creating cel animations. It allows you to see a faint outline of the previous cel so you can draw the changes for the next cel.
  • Tweening – from the word – “in between” tweening is a method where the first cel of an animation and the last cel of animation are selected and the animation program calculates all the cells in between.

Tweening in Adobe Photoshop

  • Rotoscoping is made by tracing over live video to create realistcic movement. Each frame is traced over individually then the reel footage is removed leaving you with just the traced drawing.

cinemagraphs are still photographs in the form of animated GIF where the animator chooses the part where to animate.

Drawing Exercises to simulate walk cycle


Create the Walk Animation

Adobe Photoshop CS5 Animation
Growing Vines in Photoshop and After Effects

Digital Drawing From Pencil Sketch to Photoshop

Dave Habben, the man who taught us to sketch awesomelyget inkyconsider coloring choices and add texture to our art in Photoshop, is taking a step back to show us how to get started on a digital drawing with a traditional sketch. This tutorial demystifies what can seem like a complex process to demonstrate how pen and pencil fits just fine into a Wacom workflow. Read on for the tips you need to take your art to the next level:

Hello Stylus Devotees! I’m excited to once again share some useful tips for you to explore with your Wacom tools. As in my previous posts, I’ll be using a Wacom Intuos Pro and Adobe Photoshop CS6 on a Mac mini, but the method we’ll be using applies to a variety of image creating software. Also, this post is written with a somewhat advanced Photoshop user in mind, so we’ll be glossing over some basic terms. If you get lost or need help, feel free to contact me with your questions.

In previous posts, we’ve discussed using the Intuos tablet to sketch out concepts directly into Photoshop. This is a great method when you have access to your computer, but what about when you’re in a meeting or out to dinner and you get the greatest idea in the world? Just because your idea was put down on a restaurant placemat, doesn’t mean you can’t use it for finished artwork. What’s even better is that you can make adjustments digitally and save yourself a lot of time. Let’s take a look at how simple this process is.

First, we’ll start with a sketch.

Next, we need to scan in our drawing. There are several different combinations of scanners and software that we could discuss, so I’ll leave this process up to you. However, there are some things to keep in mind.

Remember, this is just a sketch, so you can save yourself time, hard-drive space, and memory, by scanning at a lower resolution. You can also scan the sketch in grayscale format to save further space. Below, you can see the image I scanned at 150dpi. It’ll be fine for our purposes here and for most of yours as well. When you move to a final image file, you can create the hi-res version with this as a base layer, as you’ll see further down.

Now that our image is scanned, we’ll make it easier to adjust our composition by using layers. I like to name my layers in order to find the one I need quickly. To do this, I simply double-click on the layer name and it becomes an editable text box. When you apply this method to a background layer, like we have here, it will not only rename the background, it will also create a floating layer out of it.

With the background converted to a layer, we cut out our characters to make our adjustments. I have two characters in this sketch, so I’m going to make a separate layer for each of them. To do this, I’ll first duplicate my “sketch” layer (Command+J for Mac, Control+J for PC). Now I have two identical layers. By clicking on the “eye” icon to the left of the layer, I’m going to turn one of them off. On the visible layer, using the Lasso tool, I’ve selected the boy character and deleted the area around him. To do this, I drew a loop around the character with the lasso tool and then inverted my selection by typing (Shift+Command+I). Once the selection was inverted, I could simply hit delete and I’m left with the cutout character on an otherwise empty layer.

I’ll do this again for my creature layer. Hiding the boy layer with the “eye” icon and then making the creature layer visible with the same method. Then, using the lasso tool, I select my character, invert the selection, and delete the area around it.

With my characters separated, I want to be sure to rename the layers by double-clicking on the layer names. Labeling them specifically doesn’t seem like a big deal when there are only two layers, but it can make a huge difference as we start to add more layers and create more complex compositions.

