Studio 2

Specialisation Research Report

This is the research I compiled about the workflow of 2D animation, a lot of it relates to specific programs (Adobe Animate and the Duik plug-in for Adobe After Effects). I also looked into some of the basics of animation and some general pipeline stuff.

As I already have a good knowledge of the preproduction pipeline I got started on it without researching it much first. I then did some reading on it and discovered that I naturally followed the workflow of it (with some minor changes). As 2d and 3d although very different share the main workflow, they have equivalent steps to each other, although sometimes they skip steps from the others pipeline.

From reading over the workflow by Tuttle (2017) I discovered that I switch around and combine the storyboard and concept stages, although I still have an idea on the action/ what is happening in the scene, I just haven’t most the time researched or drawn out the movement. Like for my frog animation, I wasn’t quite finished with the final frog design but I still made the thumbnails of the motion because I already knew to an extent what my character would look like. Although this may just be their suggested workflow and other people/companies may switch it around like I have, which wouldn’t be that hard to believe, as long as an idea of what is happening is know the exact action doesn’t have to be known to the finest detail.

The information given by Miracle Animation Studios Inc (2013) although detailed and helpful, is a bit confusing with the layout of the information, even though they have a flowchart up the top. Due to the time and scale of the project, I didn’t do the some of the stages particularly the pre-production stages to the same length or detail as they were described. I adjusted the scale of them to suit the scale of the project and the time I had. I didn’t have a very lengthy script, I find it weird thinking that I had a script as my animations were always planned to be short. So my equivalent of a script is a shot sentence description e.g. rog jumps across the pond and misses lily pads, falling into the water, Ballerina bows and turns into Swan or Trapeze artists catching each other. Because of the length of my animations, animatics weren’t made as it wasn’t necessary. I kept my concept/design phrase short and didn’t experiment with colour as the animations aren’t coloured.The frog jumping across the pond was originally going to be longer and be put to music, like a pantomime, although I didn’t end up doing this, I did look into classical music I could put it to. The rest of the information relates to larger scale productions and just stuff that wasn’t necessary for my short animations.

(Toon Boom, 2018).

These images depict both traditional and paperless, I feel like I combined them both in a simplified way. As the length and detail. My workflow went like this:


Using reference in animation is very important, I learnt a lot about what to look for in reference videos and also a method in which to view reference videos in Maya. I just utilised the information in what to look for. I wish I could have gone through and analysed the video further and constructed the screenshots into a video just like he did, I feel like it would make sure that the essence of the movement captured much more easily and effectively before animating. just like he did. Instead, I played through the reference video slowly and took screenshots of when there were changes in direction

Notes from Cameron Fielding’s video on using reference: 

The video resource uploaded by iAnimate (2013) Fielding says to create an animation that the audience can empathise with. The gesture and the pose above the movement.

Use Mayas and put the videos on a plane, can render them out through playblast and can edit the curb of how you view, to slow it down or reverse it.

Focus on the poses, pictures, the combinations of pictures\poses that create the motion or expression evoked. With action, the physicality of the action is the focus whereas in emotion it is the subtle movements.

What’s Important to looks at:

What pictues\poses do I need to understand this movement, to give the impression of the movement/emotion, the pictures that you remember of the movement. Draw the poses, find what you focus on capturing, the thing about the pose you can’t quite capture that’s important.

How to summarise action:

Changes in direction- top arc in movement for example. The Extremes.

Ins and Outs. Breakdowns.

Weight shifts. Combination of above.

You can’t just go through every 4 frames

You can’t just go through every 4 or 8 frames to get the summary of the animation, cause you can miss about on a lot of the key actions/poses especially in a really dynamic, complex or honest heartfelt scene. You need to focus on capturing the key poses, they aren’t always evenly distributed so an be missed by just playing every 8 frames.

Fielding, usually just goes through looking for change in direction, if through doing that you don’t capture everything the go look for ins and outs.

ins and outs are how the change in direction happens, the frames just before and after the change in direction. The slow in, slow out or fast in, fast outs.

Make a choice on what to focus on based on what you think is most important to depict and your first impression. Don’t over analyse.

If you simplify the reference you understand. If you simplify the reference you understand it more.

Be technical then be artistic.

Look for ins and outs that have an interesting pose, that you like.

Look at the direction change and look at the close frames to find the most appealing pose, depict the feeling or action better.

Creates a better sense of scene.

Embellishment can’t be taught, it’s from your artistic style.

With the action/animation reference and research stage here are the videos I watched, some have notes due to the length of the videos;

Frog jumping

Debby Anderson. (Uploader). (2015, September, 3). Frog On A Lily Pad [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Daniel Gibson. (Uploader). (2011, September, 7). Pondlife in Second Life – Jumping Frog On A Lily Pad.flv – YouTube.flv [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Gary Crowder.(Uploader). (2017, June, 13). 2 Frogs On Lily Pads, 1 Hops [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Ballerina Swan animation reference



Glen Keane- 

Opéra national de Paris. (Commissioners). (2015, September, 15).  NEPHTALI by Glen Keane [Video File]. Retrieved from:–X2ls4

Nephtali by Glen Keane

Transforms into deer at the end by overlapping images of the ballerina and deer and fading her out to only show the deer.

Amber Dust. (Uploader). (2014, June, 26). Duet – Glen Keane HD (2014) [Video File]. Retrieved from:\

Duet Glen Keane

Transformation happens during movement, from toddler ballerina into a child, the limbs seem to stretch out as she leaps transforming her into a child. The same type of thing happens from tween/teen into a young adult, it happens during her jumping into the water and coming out dancing in the park. As she spins as a ballerina she gets broken down into simple lines before turning into the birds. then the birds turn into swirls of the wind that form the couple.


Doug Jensen. (Owner of video)Slow motion shot of a swan raising its head out of the water [Video File]. Retrieved from:

wavebreakmedia. (Owner of video). Swan dipping head in the lake in slow motion [Video file]. Retrieved from:


galina mochkina. (Uploader). (2013, November, 1). Ballet “The Nutcracker”. Bows. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

galina mochkina. (Uploader). (2013, October, 21). The ballet “Giselle.” Bows. [Video File]. Retrieved from:


Stardust Circus. (Uploader). (2014, January, 5). Worlds best trapeze act!!! FIVE somersaults, one flight! [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Refer to: within the first 30 secs the angle is a bit off for what I want. 

