How to Create Animations

Animating with ArtRage

ArtRage is not animation software, but you can use the program to help you create animations using scripts and screen recording, or to create the frames before animating them in another program.

Disclaimer: All software recommended here is based on what we have seen people use successfully with ArtRage, and is given as an example to help you get started. These programs may not be the best or only options for you.

Using ArtRage Along With Animation Software

You can use ArtRage to draw the separate frames and animate them in a different program. You can use specialized animation software such as Anime Studio Pro, or you can experiment with free or preinstalled programs like Windows Movie Maker. True animation software allows you to draw inside the program as well as animate your art, but a video editor can be used to animate pictures drawing in ArtRage by importing the different images as a slideshow and speeding up the playback until it appeared animated. You can also use ArtRage to hand-draw custom effects onto frames of an existing video or animation.

The advantage of using ArtRage to draw the original images is that it is designed for drawing, and will offer more features and better drawing tools than animation and video editing software. It also allows you to experiment with ArtRage’s unique natural media textures, instead of trying to add complicated and unnatural effects afterwards.

Steps

  1. Draw each individual frame on a separate layer.
  2. Export the final frames in your preferred file format (JPEG, PNG, PSD… ).
  3. Import to the animation or video editing program.

Tips

  • Save time by: Duplicating layers, using a single background layer and editing the foreground layer.
  • Edit frames created elsewhere: Import a single frame and add custom textures and effects by drawing on the imported image.
  • Transparency support
  • : Check if your animation software supports alpha channels and export transparent PNG or PSD frames for more flexible effects.
  • Hide all inactive layers by holding ‘ALT’ (or Option on macOS) and clicking the eye (visibility) icon on the current layer.
  • Export individual layers or hide all inactive layers and export the entire image.
  • Export all layers at once: Unofficial scripts can be used to export multiple layers at a time.

This video is an example of an animation that used art drawn in ArtRage and was animated in another program.

Vigour-FULL FILM from Chang Dai on Vimeo.

Create Videos with Scripts and Screen Recording

You can create live drawn videos and add narration using screen recording software. You can also use scripts to record your illustrations and play them back later for an audience, or to record a video as it plays back for further editing or sharing. While this isn’t the same thing as a true animation video, it can often let you get a similar result, or be much easier and faster to create.

Recording: There are many ways to record your screen. Get started with free software like VLS or OBS, or trial versions of paid software like Camtasia.

Tips

  • Record a script first and narrate while it plays back at high speed.
  • Set up the interface to hide or show menus as needed before starting a script.
  • Change the monitor resolution if you want smaller or larger menus in ArtRage during the video.
  • Record live painting instead of a script if you need cursors and menus fully visible. You can speed playback up later in a video editor.
  • Add narration and music separately if you have trouble talking and painting at the same time.
  • Add free music using YouTube’s audio library after uploading, or search for Creative Commons tracks online.
  • Keep it simple until you get more experience.
  • Keep it moving. Speed up or cut anything that doesn’t add to the video or is boring to sit through.
  • Use free video editing software (e.g. Windows Movie Maker) to edit the playback speed, cut unnecessary sections, add narration, and insert titles, credits and images to begin or end the video. Avoid fancy effects until you know what you are doing.
  • Keep an eye on the options for resolution and video quality, as well as the aspect ratio, when editing, exporting, and uploading.

This video is an example of someone recording their live drawing in ArtRage to create an animated presentation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=502ILHjX9EE

More Examples of Animating With ArtRage

Teddy Gage is a visual effects artist who used ArtRage to illustrate a music video for a client. You can watch the video below and read his artist interview here to learn more.

Painted Titles for a Song from SHOTGUN VFX on Vimeo.

Browse the YouTube playlist to see some examples of ArtRage being used in animation.