Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

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Fuseblower
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#16 Post by Fuseblower » Thu Sep 29, 2016 6:34 am

I´ve been dabbling in animation a little bit, in the old-fashioned pencil and paper way. It's true what's been said here : it is time consuming.

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I'm by no means an expert but here are my 2 cents :

If there's only one book about animation that you're ever going to read then it should be "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams (the guy who made "Who framed Roger Rabbit?"). It's completely filled with examples and he passes on the knowledge he got from working with the old, legendary animators. It's absolutely mandatory reading for animators.

You'll learn about important concepts like "extremes", "passing motion", "easing in, easing out" (or "cushioning")., etc. The nuts and bolts of animation. And Williams doesn't just talk about it : he shows it with thousands of drawings.

Animation skills are very different from drawing skills. Of course, an animator has to have some skill in the drawing department but "It's all in the timing and spacing" as Grim Natwick said. You'll have to develop a feel for how quick or slow some things go (that's something I still have a lot of work to do on).

The book (like all books on animation) first starts with the bouncing ball. Of course, I didn't want to draw a stupid ball, I started with one of my girls doing a cartwheel. Not only did I make every single mistake I've read about in the book, I invented some new ones too. It took a long time to get some kind of acceptable result (it grew from an 8 framer to something like 30 frames). Personally, I think that's a good way to learn. And I still haven't drawn a bouncing ball to this day :lol:

Also : don't look at that anime stuff for animation. It can't hold the candle to the old stuff from Disney, Warner Bros (Bugs Bunny and co.) and MGM (the old Tom and Jerry of Hannah and Barbara). Go through it frame by frame to see how the animation is achieved. There are no secrets, it's all right there on the screen. Animators like Chuck Jones were quite experimental and great to learn from.

Keep animation simple. I've done stuff in which a lot happened and each frame looked right on its own but when played in sequence it became a tangled mess. Each frame goes by so fast that the eye only sees a simple shape changing its form. Basically, it's a kind of blob that grows fluently in one part and shrinks in another. If too much is happening then that blob just pulsates irratically.

And draw quickly. Ub Iwerks, the first animator of Disney, drew hundreds of frames each day (compare this to taking a whole day or worse to do a single sprite). In the end, a lot of experience is needed. Experience is only gained by doing it often. And one can only do it often when one does it quick.

Note also that in dem olde days the animators only did the pencil sketches and they often used "inbetweeners" to draw frames between the ones the animators already did. Other people cleaned those sketches up and inked them and others colored them. These are different disciplines. For a big project such a setup would greatly reduce the burden on the animator (whose skill is in making animated drawings, not in coloring or inking them).

Of course, this is all about classical animation and there are programs now that allegedly make things happen quicker but if those programs can't do the stuff that the classical animation could then it's just a step down. The basic concepts of animation are true, no matter whether the animation is done by pencil or by some program. Even 3D animation takes the same amount of time as doing it by hand.

In short : be prepared for a lot of work when doing animation. Richard Williams rightly said "Animation is nothing but work".

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#17 Post by dorne » Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:36 pm

Nice animation Fuse.
Fuseblower wrote: If there's only one book about animation that you're ever going to read then it should be "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams (the guy who made "Who framed Roger Rabbit?"). It's completely filled with examples and he passes on the knowledge he got from working with the old, legendary animators. It's absolutely mandatory reading for animators.
I've heard about this book. I'm certainly going to take a look at this one!
Fuseblower wrote: Also : don't look at that anime stuff for animation. It can't hold the candle to the old stuff from Disney, Warner Bros (Bugs Bunny and co.) and MGM (the old Tom and Jerry of Hannah and Barbara). Go through it frame by frame to see how the animation is achieved. There are no secrets, it's all right there on the screen. Animators like Chuck Jones were quite experimental and great to learn from.
I think there's alot of good and bad animation in Japan, just as there is in the West. Japanese animation did diverge from the West years before I was born, so there is alot to learn.

Studying frame by frame is the way to go, and is something I'll try to do!
Fuseblower wrote: Keep animation simple. I've done stuff in which a lot happened and each frame looked right on its own but when played in sequence it became a tangled mess. Each frame goes by so fast that the eye only sees a simple shape changing its form. Basically, it's a kind of blob that grows fluently in one part and shrinks in another. If too much is happening then that blob just pulsates irratically.