BogdanovStas. (Uploader). (2017, April, 29). Flying Trapeze ”Heroes”-15th Moscow International Circus Festival 2016. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Times that have good reference: Around 1min 45sec – 2min 20sec

4min 40sec – 5min

BogdanovStas. (Uploader). (2018, February, 3). Flying Trapeze ”Heroes”-42 Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo. 23.01.2018 [Video File]. Retrieved from:\

Times that have good reference: 20sec – 58sec

2min 40 sec – 2min 50 sec really good

Robert Koo. (Uploader). (2015, October, 10).DPRK Pyongyang Circus Flying Trapeze at 39th Monte Carlo Circus Festival 朝鲜国立杂技团表演的空中绝技 [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Refer to: 1min 38 sec-1min 45 sec

Samples of screenshots.


Here are the notes I took from watching Duik tutorials, a lot of it is just how to use the program.I used some of the tools in making my frog animation and used this information to make rigs.

(Owen, 2016) Renaming objects, particularly the layers and bones is done a lot, pins are renamed as well but just adjusted by having each as their own number. All of this is done to keep everything organised and easy to know what each thing is. As my rig is a bit more complex, I have utelised using letters to differentiate what limbs are front and back and with the bones what bone is what.   

Basic set up

Have to adjust After Effects to allow scripts to make file changes. Duik is its own window. Set up with different tool boxes.


Automation- “automated expressions for different properties” (Owen, 2016) without keyframes/animating. Animation copying sections of animation and working with keyframes. Camera, simulation of cameras. When customising settings within Duik, for it to update the changes made you have to close then reopen (Owen, 2016). The notepad, in Duik saves after effects, not the project file.

Forward Kinematics

Involves parts of the character being linked via a hierarchy to animate, pivot point where it joins to its parent, this means that it is a lot of keyframing (Owen, 2016). 

Inverse Kinematics

Parts of composition controlled by controls which affect different layers all at once. Fewer layers to worry about and animate. Moving and keyframing the movement of the controller creates animation, compared to a moving the pieces of the character to get them to move (Owen, 2016). Use shy guy to hide unneeded files. Have control layer selected press ‘e’ to bring up effects. Double click on IK, the effects panel will come up. Clockwise selection changes the direction that the elbow faces can be keyframed. FK gives the option of changing to FK. Turning off auto stretch keeps the pieces in the same orientation with each other no gaps. Can manually add in the stretch from the stretch setting, both positive and negative.

Shrink has a similar effect but works off how far away the control is rather than the layers (Owen, 2016).When the Goal checkbox is unticked the part that the control is on will have the same orientation/ rotation as its parent, eg the hand will face the same direction as the arm. When it’s ticked the hand would be able to face/rotate in any directionDesigning the character with rigging in mind is extremely important, having body parts/sections of the body as separate layers are the way you want to do it (Owen, 2016). Having parts of the body overlap prevents gaps occurring accidentally when animating.

Spacebar selects the hand tool. When adding in puppet pins, a mesh should be visible, the mesh shows the area affected by the movement of the puppet pin. If the mesh is too small and doesn’t cover the whole body piece then the bit outside the mesh won’t move you can use the expansion value to increase the mesh size/coverage.Facial features are within a pre-comp in a body pre-comp so that they move with the body, and makes everything more organised and streamline, then within the pre-comp facial animation is done. This also takes away the stress and tedious task of keyframing the face in position.

Auto Rig

With autorig, there are 3 different types of rigs, each depicting different generic animal body types, you can do the whole body or you can do it in sections. Parts the tail neck and parts of the spine, allow you to select several layers, through using a range, of how big/how many layers you want as apart of the piece of the rig. You select the layer/layers that you want as each body part. Anchor points are still important for auto rigging, they should still be positioned at rotation/joint points.The whip/pigtail tool, drag it from child to parent.

Renaming layers to names used by the autorig makes it easier for it to connect stuff together.If you select all the layers of the body, it means that auto rig will know what you’re trying to reference, if they are named correctly then it should automatically add them to the rig and will take you through limb by limb so you can see how it is rigging it and make adjustments. Labelling left and right with letters. If your character doesn’t have a tail you can ignore it. Auto stretch is on automatically.

When you have a controller selected you can change its colour, size, shape etc. This is handy when you have multiple controllers near each other. I think it would be great when limbs overlap to colour coordinate them to front and back or left or right. Press update (Owen, 2016). 

To create a master control, go into the controller menu make sure scaling, positioning and rotation are selected. Make it a unique colour and large size, then create and position. In this tutorial, he positions it to the right. Rename controller master. Pig tailing controls to the master control don’t work. You need to use the zero layers that aren’t parented to anything. The zero layers are created when the auto rig is created, ” they are used for parenting with expressions, so layers don’t go flying all over the place.” It’s best to keep them locked and out of sight so they don’t get messed up, but they are necessary for this step. And parent them to the master control by using the drop-down menu on the right where you can select parts of the character, that’s where you select the master control. (Owen, 2016).

Puppet pins

In this tutorial, the character is very simple and has the body and then each limb as own piece, so subsections. I’m not sure if you had the limbs split into pieces like bicep, forearm and hand how it would react or work.

To add puppet pins, select the layer/piece you want to add them too. Select the puppet pin tool from the top menu button. Then starting at the top, click and place the pin, a mesh should pop up, make sure it covers the whole part of the body you are rigging. Place where there will be movement/where joint would be and one at the end

By selecting the body part you add puppet pins to and pressing ‘u’ it shows all the puppet pins in that piece as well as menus for it. Delete all the keyframes for the puppet pins.Select all the puppet pins and use the Duik renaming tool in the rigging toolbox. Make sure you select the pins, option, name: pin and select number from one. This renames all the pins and gives them a unique number (Owen, 2016). As the puppet pins are going to be used to create bones, they need to be renamed so bones don’t reference multiple bones. You can animate with just puppet pins but it makes things more tedious and time-consuming. By using puppet pins as a base to create bones, you can use bones to create IK.

