[How to Make Anime] Tools and Equipment


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Dec 9, 2015
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How to make an Anime
- Part 2: Tools and Equipment -
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What's up NB!

This is a continuation of the which introduced this series. In this tutorial I go over the most common tools people use to make 2D animation with emphasis on anime.


Here's the script in case you find my voice hard to understand (and I though I improved u.u):

Hello everyone and welcome to the second video in this series of tutorials on how to make an anime. Today we're gonna go through some of the most popular ways to make 2D animation. These ways are going to cover both traditional and digital animation so you won't need to worry about that. I'll go through the main 3 methods you can use and point out the pros and cons. Now, I'll start with traditional 2D.
The most common way classic 2D is made is with something that is known as a light-table. A light-table, also known as animation table or desk, is a special drawing table (or a platform) which has a glass area on which you do all the drawing and animating.
Under this glass area, you have a light source, usually a special light bulb, which goes through the glass just enough for you to see through all the papers on the glass area, while not being a pain for your eyes.
This is crucial in order to do any in-betweening. Light-tables come in many different shapes and sizes. They all work on the same principle though. You have a wooden construct, a glass area on which you draw and a light-source beneath it. There is also another thing that is necessary to work with a light-table.
The most important thing is a punched paper. A punched paper is your typical A4 paper but with special holes at the bottom of it. These wholes serve multiple purposes. The most important, however, is orientation when animating, but more on that later.
You will also need a special metal block called a pegbar. Basically a pegbar is used to hold all your overlapping papers in one place. It has 3 stick-outs which go through the corresponding holes on the paper.
Now, what are the good things about light-tables? Well, everything. This is the thing which has been used to make animation by profesional studios since forever. Old Disney cartoons have been made on them, Looney Toones have been made on them, Tom and Jerry have been made on them, but most importantly, nearly ALL anime is made on them.
These light-tables give you direct control over the pen and paper and, thanks to the holes in papers, the process of in-betweening is a lot easier. Do note that you don't ABSOLUTELY need to use the pegbar, nor the punch paper however you will need to, either make holes in papers yourself or make some markings, but more on that when I get to the process of animation.
The problem with ligh-tables is the fact that they're not available just anywhere. They are used mainly by professional animation studios, and if you, as an independant artist want to get a hold of one, you're gonna have a hard time.
Even when you manage to find a light-table for sale, it's usually not gonna be cheap. Also, it is reliant on seperate scanning and coloring, so the process can be long and boring.
Next stop, we have an alternative to the light-table. If you're running low on budget or find the idea of a light-table scary, fear not. A popular alternative to a light-table is incredibly simple. Use tracing paper instead.
By using tracing paper, you're eliminating the need for an expensive desk with a light source built in, as tracing paper lets you see through it on its own. The great thing about this, ofcourse, is the fact that it's really cheap and can be found in ANY art store ANYWHERE. The problem is that it's not very professional and can be sloppy. Also, it requires seperate scanning and coloring so it takes time as well.
Now off to digital. The only way people actually make digital 2D animation is by using a graphics tablet. Graphics tablets have different sizes and specs, but they all boil down to the same thing. You have a pressure-sensitive area on the tablet and you use a pen-like device called stylus to draw on it.
Now there are many versions of tablets, from newbie to pro categories to those specifically designed for a certain purpose (be it art, image editing and so on). The most popular tablet producer, and the dominant one, is by far WACOM. WACOM has a wide range of products you can use, but to us 2 types are important.
WACOM Intuos and WACOM Cintiq. Intuos line is a line of tablets more open to beginners and is a lot cheaper and simple. These tablets have a pressure sensitive area, called active area, over which you can move your stylus, which will produce corresponding lines on your monitor.
WACOM Cintiq, however, has a built-in screen which serves as an active are so you won't have to get used to the akward, draw down – look up mechanic. These tablets are a lot more expensive and are what professionals use.
Regardless of which you choose they all boil down to the same principle which is drawing frames in image softwares such as Photoshop, rather than drawing them straight on paper. The good thing about this is that it's a lot easier, as you can immediatelly CTRL+Z your mistakes away, you can zoom, you can add effects and you can totally skip the tiresome scanning part and color your frames as you go.
The problem however is the fact that it's gonna take some getting used to, as stylus isn't the same thing as a pen. (Despite being heavily similar.) You will also have a harder time as you don't have direct control over each layer and frame or atleast not to an extent seen in the light-table.
Now, I'll just show you how light-tables and tablets look in action, just so you can get a picture of how things look.

So there you have it. Those were the 3 most common ways you can make 2D animation. In the next video, we'll finally get to animating and drawing something rather than just talking about animation. Whichever method you choose though, don't sweat it. I'm gonna make these tutorials with all the tools in mind.
I'll be mostly doing it on either my light-table or my tablet but regardless, you will be able to apply the said knowledge on a different tool with minimum effort. More on that in the next video. Thanks for watching this one and be sure to like and subscribe.
See y'all next time.

That was this for this tutorial. In case you have any questions, I'll be more than happy to answer them. New tutorial coming in a week or two. 'Till next time.