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

I welcome, read, and respond to genuine comments relating to each post. If your comment isn't that save me some time by not posting it.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Popular posts from this blog

Make Disney/Pixar Style Characters with Reallusion's Character Creator and Toon Figure Bases

The Extraordinary Tourist Classic Coat outfit created using Reallusion's Toon Designer for CC3. I've talked before how I've wanted to get into 3D Disney/Pixar style character animation since I first saw the animated cutscenes for the very first Tomb Raider game back in 1996. It's why I initially bought Reallusion's iClone 3D studio app as soon as I could afford a computer that would run it. But then Reallusion released their 3D Character Creator (CC) for iClone and I wanted to create my characters with that (and I did try with Bat Storm ). But the focus of CC was realism, even with ToKoMotion's stylised body morphs . Now with Reallusion's Cartoon Designer bundle for CC3 which features two packs, Toon Figures , and Toon Hair , designing Disney/Pixar style 3D characters just got a whole lot quicker. The two packs are the bare essentials for creating Toon style characters. Five body morphs (2 male, 2 female, and one adolescent body morph that w

Artbreeder - Using AI created Character and Background Content in your Animations

A selection of User/AI generated images from Artbreeder. If you're looking for an endless supply of 2D character and background images for your animations then Artbreeder , an online Artificial Intelligence (AI) that generates image mash-ups you can tweak as much as you like, could be the ultimate content library. What is Artbreeder? Artbreeder is free to use though there are various paid plans, that give you additional features, such as higher resolution download images or more settings to play with. All images created on the site are Public Domain (CC0 License) and can be used in commercial projects. Using Artbreeder's online app you can generate head shot portraits, full body characters, landscapes, and other scenes simply by choosing two or more existing images to mash together then, using a series of sliders, to select which traits from each image you wish to lean toward in the final image. Photo Comparison - Top is my original uploaded photo. Bottom is Artbreeder's ap

Jarrad Wright, The Big Lez Show - Who Would've thought Animating with MS Paint Could Take You So Far?

A friend of mine recommended I should check out The Big Lez Show after I mentioned to him I make animations for living. He said the show's creator, Australian animator, Jarrad Wright , just makes episodes from his home using MS Paint. Somewhat shamefully I hadn't heard of The Big Lez Show, but the fact that it was being made with MS Paint absolutely hooked me into checking out. If you've never heard or seen the show then you, like I was, are probably thinking how good could it be? MS Paint has kind of a cult following of hardcore animators but no one would use it as their primary animation tool on a series, right? WARNING - before going any further, you need to know The Big Lez Show and its humor contains some pretty strong language. By strong I mean it's peppered very liberally with the 'F' and 'C' words and is very every day Aussie, blue collar speak. Unapologetically, all of that, is part of why it's so good. There's a good chance you've

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 . AV Voice Changer Interface. Voice Changer is relatively easy to install and set up. Once installed simply

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

July 1992 Edition, CU Amiga Featuring Amy the Squirrel. 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,

Animating Warwick Hays Skateboarder Ed Character for Cartoon Animator - Can Ed Kickflip?

Skateboarder Ed. Character by Warwick Hays. Warwick Hays has built quite a sizeable collection of characters, props, and backgrounds for Cartoon Animator that I've yet to really explore, however, being the tragic skateboarder that I am, it was surely fate that I would buy his Skateboarder Ed G3 character as my first purchase. Now I don't know a lot about Warwick but, based on the design of the skateboard prop that comes with Skateboarder Ed I'm fairly certain Warwick doesn't know much about skateboarding, and/or probably didn't use a good reference when designing his skateboard. Bart's skateboard has changed over the years, though curiously, even later versions, barely get closer to what an actual skateboard looks like. To be fair, Warwick's holding up a tradition of animators who clearly haven't seen a skateboard or noticed how skaters actually ride them. Just check out Bart Simpson's flat plank of wood with wheels from the opening int

Real Human AI Text to Speech Voice App by Replica Studios - AI voice actors for games + films

Replica Studios TTS App. Image: Replica Studios It really pays to attend Reallusion's free animation demonstration Webinars. At a recent webinar, host, Kai DeNeve, featured Replica Studio's A.I. Voice Actor system . Replica uses Artificial Intelligence to learn a real voice actor's speech patterns, tone, and inflection, which can then be used with their Text To Speech (TTS) system to produce the most realistic computer generated voices yet (or at least that I've come across). You can even fine tune how individual words are said and more. Their TTS system works through a downloadable desktop app for Mac and Windows. There are also bridging apps if you want to use their system for voices in UnReal and Unity Gaming systems. Sign up for a free account and get 30 minutes of free voice downloads (that's 30 minutes of recorded audio - not 30 minutes to download audio - that you can download a line at a time). After that you can purchase 4 hour blocks for just USD$24.00.