May 31, 2023

How I Turn Illustrations into Animations

Published May 13, 2023, 12:08 p.m. by Jerald Waisoki

animation art is a relatively new field, and one that is constantly evolving. As an artist, it is important to stay ahead of the curve and be able to adapt to new technologies as they emerge. For me, that means turning my illustrations into animations.

I use a variety of software programs to create my animations, but my favorite is Adobe After Effects. After Effects allows me to take my static illustrations and bring them to life. I can add movement, sound, and even interactivity to my animations, making them truly unique pieces of art.

One of the great things about animation art is that it can be used for a variety of purposes. I have created animations for websites, video games, and even television commercials. No matter what the project, I always start with a strong foundation in illustration.

If you are interested in turning your illustrations into animations, I suggest you start by learning some basic animation principles. Once you have a solid understanding of the basics, you can start experimenting with different software programs to find the one that best suits your needs. With a little practice, you too can create amazing animations that will wow your clients and audiences alike.

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what's up everybody my name is imani

larussa and i'm going to show you how to

animate an illustration


this was a super gorgeous collab with me

and ali tane also known as hi alicat on

instagram she's super dope you guys

should check her out ally provided the

character design as well as the animated

eyes but we want to take it up another

notch for a piece like this where i'm

turning an illustration into an

animation i always want to break down

what i could animate in this image we

have her hair blowing in the wind her

sweater strings and also her face and

her head but one big issue with using an

image and moving stuff around is that if

i just start masking things out and

start moving them around there's nothing

underneath so i need to create that so

i'm going to take one of these images in

this image sequence that she provided

and i'm going to photoshop the things

that i plan on animating out the great

thing with this painting is that there's

a lot of different visible brush strokes

the best way to approach this is just to

fill in the space that we're gonna

remove and then blend it in and if you

don't know makeup this is basically how

we do it we use photoshop

i'm kidding no but blending is very

important the technique of this process

is just making sure that you're matching

the brush strokes and the color of the

environment that you're trying to fill

in the best and easiest way to get this

achieved is using a wacom tablet so if

you're using a mouse it may be a little

more difficult to do but i'm just going

to fill all this color in and then blend

it in with a soft low opacity brush

first i want to remove the strands of

hair because we're going to recreate

that then i'm going to remove the

strings and then paint behind that

so that when we move the strings it has

a background and then finally i'm going

to paint over the eyes because i plan on

moving some of the facial features when

we animate it now that i have everything

blended in as a background so that i can

animate the rest of it i could start

covering up all the overlapping issues

so like the hair strands that are going

over the eyelashes that's going to be an

issue so i need to take those off once

i'm done coloring the eyelashes and

making sure that the hair doesn't

overlap i'm going to cut out these eyes

and then i'm going to color in the

little hair strands that are covering

the eyes and the reason why i'm cutting

out the eyes is because i actually want

to move the eyes and the mouth

from the head just so that it gives a

little bit of dimension which she plans

on turning and the first thing i want to

animate are the strings on the sweater

so i'm just going to grab one of the

pngs from the image sequence and mask

out the strings so that i can

individually animate them and i'm going

to animate these strings by using cc

bend it and i'm going to put my start

anchor point at the top of the string so

that the string stays attached to the

sweater and use my end point at the

bottom of the string and that's where

all of the movement is going to be

also this entire piece is going to be

looping so i need to make sure that my

first keyframe matches my last keyframe

so it doesn't matter what i do in the

middle or how i animate it as long as

the beginning matches the end that's

what we need now we want to put in those

single strands of hair that we took out

in photoshop and we're going to recreate

them with shape layers and what's cool

is that in the new 2020 after effects

version shape layers now have the option

to taper which before i had to use 3d

stroke to taper all of my shapes but now

i could just do it with this simple tool

so since we're using hair i want the top

of it to be thicker and the bottom to be


and to add the motion of wind blowing

i'm going to add a wave warp onto it but

i notice a small issue of using the wave

warp on this layer because i need to pin

the top of the strand of hair to the

head because i can't have the whole

entire hair strand moved because it's

not going to look like it's attached to

her head but the issue is that when i

add wave warp to the shape layer it

doesn't actually pin it to the top

so what i need to do is pre-compose the

strand of hair and then i'm going to go

into my pre-comp and make sure to crop

the size of the composition to the

strand of hair because i want to make

sure that the very top of this hair is

at the very top of my composition so now

when i select top of the pinning it will

now pin the top of the hair then i added

cc bend it just to add a little more

motion with the wind now that i have

pinned this hair to the head i can now

duplicate it and offset it and put it in

different places so that we can make

multiple strands of hair next i want to

animate the hair i'm just going to use a

puppet tool for this big old chunk of

hair and just try to create a fluid

motion in that next i wanted to animate

her head moving which was a little

tricky because i've never done something

like this before so i thought because

her head's a little rotated it would be

cool to add a little rotation but it

would be weird to just add a rotation

onto a photo it wouldn't really look

like she was turning her head so what i

did was i grabbed the puppet tool and i

started creating pins around her head

and shoulders

but even after adding this puppet tool i

felt like the face needed more dimension

so we're going to bring back the eyes

that we took apart in photoshop and

slightly move the position of it as it's

rotating so next i noticed the glow that

hovers around the character and i really

thought it would be cool to emphasize

that globe so i created a shape layer

and added an effect called ecto created

by red giant universe plugins if you

don't have the universe you could also

just create it by using a shape layer

adding some roughen edges and using a

simple glow but using this plugin just

cuts out the middle man next i'm going

to add my background ali provided this

background with the cool little

triangular shape at the top and i

thought it would be cool to rotate it

but since this is a looping animation i

couldn't make a full 360 turn without it

feeling rushed so i figured i'd switch

the shape from a triangle to a square

because i could at least change it from

90 degrees instead of 360. this original

sketch had lemons in the background so i

wanted to bring some of those lemons to

life i found a 3d model of lemons online



and i brought it into cinema 4d and

added my own lemon texture next i

keyframed some rotations put an alpha

channel on it and exported out three

different variations of lemons rotating

and for final touches i added back some

of the particles that were in the

original sketch using trapcode

particular and then lastly added the

chromatic aberration provided by red

giant universe and if you don't have

that you could use cc lens and an rgb


and that's gonna be it for this video i

hope this gave some sort of insight of

what it's like to turn an illustration

into an animation um if you guys like

this please subscribe and follow me on

the social medias it would be greatly

appreciated thank you so much




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