Fuseblower wrote: And draw quickly. Ub Iwerks, the first animator of Disney, drew hundreds of frames each day (compare this to taking a whole day or worse to do a single sprite). In the end, a lot of experience is needed. Experience is only gained by doing it often. And one can only do it often when one does it quick.
The adage that practice makes perfect rings true, and the more and faster you practice, the more you'll reach the goal.
Fuseblower wrote: In short : be prepared for a lot of work when doing animation. Richard Williams rightly said "Animation is nothing but work".
Sure is hard work bringing something to life isn't it? Thanks for your opinion, it's been really informative.
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#18 Post by gaians » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:02 am

im pretty interested in animation, but to be honest i am still working in my drawing skills so i have not investigated this properly one bit, i even dont know how to program in renpy yet,
i have been really interested in 2live before too, but the lincense is too expensive, anyway i tried to make some "animations", so i would like to share it and hear your opinion

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the gif version worsen the quality of this one

i would like to see more threads about animations, or maybe a exclusive section, it could be a little soon for that, but as someone has said before, maybe that is the future, and getting a little ahead of time will not harm us
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#19 Post by dorne » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:04 am

gaians wrote:i tried to make some "animations", so i would like to share it and hear your opinion
Neat effects! I feel you can make the animation more impactful. When you create this in live2d, you can also export as image sequences right?
gaians wrote: i would like to see more threads about animations, or maybe a exclusive section, it could be a little soon for that, but as someone has said before, maybe that is the future, and getting a little ahead of time will not harm us
I agree. The barrier to create animation and effects is getting lower, and it is a matter of people taking the time to learn how to create them. More threads on animations and people experimenting is good, and the only way to get the ball rolling is for people to start working on them today.
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#20 Post by teagirlvn » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:47 am

If you only want to learn animation to use for VN, it's not that hard, there are a lot of softwares out there that can help you animate your drawing, quick and easy, you only need a week or two to learn how to use them.

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#21 Post by Divona » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:59 am

teagirlvn wrote:If you only want to learn animation to use for VN, it's not that hard, there are a lot of softwares out there that can help you animate your drawing, quick and easy, you only need a week or two to learn how to use them.
Animation like School Days will not be easy one, though. :lol:
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#22 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:21 am

gaians wrote:im pretty interested in animation, but to be honest i am still working in my drawing skills so i have not investigated this properly one bit, i even dont know how to program in renpy yet,
i have been really interested in 2live before too, but the lincense is too expensive, anyway i tried to make some "animations", so i would like to share it and hear your opinions.
The darts animation is great - that just works, angle, speed and overall appearance. The blood splatter does not - it's too slow to be believable. Also, the upper-leftmost "gush" is already done when, in the middle, more "sputters" appear - it makes the whole thing look weird.
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#23 Post by Kinmoku » Thu Oct 27, 2016 10:25 am

I'm a huge fan of animation in VNs :) All the ones I love are animated! I am an animation graduate, though, so I suppose I'm biased ^^;

My game One Night Stand https://kinmoku.itch.io/one-night-stand features rotoscope animations. It can be a little demanding of Renpy on longer animations/ older machines, but it generally it works great! I don't understand why there aren't many animations in VNs... It's a big loss IMO. But, again, I am an animation fan girl! ^_^ I think animation, especially 2D, is one of the most expressive forms of art.

I use ToonBoom studio for 2D stuff, but I was going to try out Live2D as it looks gorgeous. Flash and After Effects can be good too... It depends what you're doing :)

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#24 Post by dorne » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:16 am

Kinmoku wrote:I'm a huge fan of animation in VNs :) All the ones I love are animated! I am an animation graduate, though, so I suppose I'm biased ^^;

My game One Night Stand https://kinmoku.itch.io/one-night-stand features rotoscope animations. It can be a little demanding of Renpy on longer animations/ older machines, but it generally it works great! I don't understand why there aren't many animations in VNs... It's a big loss IMO. But, again, I am an animation fan girl! ^_^ I think animation, especially 2D, is one of the most expressive forms of art.

I use ToonBoom studio for 2D stuff, but I was going to try out Live2D as it looks gorgeous. Flash and After Effects can be good too... It depends what you're doing :)

Wow! You were the one who made One Night Stand? I first saw the early version from a let's play from SuperPaulGames, and the rotoscoped animation really expresses the main character's personality. The nonverbal communication aspect works much better with animated gestures vs something that is static. To think that the animations were made using Ren'Py, it gives me motivation to develop on my own.

