Skip to main content

Clip Studio Paint EX (formerly Manga Studio EX) Now Includes Digital Cell Animation

Creating Animation with
Clip Paint Studio EX.
In a marvellous piece of serendipity, SmithMicro released a free update to Clip Studio Paint EX (formerly Manga Studio EX) that included Digital Cell Animation.

Clip Paint Studio EX is my preferred illustration tool and, in my last blog post, literally a day before the update was released, I talked about figuring something out with Manga Studio in order to create digital cell animations of my own.

Apparently the Japanese version of the software received the update earlier in February (I think) so this release was for the English version of CSP. Unfortunately the feature is so new there is no English video tutorials showing how to use it (and only one Japanese video that I could find). The release notes kind of explain the various features but that's it. The manual doesn't mention anything at all. (At the time of writing this there is an updated English start-up pdf guide here that runs through the basics).

Fortunately the basics were not too hard to work out. I sat down with CSP over the weekend and managed to produce a one second animation of one of my cats. See the video below.



As you can see it's very rough. I really only created it to learn the new tools. I can't tell you how great it is to be able to sketch out by hand the individual cells in my preferred drawing software.

For the most part I worked it out. You simply set up an animation folder that holds each cell in the current sequence. You can have multiple animation folders for different parts of the animation.

I used one folder for my roughs then created a new folder for my clean-up drawings. I also created a new folder for my color layer. All of this made it easy to turn each stage on and off as needed.

The onion skin feature is great. You can see any number of previous and next frames in whatever color you'd like them to be.

There's also a lightbox feature that I've yet to work out. Plus, there doesn't seem to be any way to duplicate entire cells beyond using the selection tools and copying and pasting everything you need to a new frame. I'm sure there's a better way, I just haven't found it yet.

After you've drawn all your key frames it's easy enough to adjust the timing on the timeline simply by dragging the frame numbers around. You can animate on ones twos etc. as you like. The timeline will display the last key frame in the sequence until you add a new key frame.

Once you've finished your animation you can export it as an avi video file or animated GIF. There's also options to export all your individual cells too - making CSP a great option for drawing roughs and then exporting to a vector animation tool of your choice. Note that you can create vector animation with CSP but you can't export images in vector format.

Finished Animation exported as a GIF.

CSP will also let you import video files, which could be useful for roto-scoping, reference or just adding a video element created in other software.

As far as I can tell there is no ability to add audio to your animations. This is strictly a tool for creating the visuals.

If all this sounds exciting and you're thinking of buying CSP be aware that only the EX version allows animations of unlimited length. PRO and Debut versions limit you to 24 frames (i.e. one second) of animation.

I would highly recommend CSP as a great tool for this kind of animation, not too mention all the other illustration tools that makes CSP the must have tool for cartoonists, comic book creators and now animators. It's just better to draw with than any other software I've come across.

Check out CSP's full list of useful animation features on their website.

Comments

  1. Just a suggestion: To duplicate a cell, you can just duplicate the layer in the layer palette and specify this new layer as a cell in the timeline.

    If you have 'duplicate layer' and 'specify cell' as kyboard shortcuts, it's a fairly quick process.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello David: I've upgraded to the latest version but don't see the Animation category when I open a new file? How do I enable the animation module? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wait, just realized it installed it as a new app folder. My shortcut was pointing to the old one. Thanks!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Independent Animator's App and Resource List 2019 - Animation and Video Life

Being an independent animator is not like a studio animation job. There's so much more to do that is indirectly related to the actual task of animating. Over the years I've sought out many apps, tools, and services that can help me achieve that one single task, expressing myself through animation.

Below is my Ultimate Independent Animator's Resource List for 2019. It started out as a list of free or low cost apps that could help you in every stage of producing either 2D or 3D animation, and then just kind of grew from there.

You may not have been looking for a Time Management App as much as you needed something to get you started in 3D animation but when those commissioned projects start coming in you'll have a head start on maximizing your time.

All the apps and services on this list had to meet two main criteria:

They had to be useful and relevant to an Indy Animator/artist.The base app/service had to be US$200.00 or less.
(In the case of a subscription service that&…

Eric W. Schwartz: Cartoonist, Animator and Amiga Die Hard

American Cartoonist, Eric W. Schwartz, (whose unofficial Amiga Icon, Amy the Squirrel, is pictured on the July 92 edition of CU Amiga cover on the right) is my only real animation hero. Sure there are the big names like Disney, Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and even Preston Blair whose influences can all be seen in my own cartoons but Eric did what none of the others could. He showed that really great 2D computer animation was within my reach with little more than an Amiga Computer, a copy of Deluxe Paint and Moviesetter.