When creating bones you can go into settings for rigging, you can change their colour and whether they are null (see-through) or solid. For characters like my frog when I’m animating in a side on view, it makes things easier if you change the colour of the limbs for the front limb and back limb or having null bones for front and solid for the back for example so that it’s easier to differentiate them (Owen, 2016).

Select a layer with pins, select puppet so pins are visible then click all the puppet pins and select bones on the Duik menu. Its good to rename the bones, to the body parts they are representing, looking at what auto rig calls them is helpful, and add r for right and l for left. With all the bones selected, go through the auto rig and make sure everything is in the right place. Hide and lock bones cause they aren’t needed and they cause clutter. If things aren’t moving as they should try unclicking clockwise. Ik goal when used allows the child of a parent to have its own rotation (it doesn’t rotate with its parent ) it generates its original orientation/rotation (Owen, 2016).

Bezier IK

Bezier IK is IK created for the use on “long chains of objects that are not parented together” (Owen, 2016). It connects everything and produces some controllers to animate the chain. Useful for tails, necks, rope and animals like snakes. Bezier IK relies on an end and root layer, the root being the start of the chain e.g. the head of a snake or where the tail attaches to the body.

Make a controller for the root, rename it root, make a controller for the end. Select every part of the thing you’re animating end to root, first the root controller then every piece of the tail, rope or creature then last is the root control. Then go to bezier IK and choose between simple and cubic, cubic will give you more controllers and curves (Owen, 2016). It’s a good idea to change the colour and size of the controllers that bezier created.

You can connect the first piece (root) of the animation subject to the root control you made, using pig whip. It makes everything move together then. If you don’t like where the controls made by bezier are positioned, press a and you can move them, by moving there anchor point without animating, this will make it easier to animate (Owen, 2016).

“Bezier IK also works with bones made from puppet pins. Its useful for rigging anything with more than 2 or 3 layers or puppet pins that need to be linked together.”(Owen, 2016).


Rotation morph changes a selected property based on the rotation of a layer. Basically, the rotation of one layer triggers the change of another, the more it rotates, the more change occurs depending on the minimum and maximum rotation set. Keyframes in the selected property must be done first as well as the rotation that triggers it. (Owen, 2016).

Zero tool is a bit confusing to understand its use without an example. Basically, the zero tool resets the transform properties back to zero, except the anchor point. It then copies this information into a zero object. By using the zero tool it allows you to be able to ” link properties across compositions and pre-compositions.” (Owen, 2016). It would be useful for facial animation. If you zero out what you want to animate and the control you want to use to animate then you can use the pigtail tool to parent the objects across comps and it will work in the main composition.

List tool “allows you to add multiple expressions, animations and automation to a single property of a layer.” (Owen, 2016) Eg position or scale. It duplicates the property by 5, under effects and titled the property you want to add more animation/effects too.

Measure tool measures the distance between 2 selected objects in the scene, it gives the distance between both their pivot points in pixels. (Owen, 2016). 

Lock property, allows you to lock singular properties of an object, not the whole object. Select the property you want to lock then click lock property when it’s working the value of the property will go red. If you click the stopwatch while its locked it can mess it up.

The rename tool is pretty self-explanatory but is really useful with some great features. It allows you to rename multiple things at once: layers, pins or project items (stuff in the project window). You can change their name, or add a suffix or prefix to the name (Owen, 2016). 

To use the tool, just select everything you want to rename, in the rename tool select the options you want to use. It can take time, it may break things while doing this, it will try and repair them. If it doesn’t it will say so in an orange pop up on the viewport. When everything is renamed click on the magnifying glass and it will take you to where stuff is broken.Rename tool is extremely helpful when renaming things causes problems. When the orange error pop up comes up and all the stuff has finished renaming, click the magnifying glass and go to the line on the timeline of the property that has a yellow caution sign comes up, hover over the bottom line on the timeline until a connected up and down arrow comes up. Drag down so you can see the whole script. Find a name that is incorrect, copy the name into the search bar in the replace tool window select active comp, then type what you want to replace the mistake was (Owen, 2016). The rename tool was very useful when renaming puppet pins, it simplified the process.


Wiggle adds a wiggle to whatever property its added too. Double click on it where its listed on the timeline, and adjust its parameters in the effects window, the amplitude is the distance/radius in which it wiggles, the frequency is how many wiggles per second. Loop duration is how many seconds until the wiggling resets to the start of the pattern/starting position. 0 in looping duration means it will always be random. If you select separate dimensions when setting up the wiggle, it allows you to change the X and Y axes differently with the amplitude and frequency (Owen, 2016). 

To make a fake camera shake

Make an adjustment layer, which will affect everything placed below it. Drag the adjustment layer to the top of the layers. Then search for the transform effect, drag it on the adjustment layer. Open up the transform effect, within the timeline. Then select the position and rotation and adjust their frequency and amplitude to get the desired effect you want, one at a time (Owen, 2016).

Swing automation

It will move the whatever object its applied to, on a selected property back and forth between 2 values on an endless loop (Owen, 2016).

Spring automation

Adds bounce based off any preexisting motion of a property. ” It can be added based on either the keyframes or parenting depending on the settings you use.” (Owen, 2016). 

Select the keyframed property, the select spring, then double on spring in the timeline, and its properties will show up in the effects window. “Trigger speed is the speed at which the animation needs to happen with the keyframes in order to trigger the spring effect.” (Owen, 2016).

Damping affects how long it takes for the spring to stop. Turning it down causes it to take longer for the spring to stop (Owen, 2016).

Elasticity affects the nature of the pullback in the spring if you lower makes the pullback more intense with the wiggle and shake. If you increase it the pullback is looser and less dramatic (Owen, 2016).

When you want to add spring to an object that has no animation, but is the child of an animated object, then as long as you are adding spring to the same property that the parent has animation keyframes on then you can add spring to the child. Select the property on the child then select spring, it will come up with 2 options “without simulation- light” which is on animated layers/objects and “simulated- heavy computing” (Owen, 2016) which works on unanimated layers/objects as long as their parents are animated on the desired property. Choose the second option.

Blink automation

It causes the chosen property to switch or blink between 2 values constantly. It’s similar to swing but without the in-between animation, it is only one of the 2 values (Owen, 2016).

