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animating with image ready

Okay, so I've been asked a few times how to animate with image ready, and although I'm not a HUGE fan of animating stuff myself, a LOT of people have gotten some VERY nice effects with their animations. SO, just to help those newbies to animating with image ready out, I've got this simple 'beginners' tutorial. Don't forget this is just a beginning guide, and you will work out ways to do this yourself that will be more efficient to the way you work, but in the meantime, enjoy!

bases for the dolls in this tutorial by manda

step one, opening in image ready
step one: first, draw your doll that in photoshop (obvious plug I know ;)). you can draw your doll straight into image ready if you'd like, as all the editing tools you need to doll are available there. open up your saved doll in image ready. for animating dolls and kaos etc, all you need to really pay attention to is the tool bar, the animation palette and the layers palette.

step two
step two: work out how many different types of animation you want... for as many different animations, you need the same amount of layers so you can add and draw extra parts. this isn't THAT important at this stage, but have a ball park figure. you can always add or delete the layers later on. to add layers, simply click on the icon circled in the image. to delete layers, grab the layer that you want to delete and drag it on to the trash bin to the right of the add layer icon.

step three
step three: okay, work out what your first animation will be. here I'm making the girl doll kiss at you. SO, to do this I click on layer two, grab my pencil tool and draw a couple of pixels to make her pouty. I've also decided to make the boy doll wink and smirk at you, so in the same layer, I've just drawn over the corresponding aread on the boy doll on the layer two to make him wink, and drawn over part of his mouth with the pencil in the same skin tone as around his mout to shorten his smile into a smirk.

step four: okay, in the next frame I want the girl doll to blink so I take my pencil tool and click on layer 3, turning off layer 2 whilst I'm working. now I draw over the area I want to animate - in this case the eyes of the doll. now I've got three frames ready: the normal 'original' dolls I did; the kissing and winking frame; and the blinking frame.

step five

step five: now it's time to start animating! we have three layers for animation - the original image and the two layers that I've drawn alterations on - so we need three animation frames. to add frames simply click on the 'add new frame' icon which is located on the bottom right of the animation palette (circled) and looks identical to the 'add new layer' icon on the layer's palette.

step six

step six: making sure the animation works! okay, well, what we have to do is turn on/off the corresponding layer for the corresponding animation frame. sound complex?? well it's not. all this means is that on each frame of animation you just have to have the layers with the image you want turned on, the layers with information you do NOT want in that frame turned off.

in this example, the changes are made on extra layers, so the bottom layer with the dolls is always on in each frame. in frame two, layer two is turned on and layer three off, and in frame three layer two is turned off and three is turned on. to turn layers on and off, all you need to do is click in the animation from you want in the animation palette, and then go up to the layers palette and click the eye ball visible for layer on, and the eyeball invisible for the layer off.

step seven

step seven: now we have to set how long each frame is visible for. this is a bit of fiddling on your part to see what effect you want - to fast and the imaage will look to be on fast forward, to slow and it will look jumpy and wrong. right click (on a pc) on the time at the bottom of each frame to bring up the frame time menu, and choose how many seconds or parts of seconds that frame should show up for. to test this after you've chosen a time whilst in image ready, click on the play button on the bottom of the animation palette. to keep editing the time, or to jsut stop the animation test, push the stop button.

step eight

step eight: final touches! click on the first drop down menu on the bottom of the animation palette (it will probably be showing 'once' as default) and choose the amount of times you want the animation to run through. here I've chosen forever because I don't want the animation to stop.

click on the play button to check that it's all playing correctly and then save! to save your image you must go file->save optimised (or save optimised as) and this will save your animated doll all ready to stick up at your site!


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