Use Cartoon Animator to Bring Your Ideas to Life In Minutes

Ever think back to childhood days when you used to wake up early on Saturdays to catch your favorite cartoons? Though it takes half an hour to watch your favorite shows, it likely took a team of animators working for months, frame by frame to make your favorite cartoons.

Today, with developments in animation software, you can easily create your own cartoon characters and animate them in a matter of minutes, no matter what your skill level is.

There are several great animation tools online–some free, others costly–but, we recommend Reallusion’s Cartoon Animator 4, a 2D animation software used for both designing and animating characters. With Cartoon Animator, you get easy step-by-step instructions to create and animate characters from start to finish.

Making your character is as easy as choosing one from a wide range of pre-built character templates or creating a new one by using a picture of someone you want to animate. From there, you can record yourself, enter in scripts or upload audio files to make your character speak, or animate them by choosing actions from a movement library.

Make your characters dance, talk, fight or whatever else you need to tell your story. Here’s how to get started.

Choose Your Character

To start, it’s best to decide whether you want to use a template, create your own, or mix and match. If you don’t have any specific characters in mind, Cartoon Animator has fully built characters from you to choose from covering a wide range of scenarios including an office worker, objects or even animals.

If you have someone in particular in mind, you can choose to just use their face matched to a body template or create a template yourself using a full body image of the person.Depending on whether you’re using a mixture of an image and a template or creating an entirely new one yourself, the instructions will vary slightly. But, whichever path you decide, it starts the same.

When using a hybrid of a face from a photo and body from a template, it’s best to find an image of the person you want to use facing forward, with no glasses on, with their entire head visible, and with his or her mouth closed . This will help you later on when you start setting anchor points and start wireframing the character for animation later on.

Once selected, start Cartoon Animator and select a premade character by going to Content Manager > Actor > Template. Select the character template you want to use and enter the composer mode. By selecting the head of the character and clicking on the character composer tool, you can make changes to the face, including replacing it completely. This is the option you’ll choose to switch the template character’s face with that of the person you want.

The character composer tool will then guide you through cropping and masking the face of the person. Once that’s finished, you can place markings to wireframe the image. Here, we recommend taking the extra steps to use the detail mode to fine tune the wireframe, because it’s going to improve how real the character looks later.

After wireframing, check the calibration using the available calibration tools and match the orientation of the face.

With the face properly framed into place, it’s time to add specific parts of the face you want to animate including eyes and teeth. Cartoon Animator offers stock body parts for you to select from and tailor them to your character. There are plenty of templates to choose from, so pick what works best and delve into the setting for each part to fine tune it to your liking.

Here, it’s important to note, if you decided to create an entire character from scratch, the easiest method would be to find a full body image of the person you want. Similar to what you did for the hybrid approach, you’ll wireframe the character, but this time the entire body.

By adding a basic bone structure to the body of the person in the image, Cartoon Animator can later animate body parts.

Now that the hard work character creation is finished, we can start to animate them.

Animate Your Character

Start by going into stage mode to make your character speak. With your character selected, click on the Create Script button. Matched to the timeline, you can either record your own voice, type in text, or even upload a pre-recorded audio file for the character.

Cartoon Animator then matches face movements to the script to give voice to your character. Adding animation to your character is as easy as dragging and dropping actions from the Cartoon Animator’s animation template. To do this, just select your character and then click on the Animation tab from the right of the menu.

You can choose from 2D or 3D character animations to add realism to your character. Doubling clicking on the animation you want with your character selected, automatically adds the action to your character. Whatever you’re trying to emote with your character, chances are there are pre-built animations for you to choose from.

You, of course, also have the freedom to manually by setting your own keyframes.

With a constantly updating library of templates, you can easily animate your own cartoons in a matter of minutes using Reallusion’s Cartoon Animator.

Check out how cartoon character creation works by visiting the Reallusion site to download and try the latest trial version of Cartoon Animator.

Take a sneak peek at the forthcoming Cartoon Animator 5 new features.

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