To use it, select the object/layer you want to affect, then the property you want to affect, then click blink. To edit the settings, open it up in the effects window, the frequency is how often it blinks or changes. Time on changes how long its on or off, by adjusting the percentage of which it’s on, therefore the remainder is how much time it spends off. “The offset will affect the timing of when that on/off starts.” (Owen, 2016). The off value changes the values of the property you are affecting/animating e.g. if its opacity, how opaque it is in off or with position its location on both the Y and X axis (Owen, 2016).

Orient to path automation

Only works on the rotation of the layer/object to be ” adjusted based on the direction of the motion path.” (Owen, 2016). Just select the object/layer that you want to affect, find a place on the timeline where it is already facing the right way, click orient to the path in the toolbox. Then go into the rotation of the affected later and adjust the rotation so it is facing the right way at the right angle. It rotates around the anchor point.

“The wheel automation rotates the layer/object based on its position value.”(Owen, 2016). It used to make wheels spin when they are moved. It works on animated layers/objects or on unanimated objects that are children of animated (move position) object/layers. The wheel tool requires the radius of the wheel. There is a measuring tool within the wheel tool but you need 2 separate layers/anchor points for it to work. So “make sure that the anchor point is in the centre for animation and measuring purposes.” (Owen, 2016). Then for the second layer/anchor point needed to go to the layer tab – new- null object. And position its anchor point to the edge of the wheel. Select both the wheel and null objects using shift, then click measure. Then you can delete the null object and have the wheel selected. There are 2 choices in how the wheel is animated, either based on horizontal movement- back and forth motion or curved which is the same as horizontal with the addition of up and down motion, which means it takes longer to process. Then click the wheel button. If you click on the wheel property in the timeline you can adjust things, more interestingly you can click and make the wheel to move in reverse, which also means more processing time cause it uses the curved animation option (Owen, 2016).

“The move away tool is a simple link that adds an effect controller to any layer that will exclusively move it towards or away from its parent layer, in the most direct route no matter where it’s located in a composition.”(Owen, 2016). “Move away is based on the parent layer’s position.” (Owen, 2016). If you have multiple children that you want to use then you can have them all selected at the same time. The move away is basically a positioning with a slider and it only moves the children closer or further away from their parents, no matter where the child is. Get the tool open and use the slider in the effects window.

Distance link uses the distance of one layer/objects to the property of another. It uses the distance between their pivot points to trigger and adjustment of a property, if you link it to the property or effect of an adjustment layer it can affect multiple objects or the whole scene. So one object has to move for this to work, when adding the distance link you must select both layers you are using and the property of the layer that you want to be affected/scaled. If you open up the distance link in the effects window (can be accessed by pressing f) on the layer that’s property is being affected it gives you options like setting the range in which triggers the change, which could be used to make the effect on the property only happen over a section of the movement. Fallout allows you shorten or lengthen the time it takes for the change to occur.And reverse so it could go from blurry to clear for example instead of clear to blurry.Can use null objects to make it simpler to animate the onset of effects (Owen, 2016).

The randomize tool allows you to set properties (position scale opacity etc) at random values. it also allows you to randomise when they appear or disappear on the timeline, based on the limits/ range you set (Owen, 2016).

The time remap tool allows you to basically copy and paste animation without all the effort allowing you to make looping animations. Select all the layers needed (including zero layers if you have them and right click, precompose (Owen, 2016).

Then select the pre-composition you just created. Select loop on the time remap tool, then choose between “loop out which will loop after the last keyframe over and over again, whereas loop in will loop into that keyframe and then stop the loop” (Owen, 2016). Then select time remap button. You can adjust keyframes after time remapping.

Paint rigging allows you to have pictures you paint in after effects to be animated/appear in the stroke by stroke in the way you painted them or in reverse. First, you need to paint in Duik, make a new layer, select the brush tool and choose the brush and colours, double-click on the layer you are going to paint on so it comes up as its own window, not the composition. Make sure the timeline indicator is at the start (Owen, 2016). You can paint in different colours and brushes, when finished go back into the composition window, and double click on the paint property so it comes up in the effects window and click on paint on transparent so you see the layer below it on the timeline. Select the layer you painted on, select the paint effect/property and then select paint rigging from the toolbox. Then the paint rig effect is added to the layer. In the effects panel, it gives you ‘start’ which allows you to draw on and off the paint strokes (chronological order) and the end does the same thing in reverse. And diameter changes the thickness of the brush. All this is adjusted and animated using keyframes (Owen, 2016).

Paint group is applied to the strokes, it has all the same options as paint rigging, with the addition of colour, if it’s in the same group it’s going to be the same colour, as well as the anchor point, position, scale and rotation. Paint group means everything is painted simultaneously (Owen, 2016).

Spatial interpolation

Allows you to switch from linear (straight lines, animation straight to keyframes) and Bezier (curved lines, smooth flow to keyframes) with paths of movement, by selecting the desired keyframes.

Morpher tool allows you to adjust keyframes across several layers from only modifying one timeline (Owen, 2016). To do this select all the desired keyframes/properties you want to adjust. Make sure the keyframes button is selected (to the right of morpher) then click morpher, in effects, there should now be a morpher property, through adjusting the timeline of this it affects all the layers/properties you selected. If you like the timing of everything you can delete all the middle poses on the morpher tool timeline and move around the start and end keyframes to slow it down or speed it up (Owen, 2016).

Morph doesn’t work for me, it did for a little bit, it sped up the animation but it wasn’t acting how videos showed it to act. Any changes I was able to make were through me winging it, ended up just highlighting keyframes in sections and moving them by hand.

Attempted troubleshooting;

Tigran Manukyan. (Uploader). (2017, July, 14). Quick Tip-MORPHER-DUIK [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Watched to try and figure out why morpher isn’t working the way I thought it was meant to work. But through this tutorial, it seems to work a different way.

Как сделать в After Effects?. (Uploader). (2016, April, 6). How to use DUIK 15 Full Tutorial Overview Part 3 Animation tools [Video File]. Retrieved from:

This video, I skipped through to see what this guy said the morpher tool was, he uses it the same way the Lynda tutorial does.

