Character Animation Workflow

on my usual approach I was:

  1. painting whole character on all angles that i needed;
  2. blocking out movement with simple shapes, usually every part was on different layer
  3. when happy with animation flow i was painting over simple shapes my character, this also on new layers
  4. tweaking locations of body parts, adding details etc.

But this method doesn’t really work properly with PM NG
since all animation layers share the same timeline, so I can’t simply offset only one layer by few frames without affecting other layers. I know about anim brush where I can pick images from few frames, but I would still need to manually position these images on new frames, then do it probably few times to get the offset right, and while animating there is a lot of tweaking to get the movement right, so it’s very ineffective.

Another problem is lack of layer grouping, which makes multilayered projects a lot harder to work with.

I really love this tool, but if there is no real solution I will probably need to switch just to make animations,
So my question is, what is your character animation workflow/process?

Hello Gordrick, I only do stereo animation. So the final may come out a little different than your work.What I do is I have a comp ofthe finished character outside of the program. Then I envoke stereo settings. And draw a dividing line in the middle of the screen. I then turn off stereo settings. On a seperate layer I make a basic skellton using an orange circle for the head. A yellow curve for the spine And couple red lines for the arms. And a couple of blue lines for the legs. I call this layer bones. Once I have the animation flowing nicely I create a layer that I cal mesh andI envoke “smart copy”.Then frame by frame I draw while displacing the parallax of my character. Because my workflow is for stereo only it might not work for you.

Hey, thank you for reply.
I am new to this program so I probably missed some features, and I would love to know how do you deal with tweaking your animation like:

  • Moving around selected area on few selected frames to correct some movement flow
  • select part of image and offset it by few frames forward/backward
  • offsetting/moving whole layer on multiple frames without messing with other layers

I’m glad I could help you Gordrick. Don’t worry we all had to start at some point. I for one cut my teeth on Amiga Deluxe Paint 2 so I may have the unfair advantage
. But to answer your questions. As far as the first question I really don’t know what you mean so I asked a fellow artist and he suggested that you probably should illustrate what you mean by pictures, good clear diagrams. However as far as the two other questions I may be able to help.Even though ProMotionNG doesn’t have multiple tracks of animation there, per se. Jan.cosmigo did recently did create a way to access something like them.

Jan.cosmigo some time ago wrote


Apr '19

I just added new functions as “hidden” shortcuts Alt Gr + O, Alt Gr + P. Available with 7.2.1 (maintenance update) that should be coming these days.
It rotates the frames of the current layer, either the ones that are selected as playback limit or those that are selected on the time line. Hope this helps a bit to overcome the time line limitations until this is improved overall.

Now let me exsplain: Alt you know which key that is. But Alt Gr means alt on the right side of the keyboard…

(Now this is part of the process that I do not do but what I would do is) I would Have each part of the character on a separate layer and by using the above keystroke you can move them forward or backward in time.

This next question has an easy answer. You can move an entire layer by going to frames/scroll, you can then choose all layers,current layer or visible layers. You will see there the keyboard shortcut for the different directions I hope that I answered some of your questions.