Our next step is to use the layers we’ve made to create our desired composition. Do I want the creature to be big or small? How close do I want them to be? Using the layers we can move them and scale them (using our Move tool) to any position we’d like. As you select the layer, it helps to have the “Show Transform Controls” box checked in order to adjust the layers size and scale with the provided anchor points.

After a little experimenting, I’ve decided I like the creature to be a little smaller. As a result, my composition looks like this:

I’ve also added a white background layer here to make seeing the image easier. Clicking the small “Create a new Layer” icon in the bottom of the layer palette instantly creates a new layer and we can use the method described above to rename it.

Finally, with my composition adjusted to my liking, I can move forward to create the final image. If you’re going to create an image for print, be sure to increase your resolution, or dpi, before moving forward to at least 300dpi. In previous posts, I’ve described my method of “inking” over a sketch layer.

I’ve created a new layer above my sketch layer for the ink. I also like to drop the opacity of my sketch layer down to around 20%, so there’s just enough for me to see the rough drawing as I draw over the top.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tutorial for adjusting your traditional sketches with digital tools. Combining the artwork you’ve created from different methods can bring about great results and fresh new techniques, so be sure to keep exploring and sharing your ideas with the Wacom Community!

See you next time!



Key Web Development and Design Skills You Should Learn In 2017

In addition to building your client contact list this year, you should be thinking of upgrading your knowledge base in critical areas, especially as competition in the digital economy gets stiffer and opens up wider opportunities for highly skilled web developers and designers.

What exactly should you focus on when expanding your web development skills-set and techniques? There are no all-encompassing answers here, except very, very long ones; but it’s mostly a factor of your area of interest and perspective of what is most important

It’s really a matter of choice, but here are some key fields we think you should investigate and master a few essential principles from if you’re planning to move forward in your web development career through 2017 and onwards.

Key Web Development and Design Skills You Should Learn In 2017

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is the most in-demand specialist web development skill in 2017, as we continue to gravitate to the cutting edge of technology. Cloud computing refers to sharing data and digital resources, rather than housing them individually in local servers; virtual computer resources that are configurable and can be accessed from a control panel.

It is a highly technical field, which is why it is the current most sought-after niche in the web development arena. Companies that want to stay competitive will need to engage a web developer skilled in the technical art of cloud computing.

Related skills that you could pick up along the way are data mining, cloud migration, cloud security, statistical analysis, and cloud application development.

The biggest cloud providers are Azure, Google, and AWS, which between them, have brewed a competitive storm that is thankfully driving down prices and keeping cloud within the budgets of most companies. That means increased opportunities for smart web developers/designers who have invested in learning cloud computing.

Machine learning

Machine learning has grown in significance and popularity in the past 12 months and has come into the mainstream of digital communication technology. It involves analysis of raw data by machines to better understand and predict human behaviour, and consequently improve the way we interact with our mobile devices. Machine learning will certainly play big roles in digital communication technology going forward.

Digital storage systems and management

This skill extends beyond the ability to store and provide access to computer data in the cloud or shared drives. It requires that the professional also has the capacity to manage the data in an organized, secure and easy-to-navigate way.

web development and design skills

Web and mobile app development

The greater number of web users accessing the Internet on their mobile devices has inspired a boom in demand for apps, either for work or personal use.

Apps are the signature of modern web use, as they make websites, web products and indeed life, a little easier, more fun, engaging and interactive. Smart companies are increasingly seeking web development professionals who are skilled in the art of app development, to improve the productivity, efficiency, functionality and the competitiveness of their brands, products or service; while equally saving valuable money.

Domain Name Advisory

Thousands of domain names are registered on a daily basis. With the sheer number of options available when choosing names, registrants tend to get confused about the right name to use. Understanding domain names and having advisory abilities is an important skill, especially at a time when new generic top level domains are released regularly. “We are increasingly being asked to advicse clients on business domain names,” says Brendan from Freeparking. “Our customers want to know about exact match domains, brandable names, dropped domains, and much more. By becoming experts in this area web developers will easily an extra string to their bow, and will have the added income stream of becoming domain and hosting resellers.”