 Mike Poliskey. (2017, August, 2). moving keyframes on multiple layers. Hi,
I got a composition with multiple layers. Each one is simply animated the same way, but I would like to shift every decendent’s keyframes by the same amount of frames. So let’s say the animation of 2nd layer starts 1 second after 1st, 3rd is delayed 1 sec to 2nd etc.
Is there any way to do it as once? Mike [Forum post]. Retrieved from:
Steve Bentley. (2017, August, 2). RE:moving keyframes on multiple layers.If you want to shift all the keyframes at the same time, just open the layers so you can see the keyframes and the drag select them all and the move them all at the same time.
If you want to stagger them (or sequence them) so that something happens in layer 1 for 1 second and then that same something happens in layer2 but 1 second after the first, you can select all the layers you want to stagger (select from top down and the top layer will be the earliest layer) then right click on one of the layers and choose keyframe assistant. In there you will find sequence layers. Turn that on and pick the amount of overlap you want the offset to be. So if all your layers art 5 seconds long and you choose an overlap of 4 seconds, each layer will be 1 second later than the one before.
I final way, assuming you cant move the footage in time is to just copy and past the keyframes from one layer to another – wherever you put your time marker is where the keyframes will get pasted in the next layer no matter where they were in the layer you copied them from.
Just remember to delete the old keyframes if you already have them there. You can also do this within the layer itself – copy keyframes, delete keyframes, move time slider, paste keyframes.
You can do this to multiple attributes at the same time. AE knows that position data needs to go to the position attribute and trani data needs to go to trani attribute.[Forum post]. Retrieved from:

This seems like the way I will have to do it as the morpher tool isnt working. Moving things by selecting multiple layers and dragging them across.

Copy and paste tool, really easy and simple to use. Select the keyframes from the layers/properties you want to copy. Click on the copy button, place the time slider where you want to copy the animation to on the timeline. Click paste and as long as in the animation settings you have copy based on layer names, everything should be on the same layer (Owen, 2016).

Controller tool the same as rigging toolbox (Owen, 2016).

Import rig into comp

Make sure you only have one composition open in down where the timeline is, and that you have it selected in the project window so you don’t import the rig into the wrong file. Whatever you are importing needs a unique prefix. Importing takes a long long time (Owen, 2016).

Cel animation allows you to hand draw animation, by clicking new cell it will create a new layer in the composition that already has a paint effect added to it, when adding another drawing, click the checkbox single layer beside the new cell button so the new cel will be under the same layer as the other one, making everything more organised  (Owen, 2016).There is an onion skin tool, like animate, it is customisable allowing you to adjust how many frames ahead or behind. As well as how opaque frames before or after are, different settings for each. You can copy and paste onion skin settings across cels. The exposure setting controls how long the cel will appear on screen for, like if you are drawing on 2s or ones (Owen, 2016). The arrow buttons are the previous and next frame buttons. These buttons should be used during the drawing process as it moves you safely from frames to frame, it also activates scripts that are important. Use these to the draw frames, not new cel.

Make sure paint on transparency is on, and that the transparency grid tool is on (mini checkbox, highlighted blue). Select the cel in the timeline and select or deselect onion skill to get it working.To colour in, use the single layer tool and create a new cel. Make sure timeline indicator is at the start.To get the outline on top, get the cels to open up in the effects panel and change the fill to have be painting on transparency, and the outline not on transparency (Owen, 2016).

I tried doing cel animation in Duik but it was really slow and glitchy, it was very time consuming and since I was using multiple colours I wanted to adjust the onion skin a bit so I could see the colours, and then re-adjust so I don’t confuse what I’m drawing with what I already drew. But After Effects started to want to crash when I adjusted the onion skin opacity. The ended up losing my 4 splash frames, due to them disappearing for some reason after I tried seeing where they were in the scene. In the scene, the splash was rotated basically upside down.


Scale z-link

” The scale z-link function adds a slider to a 3d layer, that will compensate for the distance of a 3d camera. This causes that layer to maintain the same apparent size, regardless of where it is in relation to the camera. “(Owen, 2016).

If you don’t want an object/ layer not to change size then have it selected and then click scale z link. Then its size won’t change when the camera zooms in and out.

2d multiplane gives things a 3d look but keeps them 2d. Have the layers you want to affect selected, then click 2d multiplane, then type in how many layers you have. Then click multiplane. There is a controller made, its symbol is a camera, if you move it around, it moves all the layers like they are within a 3d space, if you bring up the effects for the controller and open up the multiplane it gives you options to “zoom in and out without actually adjusting the parallax . You can truck in and out which does affect the parallax, you can pan around without affecting the parallax, and you can also tilt or kind or rotate it back and forth. “(Owen, 2016).

The zero/parent layers created for each layer have camera controls for them, which adjusts how much the layer is affected by the camera.

Control camera

“Adds simple controllers linked to a 3d camera, its position, and its target, also called its point of interest. “(Owen, 2016).

To create a camera go to layer- new- camera. Make sure its a 2 node camera, click on the view setting in the bottom right hand corner of the viewport and change to 2 views and make sure one is active camera and the other is custom view one. The second view allows you to move the camera better. Have the camera selected and click control cam. Creates controls that allow you to move the target of the camera and target, create a control that moves both target and camera at the same time (Owen, 2016).

Unlike the Lynda tutorial, he does the body rigging in different sections and renames things differently. I think I prefer the way the Lynda tutorial renamed things, it seems more logical to rename them like the auto rig, cause some of his like with the hips overlap and I think that would confuse me a bit. He also moves the bone layers down to where the layers art layers are. He locks his art layers, which I should do.

He also precomposed the face, which I know you can animate within which I will be interesting to see how that works in a video.

He created IK in the leg manually, like how we were shown in class. He made 3 bones in the leg and another 3 in the foot. He then parented the bones starting at the toe and working his way up. As the last bone (around the ankle) in the leg leads the leg in bending and movement you select that bone and make a controller. Then select 3rd leg bone and select the leg bones in chronological order up from the ankle  and then the controller you just made and create IK from that (Wilson, 2015). This works perfectly, the foot still follows but doesn’t bend when the leg does. I’ve always wondered how have a foot with puppet pins would work when manually rigging.