Personally, I want to hear from all of the animators who pass by here. If you have a project that involves some amount 2d/3d animation, please let me know!


There are many free options to animate:

Pencil Animation - http://animationpaper.com/
Opentoonz (The one I'm using atm - https://opentoonz.github.io/e/)
Krita - https://krita.org/en/download/krita-desktop/

Just need the effort for people to learn how to animate!

(@Kinmoku I just bought your game.)
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#25 Post by Kinmoku » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:43 am

dorne wrote: There are many free options to animate:

Pencil Animation - http://animationpaper.com/
Opentoonz (The one I'm using atm - https://opentoonz.github.io/e/)
Krita - https://krita.org/en/download/krita-desktop/

Just need the effort for people to learn how to animate!

(@Kinmoku I just bought your game.)
Thanks! ^_^ I haven't actually heard of Pencil Animation (Animation Paper) before. It looks nice :) I may have to give that a go!

I hope you end up making an animated VN. I'd love to check it out :D

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#26 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Fri Oct 28, 2016 8:00 pm

Kinmoku wrote:I'm a huge fan of animation in VNs :) All the ones I love are animated! I am an animation graduate, though, so I suppose I'm biased ^^;

My game One Night Stand https://kinmoku.itch.io/one-night-stand features rotoscope animations. It can be a little demanding of Renpy on longer animations/ older machines, but it generally it works great! I don't understand why there aren't many animations in VNs... It's a big loss IMO. But, again, I am an animation fan girl! ^_^ I think animation, especially 2D, is one of the most expressive forms of art.

I use ToonBoom studio for 2D stuff, but I was going to try out Live2D as it looks gorgeous. Flash and After Effects can be good too... It depends what you're doing :)
Oh, I've seen One Night Stand! Kudos, Kinmoku! I really love the look you achieved with the rotoscoping. I know the joys of that craft - I used to be a rotoscope artist for Paramount. It has it's own considerations unique to itself outside of other 2D animation, and I thought One Night Stand really did it well.

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#27 Post by Kinmoku » Sun Oct 30, 2016 12:21 pm

LateWhiteRabbit wrote: Oh, I've seen One Night Stand! Kudos, Kinmoku! I really love the look you achieved with the rotoscoping. I know the joys of that craft - I used to be a rotoscope artist for Paramount. It has it's own considerations unique to itself outside of other 2D animation, and I thought One Night Stand really did it well.
Thank you so much :) And wow! :D You probably know much more than me then, I've only dabbled in it at university, and for One Night Stand. It is very different from other 2D animation though. It's closer to live action film.

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#28 Post by Sonomi » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:43 pm

Hi. Late but...

I'd also like to see more animation in VNs, though frankly more CGs would be just as nice. Often you only see CG in moments that highlight an important event of the story, but it would be great to see VNs that have a CG highlighting the most important moments of each scene as well.

Back to animation. It's not impossible, in my opinion, and I encourage all creators who might be interested in putting them in VNs. Don't think in terms of budget, because animation is not actually a budget issue. ;) I'd argue that art in general isn't a budget issue, provided you are doing it yourself. It's a commitment issue.

I don't know a whole lot about how its done in Ren'Py (because I've only used it for about 3 weeks at the time of this post), but animating should not be too difficult a feat for a regular artist. I have to disagree with the idea that the two skill sets are separate. Because as someone whose created at least a few pencil and paper animations, I can say that it's as simple as drawing a thing, grabbing a new sheet of paper, drawing the same thing again (in a slightly different position), and then flipping the pages fast.

I too was surprised when I learned that this is how animations are made. One picture after the other is quickly flashed in front of you so it looks like things are moving around, but...the reality is that they're a bunch of stills. What do regular artists draw? Stills. So I hope I've made my point to anyone whose discouraged or unsure about whether they can do animations. Just like everything else, there are tools ( like ease-in) that you can apply to your work, but at its heart the process is very much the same and straightforward.

I've thought about doing animations in my VN, but I'd have to be an artist first...still working on that.

