Here are the four panels I just finished animating.
For the “Close-Up” scene, I initially broke down Rex’s face in several parts so that I could create the animation using the Puppet Tool in After Effects. After many failed attempts, I realized the limitation of the tool when trying to imbue the character with life. I scrapped that approach and decided instead, to create the animation using Toon Boom’s hand drawn capabilities. When we see Rex’s close-up, I wanted the character to display a feeling of anxiety. He almost looses his cool, but manages to keep it together. Using my Stylus and Cintiq and using Toon Boom’s “Hand Drawn Animation” setting, I proceeded to rough out the charater on 4s, 6s and 8s. These numbers signify the amount of frames each rough drawing is held for. By working this way, I can get a good feel of how the animation will look when completed. Here’s the video of that rough stage.
Once I’m happy with the rough animation, I clean up the animation keys on an seperate level. I then add the inbetween drawings so that the animation appears smooth. I use color lines for the color seperation in the face so that these lines disappear when the full coloring is applied. At that stage I also put highlights in the eyes and add an eyeblink. This really helps bring the character to life. Here’s the video of the colored clean-up version.
Once that’s done, I draw a tone area over each drawing. The tone is a shaded area that helps give the character dimentionality. Here’s the video with that level added to the Rex animation.
Then, I process the tone level (with the “Tone Node” in the Toon Boom’s filter library) so that it is softer. I add backgrounds and effects elements. For the final touch, I create a subtle camera move over the whole thing so that the scene hooks up better with the previous one. Here it is with all the elements in place.