Renaming as you go is very important, with expressions they rely on names, if you don’t and then decide to rename it can break it (Wilson, 2015).

To ensure nice rotation on hands (the same could go with feet) you line up your pivot points using the ruler tool (go to view, show rulers to set them up. Pull from edges to get the lines.) And then use where the lines cross over to place the puppet pins of the last one of the arm and the first of the hand.

He uses vector layers that I assume are from his artwork layers, I understand how they are useful for placing the puppet pins but they aren’t necessary.

He doesn’t rig the hands with any puppet pins, so all they can do is rotate and basic movement. This may be because of the style of the hand. The process of rigging the hands is basically the same as rigging the legs, with the creation of controllers, linking things it’s just more emphasis on placing of pivot points so hand movement is smooth.

I think that he doesn’t really talk about the importance of anchor points enough.

I like the way he colour codes everything, it would be interesting to see if changing the colour of the layer would change the colour of the controller.

Having a shoulder puppet pin makes me think would you have one separate to the spine so you can make the shoulder shrugs and drops.

Adobe Animate research

(Labrecque, 2016) Top right-hand corner of the screen, allows you to change your workspace, has different windows open. You can reset the workspace, which I would find useful if I accidentally closed a window, cause I’m clumsy as hell. Can create a custom workspace

Control tab-test or control-enter to create a test.

The grey area around the stage is called the pasteboard. Stuff can exist here they cant be seen when exported.

New layer button in the bottom left-hand corner.

Folder button is next to it, this will be useful when animating the ballerina and the swan, to keep everything organised and manageable.

Whatever you have selected its individual properties will appear in the properties window, that includes tools, not the scene properties.

Shapes don’t exist in the library.

Selection tool shortcut V

The subselection tool, shortcut a, the white arrow “allows you to manipulate paths and anchor points.”(Labrecque, 2016).

Free transform tool, shortcut-Q the white arrow and the dotted line box allows you to manipulate objects, which also changes through the drop down to the gradient transform tool, shortcut F, which allows you to manipulate the gradient (Labrecque, 2016).

Lasso tool, looks like a lasso, shortcut L. The polygon tool and magic wand tool also come under this tool as they are all used for selecting things.

Pen tool, shortcut p, creates strokes (Labrecque, 2016).

Text tool, shortcut t, creates text (Labrecque, 2016).

Line tool, shortcut n, created lines.

There are more options for some tools, down the bottom of the toolbar regarding size, shape etc.

Pencil tool, shortcut shift-Y.

Brush tool, shortcut B.

F5 adds in frames.

Animation tutorial

Like in the other tutorial stretching out the toolbox, seems to be recommended so you can see all the tools.

(O’Connor, 2016).

Tabs- edit- preferences, Change undo to object level undo, it allows you to undo based on the object rather than everything. Right click on stage and you can put a grid on it If you select a keyframe on one layer and press alt and then drag it onto another layer then it copies it onto the other layer (O’Connor, 2016). Modify tab, convert to symbol.Registration moves the pivot point.

To open symbols you can double click on the symbol title with the listing of the library or by double clicking it on the stage.One way of inserting keyframes (it may just be for with symbols is under the insert tab, timeline then frame.

Movieclip symbols are only reviewable in tests, not when scrubbing through animation  (O’Connor, 2016). Graphic symbols aren’t like that cause they are linked to the timeline. You can change the looping settings for a graphic symbol. If you animate within a symbol it will automatically loop. With the symbol selected, in the properties panel under looping.  You can change it so the animation within the symbol only plays once. Or choose single frame and then either select a number or go through the frame picker with pictures and select the image you want. Where the library and properties tabs are in the right side there is a menu button which has a lot of useful actions,  including to create a new symbol (O’Connor, 2016). 

Select object and press f8 will turn it into a symbol. Ius e this frequently, its very useful, I use a lot of the shortcuts I learnt from this tutorial. 

Pivot point

If you double click when you have it selected then its position will reset.

If you are trying to adjust the pivot of an object that is made of nested symbols it is best to do it within the symbol. Go into the symbol where all the symbols are, select all of the symbol layers. Then using shift and the arrow buttons adjust the pivot point in one direction (up or down) take note of how many times you go up, down or side to side. Then exit the symbol and move the object back to where it was (using shift and the arrow buttons). Then repeat this until the pivot is in the right Place (O’Connor, 2016).

There are 2 tools within the hand tool, if you select the rotation hand tool, by clicking on the stage it allows you to place the pivot point wherever you like, then it allows you to rotate the stage, this is helpful for drawing (O’Connor, 2016). Then to reset it to normal click the centre stage button, that looks kinda like a compass in the tab above/surrounding the stage and is next to where you can change how big the stage appears on the screen.

Nested symbols- In this tutorial, the alien character is all made within one symbol, then each piece of the alien, the eye, the mouth, the body is made in the symbol but is also made into its own separate symbol (O’Connor, 2016). This means you can move around the character through moving one symbol, and keyframe that. Like master control.

To make a mask, based off another layer copy the layer, have it selected control cThen new layer, control shift v and copies it into place on the new layer. Then right-click on the new layer and make it a mask. It automatically masks the layer beneath it.

Free transform tool is the easiest way to move the pivot point

If you select a frame on the timeline and then press f5 it will create frames from where the last keyframe was to the frame you selected on the timeline (O’Connor, 2016).

F6 adds a keyframe, a copy of the last frame.

Ctrl+shift c and ctrl+shift v to copy and paste.

Right click for motion tweening

In tweening properties, the tiny microphone tool brings up a curve editor that allows you to customise the ease in and out (O’Connor, 2016). Use classic tween.

To make a guide for something, a path for an object to follow when animated like a curved line. Draw a line and position it how you want it, make sure it starts where you want the animation to occur. Then right-click on the layer, make it a guide and drag the object that you want to follow it underneath it, this should cause the guide layers appearance on the left side of the timeline to change. Make the lines alpha 0 and you won’t see it any adjustments to the line made after making it a guide will still change the path of the object (O’Connor, 2016).

If shape tweening isn’t working then you can use the shape hint tool. Modify tab- shape- add shape hint or ctrl shift and h.make sure snap is on. Then it allows you to add points that guide the shape into the other. You can add more points by pressing ctrl shift and h (O’Connor, 2016).

