Creating an Animation from your Illustration

I’ve been animating my illustrations lately and thought I’d share how I do it. My technique is similar to stop motion – I save an image for each point of movement in the animation. Then I put the images together in iMovie. When the time between frames (or images) is the right speed, it appears as if the illustration moves.

Here are the three animations I created recently – click each image to see the animated movie on Instagram.
Click here to see the animation
Flickering candle animation #animation
Elf flipping animation

Steps to animating your illustration:

  1. Create your illustration. It is easier if the animated part is created separately from the non-moving part. For my reindeer animation – the reindeer is a separate illustration from the lights. The same is true for the elf. The background with the present is one illustration and the elf at the various stages of flipping are separate illustrations.
  2. Create the frames for your animation. Save a separate jpg file for each frame. I use Adobe Photoshop to put the illustrations together and to create the animated element. For the reindeer it was the lights lighting up in different ways. For the candle it was the flame moving and changing shape slightly. For the elf it was the elf in different positions, in different places. See my frames below.
  3. Upload the jpgs into iMovie. Place the jpgs in the order you want them to be viewed. Adjust the time between the frames so the animation looks fluid. Make sure “fit to frame” is selected so each frame doesn’t zoom in and out.
  4. Select “Share to file” to save your movie as an mp4 file to post.

Some of the reindeer jpgs:
In the image to the left only the blue lights are “on.” The one in the middle all the lights are on. On the right only the red lights are on.

Some of the Candle jpgs:
In each image the flame is slightly modified. I wanted it to appear that the candle was flickering.

The Elf jpgs:

Let me know if you give it a try!


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