Digital information security

The digital economy has grown so big, as more and more firms key into the vast business terrain and opportunities waiting to be explored. But doing business on the web is not entirely safe, as fraudulent individuals are always on the lookout for any loopholes to steal identities and hack vital information that’ll lead straight to bank accounts.

Web-based businesses and top brands with a significant online presence who move a lot of sensitive data or engage in transactions across the web make network and information security a top priority.

User interface design

User interface design is essentially about making the website responsive and intuitive to the site’s visitors and providing them with a richer user experience. This is what the web is all about really. Companies will continue to individuals who can design websites, apps or programmes that are both functional and great looking.

This is just a snapshot of some of the important areas you could consider upskilling in to have a competitive edge over the coming years.

10 Places to Find Free Graphic Design Mockups

Looking for free graphic design mockups? This collection of template resource websites has everything you need to create the perfect mockup for your design project.

Mockup World

A design file resource website that’s focused entirely on delivering free graphic design mockups. Mockup World has everything you can hope for from a mockup freebies website. The site has various device mockups featuring some of the most popular brands like Apple and Samsung. The other mockup categories range from billboards and signs to fashion and apparel, along with food, beverages, magazines, and books.

Alien Valley

Alien Valley has a vast library of free graphic design mockups. The premium part of the site offers everything from handcrafted fonts to custom screen creation kits, logo designs, and various bundles. Both the freebies and the premium files available on Alien Valley have excellent quality. The free mock-ups range from tags, paper bags, books, and various products to digital devices and outdoor signs.

Freebies Bug

One of the designer community’s favorite freebie resource website offers an excellent collection of graphic design templates along with its other free design files. Freebies Bug has everything from PSD, Sketch, and Illustrator freebies, to free code and stock photography.


TinyDesigner collects some of the best graphic design templates you can find online. The site hosts multiple unique design templates and shares additional sources on its blog. Along with its print and web design mockups, TinyDesigner has many packaging and product mockups as well as Photoshop text effects, graphic backgrounds, and others.

Designer’s Best Friend

This website has a large collection of unique designs as well as various graphic design templates. Designer’s Best Friend is specialized in delivering unique mock-up designs. The freebies collection is segmented into a few categories featuring print mockups, web design mockups, and vector elements.


GraphicsBurger has one of the largest collections of free graphic design resources that you can find on the Web. The site is extremely popular among the design crowd for offering a massive amount of freebies in a vast range of categories. Its collection of graphic design templates has almost everything you can think of, from tote bags, caps and tees, to plastic wraps, various types of packaging, print templates and web design mockups.

Graph Berry

A relatively new design resource site with lots of amazing freebies to choose from. Graph Berry has both PSD and HTML templates along with UI kits and various icon sets. Its mockup graphic design gallery offers a variety of free files, including products, devices, along with print and web elements.

Free Goodies For Designers

This website is yet another excellent resource website for free graphic designs mockups. The website’s freebies gallery has multiple categories, including fonts, icons, vectors, textures, brushes, effects, images, and mockups. Even tho the website is not entirely focused on graphic design templates, it provides a vast resource base for unique mockups. Its gallery includes t-shirts, outdoor signs, digital devices, print covers, and more.


PlaceIt is the holy grail of free graphic design mockups. There’s literally nothing you can’t find on this website. PlaceIt hosts over 2500 free design templates and high-quality demo videos. The templates in PlaceIt are separated by file type ( photo, video, PNG, multi-device, and iOS screenshots ) and by device type. You can also filter the mockups by category type, including travel, fitness, gaming, education, city, home, and more.


Pixeden is a graphic design resource website with various design templates. The site offers both premium and free design files. Yet, its freebies database is huge and features some of the highest quality graphic design templates that can be found for free. The site offers print and web design templates, icons, vectors, and different graphic files. Even tho the website is mainly focused on delivering paid designs, it has an excellent freebies library that contains some amazing resources from each category.