So you’re an artist, and you have all these stunning illustrations and images you’ve created, but you're wondering how to create animations with them? Look no further, in this article we will give you some easy steps and insights into how you can create some short animations to bring your creations to life, and equip you to enter some animation-based creative briefs!

Step 1: Write your story first

This one is easy, but often overlooked. Dream up an idea (keep it simple) and do some research. Start with basic movements like walking or running and sketch your poses pulling from videos or storyboards. Be sure to pay attention to details like slight nuances in movement. Once you’ve dialed in your references and main poses, start bringing your idea to life by developing a storyboard of your animation so it all makes sense.

If you’re animating your art with a tool like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, make sure you have all of your poses or movements organized in individual layers (trust us on this one).

Animation by Talenthouse Creative Elena Maykhrych

Step 2: Plan it out

By now, you should have a solid idea for your animation with a series of poses or movements dialed in. Get excited because you’re getting closer to making this a reality. Start connecting each movement within each pose, one-by-one. This is also a great time to add more of those little nuances that can make your animation more authentic. Be sure to use this time to focus on poses that will connect to the next major pose in your storyboard (or next layer). The more time you spend on those connections, the smoother the animation.

Animation by Talenthouse Creative Paul Christian Catoera

Step 3: Bring it to life!

Alright, there’s no turning back; it’s time to show-off your computer skills. If you’re animating your art in Adobe Illustrator, this is about the time where you’ll begin to translate those poses into a frame-by-frame animation. Set a timeline for the first frame, then duplicate the layer and deselect the first frame. Repeat this as you move through each layer remembering to deselect the previous frame.

While you begin to animate each frame, make sure each layer’s changes in movement makes sense and your set timelines are consistent.

Animation by Talenthouse Creative Anton Egorov

Step 4: Tidy up

Once you’ve got all of your developed frames in your animated storyboard completed with detailed connections included, take a final look and clean it all up. Remove anything that isn’t authentic to the animation or, you know, anything that doesn’t make sense.

Animation by Talenthouse Creative Oliviero Spinelli

Step 5: Loop & Enjoy

You’ve made it to the finish line. It’s time to loop it all together. Switch the loop setting for your animation to “forever” on Adobe. Clarify any “small imperfections” while playing close attention to the final frames and sync it all up. Sit back, relax, and press play. 

Animation by Talenthouse Creative Josue Bernabe

Now that you have the know-how, and the tools to create a short animation, test out your skills by submitting a short animation to the Bombay Sapphire Presse Creative Brief, and you could win £2,000!