With the free transform tool, there are sub tools, they allow you to modify shape in more complex ways using the distort tool and the envelope tool. The distort tool can flip the shape in weird ways if its pushed too far. The envelope allows for more points of editing (O’Connor, 2016).

Scale and rotating through the modify tab can help with masking issues (O’Connor, 2016).

Save constantly.

You can toggle between having the guide layer active or not by right-clicking on the guide layer and selecting and or deselecting guide.  

The paintbrush tool allows you to paint with different brushes, by going to window and selecting brush library.

To create camera moves within animate, you need to have all the objects and the background within one symbol (nested symbols) and then using the transform tools and by moving everything around you can zoom in and out, and pan across the scene and stuff (O’Connor, 2016). Use ease in and out and tweening to make smooth camera movements (O’Connor, 2016).

Can add sounds to the library, then add them to the timeline, if you right click on the layer and bring up properties then make the view 200% you can see the audio (O’Connor, 2016). On the properties panel for the sound make the sync setting stream. Then click on the tiny pencil tool that looks like a microphone, and by adjusting the black line and add new points you can adjust the audio, ease it in, ease it out, start it in a different part of the audio. If you want to chop up the audio, select the keyframe where you want the chop to be. Then right-click and select split audio (O’Connor, 2016). This will separate/cut the audio where you had it selected, this allows you to shrink, cut and paste the audio and get rid of parts you don’t want. If you ease out a large piece of audio that you use several pieces of it, make sure that if you ease out parts of the audio that you add a point after where you want to ease out, before you ease it out so you don’t cut out the rest of your audio.

To recolour objects, make their colour a tagged colour before painting them, then whatever changes are made to the tagged colour will change all instances of the colour (O’Connor, 2016).

Publish settings allows you to change audio quality, make it high kbps and its quality the best (O’Connor, 2016).

Export video=swift file

Export movie= swift movie or png sequence, jpeg sequence or gif.

Dragging swift files into chrome gets them to play (O’Connor, 2016).

The Animators Survival Kit Notes

Williams, (2009), p.35-37 learnt from Grim Natwick, that animation is all about spacing and timing. The timing is when the keyframes happen, where the rhythm of the action is set, the timing of a bouncing ball is established when the ball hits the ground. Spacing is the space between slow and or fast clusters, again with the ball it slows as it reaches the arc but speeds up as it falls.

This is an important basic factor in animation. This relates to my animation of the trapeze artists. The timing is established by the peaks and lows on the arc as the trapeze artists glide through the air. For the male trapeze artist especially if you saw his range of movement as a semicircle, his spacing occurs around the quarter and three-quarter mark on that semi-circle. The females spacing is a bit harder, spacing occurs just before she starts her flip and as at the end after she is caught by the male and is being dragged to the left (the last half of the males semi-circle).

(Williams, 2009, p48- 50) Extremes are the starts and ends of a change of direction. Inbetweens are the poses that fill in the gaps between extreme poses, showing how something got from a to b. Without in-betweens animation elements like arcs of action slow in and out wouldn’t be depicted.

Ken Harris referred to slow in or out as cushioning, which is exactly the effect that it has on animation.

Just simple basic knowledge but the way the information is explained, Especially how slow in and out is cushioning. It just makes its importance click in my head.


(Williams, 2009, p52-56) Inbetweens are extremely important in ensuring the quality of an animation as if they are off in their placement or just wrong as simply as their appearance or how they depict the movement then it adds wobble or a strobe-like effect to the animation. As long as the good keyframes outnumbered the bad it usually turns out to a decent standard.

Grim Natwick used to say “Bad in-betweens will kill the finest animation”.

This explains the importance of good keyframes and making sure the good outweighed the bad. Showed me that everything isn’t perfect and that as long as the good outweighs the bad than the animation should be okay, and that strobing effects could be because of bad in betweens, which will help prevent and solve problems.

(Williams, 2009, p57) key poses depict action, tell the story.

(Williams, 2009, p61) 3 ways to animate

Straight ahead- “the natural way” drawing from start to end in chronological order


Produces ” a natural flow of fluid, spontaneous action”(Williams, 2009, p61).

Allows for improvisation that adds energy and spirit to the animation.

Is very creative creative process, taking the action as it develops.

“Often the unconscious mind starts to kick in: like authors saying their character tells them what’s going to happen.”(Williams, 2009, p61).

“It can produce surprises- ‘magic’. “(Williams, 2009, p61).

“It’s fun” (Williams, 2009, p61).


Animation starts to get off track.

“Time stretchedms and the shot gets longer and longer.”(Williams, 2009, p61).

Character size changes.

“We tend to miss the point of the shot and  not arrive at the right place at the right time.”(Williams, 2009, p61).

“The director hates us because he/she can’t see what’s happening.”(Williams, 2009, p61).

“It’s lots of work to clean up the mess afterwards and it’s hard to assist.”(Williams, 2009, p61).

“It’s expensive- the producer hates us.” (Williams, 2009, p61).

“It can be hard on the nerves- mad artist and nervous breakdown time as we creatively leap in and thrash around in the void- especially with looming deadlines.” (Williams, 2009, p61).

At my level, all the advantages are true, but for the disadvantages, I dont have to worry about directors or money.

Pose to pose- “the planned way” (Williams, 2009, p62).

Key frames- extremes and other important poses- inbetweens/breakdowns- set the timing and spacing, embellish.


Clarity of action and the point of the scene.

“Its structured, calculated, logical.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

Clean, nice drawings that clearly present the poses/action.

The order and timing is right

“The director loves us.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“Its easy to assist” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“Its a quick way to work and frees us up to do more scenes.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“The producer loves us.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“We keep sane, our hair isn’t standing on end.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“We earn more money as we are seen to be responsible people and clearly not mad artists. Producers have to deliever on time and on budget, so brillance is not rewarded as much as reliability. I speak from experience working on both sides of  the fence. They dont pay us for ‘magic’. They pay us for delivery.” (Williams, 2009, p62).


The flow of animation is missed- which is a big deal.