For those of you who are good at artstuffs and want to animate in VN, how about taking a .gif approach? It would interesting to see a few well-placed repeating animations layered on top of otherwise usual CG, backgrounds, or scenes with sprites. Gif-style animations can be used for repetitious actions like running or eating. Just an idea.
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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#29 Post by Fuseblower » Thu Nov 03, 2016 7:48 am

Sonomi wrote: I don't know a whole lot about how its done in Ren'Py (because I've only used it for about 3 weeks at the time of this post), but animating should not be too difficult a feat for a regular artist. I have to disagree with the idea that the two skill sets are separate. Because as someone whose created at least a few pencil and paper animations, I can say that it's as simple as drawing a thing, grabbing a new sheet of paper, drawing the same thing again (in a slightly different position), and then flipping the pages fast.
Who would have thought? So easy! :lol:

I too have created a couple of pencil and paper animations. I posted my knight swinging a chain and ball earlier in this thread. For fun : open the gif in gimp or something and take a look at the "slightly different positions".

And since I believe my threads are mostly visited by bots, I'll repost my little skeleton dance :

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Let me re-iterate the two most important words about it : "112 frames".

Even if animation is as simple as drawing the same thing over and over again in "slightly different positions" then there's still the issue of the sheer volume of work. Classical animation is typically done on "1-s" or "2-s" which means 24 frames per second and 12 frames per second, respectively.

At best, my animations are mediocre but I try to get better. What you call "slightly different postions" is called "timing and spacing" in animation lingo and that's the hardest part to get right and it's a completely different skill than drawing. Right now I'm working on the animations of "The Doomed Diner" and I can already reveal that the timing and spacing won't be perfect, despite my best efforts.

Now, I don't want to discourage anyone wanting to do classical animation in VNs either but I sure as Hell ain't gonna say it's "simple" because it's not.

Having said that, I believe that the OP wasn't talking about classical animation but about things that can be done in Live2D (there's also Anime Studio). In the end it's about what the animation adds to the VN, not how it was made.

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Re: Anybody interested in 2d animation for VNs?

#30 Post by Mammon » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:17 am

Sonomi wrote: I don't know a whole lot about how its done in Ren'Py (because I've only used it for about 3 weeks at the time of this post), but animating should not be too difficult a feat for a regular artist. I have to disagree with the idea that the two skill sets are separate. Because as someone whose created at least a few pencil and paper animations, I can say that it's as simple as drawing a thing, grabbing a new sheet of paper, drawing the same thing again (in a slightly different position), and then flipping the pages fast.
Animating shouldn't be too difficult, but it's a whole lot of work. Especially if you're a VN maker whose not an (enthousiastic) artist or if you have to pay someone per drawing, animation is a hurdle much higher than you might think. I'm by no means a real artist, but I know that making the same thing in a slightly different position can be much harder than it looks. Just making a character actually look like that character without relying on cheats like their hair color is already an accomplishment for me. So the thought of making a drawing and then making that exact same drawing again but slightly different, that's more difficult than one might think unless they know how to use their digital versions to reuse 80% of the drawing they have to copy.

And you'll have to consider the 'minimum effort' standard. Yes, everyone will try to improve their work as much as they can but they will still keep some perspective of what they can and have to do. Animation is not part of the 'have to' of a VN (art, writing, coding), and is therefore much easier discarded as a neccesary part of what you'll have to implement/learn how to do.

I like to take anime (Yes, all of anime!) as an example. Even big-production animations tend to take shortcuts like using the same image for several seconds, only changing the mouth and eyes or using a loop of 2-4 images to create more dynamic. And whenever you see 3D animation in a 2D show and wonder why, it's because these are easier to animate. They only need to make the model(s) and drag their elements to the right positions. Good animation with actual 2D animated animation like Fate/stay night that don't rely on such cheats are actually reallllllly high budget and rely on a lot of animators and workhours.

Practically speaking at Lemmasoft levels of animation, things like blinking and even lipflaps are within reach of an artist here but things like waving an arm around or moving one's head are not. Even Japanese VN of actually big production values can skim animation to just their opening animation, and make even that just zooming in effects, moveinright and simple changes of the sprites.
Fuseblower wrote: Even if animation is as simple as drawing the same thing over and over again in "slightly different positions" then there's still the issue of the sheer volume of work. Classical animation is typically done on "1-s" or "2-s" which means 24 frames per second and 12 frames per second, respectively.
Right, I've heard about this I believe. Most movies and console games are with 64 frames per second these days, right? Just thinking about making 64 different variations for a single second of animation is giving me nightmares.
At best, my animations are mediocre but I try to get better.
What are you talking about, those animations are adorable and amazing!
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