This was at a time when computer based animation was in its infancy (outside of computer game animation) and Flash was something that lights did.

There were many great Amiga artists but Eric was really the only one consistently making very funny, traditional style animations. His humor and drawing style is heavily influenced by classic Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons but he managed to build on this, creating something that was recognizably Eric's own style.

I've…

Review: Renderforest Whiteboard Animation Toolkit - Fast Cloud Animated Video

For a while Whiteboard Animation became a thing, particularly when the YouTube meme Draw My Life started to circulate.

Though, technically drawing on a whiteboard isn't animation any online video employing that style of technique is usually referred to as Whiteboard Animation.

The popularity of Whiteboard Animation saw the process of creating them become automated with simulated whiteboard animation. In a simulation a still, photographic image of a hand holding a marker, is moved around an image as it is 'drawn' on a usually white background.

Generally, if the image being drawn looks hand drawn, and the hand actually follows the lines as they are being drawn it looks almost as interesting as an actual real hand drawing on a whiteboard. However the illusion can be ruined if the hand is speed drawing perfectly formed lettering in a non hand drawn font, or worse is speed drawing photographs.

Renderforest's Whiteboard Animation Toolkit is one such simulator that I thought…

Review: CrazyTalk Animator 3 vs Moho Studio Pro 12

Reallusion's CrazyTalk Animator 3 or Smith Micro's Moho Studio Pro 12. Which of these 2D animation applications is right for you?

Regular readers of this blog will know I'm a strong supporter, and fairly proficient user of CrazyTalk Animator since version 1. It's a great piece of software for producing 2D animations from purchased content quickly and, with version 3, is easier than ever to create animations from your own art.

Lesser known is that I first purchased Moho Studio Pro 12 (then known as Anime Studio Pro 9) back in October of 2012 and have been upgrading it to the latest version ever since because I believed in it as an application for creating great 2D animation to TV quality standard. As such, it's a much more complex application than CTA3 that I only got around to learning properly late last year. I'm still in the process of blogging my progress.

Despite this I feel I've learned enough of Moho to compare it to CTA3 to help you determine which …

Learn Moho Pro 12 Free Using SmithMicro's Own 104 Video Tutorials Sorted into a Logical Order of Progression

So you've bought Smith Micro's Moho Pro 12 along with the Moho, 10 hour, 104 Video Tutorials Add On pack so you can get learning right away... only you can't. For whatever reason, the video tutorials aren't sorted into any logical order of progression making them hard to follow.

Yeah, I've been there, only I've done what Smith Micro should have done and sorted all the video tutorials into a logical order of natural progression for you. That is, each tutorial builds upon what you learned in previous videos and you won't suddenly come up against some feature you've never used before, unless that feature is what the video tutorial is about.

Voice All Your Own Animated Characters with Voice Changer

Voice Changer by AVSoft is real time voice manipulation software that can be used for a wide range of purposes including (according to their website); Voice-over and voice dubbing for audio/video clips, presentations, narrations, voice messages, voice mails, E-greeting cards, broadcasting, etc.; mimic the voice of any person, create animal sounds, change/replace/remove voices in songs, videos,etc.

I bought it for the specific purpose of changing my own voice, to extend my vocal range, for voicing characters in my own animations.
I was fortunate enough to get this software at a significant discount that made it difficult to refuse, given that I'd never tried it, or even heard of it before. I'm not sure if I would have bought it at the full price given that much of what it can do (for my needs) can also be done with the freeware audio program, Audacity.
Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply change you default microphone to the installed AV…

Tutorial: Lip Syncing Hands with Cartoon Animator 4

Most people accentuate almost everything they say with their hands, if they aren't consciously making an effort to keep their hands still, such as TV presenters often do.

Generally the more excited we are the more expressive our hands become. If we're really excited we might wave our hands in the air for example.

At other times our hands may reinforce a mood with actions that support our feelings, maybe if you're really sad you might rest your head in your hands, or wipe away tears.

In animation your characters can really seem more alive if you pay attention to what their hands are doing as they speak, creating gestures that support their dialogue. In other words, lip syncing your character's hands with what they are saying.

Unfortunately there's no auto hand syncing function in Cartoon Animator 4 but getting your characters hands talking doesn't have to be painstakingly laborious. You don't need to key frame every action if you take advantage of predefine…