“The action can be a bit choppy, a bit unnatural and if we correct that by adding a lot of overlapping action to it – it can go easily the other way and be rubbery and squishy-equally unnatural.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“It can be too literal- a bit cold blooded no surprises.” (Williams, 2009, p62).

“Where’s the magic?” (Williams, 2009, p62).

Again all are relative to me except regarding directors and producers.

Combination of straight ahead and pose to pose.

Create small thumbnails, then create “big drawings” (Williams, 2009, p62)of the keys, extremes, contacts and other important poses, just like the pose to pose workflow. Then it switches to straightforward, which goes over several runs, in various levels of detail.


“Working this way combines the structured planning of working from pose to pose with the natural free flow of the straight-ahead approach.”(Williams, 2009, p62).

“Its a balance between planning and spontaneity.”(Williams, 2009, p62).

“It’s a balance between cold-bloodedness and passion.”(Williams, 2009, p62).


“None that I know of….”(Williams, 2009, p62).

For my animations, I think im going to use the combination method, with some adjustments just from how I like doing things. The frog will probably at times edge towards pose to pose, as I think there is a structure to the jump. Except for the water splash.

With the ballerina swan animation, I think it will edge towards straight forward sometimes, as its a transformation and I want it to be beautiful and fluid, like a budget basement version of Cinderella’s dress transformation. 

And the trapeze will be a combination, probably the truest to the pure combination, although due to time constraints its polish may not as high as I would like so the straightforward animation may not be in there enough. 

Ones or Twos

(Williams, 2009, p67) Go through all the types of poses you create at the different stages (extremes, in-betweens etc) for the animation as a whole. Then do the process again, for the important things, to add and refine them, starting with the most important to least important.

doing this is a great way to do animation, especially when doing combination animation. This workflow I have used all my animations and as it is one that follows the logic. And has kept me from trying to focus on details too early on in the animation.

“The rule of thumb is- use twos for normal actions and ones for very fast actions.For instance, runs always have to be ones-normal ‘acting’ on twos.”(Williams, 2009, p78)

Some of the great animators say that twos are better than ones, this is because ones can make the animation sluggish and take the life out of it, if the frames being added are unnecessary and mechanical, with no flair.

This has helped me to adjust my animation spacing and timing so that the movement is smooth.

“Ones seem to make for compulsive viewing and that’s what we are after.” (Williams, 2009, p79)

“Twos work – ones fly.” Neil Boyle (Williams, 2009, p79).

“Normal spacing on twos. Far apart spacing on ones.”(Williams, 2009, p79).

This is really helpful with assisting me in creating my swan animation in particular which I wasn’t sure how I would do it, As the ballerina bows will be in twos and then blend into ones for the transformation into the swan, then blend out to twos, depending on how much animation I can do to the Swan, in the time I have.

Overlapping action adds interest, brings more life to the animation. Makes movement less basic, also shows the weight and flexibility of objects makes the animation more realistic. Break the body into sections. One part of the body leads the action (Williams, 2009, p226-230).

This is implemented in all the animations, the frogs head or arms often lead the motion, as the rest of the body drags behind especially the feet. The ballerina will hopefully have some minimum movement in her hair that would be dragged by the motion of the head. the trapeze artists movement is very complex and depending on how they are moving will depend on what body parts are fueling the momentum of the action.
Reference list;

Tuttle, F. (2017). The 2D Animation Workflow. Retrieved from:

Miracle Animation Studios Inc. (2013) Production Process for 2d Animation. Retrieved from:

iAnimate. (Uploader). (2013). Pixel Challenge – Cameron Fielding – Reverse Engineering Video Reference. Retrieved from:

Toon Boom. (2018). Traditional Animation Workflow Chart [Image]. Retrieved from:

Toon Boom. (2018). Paperless Animation Workflow Chart [Image]. Retrieved from:

Owen Lowery. (Tutorial maker). (2016, September, 30). After Effects Duik: Rigging & Animation Tools [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Debby Anderson. (Uploader). (2015, September, 3). Frog On A Lily Pad [Video File]. Retrieved from: Gibson. (Uploader). (2011, September, 7). Pondlife in Second Life – Jumping Frog On A Lily Pad.flv – YouTube.flv [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Gary Crowder.(Uploader). (2017, June, 13). 2 Frogs On Lily Pads, 1 Hops [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Amy June Bates. Swan Lake [Image]. Retrieved from:

Opéra national de Paris. (Commissioners). (2015, September, 15).  NEPHTALI by Glen Keane [Video File]. Retrieved from:–X2ls4

Amber Dust. (Uploader). (2014, June, 26). Duet – Glen Keane HD (2014) [Video File]. Retrieved from:\

Doug Jensen. (Owner of video)Slow motion shot of a swan raising its head out of the water [Video File]. Retrieved from:

wavebreakmedia. (Owner of video). Swan dipping head in the lake in slow motion [Video file]. Retrieved from:

galina mochkina. (Uploader). (2013, November, 1). Ballet “The Nutcracker”. Bows. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

galina mochkina. (Uploader). (2013, October, 21). The ballet “Giselle.” Bows. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Stardust Circus. (Uploader). (2014, January, 5). Worlds best trapeze act!!! FIVE somersaults, one flight! [Video File]. Retrieved from:

BogdanovStas. (Uploader). (2017, April, 29). Flying Trapeze ”Heroes”-15th Moscow International Circus Festival 2016. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

BogdanovStas. (Uploader). (2018, February, 3). Flying Trapeze ”Heroes”-42 Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo. 23.01.2018 [Video File]. Retrieved from:\

Robert Koo. (Uploader). (2015, October, 10). DPRK Pyongyang Circus Flying Trapeze at 39th Monte Carlo Circus Festival 朝鲜国立杂技团表演的空中绝技 [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Matt Wilson. (Uploader). (2015, April, 23). Tutorial 01 – Character Rigging [Video File]. Retrieved from:
Joseph Labrecque. (Tutorial creator). (2016, June, 21).  Learning Adobe Animate CC. [Video File]. Retrieved from:

Dermot O’Connor. (Tutorial Maker). (2016, February, 2).

Learning Adobe Animate CC: Animation [Video file]. Retrieved from:

Williams, R. (2009). The Animator’s Survival Kit Expanded Edition. New York: Farrar, Struas and Giroux.

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