Tutorial: How to Animate a Drawing

Editor’s Note: Ever wanted to learn how to animate a drawing for a motion design project? This helpful tutorial, courtesy of Adobe, shows you how to turn a sketch into an animation with Adobe Capture CC.

How a professional animator turns a sketch into a full-blown animation

By Alex Fleisig

Step 1 - Koala Pen and Ink Sketch

Step 1: Copy my sketch to your Creative Cloud library.

To use my sketch, click the Capture + Animate Library. Click Save to Creative Cloud to copy the asset to your Creative Cloud Library.

Step 1

Note: You need to be signed in to your Creative Cloud account to save the library. Get an Adobe ID if you don’t have one.

Step 2: Capture a shape

Launch Capture CC. Select Shapes (1) and tap the + icon. Tap the Capture From icon (2) at the bottom of the screen to browse to your images. Select Creative Cloud (3), tap the down arrow to the right of My Assets (4), to get to My Libraries > Capture + Animate (5).

Select the koala_sketch photo, then tap the blue Open button.

Note: The screenshots and instructions in this tutorial show Capture on an Android phone. The user interface may vary between iPad, iPad Pro, iPhone, and Android devices.

Step 2

Step 3: Convert the sketch to a vector shape

Capture CC transforms my pencil drawing to a vector shape that maintains its sharpness at any size.

Drag the slider handle left or right, to capture more or less detail in the shape. Tap the Capture button (camera icon) to capture the image and turn it into a vector shape.

If necessary, refine the shape by selecting Remove from Shape or Keep in Shape. Drag your finger over the details you want to remove or keep in the vectorized graphic.

Tap the arrow. Capture converts your shape into a vector. When complete, Capture guides you to the next screen to name and save the koala shape (I named it koala_A, in the Capture + Animate Library).

Step 3

Step 3 - Koala Vector Image Created by Capture CC

Step 4: Capture a color theme

Tap Colors, then tap the + icon. Point your camera at a colorful scene. Interactive color circles will appear on top of the image. Tap the screen to freeze it so you can move individual color circles to adjust the theme. Tap the Capture button checkmark to capture a theme of 5 colors.

Step 4

Step 5: Save your color theme

Type a name for your color theme. Choose the appropriate Creative Cloud Library, then tap the checkmark to save. You will use this theme in Animate CC to color your animated koala.

Step 5

Step 6 - Koala Character with Applied Color in Animate CC

Step 6: Animate your character

Watch the video below to see Joseph Labrecque retrieve the koala and color theme from Creative Cloud Libraries in Animate CC, and bring the character to life with some fun animation.


And that’s it! You’re done. Here’s the finished product:

Alex Fleisig is a professional animator and game designer. He has worked for some of the largest CGI film production companies in the industry including Pixar and DreamWorks. His character animation portfolio stretches across an impressive number of movies including How to Train Your Dragon, Megamind, Madagascar, Shrek, and Finding Nemo. Recently, Alex set up his own indie game label where he released platform action game, Corgi Warlock, on Steam.


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